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    12 Tips for Saving Time, Money and Headaches When Working with a Wedding Venue

    By Jim Bruels–

    Below are a dozen tips that can save you time and money, not to mention headaches and problems, when working with a venue for a wedding or other special event:

    1. Look for your venue before picking your wedding dates.

    If you can be flexible on the date, it will be more likely that you will be able to book your favorite venue.

    1. Book a venue that can accommodate more people than you think will attend.

    You can always pair down the number of guests, but you cannot create more space once the venue is booked.

    1. Pick a venue that speaks to your vision.

    Choose a space that already has the look and feel of your dream wedding, instead of trying to mold the space into what you want.

    1. Go with the venue’s preferred list. There is a reason why they have one!

    The venue’s in-house team has curated this list of vendors who know the ins and outs of the venue and how best to utilize the space.

    1. Discuss any DIY projects with your venue manager first.

    Talk about what you are planning and how it will be displayed, as it may not be possible or permissible at the venue.

    1. Be sure to thoroughly review the contract.

    It is easy to overlook the fine print, but make sure to familiarize yourself on the rules and regulations so you and your planner know what is required from the vendors, what time you have the venue, and what is/is not permitted. 

    1. Have a departure plan.

    Many couples forget that everything must be removed from the venue after the party is over. Arrange in advance for removal of everything in order to avoid charges. 

    1. Lighting is key.

    Lighting adds a completely different dimension to your design. Do not skimp on it and have a technician onsite during the big day so that all of the lighting changes are seamless.

    1. Consider how the elements of the space may be different during the actual time of your wedding.

    For example, if you visit during the summer and it is sunny, but your wedding will be in the winter, will it be dark at that time?

    1. Get a professional planner or a day-of coordinator.

    A lot of couples think they can do it on their own, but it is truly the best money spent. 

    1. Book your rehearsal time when you book the venue.

    Do not be caught off guard at the last minute to find out that your venue is not available for your rehearsal.

    1. Breathe!

    Be in the moment. Do not get caught up in the small details, and keep the bigger picture in mind. It goes by so fast!

    Jim Bruels is the Director of Events & Sales at The Bently Reserve, which is one of San Francisco’s most prestigious event venues. It is ideal for meetings, special occasions, and weddings. With more than 14,000 square feet of meeting and event space, this state of the art LEED certified building features a visually stimulating fusion of contemporary and classic San Francisco. Deeply influenced by Greco-Roman architecture, this 1924 Beaux-Arts “Banking Temple” boasts opulent marble, grand staircases, ornate molding and original colorful murals. Contemporary furnishings and state-of-the-art technology complement the space. Steeped in a rich and vibrant history, the Bently Reserve building once housed the Federal Reserve Bank from 1924–1983. For more information, call 415-294-2226 or visit


    1-PHOTO Fred and Jaime (1)Frederick Sullivan and Jaime Botello, who oversee the Weddings & Occasions page for the San Francisco Bay Times, are the talented wizards behind Sullivan-Botello Events ( and SnB Party Rentals (650 -877 – 0840 , Both are Certified Wedding Planners with extensive experience in creating memorable, personalized events for special occasions. Their rental service is incredible, offering everything from beautiful gold Chiavari chairs to LED dance floors, and all at competitive prices. They are the creators of the Gay Vanity Wedding Show and are longstanding members of the Golden Gate Business Association, which is the nation’s first LGBT Chamber of Commerce.