FAQs.

You have questions… you’re not alone.
Click on the questions below to view answers to some common questions.

General

Who will be working my event?

Great question!!!  As we host three events on most weekends with staff onsite up to 15-16 hours per event, well, let’s just say it truly takes a great team to make it happen.  Here’s an overview of who will be working with you from beginning to end…

Jenna is our venue manager and her job is to oversee everything related to every event at The Cheney Place.  Her primary job is to lead the team and to oversee the workflow that ensures the highest level of service at every event.  You will definitely receive emails from Jenna and there’s a good chance she’ll meet with you at some point along the way.  As with every person on our team, Jenna works a couple opening/closing shifts most weekends.

Here’s a quick introduction to that team —

Aubree —  Aubree started as an intern with The Cheney Place as a senior at Grand Valley State University.  Her internship involved opening and closing events every weekend.  She killed it as an intern so we brought her on staff right away and she’s been working full time since Spring 2016.  Aubree is the machine behind the scene that takes care of most of the details for your event, including all of the coordination with your vendors, and she also leads many of the final details meetings for weddings.  As with all of our staff, Aubree opens/closes multiple events on the weekend.

Stephanie —  Stephanie also came through our internship program while she was a student studying hospitality/events at Grand Valley State University. After her internship, we couldn’t let her go so she’s been here over two years. She heads up our fancy fray division offsite as well as some coordination onsite. She’s our tour guru so she may have been the lady who showed you around. She does a little bit of everything from office coordination to working events so you’ll be sure to work with her at some point!

Interns — We’ve been running an internship program for students entering the hospitality/events profession since 2012.  We have 3-4 interns working with us at any time, with their primary responsibility being to assist our openers and closers at every event.

What time can we arrive?

Our doors open at 10:00 a.m. the day of your event. This is when you will have access to the building to start getting ready! We generally ask vendors to arrive anytime after 11am so we have time to lay linens and get a few things ready. We’ll confirm this with them, don’t worry.

If you’re wanting to arrive before 10am to get ready, we’d be happy to arrange this for an additional fee. Shoot us an email to chat this over! 

What time will our event end?

Unless prearranged, our evenings generally have a similar timeline. Our bar service always needs to close at 11pm, music ends at 11:30pm and vendors + guests are out by 12:30am at the latest.

Where do guests park?

We have parking right on our property in addition to street parking and one overflow lot right next to us. Our parking attendants will direct your guests right where they need to go. We will discuss other parking options with you if your parking requirements exceed what we’re able to park in these three places.

How do we use the SONOS sound system (Cocktail Hour / Bridal Suite)?

We have a SONOS sound system available for your use on the second floor during Cocktail Hour and also in the Bridal Suite.  This Hi-Fi system allows you to play songs wirelessly directly from your iPhone or Android Smartphone.  To use the system, you will need to download the free app available on the App Store, Google Play and Amazon.  And it also requires that your phone be logged on to our private network.

We encourage you to download the app and review these instructions prior to showing up for your event.

Click the following link to view and/or download the PDF instructions:  SONOS INSTRUCTIONS

Is the building heated and air conditioned?

YES!  We have a heating and cooling unit for each of the first two floors and our staff will take care of monitoring the temperature throughout the event.  There is no unit on our third floor, so if you were hoping to take pictures up there, please note that it may be quite warm in the summer and quite cool in the winter.

What time can our event begin?

If you’ve booked your ceremony with us you can start anytime after 4:30pm. You’ll find we recommend 5pm, as we’ve found it’s the perfect amount of time and pairs nicely with our bar service hours. 

If you’re just hosting your reception with us, your cocktail hour / guest arrival can begin anytime after 5pm. 

If you’re wanting to start your event before this time, we’re happy to talk with you on this but it most likely means your event would need to end before the typical 11:30pm. If you’re curious what this looks like, shoot us an email and we can create something custom for you.

My parents / soon to be parents / maid of honor haven’t seen the space and I really want to show them. Can we just stop in or do we need to make an appointment?

Great question! We do ask you set up a time to pop in as we do have weekday events, other weddings and just a ton of things happening over here. We try very hard to keep every clients day exclusive, which we’ll do for you as well so please make sure to help us with this! We’d love to make sure a team member is available to answer questions as well. 

What are your office hours?

The office team is generally in Tuesday’s + Thursday’s from 10am – 6pm and we’re here a bit on Wednesday’s as well. Since we’re working all weekend and often hosting events on the weekdays, our hours are sometimes sporadic so please make sure to set up times to stop in or meet with us!

What does the TCP team do the day of my event?

We’re always happy to help!!! Day of, we’ll be assisting with tons of things to make your day run smoothly. This generally consists of setting up your decor (including hanging items), checking in and working with your vendors, running your timeline, greeting guests, directing guests from ceremony to cocktail hour to reception, putting out desserts and then tearing our your decor and storing that for you. We’ll be chatting with you in meetings on what this looks like but please reach out if you have any questions on this!

How can we make payments towards our venue balance, linens or fancy fray?

We’d be happy to send you an electronic invoice to do this online! Feel free to shoot us an email to events@thecheneyplace.com and let us know how much you’d like to pay and we’ll send it out.

Can our guests leave cars overnight in your parking lot?

Yes! If guests aren’t able to make it home safely, we’d prefer they left their vehicles here however we need them picked up no later than 9am the next morning.

What are the sizes of your tables and how many fit at each type?

Included in your rental, we have 6’ rounds (or 72”) and comfortably seat 10 guests. We also have 8’ x 30” longs, these generally seat 8 guests, 4 on each side. For both our rounds and longs, those are included in your rental but we do recommend linens on those tables.

If you’re wanting to rent Farm Tables from Fancy Fray, those rent at $75/table and are 8’ x 42”. Those also seat 8 guests, 4 on each side.

When are payments due?

We know we have lots of options to add on so here’s a list of when things are generally due unless previously discussed! 

Venue: We take your deposit when booking, and your balance is due 90 days before your  wedding date. Your $500 refundable damage deposit is due the day before your wedding  and is refundable pending damages. 
Linens: We take a $100 deposit and the balance two weeks before once your final numbers are in.
Bar: When you book we take 50% down and the remaining 50% is due one week before your wedding. 
Fancy Fray: When you book we take 50% down and 50% down is due two weeks before your wedding.

We’re flexible if you’d like to get things paid ahead of time, so feel free to shoot us an email (events@thecheneyplace.com) if you have questions!

 

Catering

Can we use a different caterer?

We do require that you select a caterer from our approved list.  The food is such an important part of your reception, so it’s very important that we have a consistent working relationship with caterers who have experience working in our space and with our team.  Having a preferred list of caterers enables us to work well as a team which is a huge piece of the puzzle in making sure everything goes great on your big day.

Can we provide our own appetizers to save on costs?

We ask that your caterer provides all food service for your event as it is very important to also have personnel responsible for cleaning plates/napkins and keeping food trays full.  In addition, they are able and licensed to ensure safe conditions for the food.

That said, you are welcome to put out candy/nut dishes that don’t spoil.

What are the rules on desserts?

Good question. Desserts are the one area that we’re a bit more flexible on! You’re welcome to bring in your own desserts that you’ve baked, grandma has baked or friends. If you’re wanting to use a vendor not listed on our main page, feel free to do that as well. We’ll grab this information from you as we get closer to your event! 

Can we choose a late night snack vendor that is not on our list?

We are open to the discussion!!  Please contact us and let us know what you’re thinking.  The bottom line is that these vendors would need to carry the necessary licenses and insurances for serving food, and they would need to have someone on-site to help serve and stock their food, provide needed plates and napkins and to be responsible for cleaning up any mess associated with their service.  Again, let us know what you’re thinking and we’ll chat.

Can we bring in lunch / snacks for the bridal party while we’re getting ready?

Absolutely. Feel free to bring in your own food and snacks for the morning / afternoon or from elsewhere,  i.e. jimmy johns, or wherever your fav is. The one area you aren’t able to bring your own items for the morning is anything alcoholic, we’d be happy to add that on for you through your bar booking with us so make sure to let us know if you’d like mimosa’s or beer!

 

Alcohol

I liked your packages, but they aren’t quite what I had in mind. Can we do a custom package?

YES! We are happy to work with you to develop a custom bar package. Send us an email (hello@drinkourpunch.com) and we’d love to walk through that process with you.

There are some perks to our packages that we’d love to highlight to let you know specifically why we created these packages:

— The packages are all-inclusive meaning your rates will not go up based on consumption.  Some packages start out less, but can go up if your guests drink a few more spirits than you were thinking or if Grandma doesn’t stop at her normal one glass of wine.  With our packages, you know the rates up front and there are no surprises.  No joke we’ve seen too many weddings where they saved on packages up front by purchasing a la carte, and then ran out of alcohol by the time the party was getting started.

— Our packages include a full tap experience on the first floor with at least 6 beers.  This gives your guests an experience that’s more like what they get when they walk into a bar and are able to choose from a full list of domestic and craft beers.

— We will be able to add our premium craft cocktails to any package we create for your wedding.  That said, we will be able to quote them at a significantly discounted rate with our packages which already take into account some of the cost of the spirits used to create the cocktails.  So for instance, if we work out a consumption based package with you, we will need to include the expense of all of the spirits and ingredients used to create the cocktails.  Whereas, with our “I Love It” package, your package helps to offset some of the costs so we’re able to significantly reduce those add-on rates.

We think our packages will serve you very well!!  But more importantly, we want to serve you very well and we are more than happy to work with you to develop the package that’s best for you.

Are there any fees not included in our packages?

Great question!!

Our packages really cover just about everything (alcohol, soda/mixers/garnish, glassware, setup/teardown, bartender fees, dry goods and cups, etc…). There are only two other things that would be on your invoice:  a 6% sales tax per the State of Michigan, and a 20% service fee.  The service fee is similar to gratuity. We include it on the invoice so it’s a known expense up front and there’s nothing to settle afterwards. Finally, the service fee allows us to guarantee better wages to our bartenders so we can hire the best local bartenders which is a huge part of creating the best bar experience.

Here are the only other variables we know about… but these are optional and we’d walk you through that when working with you:

Extra Bartenders:  We generally staff bartenders at 1 bartender per 65 guests (depending on your event) and this works great!  That said, sometimes clients want more bartenders and that’s something we can do for $25/hour/bartender.

Extra Bar Fee:  We encourage just using one bar on our first floor.  And then just designing in a little extra space around the bar for larger events.  That said, if you want an additional bar, we can do that for $150/bar + any extra bartender fees if needed.  Also, THERE IS NO ADDITIONAL BAR FEE FOR COCKTAIL HOUR ON OUR SECOND FLOOR!  Many bar service providers charged an extra fee or required additional bartenders to accommodate cocktail hours on our second floor.  However, as we are using our staff and onsite inventory, no additional fee is required.

Champagne Toast:  Champagne toasts are an add-on service available for $3/pp.

Add-Ons:  Our packages list what included.  But sometimes clients want to change it up and add some things on here or there.  We get it!!  Customizing is good.  We’ll work with you through any requests you may have and we’ll be sure to let you know at your time of request if that’s something that would be charged separately.

 

Can we bring in alcohol for the Bridal Suite or Groom’s Room?

The MLCC does not allow any personal alcohol to be brought on our property. We will work with you to get you what you need for the bridal suite or groom’s room! If you’re wanting a mimosa, we’ll provide the champagne or sparkling wine and orange juice at the same cost as your local grocery store. We’ll also include the glassware at no cost. It’ll just be there when you arrive and already chilled, and it won’t cost any more than it would if you did all the work yourself. Or if you prefer a case of beer, let us know and we’ll simply have it there, in your suite, chilled and ready to roll.

During the morning / afternoon we do not have bartenders onsite, so we do not allow hard liquor or drinks that need to be mixed. We’d prefer to drop off the champagne, wine or beer to keep things easy for all parties!

We’ll for sure reach out multiple times to see if you’d like drinks for the morning / afternoon as we’d love to hook you up with those! We understand your bridal party might not know they can’t bring in their own drinks but please help us out and request that all drinks go through us. We’d appreciate your help! Safety first :)

What are the perks of TCP having its own bar service?

We are very excited about having our license and being able to provide this service in our space… and we want you to be excited too!!  Through the years, we’ve seen it all.  The good and the bad.  So we’ve developed our service and packages to make sure we’re creating a great experience for every event.

Here’s a few of the things we’re excited to roll out with our service.The packages are all-inclusive meaning your rates will not go up based on consumption.  Some packages may start out lower, but can go up if your guests drink a few more spirits than you were thinking or if Grandma doesn’t stop at her normal one glass of wine.  With our packages, you don’t have to worry about the party getting started!  You know the rates up front and there are no surprises.  No joke we’ve seen too many weddings where they saved on packages up front, and then ran out of alcohol when the dance was just getting started.

Our packages include a full tap experience on the first floor with at least 6 beers.  This gives your guests an experience that’s more like what they get when they walk into a bar and are able to choose from a full list of domestic and craft beers.

Many of our couples have wanted to add glassware to their bar service, but the additional rental made it cost prohibitive.  We’re excited to offer glassware for every event from (from cocktail hour up to the start of your dance).

We will be able to add our premium craft cocktails to any package we create for your wedding.  That said, we will be able to quote them at a significantly discounted rate with our packages which already take into account some of the cost of the spirits used to create the cocktails.  So for instance, if we work out a consumption based package with you, we will need to include the expense of all of the spirits and ingredients used to create the cocktails.  Whereas, with our “I Love It” package, your package helps to offset some of the costs so we’re able to significantly reduce those add-on rates.

Is PUNCH a separate company from The Cheney Place?

Punch is the sister company to The Cheney Place! PUNCH does book off-site events but is also the exclusive bar provider to The Cheney Place. Our bar team works in the same office as The Cheney Place coordinators so they work very closely on the details of your event. It’s makes for a great experience for you because our TCP coordinators are happy to help with the details of your bar in your meetings.

 

Ceremony

Can we have our wedding rehearsal at The Cheney Place?

You are definitely welcome to have your wedding rehearsal at The Cheney Place (no extra cost) any time that is available during our regular hours (up to 60 minutes). As a venue space that generally holds weddings every Friday – Sunday and often time corporate events on Thursdays, I’m sure you can understand how this limits our options for ceremony rehearsals. While we’d love to offer you a complimentary time to rehearse in the space, rehearsals are never guaranteed, they are always a tentative booking based on our event schedule. Often this means the only time that might work is a day of run through. Our team will go ahead and get your ceremony processional order ahead of time so we can get everyone lined up and qued off as needed.

Please contact us to discuss scheduling options if you would like to have your rehearsal at The Cheney Place.

Are we able to choose the furniture for our ‘Stylized’ ceremony package?

If you have booked the ‘Stylized’ package for your ceremony, you have the option of using our collection of pews, vintage seating for your family (seating for up to 6 on each side), chandeliers down the aisle, and an arch we have available for you to get married in front of. We’ll generally get your wedding colors and VIP numbers of ahead of time so we can pick out great options for you!

Do we have sound/AV for the ceremony?

We do not have a sound system for your ceremony or reception.  Please work out these details with your DJ or Band in advance as they are usually able to take care of this additional setup.  Two speakers and a microphone plus any media player (for recorded music) will do the trick!

How many people can we fit in our ceremony?

We cap out our ceremonies at 225 people. This provides enough room in the “lobby” for your guests as they enter and while making sure to have enough seats. We prefer every guest has a seat so please make sure if your ceremony is booked with us, you’re at or under the 225.

How many people fit in the pews in the ceremony? How many rows?

The pew collection that comes with the “stylized” ceremony package seats approximately 90 people depending on many variables. There are 8 rows of pews (16 pews total). We’ll use our white chairs to create rows off to the side to make sure you have more than enough seats for your guest count.

Is an arch included?

Yes. If you’ve booked your ceremony with us, we do have an arch available at no charge. It’s rounded, rusty and white and looks pretty good if you ask us.

 

Design

When should we reserve Fancy Fray pieces of furniture?

We highly encourage you to select a Fancy Fray package as early as possible as Fancy Fray needs to limit the number of weddings they do any given weekend.  We can help you determine which package is best for your wedding based on your vision and approximate number of guests.

And then it’s a great idea to select and reserve your furnishings shortly after you have the first draft of your floor plan (which we encourage to have done six months prior to your wedding).  We can’t guarantee the availability of any pieces of furniture without it being reserved, so earlier is definitely better!

All that said, if there’s something you know you definitely know you want, let us know when you’re booking your package and we can get that reserved right away for you.

When can we drop off our decor? How long can we leave it there?

Weddings

For weddings, we’d love for you to drop your decor off on Thursday the week of your wedding. We’ll schedule this time so we know when you’re coming but this is something we allow you to load in on your own and we’ll make sure it’s stored in the right place!

We’ll store most items overnight after your event but there are a few things we ask that you take. This includes florals, gifts, any left overs and personal items from the bridal suite + grooms room. Any other decor that is stored with us, we ask that all of your decor is picked up Tuesday following your wedding. We are closed on Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays. 

Other/Corporate Events

Decor is usually brought in the morning of your event.  Please let us know if there is anything that needs to be dropped off in advance and we can work out those details with you.

Unless prior arrangements have been made, all decor and supplies must be removed the same day as your event.

Can we bring in our own furniture?

Absolutely!!  Please be sure to coordinate your dropoff and pickup times with us ahead of time, and let us know what you’re bringing so we can make sure we’re prepared!

Can we use candles in our decor?

You are welcome to use candles so long as the flame is fully covered.  In other words, the container that the candle is in must be taller than the flame itself.  We are not able to have any open flames in our building.

Are linens included with our rental?

Linens are not included with our venue though many caterers do have that option.  We’re big fans of floor length and well designed linens, so we do have a rental collection on our third floor that we’d LOVE to show you.  Let us know if you want to chat linens as we’d love to help!

Do we need to provide linens for the cocktail tables on the second floor?

You’re welcome to bring in linens if you want to make sure they work with your decor. BUT… you’re more than welcome to use the ones we already have out at no additional cost for the second floor. 

If you decide to add cocktail tables for your reception on the first floor, we do not have those included so we’ll want to make sure you bring those in or we add those to your order with us.

Can we hang stuff?

We do have specific areas where stuff can be hung from existing hooks in the ceiling.  Due to general liability concerns, our staff will take care of hanging stuff for you.

Generally speaking, if you’re hoping to have stuff hanging at your event, please email us (events@TheCheneyPlace.com) so we can let you know if it’s something we can do.  Thanks!

 

BOX 6.23

What is BOX 6.23? (aka, The BOX)

With better backdrops, on-the-spot prints, and stylized GIFs and Boomerangs you can share, BOX 6.23 is an open-air photobooth that brings a good-looking-kind-of-fun to your well designed party.

How much does the BOX cost?

We steeply discount the BOX for all TCP couples and make it available between these walls for $600.  $300 down will reserve it for your event and then the remaining balance won’t be due til two weeks before your event. 

How do I book the BOX?

Like most things at TCP, we can take care of things right over email! Feel free to shoot us an email (events@thecheneyplace.com) and we’d be happy to add that onto your reservation with us! At the time of booking, we require a 50% deposit.

Can I add BOX on at anytime?

We’re happy you asked! BOX does rent all over West Michigan so there is a chance it could book offsite at anytime. If you do know you want it at your wedding, we’d recommend getting your deposit in so we can secure your rental!

Who do I contact with questions regarding BOX?

One of the TCP coordinators would be happy to help answer any questions you may have! Feel free to email us at events@thecheneyplace.com

Where does BOX normally go on my floor plan?

Great question! We’d be happy to customize the location of BOX where it best fits your event. There are multiple different spots it could go (which is huge perk of having an open-air photobooth). If your ceremony is onsite, we generally like to place the BOX at the south end of the space (the portion that is preset) so we can get that all squared away before the room flip. We’ll let you know our recommendations as we get started on your floor plan!