Many wedding professionals will agree that one of the biggest (and first) steps in planning a wedding is choosing a venue for the occasion. They are booked far in advance and determine many other aspects of your big day. We’ve come to find that these are the top five questions you should be asking at that first tour. Once you know the answers, we guarantee you’ll have a better idea of whether that venue is right for you; and if not, what you’re looking for!
How early will we be able to get into the venue and how late can we stay? This is a crucial question. Many venues’ rental rates are based on different time blocks (12 hours, 6 hours, etc.). Depending on the timing of your wedding make sure there is ample time once the venue doors open for vendor set-up, your own set-up, and time to go over any final details before the event actually happens. Leave enough room between the end of your reception and the venue close time for vendors to break down and for any cleaning to be done. Using a museum or other public space as a venue? Don’t forget they will have normal business hours before your allotted time!
Can I drop by whenever I want to show the venue to my vendors or my family? Event venues have a lot going on…all the time. Whether putting on another event, showing other clients the space, or just spending the day cleaning, venues are busy! It’s best to schedule an appointment first, but then again, ask to be sure what their policies are.
Is there an on-site wedding coordinator provided? This varies from venue to venue. One might not have any type of management the day-of where instead you are given the key and run of the space, while other venues have in-house wedding coordinators. Depending on what you’re looking for, some venues might save you a trip in looking for an outside planner, but keep in mind that many just have venue managers to oversee the property during your event.
Is there a bar at the venue, and if so is a part of our rental fee? First, decide with your fiancé if you want to offer alcoholic drinks at your wedding. If no, you will save a significant amount of money but the majority of weddings do want some sort of bar available. While some venues may have their own bars and in-house services, many allow outside beverage caterers to come in. Check out the quality of services and plan your venue accordingly.
What additional costs should I be aware of? Like any type of rental (car, apartment, etc), extra fees can be incurred if certain situations occur. You want to know these potential fees in advance, not after the event has happened and an invoice shows up in your mailbox by surprise. They will be outlined in any venue contract but ask what you should expect.
There you have it! Have these questions ready to go during your first tour and we promise decision-making will be much easier. Happy planning!