What Are Some Venues Thinking?

Elisabeth Scott Daley, WED®, ABC™ “A Passion for Performance”

I am passionate about weddings, and helping brides and grooms have the best wedding reception…ever, so it breaks my heart when other wedding professionals unnecessarily do things that sabotage the day.

I must begin by saying most wedding venues are exceptional and I am lucky enough to spend most of my time at these amazing locations – but there are a few in every market that make my skin crawl.

For example, I have nothing against a venue doing multiple weddings or other events per day. That’s business. The problems begin when they aren’t scheduled appropriately. I know sometimes it is unavoidable, but it is unwise of venues to systematically give one hour to completely changeover a room.

Now, I know it can be done if the set up is simple. But it creates a lot of unnecessary stress for everyone involved, and if anything just happens to go wrong, there is no time to fix the problem before guests arrive. However, let’s be honest, a one-hour turnaround is impossible if the set up is elaborate.

From my perspective as a DJ, here is the best part of poor scheduling. Let’s say the ceremony is at 6:00 pm just outside the venue, and the reception starts at 7:00 pm. Vendors can’t get into the hall until 6:00 to set up because the doors are LOCKED! So the only option given the DJ is to set up the reception gear after the ceremony as guests are watching. How is this a good plan? Why would a venue encourage this? It’s tacky.

Also, I understand that brides and grooms have contracted a venue for a certain amount of hours. But is it really necessary to chase guests out of your lobby and send them to their car during a rainstorm because they arrived 30 minutes early? That’s just RUDE!

It’s also rude to start pulling tablecloths and “breaking down” the room while the party is still in full swing just because you want to get home earlier!

And under the “think about it category,” I know it might be easier for the wait staff, but is it really necessary to put the tray jack directly in front of the bride and groom in the center of the head table and scrape and bus plates? Really?

And finally….why, oh why… must venues IMMEDIATELY turn on the “ugly lights” (full on bright lights) within seconds of the last song playing? That’s just obnoxious! The largest percentage of the bride and groom’s budget goes to the venue! The least you can do is allow the families to kiss and say goodnight with subtle lighting.

Disclaimer: No specific venues have been named to protect the guilty…and the guilty reside in every market!


  • Liz Daley, WED®, AWP™ - A Passion for Performance

    Liz Daley is a seasoned veteran of stage and screen and is the owner of Liz Daley Events, a boutique entertainment company in Virginia opened in 2004 that delivers dramatically different results. She got her first radio job at 16, but her passion for live entertainment moved her across the country performing from New York to Nashville as well as the entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas! She works with brides and grooms to create Classic, Fun and Memorable wedding receptions. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The Boston Conservatory of Music, she is a certified Wedding Entertainment Director® and the National President of the Wedding Entertainment Directors Guild® and an Accredited Wedding Planner™ with the Association of Bridal Consultants. She is currently co-hosting educational performance workshops for Wedding DJs and Masters of Ceremonies with Peter Merry, “The Fun Wedding Experts”.

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