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Perfect Parties Start with Perfect Venues

The foundation of a memorable moment starts with picking a venue that fits your theme, guest list and of course budget.  I’m guessing that if you’ve recently gotten engaged, you’re up to your neck in brochures, business cards and web searches in hopes of finding the all-important venue.  It’s both a fun and frustrating process, especially when you realize the most popular places book at least a year in advance. One of our newest couples, Teresha McGriff and Ronald Brazzle, proved to us over the weekend that the perfect party truly starts with the perfect venue.

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DNA Affairs teamed up with the future Mr. and Mrs. on what we thought would be the beginning of many venue tours Saturday. The bride’s biggest request was ambiance, ambiance, ambiance.  She wanted to be able to feel as if real peacocks would follow her down the aisle at her peacock themed wedding.  On the other hand, the groom who is a real foodie and undercover chef, required a venue that allows outside caterers. He wasn’t thrilled about the possibility of paying $55 a head for mediocre food. Their special requests led us to Doko Manor in Blythewood, SC.  The groom was pretty much sold when he realized Doko would not only allow him to bring his own caterer, but he could also bring in outside alcohol.  It was a perk to know that the space was large enough to hold two EXTREMELY large families and a spacious dance floor.  What’s a wedding without the wobble or watching your crazy uncle two-step!  The bride on the other hand was harder to convince, but the colorful light fixture in the front lobby nearly sealed the deal.  As soon as she saw it she nearly screamed PEACOCK.  She was sold when she saw the flower garden, pergola and serene fountain at the ceremony site. DNA Affairs had once again delivered and was once again closer to giving another happy couple the foundation for their memorable moment.


The lovebirds got engaged months ago, but held off on picking a wedding date until they found the venue that would make their peacock theme truly pop! They wanted to avoid the heartbreak of learning their dream venue was booked. Fortunately for them, Labor Day Weekend 2017 was free, and they booked September 2nd on the spot.  We’re happy that planning for #brazzlesdazzle took a giant leap in just one site visit.    The Brazzle-McGriff yin and yang approach to wedding planning proves you get the most from your site tours by knowing what you really want.  Here are some questions to ask before and during your venue visit:


Is there a reception package & what does it include?


What is the payment schedule?


When is the balance due in full?


What is the refund policy?


Does the venue have an in-house caterer?

Can you bring in any of your choosing, or is there an exclusive catering list?

Will the in-house caterer cook to suit children, special diets, and ethnic tastes?

Do they have enough chairs, tables, utensils, glasses, etc., for your guests or must you rent each item from an outside vendor? These costs really add up fast when you have to rent every fork, spoon, napkin, etc.!


How long can you have the reception space for? Is there an overtime fee if you go over? Is there a minimum amount of time it must be rented?


Is there a wedding coordinator who will be there on the day of your wedding? If so, what exactly are their responsibilities and what will fall into your or your planner’s hands?

An experienced wedding planner can make your day a breeze.


Will there be another wedding before/after yours? Will any other events be happening at the same time as yours?


Are there kitchen & cooking facilities? If you hire an outside caterer, who will cleanup after the meal? Who will take out the trash after the ceremony?


Do they have their liquor license? Can you bring in our own alcohol? Do they have a bar? If not, can you set one up? If you are bringing your own alcohol, who will serve your guests? Who will provide glasses, ice, etc.


Are there noise regulations?


Is there enough room for a band or DJ & dancing?


Are there ample electrical outlets?


Is there a place for the bride & groom to change & relax?


Are the bride and groom areas separated?


Are the rooms big enough to hold wedding party and family?


Can the wedding party get ready here on the morning of the wedding?


Are there mirrors? Bathrooms? Space to hang dresses?

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