Keith & Melissa Photographers
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Journal

Sonal J Shah Events...

Keith Pitts Photography has had the pleasure of working with Sonal J Shah Events in the past.   SJS organizes gorgeous weddings and events around the globe, with a special emphasis on Indian weddings!  (We worked with her this past November at the Four Seasons Scottsdale - this wedding will be a featured wedding on www.theknot.com in March.)  We keep up with her  through her blog and I thought her most recent post was very informative (specifically for Indian couples planning their celebration):

Venue Selections

As I prepare for my trip to Houston, I wanted to give some pointers to get what you need from a venue and what questions to ask. 

I always find that brides or parents don't really know what to ask. They do a venue selection based primarily on how the venue looks. This is very important but we are more interested in how the venue will affect your wallet.

So, here are some questions to keep in mind:

1. How long as the catering manager been in her current position? 2. Who is the main decision maker at the hotel? (who wants to be speaking to the wrong person?) 3. What are your valet parking rates? 4. What happens with kids under the age of 12? Menu and bar? 5. Have they done an Indian wedding before? 6. Are you allowed to have an animal (ie: horse) on property? 7. Can I pick the caterer I want or do I have to use their caterer? You want to be very careful about this. 8. How late can my event go without any additional charges? 9. How early can my vendors come and set up? (We did a wedding where the bride only could have vendors in about 2 hours prior to ceremony.... THE MANDAP ALONE NORMALLY TAKES 3 -5 HOURS TO SET UP!!) 10. What are your bar package prices and how many bars are set up?

This is a short list of 10 questions. On a site inspection with a venue we normally have about 50-80 questions that are very in depth and allows us to judge which venue works best for our clients.