When you announce your engagement to your friends, the first thing you will get asked is when the wedding is, and where. It can take some work knowing what to say. Picking a venue doesn’t simply come down to whether you like the way a place looks. Wedding venue options are endless so there are many important things to take into account. Take a look at my little yet handy tips. They do work!
1. When the wedding will be
Many venues look good at certain times of the year, but not at others. Their publicity images usually show them in the season that they look their best in. Before you fall for a venue based on how beautiful it looks in the pictures in the brochures, you need to ask to see pictures taken during the season that you actually plan to get married. It also makes sense to think about other seasonal basics like the lighting, heating and cooling. A winter venue will need far better heating and lighting than something you use in spring.
2. How many people you’ll have
The venue you pick will need to fit the number of guests that you have in mind. This means that you’ll need to first prepare at least a tentative guest list before you begin venue shopping. This way, you won’t need to waste money signing up for larger spaces than you need.
3. Accessibility issues
When looking for a wedding venue, many couple commit this mistake – they simply forget about the accessibility issues. If the venue you pick isn’t built for wheelchair accessibility, your guests could be in trouble. Before you pick a venue, then, you need to think about how many guests you have who could need a venue built for accessibility.
4. Visit the venue on the day of the week your wedding will be
Most people go out and look at potential venues on their days off. They set off right after breakfast to be able to cover as many places as possible. It makes sense, though, to plan to do your scouting at the time and on the day of the week that you plan to get married. If you look at venues on a weekend, you’ll remain unaware of what goes on over the typical weekday – heavy traffic, construction noise etc.
5. Ask if the venue offers full-service arrangements
Full-service venues offer everything you need in-house, including furniture rentals, staff and special lighting. Bare-bones venues offer nothing other than the use of their space. Full-service venues, though, often have restrictions in place to do with the vendors you get to choose. They tend to have approved caterers, florists, and so on. If you want the freedom to choose your own, a bare-bones facility makes sense.
6. What kind of wedding do you have in mind?
If you hope for a specific atmosphere or feel, not every venue may be suitable. If you have minimalist chic in mind, for instance, the ballroom of a chain hotel may be difficult to work with. It’s important to decide on the style you need early in the process.
7. Ask to see a sample contract
Before you sign with a venue, it’s a good idea to take a look at one of their contracts to see if their requirements seem acceptable. Many venues tend to have troublesome clauses in place – early curfews, high minimum catering levels, or a service charge on top of the bill.
8. Ask who is responsible for setting the decor up and taking it down
Different venues have different rules to do with how the decor goes up and gets taken down. In some, you need to pay them to use their own help. In others, you get to bring your own. Some even have rules to do with how much time you have to set the décor up. It’s important to ask first.
9. Using the same venue for both events
Consider using the same venue for both the ceremony and the reception. It’s usually more expensive to pick different venues for the ceremony and the reception. If the venue you choose can work for both events, you’ll save money.
10. Check out the booking
Ask each venue if they have other weddings booked on the day. Unless you’re considering a huge venue that could easily handle multiple events in one day, it typically isn’t a good idea to go with a venue that’s heavily booked up. This issue is often overlooked so try to keep it in mind when picking your dream wedding venue.
Finally, whatever questions you need answers to at each venue, it’s important to ask at least two different people. Many offices are poorly organized. Employees tend to have different ideas about the rules and other details, which is why you should focus your attention on each detail and don’t let the so-called professionals ruin your dream wedding.