“When and where,” the inevitable question of every well-wisher. Couples need to think about a variety of questions before going ahead and selecting a space. Choosing a wedding venue might seem like a task of liking a space or not, but in reality there is way more to consider than that.
Here, are my five rules for booking the right venue.
Rule #1- Logistics
With all the emotion and excitement that comes with the early stages of wedding planning it is very easy for couples to see a venue, get excited and sign the contract. While it may seem ho-hum, remembering to consider the logistics of the venue can actually save you big headaches later on. Everything from how many guests you will need the venue to fit, the season and time of day you want to have your wedding and any special accommodations your guests might need.
Here’s a big question: should a couple pick the venue before having a guest list or should they get a guest count and then pick the venue? It is not easy to have a guest count two weeks into the wedding planning process but one of the first questions the venue will ask a couple is how many guest you’ll be hosting.
Rule #2 – Visit the Venue
Saturday in the spring is still the most popular day for couples to get married. One of my most important rules is to go for a venue visit at the very time of day you will be hosting your wedding. Everything from how the light floods into the space, to if a cold draft sweeps through the hallway can help you figure out if this is the venue for you. Visiting the venue is also the perfect time to collaborate with you your wedding planner or coordinator to allow them to take a look. Oftentimes those wedding professionals have a different take of a venue and might offer some good advice.
Rule # 3 – Full Service or Not
There really are two very different types of wedding venues, full service and not full service. A full service wedding venue most of the time offers everything from table and chair rentals, to linens and catering supplies, while a non-full service venue most of the time only offers you the space and it is up to you to fill in the rest. This means you will be responsible for booking all of the vendors for the wedding day. Either way, some venues have required vendors that they want you to work with, so that is something to figure out before you book a space.
Rule #4 – Wedding Style & Feel
A romantic garden, an urban loft, or a historic landmark, taking into account what style wedding you want will help you choose the venues right for you. If a modern minimalist wedding is what you have your sights set on, you want to find a venue that suits that style. Finding a great venue with your desired style or feel can help save on decorations and decor.
Rule # 5 – Ask & Ask Again
Making a list and asking all the questions you have about a venue is important but not as important as asking that same question to multiple people associated with the venue. Have a list for your wedding planner and be sure they have a list for your venue. Important questions that you might not think to ask are, “How many weddings are held here in one a day? Who will be here to help on actual day of the wedding? Do you have any construction or landscape changes coming up before my wedding? Do you anticipate any changes to the venue before the wedding day?” Just when you think you have asked enough questions ask again and then of course have your wedding planner or day-of coordinator get everything in writing!