Finding Your Perfect Venue

For most couples the wedding venue is item number one on their wedding planning checklist.

What you might not know is that besides the venue aesthetic there are a ton of important details you need to know before you book! Below are our top 9 rules to follow before you sign on the dotted line!  

P.S. these tips aren’t in any particular order as they are all equally important!

1. Cost

Talk about your budget! Your venue is going to typically be a large portion of the cost of your wedding celebration.

  • Does your wedding venue have in house catering services?
  • What about in-house bar services?
  • Do they require a food and beverage minimums?
  • Do they provide any equipment such as tables or chairs? Or are they just a raw space that will need a lot of work to make your dream wedding a reality?

Pro Tip: Ask if your venue offers off-season discounts or special rates for Friday's or Sunday’s.

2. Location

 Consider where your venue is located.

  • Do you have a lot of guests traveling from out of town?
  • Are there ample hotels nearby?
  • Is public transportation easy to get to?

Pro Tip: You should think about what your entire wedding weekend might look like - where are you going to have your rehearsal dinner, after party, etc. Transportation expenses for guests can add up quick!

3. Date

  • What is your ideal season to get married?
  • Are you dreaming of an outdoor summer soiree or a cozy winter wedding?
  • Is your preferred venue capable of hosting your season or will you have to sacrifice some style if you need a backup plan? For example, if you are planning on an outdoor ceremony will you be okay with the secondary location at the venue in case of bad weather?
  • How far in advance can you reserve the date?
  • How many weddings or events does the venue host per day?
  • If you need to move your wedding date- can you? What is the cancellation policy?

Pro tip: Although no one wants to think about cancelling your wedding you will want to make sure you know how much money you can get back if you need to!

4. Wedding Vendors

  • Does your venue have a “preferred” or “required” vendor list?
  • If you can use any vendor do they have restrictions or requirements?
  • Do they charge a fee if you use someone that is not on their list?

Pro Tip: Although a preferred vendor list might sound like a pain now, it will save you a lot of headache in searching for the right people! Preferred vendors already know the rules of the venue and what works best in the space! They can help with suggestions on previous events they have worked at your venue and always have lots of photos to back it up!

5. Hours

  • How many hours are included in the rental?
  • How early can you arrive, and how late can you stay?
  • What about your vendor team?
  • Is there an additional charge for extra hours? How much?

6. Staffing

  • Does the venue provide any staffing?
  • Who will you be working with from now until your wedding date?
  • Do they provide security?
  • What about a parking attendant?

7. Capacity

  •  Have you thought about your guest list?
  • Can the venue accommodate it?
  • What about a band vs. a DJ (bands take up more space!)?

Pro Tip: Ask to see several different room layouts, aka floor plans, of past events.

8. Logistics

  • Is the site handicap accessible?
  • Are there noise restrictions?
  • How many bathrooms are there?
  • Will we need to rent additional portable restrooms?
  • Is parking available onsite?
  • Is there an extra fee for parking?

9. Payments 

  • If you decide to move forward with booking your wedding is there a deposit? How much?
  • When is the final payment due?
  • Are there any additional “hidden” fees (i.e. cleaning fee, security fee, gratuity)?

Pro Tip: Ask about credit card fees! Some venues charge a processing fee if you want to use a credit card. Sometimes the miles towards your honeymoon are worth it though!

Our last Pro Tip is to ASK FOR HELP! Don’t be afraid to ask a planner for help! Even if you are not thinking about hiring a full service planner, most day of coordinators will offer “venue services” that can help narrow your search based on your personal needs and budget! You can also contact a friend or coworker who recently got married! Ask them if they would have considered anything differently!