Event planning decision making can be overwhelming. However, there are venue options that can set a person’s mind at ease and lessen the stress involved considerably – and it’s called an all-inclusive venue.
Typically there are two versions of the all-inclusive venue that we most often see in this industry: destination locations that include everything from your photographer to your DJ to your catering, and inclusive venues that include everything you will need for a great event (such as catering, tables, linens, and other event rentals), with the exception of your three primary vendors (floral, photography and DJ). Montage, our signature event venue, happens to fall into the latter of this definition.
If this sounds ideal, read some key questions to ask an all-inclusive event venue before committing to a contract.
Is there an on-site event manager or event planner?
When you first contact Montage, or any inclusive facility, you’ll be connected with a coordinator of some sort. It’s important to find out if that person, or someone else from the venue, will be available to you throughout the planning process and if they will be on-site the day of your event to ensure things go smoothly. At Montage, and with Kahn’s Catering, all of our clients work directly with their event specialist from the time they contact us with us until their last guest has left the dance floor. Our event specialists make every attempt to be at each and every event they work with, however there are times when other event managers may need to be on-site to assist due to the sheer number of events being hosted that day. Sadly, our event specialist cannot be everywhere at once. Regardless, your event is always in the hands of a trusted event management professional to see you through to a successful evening.
What about Djs, florists, caterers, staff, photographer and officiant?
The beauty of Montage being owned by Kahn’s Catering is that your catering service and serving staff are all included with your event costs. However, for most venues the on-site caterer is a separate business and requires separate payments. At times, the labor for the catering and beverage service is charged at varying rates versus Montage’s all-inclusive service charge which covers all of the costs associated with producing your event. Having to pay for labor separately in an itemized way removed the all-inclusive factor.
Also, many venues in the Indianapolis area do not offer in-house services for DJs, florists, photographers and officiants, but like Montage they do offer you a preferred vendor list to make selections from if you choose to do so. Additionally, you have full choice in the vendors that you use for these services and are not limited to the preferred vendor list at our location, however some venues may require that you only use pre-approved vendors from their preferred list.
What about upgrades and extras?
Here is where things can fluctuate. The base price for a reception may fit in your budget, but once you start adding on higher-quality linens or chair covers, or additional hors d’oeuvres not included with the catering package, or even a signature drink that isn’t part of the standard bar serivce – prices increase. So be alert and know what you truly want and are agreeing to. While Montage includes black and white house linens with each facility rental, those client that want an upgraded look have the opportunity to enjoying an exclusive Montage-only linen package that includes guest table linens, chair covers and sashes for an additional per person fee.
So, what are the benefits of opting for an all-inclusive facility?
- Less costly
Since many services are ‘under one roof’ or handled by one point person (your event specialist or on-site event manager), this limits the need to pay multiple vendors to offer their services. All of the event expenses that are offered by the venue are rolled into one price. For example, there are venues that do not provide tables, chairs or basic linens and a client would need to contact a vendor of their choice to handle each of those. Montage owns their own collection of tables, chairs and basic black and white linens so they are included with the event rental of the space.
All-inclusive packages may vary, but most venues can take on as much responsibility as you want them to. Our exclusive venue, Montage, handles the set up of chair, tables and buffet/station décor, as well as the tear down of those items because they are all owned exclusively by our facility and serviced by our setup team. Additional, our team also handled cake cutting service for weddings, provides servers and bartenders, and offers linen service. With the venue taking on so much responsibility for the success of your event, it allows our clients to relax and enjoy the fruits of their planning efforts.
- You will Work with an Event Coordinator
Some venues call them event coordinators, event planners, or event managers – at Montage one of our professional event specialists are assigned to each and every event we host. Their purpose is to assist you in the planning process and oversee the execution of your event. While their responsibilities differ from a venue standpoint from those of a hired event or wedding planner (the ones that will manage your RSVPs and review your vendor contracts), they are to assist with most of your event reception needs. When working with weddings, they will be helpful in making sure that everything flows properly and that on your wedding day you have everything you need at your reception.
- Saves Time
Everything always runs smoother with an all-inclusive venue. On the day of your event, time is of the essence. It’s why our team works with you to develop a well thought out timeline. Since every event is booked for a specific number of hours, it’s important to make the most of the time available. For those planning a wedding, having both the ceremony and reception at the same all-inclusive venues saves both time and money by eliminating the need to transportation between locations.
- Different Packages Are Available
Booking an event at an all-inclusive location may not be ideal for those people that want complete and total control over every single element of their event, but it’s important to hire and work with a reputable venue and vendors that you trust to get the job done right. We understand that some may feel their creativity for their event will be limited but the sky is really the limit and we are happy to work with you toward your event goals, regardless of what they may be. Despite being all inclusive, flexibility is key!
All-inclusive venues typically offer a variety of services that other venues charge for individually like set up and tear down. In addition to this, catering packages are also a prominent feature of the easy planning you can experience. The benefit of these are that packages often feature beverage and dinner service. Montage special occasion packages take things one step further to include cocktail hour hors d’oeuvres, dinner service (choice of plated, buffet or station dependent on package), and a custom buttercream wedding cake. Other packages such as hors d’oeuvre parties also include a variety of items that eliminate the need to extensive menu planning, but still provide a variety of options for clients to choose from.
Ultimately, all-inclusive venues are great for clients that want to streamline their event planning experience and limit the number of vendors they need to coordinate with.