There are a range of wedding services which can help your day run smoothly and safely from security, valet parking and event insurance services. Here are some tips when you come to checking them out.
HIRE A PROFESSIONAL TO MIND THE MONEY AND GIFTS
If you are concerned about the wads of cash you will have to be distributing during the day, hire a security guard to officially watch things.
SECURITY CAN ENSURE YOUR UNDERAGERS DON’T SNEAK IN A DRINK
There’s nothing worse at a party than having to be the party-pooper so by officially hiring party-poopers, you can feel free delegating that responsibility. Being removed by security will be accepted more readily than a full-scale drama or fight with family members.
CHECK THEIR CREDENTIALS
Do a thorough recce of their certification and what specific training the staff have been through; you don’t want to be hiring thugs or bouncers.
RESEARCH THE SCALE OF THE EVENTS THE COMPANY HAS DONE SECURITY FOR
Check they are experienced, have good professional references and an intact reputation. Do not hire a company where there has been trouble or drama, despite having security, or a history of being sued.
GIVE THEM CONTROL
Let security do their job. Agree, by contract, beforehand the level of security you want: very low-key, undercover or with a profile and firm or all the way up to very high profile, screening every guest (highly unlikely unless you are in a targeted area or with A list celebrity guests!).
CHOOSE A RESPONSIBLE VENUE
All reception location staff should be able to tell you evacuation plans in an emergency, the location of all exits, access for paramedics and contingency plans in case of bomb threats or power outages.
DO LET GUESTS KNOW BEFOREHAND ABOUT SECURITY
If it’s a very high profile wedding, let guests know (by invitation and website) that bags, briefcases will be searched and that no cell phones are allowed. Or maybe just no social media.
A GOOD SECURITY COMPANY WILL HAVE A BACK-UP PLAN
If anything goes wrong, the security company should have several contingencies planned out and all staff should be aware of these. The plans should also be specified in your contract.
SECURITY CAN CHECK GUESTS’ I D
This should be a requisite if you have famous musicians or guests. Ensure your security has bonafide, up-to-date lists. If they are security then ensure they have the final word on this - not Uncle Jack.
HAVE SECURITY TO COVER DOORS
This is especially important in large hotels, exhibition places or outdoor spaces - to prevent gate-crashers and guests, unwittingly or otherwise, venturing into unrented areas where they may be trespassing or cause damage for which you wouldn’t be covered by insurance.
CHECK THAT THE SECURITY COMPANY CONDUCTS THEMSELVES PROFESSIONALLY
From the paperwork: the thorough recce, risk assessment of the site, capacity and guests through to their personal appearance, demeanor and adhering to an approved code of conduct.
HAVE A THOROUGH CONTRACT DRAWN UP
This should highlight your main concerns, areas you need covering, liability and insurance, the contingency plans and level of enforcement to be used.
Now relax - you should be in capable hands!
VALET PARKING SERVICES
Valet parking at crowded wedding events is a very welcome wedding service that can ease an otherwise stressful day.
RESEARCH VALET PARKING SERVICES
Get testimonials, check out their reputation, the events they have covered and how their business is thriving. Shortlist your top three companies.
MEET THE VALET PARKING ATTENDANTS IN PERSON
The parking attendant will be the first person to greet your guests at the site so check out how far that first impression is an excellent one. Check that they are highly qualified, attentive, prompt and well-groomed. What credentials do they have to assure you they are safe to drive and park your guests’ cars?
DISCUSS WITH THE VALET PARKING REPRESENTATIVE HOW THEY MAXIMIZE PARKING CAPACITY
Also check out if they have serviced your chosen ceremony and reception locations.
ASK THEM TO VISIT THE LOCATION, ASSESS IT AND GIVE YOU A QUOTE
If they are unwilling to do this customized assessment, don’t hire.
ASK IF THEY DO PACKAGES OR DISCOUNTS, SPECIAL OFFERS FOR WEDDINGS
Some parking services have discounts for the bridal party cars.
LEAVE VALET TIPPING TO THE GUESTS!
You are already paying for their service. If a guest feels appreciative, let them know they can tip the particular waiter. The complementary parking service is really on your guests’ behalf.
DETAIL RESPONSIBILITIES IN THE CONTRACT
For example, what to do if a guest goes AWOL or goes home in another car drunk, forgetting to get his key. What hours are you hiring the company for? Is liability and appropriate insurance covered? What to do with outstanding cars and keys? Detail out the professional conduct and recourse if any guest is rather rude. Also, remember your parking attendants will need some refreshment and food for the long day.
CHECK OUT THE EVENT INSURANCE FOR YOUR LOCATION VENUES
Some have insurance covered in the overall quote; many don’t and will not hire out the venue unless you get the insurance first.
ENSURE YOU GET THE RIGHT INSURANCE
Most probably, you will require wedding liability insurance. You may also wish to protect your investment with wedding cancellation protection.
MAKE SURE YOU GET THE COVERAGE TO PROTECT YOU
...and that it is as comprehensive as possible. Nothing can mar sweet memories of a great day more than a few legal cases or being sued...it really is best to be on the safe side.