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"What If..." Venue Concerns

Hi all!
I'm recently engaged and live in Chicago with a late-summer 2014 event intended. Around here, you need to book a venue well in advance. That has me worried though. What if the place we choose goes out of business? We'd rather have something a little off-beat and avoid banquet halls and hotels.  There's a new restaurant/concert venue we're strongly considering and I'm just worried that, since it's relatively new here (but well established in NYC), maybe it won't survive.  I really don't want to go on the "safe" side by getting the same places everyone else is choosing for more traditional events.  What should we look for? Is there contract language we should make sure exists? What kind of deposits are normally expected at restaurant venues and how far in advance?  Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks! 

Re: "What If..." Venue Concerns

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    Buy wedding insurance that covers all of these contingencies.

    Contract language can be negotiated. 
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    I was nervous about this too! I am from the west suburbs but ended up choosing a lakefront restaurant venue in NW indiana because I didn't want the typical cheesy banquet hall with hideous carpet. Our deposit to reserve the date was 25%. We go out to eat at the restaurant all the time just to make sure that the food continues to be as good as it was when we first went, and it's a relief to see the place packed on the weekends so we know it's not going out of business :) 

    Are you set on getting married in the city? Look through the websites of area photographers for different venue ideas! Personally, I think that if the venue you like is already established in New York then don't worry too much. If this was their first location I'd be more worried.  
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    I agree, wedding insurance could be a good idea for you. I know what you mean about venues filling up fast around here! Also, if this place doesn't do a lot of weddings they may be willing to work something out with you as a "just in case we go out of business" type of thing. Hopefully they won't though, and I also agree with the above, if they are already well-established in NYC it's likely they will do well here
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