Picking a venue is a fun but stressful part of wedding planning. Here are 11 things to think about when you’re trying to figure out which venue to choose!
1. Look for Reviews – Check reviews on The Knot and Wedding Wire, especially since this is where most brides leave reviews for wedding pros. If you see any red flags, just take it into consideration before you book.
2. Date Availability – You have probably searched for different venues in your area. You find a beautiful venue that seems to be the perfect place for your wedding. Don’t expect venues to have the date you want because Saturdays book fast – usually within a year or more. After getting engaged, one of the first things you’ll want to do is search for venues. It’s best to do this in advance so you can book the day you want.
3. Budget – Be realistic about the amount of money you can spend on your wedding. Before you begin looking for venues or anything for your wedding, make a list of categories you want and how much you are willing to spend in each, read up on blogs about this and look at other pros to get an idea of the average price and go from there. Then make a list of importance. As far as the venue, just remember that Saturdays are going to be most expensive. If date isn’t a priority for you, consider having your wedding on a Friday, Sunday, or even Thursday as these days are becoming more and more popular with how expensive venues are.
4. Visit Venues – Everyone has a different style of where they dream their wedding will be. Consider what style you want, wether that’s something industrial, rustic, or colonial. Schedule visits to different venues because they will look different from photos you’ve seen from the internet. It will help you see if you like the space.
5. Capacity of the venue/guests/parking – Estimate your amount of guest before going into the venue search process.
6. Backup Plan – Be prepared for weather to change if the wedding will take place outside. Ask to see if they offer a tent or have a company they recommend in case of weather changes.
7. Check for Restrictions – this could be anything, but you always want to ask so you know what to expect ahead of time.
8. Food – Ask about the food that is offered. You might have to make special dietary needs for your guests. Do a taste test to know the quality of the food that you are paying for. Investigate if you can bring your own caterer different from what they offer. Some venues might agree to the idea but others might reject or create an additional fee for this.
9. Overtime Fees – Keep in mind that venues might only offer certain amount of hours during the day. Ask how many hours do they allow or if they offer a full day. You don’t want to be in the middle of the party when suddenly they tell you it’s time to leave.
10. Contract – It is easy to sign a paper with a person giving an overview of the contract. Read everything before you sign the contract. There might be something specific that wasn’t covered in the conversation and it will save you time. Remember that the venue won’t be reserved until you sign paperwork. Don’t forget about the payments and when they should be paid. You can get lost in trying to choose the details for the wedding but forget to pay last minute.
11. Services Offered – Talk about the services that are included in the packages and if they can customize it to your needs. Some services might not be necessary and you can save money. Keep in mind if you want to include the ceremony and reception at the venue. Booking both of the events can save you time and money so you don’t have to travel between places.