Choosing a wedding and reception venue is one of the most exciting yet overwhelming parts of planning a wedding. Of course, you want it to fit your vision of the beautiful wedding on your Pinterest boards, but there are many other considerations that most brides don’t even know about. We put together our Top 5 Things to Consider When Booking Your Wedding Venue to help!
1. Venue Planner vs Wedding Planner – You might get really excited when a venue includes their own planner to help you with your wedding, however, this is one of those instances that you really need to clarify what the venue planner does versus a wedding planner. In most cases, a planner included with the venue will be very helpful to you in making sure anything associated with the actual location is taken care of. The venue coordinator will discuss the menu, floor plans, rental agreement and rules of the venue. What this doesn’t include is any of the other roles of a typical wedding planner.
Hiring a wedding planner is still a good idea as they are there to advocate for you during the planning process and ensure your big day runs smoothly. A wedding planner will create a timeline for the day of and ensure the wedding runs on time, communicate between all vendors participating in the wedding, help you and your wedding party get ready, and take care of all of your personal items at the end of the night. There is a lot of work a wedding planner will help you with that isn’t in the scope of work for a venue coordinator.
2. Food and Beverage – Does your venue provide this or will you need to bring in external catering and staffing? If they provide it, make sure you understand their food and beverage requirements such as a minimum amount to order which is almost always before tax and service fees. This can price a venue out of your budget before you even start! If they don’t provide food and beverage and you have to bring in your own catering service, be sure to know if they have specific approved vendors you must use and get an estimate of pricing from them before you commit to the venue. Some caterers only do food and nonalcoholic beverages so if you want a bar setup that would be another vendor.
3. What Are Their Inclusions – Do they provide tables, chairs, linens, etc, or is that an additional cost? This will usually go hand in hand with the food and beverage although some venues will provide tables and chairs even if they don’t provide food and beverage, but it may be an additional cost.
4. How Many Events are Onsite a Day – Depending on the type of venue you are looking at it’s prudent to know if you are the only event and if not, how many other events will be happening that day. This can affect your overall service depending on how much staff they have dedicated to each event, communication with the venue coordinator, limited access dependent on specific timeframes and exclusivity for your and your guests. It’s not required to have a place with exclusive access but it’s smart to understand how they handle multiple events and that you are comfortable with the process.
5. Time of Year – Especially if you will be outside for any or all of your event, make sure you understand what the landscaping, temperature, and direction of the sun is for your time of year. Will the gardens be in bloom? Will the sun be right in your eyes? How warm is it after the sun goes down? There are many variables that can’t be controlled but several that should be taken into consideration. If you’re touring the venue at a different time of year than when your ceremony will be it’s easy to forget some of these.
Seems like a lot to think about doesn’t it? There is definitely a reason why the wedding planning industry exists! A wedding planner knows all the right questions to ask and common mistakes that can be made when looking at venues. We would be honored to help you through every step of your wedding planning process to make it as easy and seamless as possible. Feel free to contact us today for your free consultation!