All-inclusive? No, thank you!

All inclusive event

Last month, I received a message from a friend in desperate need of a recommendation for an event venue, following an unexpected closure of their initial space. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the first time I’ve received a message of this kind.

Oddly, there’s been quite a few venues nationwide closing abruptly leaving celebrants devastated and clueless on what to do next. This prompted me to tweet the below but without context. Yet, the topic has stayed with me, so I thought I’d share three reasons why you should not book an all-inclusive event space for your special occasion. More specifically, do not book venues that only offer all-inclusive packages.

1. Things change, unexpectedly.

Once you book your event, you have usually confirmed services under a packaged deal. This can mean your venue, catering, decor, and rentals are all included. The selling point is it’s less stress, a one-stop-shop and that’s attractive to people who want to free up time and just show up on event day. However, in some cases, the package can include key service providers and vendors such as the florist, photographer, and DJ. This is where it can become a costly mistake!

In this article, Atlanta couples have invested all of their budget into this venue and now it is closed without notice. They’ve stated no contact has been made between them and the owners after several attempts. Not only do they not have a venue, but all of their vendors are also wrapped up into this ordeal. Basically they’re back at square one with no money to move forward. Some couples have resulted in taking out loans or even canceling their wedding plans. Can you imagine the nightmare?! See or #NoahsEventVenue via Twitter for more nightmares.

2. You do not get the full services of a credible event planner.

Events/Weddings are huge investments and deserve to be protected. Hire a credible event planner! This should be a full stop, but let’s continue.

A credible planner is on your side and can guide you through the entire planning process. One element consistently overlooked is the need to purchase event insurance. Trust me, a $100 plan can save you $10,000. They are also usually abreast of current reviews of the venue and know all about checking for any red flags. They would also tell you to run from venues that do not accept credit cards!

An all-inclusive venue will have an in-house planner but this person will not have the time to provide the extra support needed. Sometimes you’re left to feel like another day, another event.

3. Unique Experience? Maybe not!

When working with a client, I stress the importance of making their experience unique – one that is truly designed and created to celebrate the reason behind the special moment. That’s difficult to do when you’re working under all-inclusive packages. There isn’t room for creative freedom and personalization. If you have your own vision that drifts away from the package, the venue can make it hard on you and quickly let you know about any add-on fees.

Don’t get me wrong, all-inclusive venues have a lot of pros. But research is needed to fully understand what you’re getting out of the deal. Protect your investment at all costs.

Happy Planning!

Stay connected: @bmeninacmp

Brittani Menina is a Certified Meeting Professional, Event Strategist and Curator, Activist and Co-Owner of Bold Creatives, a boutique event planning firm.

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