The venue search is one of the hardest processes during wedding planning. You are making an important decision about where you will get married, and you want to be sure it checks all of the boxes before you sign on the dotted line. Why? Because the venue can heavily influence your budget, the choices you make about your wedding, and the experience you and your guests have on your wedding day. When I take couples on venue tours, I am sure to ask all of the hard questions. To get you started, here is a list of some of the questions you should ask or consider on your search. But first, I would love to share a free resource with you that will help jump start your planning process! Click below to grab the freebie, and keep reading for some insight about finding the perfect venue.
How many people will you be hosting? Will this venue be too small or too large for your guest count?
This one is a no brainer! Crowded receptions can feel awkward and uncomfortable, and spaces that are too large for the guest count can leave even the most thoughtfully designed weddings feeling underwhelming and sparse. Draft your guest list before looking for a venue - this will narrow your focus and help you weed out logistical nightmares.
Are there any vendors that I am required to use if I choose this venue?
Do you have to use a certain caterer, rental company, or florist if you choose this venue? Make sure that 1) you like their style & personality, and 2) that vendor is within your budget. There is nothing worse than going thousands over budget because the caterer you were required to use was way outside of your price point. Do your homework before you sign that contract! That being said, there is probably a reason that vendor was chosen to work exclusively at that venue - because the venue is 100% confident that the vendor provides a seamless experience and is the best fit for the venue. Keep in mind that is will make certain aspects of your day easier, and that might be worth the splurge.
Can I bring my own alcohol or do they provide it? If they provide it, is there a minimum that I need to meet?
If you can provide your own alcohol (keeping in mind you need to hire a licensed bartender to serve it), you will save some money in the process. If the venue provides the bar for your event, ask about the minimums, which usually need to be met before taxes and service fees are applied. Make sure you account for this expense in your overall budget!
What is provided with my venue rental fees?
Will I need to rent furniture or do they provide it? Do I like the furniture that they provide or will I want to rent different furniture? Does my rental come with security? What about parking? I make a spreadsheet for my clients that compares all of their options and what is included with each rental.
Does this venue fit our personality?
Read: Can you see yourself getting married here? You want to make sure it gives you all the warm and fuzzy feelings. If you feel like you can't wait for the wedding when you are in that space, it indicates that this is likely a great backdrop for your wedding.
Your venue sets the tone for your event and provides the backdrop for a very important milestone in your life. This list just scratches the surface of the conversations you will have as you are choosing your venue. While it is a lot of work finding the best space for you, remember to have fun! And if reading this list makes you squirm, hiring a planner to help is a great option for you. We will ask the tough questions and do the legwork for you, helping you both stay focused on making the best decision. Click below to set up a free consultation!