Choosing a Venue
Choosing the right venue is the one decision that will have the largest impact on your event. It determines the rest of your wedding details.
Here are some things to consider as you shop for your venue:
Tour Visit: First schedule a tour. Then, consider confirming these major details. After all, you don't want to fall in love with a venue that's outside of your budget or isn't available on your selected date. Call or email your favorite potential venues to set up an official site visit.
Location & Style: Does it fit your theme? Can you envision your big day?
Date: Check that your desired date is available. If your date is flexible, check those dates as well.
Budget: If the entire venue cost (not just the food and beverage minimum) doesn't fit within your budget, you may have to move on, unless you're open to cutting something else.
Vendors List: Does the venue have a preferred vendor list?
Package: What is included? You'll want to know for your budget's sake what is included in the package. If catering is included, you would want to know if any special dietary restrictions can be honored; if any rentals are included (like audio equipment, linens, tables, chairs, decor etc.) Don't assume that everything is included.
Hours of rental: Besides the actual ceremony and reception, you'll want to know the exact time your vendors can arrive to start setting up and what time they need to be out.
Event Size / Capacity: A venue's capacity directly relates to your guest list, and therefore, your budget.
Ceremony vs/and Reception: If you're hosting your wedding ceremony and reception in different locations, you'll need to know how long it'll take your guests to get from one site to the other. Also ask what the traffic is like around the time of your wedding to ensure your guests won't get stuck on the road.
Parking: Does the venue have good parking options?
Hotel Accommodations: Is the venue near guest hotels, and can they recommend any?
Sound Ordinance: Is there any? Does the music need to stop at a certain time of the night?
Some of these questions may already be in the package but you can choose to ask:
A tent, if you want an outdoor wedding ceremony or need a backup plan?
Space for your ceremony, if you want to use the venue for both your ceremony and reception?
Cocktail hour space, especially if you're having the ceremony and reception at the venue?
A separate room for childcare if you're having an adults-only wedding and providing a babysitter?
A coat check for winter weddings?
A dressing room to store belongings, get ready in before the ceremony or change during the reception?
ADA-compliant facilities and entrances, for disabled or elderly guests?
Ample restrooms for your guest count?
Are sparklers allowed?
Is Wifi available for guests, DJ & Livestream opportunities?
Are there any additional fees we should be aware of?
Do you require liability insurance?