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How to Take the Headache Out of Choosing a venue! and The Questions you should make sure you ask?

Updated: Jan 5, 2020

When looking for your wedding venue you want to make sure you get all of the information about the space so that your wedding is as perfect as you have always dreamed it would be. Choosing your wedding venue is one of the most important parts of the wedding planning process because it will set the tone for your whole wedding, so you want to choose it right. Nothing is more upsetting and stressful than not having your wedding venue come through on your wedding day so here is a list of 10 Things To Consider When Selecting A Wedding Venue to help get things rolling.

1. Will or Does the Venue Accommodate Your Guest Count?

Couples typically don't have a guest count in the beginning stages of the wedding planning process, so if you don’t have an idea of the size of the wedding you are going to have...… will not be able to pick a venue confidently. No firm count is needed to look at venues, but one of the first questions the venue will ask a couple is how many guests you’ll be attending. Having a rough idea of your wedding size — whether it be 50, 100, 200 or 300 guests — will allow you to cross venues off your list without having to go look at them in person since almost every venue typically lists their facility size online.

2. If You Have a Specific Look or Style for your Wedding Does the Venue Fit that Look or Style?

A romantic vineyard, Mansion, an urban industrial loft, an elegant barn, even a Hotel, all of these spaces sound great when planning a wedding. But does it fit the style and look of your wedding, it is not an easy task to plan a style-specific wedding at all venues. Taking into account what style wedding you want will help you choose the venues you need to take a look at. Many couples think that they don’t need to decide on a wedding style early on, but I think it is one of the most important decisions because the style and look of your wedding will determine then venue you pick and set the tone for everything else. Like Décor, Invitations, your dress etc.

3. What Services does the Venue Offer and is it a Full Service Venue?

Some venues offer minimal services especially if you are using a banquet hall, a park enclosed shelter or an venues like that although they might offer some services like bar services and might even have a preferred vendor list that they will give you. A full service wedding venue usually offers everything you’ll need for the big day. If you have little extra time to spend planning your wedding, a full service venue may be the right way to go. On the other hand if you have the time and the desire, some venues simply offer you the space and its your job to create the wedding of your dreams. Both have their advantages, so before picking either one, do a little soul searching. Either way, some venues have preferred vendors that they want you to work with, so that is something to ask about before you book the space. Working with venue-required vendors can be great because they know the space and have worked there before, but it does not give you the option of “shopping” around and finding a quote that meets your budget

4. What will the Weather be Like?

Most couples have a good idea of what time of year they would like to get married, which will determine the type of venue you want to book for your wedding. But don’t forget: many venues might showcase images from a beautiful season like summer on their websites, so make sure you ask to see pictures from the season you intend to get married. If the venue holds weddings in all seasons, make sure you ask questions such as, “Is there heat and air conditioning? Is there a ‘backup’ space if all of a sudden it starts to rain? If there is good lighting so that our guests will be able to see as the evening goes on?” While getting married might be one of the most exciting times of your lives, you also need to take into account any special accommodations your guests might need when selecting a venue. While any established wedding venue will have proper accessibility for people with disabilities, a venue that is not typically rented out as a business might not have full wheelchair access or adequate rest room facilities.

5. What Are The Hours Of Operation?

This is a very important consideration. If you envision dancing under the moonlight followed by late night snacks and more dancing, be sure the venue allows that. Some venues have noise restrictions that limit how late you can party. Others have set hours with no option for over-time while others charge a fee past a certain number of hours. Be sure you get their “Hours of Operation” policy in writing.

6. What is the Deposit Is Requirement?

Here a few important questions to ask about Deposit and Payments of a venue. First, what is the rental fee, what is included in that price and what is the refund policy. Most venues will give you a discount if you book during the week or off season, so that is something to consider if your looking to save some money. Secondly, what is the deposit requirement,? and when is it due? and is any part of it refundable? And Lastly, do they offer a payment plan. Make sure you get "EVERYTHING" to avoid any misunderstanding. Remember, venues will not hold the date for you until the contract is signed and the deposit is made.

7. Am I Required to Use the Venues Preferred Vendors List?

Most venues have a list of preferred vendors that they want you to work with. Working with these vendors can be beneficial because they know the space and have worked there before, but if the list does not offer many options, you may be able to find someone who can work with your budget. If your venue does not have a list of preferred vendors, they are still a good resource for referrals since they have in most cases worked with many of the local vendors and should know who would be a good fit for you and who would not.

8. Choosing the Closest Overnight Accommodations

If you have out of town guest who are traveling far enough that they will need to stay overnight, its a great idea to find out if there are enough hotels in the area to accommodate everyone. It can be major problem if once you’ve booked the venue you find out that there are no adequate hotel option close by. Call local hotels and block a certain of number of rooms for your out of town guest, most will do this with a credit card on file and will offer special room rates for your wedding. Let your guest know all the information to book their rooms and receive the special rates.

9. Does the Venue Provide Parking and is it Free?

Some venues have their own lots where your guest can park at no charge, but you need to find out how many cars it can accommodate. Other venues parking can be a huge headache and an added expense for you and even your guest with these venues, The venue owner would have dealt with all this situation before so they should be able to give you a good estimate not only of the costs but also the logistics. If it ends up being valet park, think about tipping the valet parkers in advance so your guests won’t have to. Another alternative is to hire transportation to pick-up and drop-off your guest most transportation companies have packages as well as hourly rates if this is something within your budget.

10. Do They Have The Correct Lighting & Sound Equipment?

Great lighting is a crucial element in achieving the look and feel you have been dreaming of for your wedding, as well as a good sound system these elements are essential, not only for the DJ or band, but also for the wedding party introductions and the toasts. You want to look beautiful and be heard, right? So check the fixed lighting, find out if you can add more lighting, like candles, chandeliers, and up-lighting and how many electrical outlets they have and where they are located. You’ll want to be sure the band or DJ have access to the outlets and the caterer may need some too.

These are 10 important considerations when deciding on a venue, but there are many more to think about as well.

Below you will find our list of Questions You Should ask your Ceremony & Reception Locations

Ceremony Locations - Churches, Parks, Gardens, Etc.

The ceremony is a reflection of who your clients are. It can be as simple or as elaborate as they desire. When recommending a ceremony site, think about who your clients are as a couple and what makes the two of them unique. Consider their religious affiliations as well. Some of the questions below may not apply to particular locations.

  1. What packages or time slots are available?

  2. What is the maximum capacity of the site?

  3. What type of deposit is required and what is the schedule of payments?

  4. Will you reserve my client’s wedding date until we finish touring ceremony sites?

  5. Will there be sufficient time for decorating and clean up? (generally 1-2 hours for setup and 1 hour for cleanup)

  6. Is alcohol allowed at the site?

  7. Do we need to obtain a permit for anything?

  8. In a park location, do we need to rent portable restrooms?

  9. Is there electricity at the site?

  10. Are there separate rooms for the bride and groom to get ready in?

  11. Are there any limitations on photography, flashes, music or video?

  12. Is there any type of music or sound system available for use?

  13. Do my client’s wedding vows need to be approved?

  14. Are there any rules on wedding attire such as the bride’s dress style?

  15. Are there restrictions with regards to religion?

  16. Is there an officiant available?

  17. Are outside officiants or ministers allowed?

  18. Is the venue handicap accessible?

  19. If the ceremony location is outside, is there a backup location available in case of inclement weather?

  20. Is there an on-site coordinator who will be present that day?

  21. Is there enough parking for all guests? Is it free parking?

  22. Do you allow rose petals, candles, rice or bubbles?

  23. Do you provide the chairs? Do you set the chairs up? Is there an additional fee for this?

  24. Is the location accessible by limo or shuttle buses?

  25. Will the venue be open to the public during the ceremony?

  26. Are there other rules or fees we have not discussed?

Reception Locations - Event centers, outdoor locations, lodges, hotels, country clubs, mansions

Consider the charm, personality, and depth of the site. Can you and your clients envision where guests will sit? What will the dancing area look like? Will the reception flow? If your clients are considering a public park or location, there may be strangers gawking or waving which is a consideration for some couples.

  1. What packages or time slots are available?

  2. What is the maximum capacity of the site?

  3. What type of deposit is required and what is the schedule of payments?

  4. Will you reserve my client’s wedding date until we finish touring reception sites?

  5. Will there be sufficient time for decorating and clean up? (generally 1-2 hours for setup and 1 hour for cleanup)

  6. Do we need to obtain a permit for anything?

  7. Do you provide catering or can we choose our own caterer?

  8. Do you have a preferred caterer list?

  9. What is the alcohol policy or rules?

  10. When is the final guest count due?

  11. Is the venue handicap accessible?

  12. Are there any columns or obstructions in the room that will block guest’s views?

  13. Is there a changing room or bridal suite available?

  14. Can we view the site when another wedding is being set up?

  15. How many other events might be happening on the same day?

  16. Are there sufficient restrooms for the guest count?

  17. Are there any rules or limitations for music?

  18. Do you provide any type of music or sound system?

  19. What type of electricity and power are available?

  20. If the venue is outside, is there a backup location available in case of inclement weather?

  21. Is there an on-site coordinator who will be present that day?

  22. Is any security required?

  23. Is there enough parking for all guests? Is it free parking?

  24. Is the venue easily accessible by limos and shuttle buses?

  25. Do you allow rose petals, confetti and candles?

  26. Do you provide tables, chairs and linens? If so, what style and sizes are available?

  27. Do you provide china, glassware and flatware?

  28. Are there other rules or fees we have not discussed?

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