If you're newly engaged, the first step in setting a date for your wedding is finding a venue that fits your style, needs, and budget. Once your venue and date is secured, you'll be able to begin hiring vendors to form your wedding day team. One of my favorite parts of working with my clients is the venue searching process. It can be a very time consuming task, but I love seeing my couples reactions when they've found the one! If you find yourself without a planner during the venue searching process, fear not! After years of working with and for different venues, I've put together ten questions to help you decide which venue is the best fit for you and your partner.
1. What is your guest capacity?
Based on your estimated guest count, is the venue firecoded to support your count? Also, pick a space that fits your group size. There are many beautiful venues out there, but if you're looking for a space to give you a cozy vibe, some may be too large.
2. What is your backup plan in case of rain (if they have an outdoor ceremony site)?
Knowing what their rain plan is before you book is one of the most important elements to consider. Weather is unpredictable and having a plan B set well before the wedding day will shave off lots of stress! If you are in love with the venue, but they don’t offer an inside space to support your guest count in case of rain, are you prepared financially to purchase a contingency tent? Contingency tents are tents that are placed on hold for your wedding day based on the weather, usually with a 25% non-refundable payment. If the venue does not have a covered space on-site, are you responsible for providing a tent? If so, tents can run $2,000-$5,000 depending on the size and features.
3. What’s included?
To avoid additional rental costs ask if they include any tables, chairs, dinnerware, glassware, linens, decor, or other furniture.
4. What are your access hours?
This is super important! The access hours will give you clarity on whether or not you can get ready on-site, what times vendors can arrive to set-up, what time the party can go until, and the amount of time vendors have at the end of the night to break down.
5. Do you allow dogs/pets on-site for the ceremony?
I love that so many of my couples want to incorporate their furry family members into their ceremonies. Some ceremony venues allow pets and some are a licensed food facility which means their license does not allow pets to attend an inside ceremony.
6. If you offer on-site lodging, what is your capacity for overnight guests?
If it is important to you to book a venue with on-site lodging, take a count of how many immediate family members and wedding party members there are that you would like to have stay on-site and see if they can accomodate your group.
7. Do you require clients to use vendors off of your preferred list or are you open to all licensed vendors?
Some venues only allow you to work with a specific list of vendors. This may not affect you, but if there is a caterer or DJ that you love and have always wanted at your wedding, this may be a deal breaker.
8. Do you require event insurance?
Most venues have their own insurance; however, they may require their clients to purchase their own event insurance to add more financial cushion to any potential claims.
9. Do you require us to hire transportation?
Some venues are located in rural, mountain areas where hired transportation is required.
10. Do you charge any service, administrative, credit card fees or gratuity?
Who doesn't love an extra fee! Find this out up front so you aren't surprised or annoyed when they send you the final bill.I hope this was helpful and would be happy to answer any additional questions you may have as you search for the perfect wedding venue. Feel free to send me a message on my website's contact page to get in touch. Cheers!