The perfect wedding venue
The Bride Link
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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Perfect Wedding Venue

How To Find The Perfect Wedding Venue

Today, we're discussing how to find the perfect wedding venue and the questions to ask before you book! We are sharing all our wedding venue tips so you can be prepared to identify the pros and cons of each site. Learn what to ask wedding venue and why it's essential. Each question should be addressed, and each answer is written down so you can compare their responses. The couples who identify what to ask the venue for their wedding tend to be the best prepared!

Grab a FREE copy of Wedding Venue Cheat Sheet! We've created for you to help you find the perfect wedding venue!

How many hours on-site does the package contain? 

Different venues do their business differently. Some venues will offer to have private use of the wedding venue for the entire day! Others will include some extra decorating time the day before or maybe even allow you to rehearse the day before. However, it's also common that venues limit the number of hours that you can be on-site. And they may even limit the number of hours that your actual event can take place. They can also have additional restrictions that your event can be no longer than four or five hours, especially if you're serving alcohol. 

It's essential to make sure there are enough hours in the day to complete all the set up you want to be included in the venue package you've chosen. Otherwise, you might have to buy some extra hours to do hair and makeup, maybe do some additional photography at that venue outside of the package. So, of course, it's going to be an extra expense. A lot of times, I see venues offer packages between eight to 10 hours for their more extensive packages. Still, sometimes it can be as small as four hours if you're having a speedy wedding.

Are any rental items included in the package you've picked? 

Items already included can have a tremendous impact on your budget! It can also make one venue look like it's more expensive when, in the long run, it turns out to be cheaper! Because there's is additional extras included that you are required to rent for another venue. Keep this in mind!  Some specific rental items that can save you tons of money, if included with the venue package, are tables and chairs! You can specifically ask about the chairs. Are they going to be provided at te ceremony site as well as the reception site? Is there only one set of chairs? Is so, do they need to be relocated them from one side of the ceremony site to the reception? Who's responsible for moving them? You'll want to deal with all these issues before signing or putting down a deposit. 

Other venues will also provide things like linens, but keep in mind every place is different. When looking at the overall cost of various sites, you need to include some pricing for rental items. If the venue does not include tables, chairs, and linens, you'll need to source them and transport them to and from your event. Considering these additional costs will give you a more accurate comparison of the prices. If you have the venue, that's just a blank space compared to a site that provides the tables, chairs, and linens that can save you both money, stress, and time. Remember, all these decisions come with set-up requirements. It's why we recommend a Day-of coordinator for any event at the minimum. Don't rely on friends or family unless they have previous experience. Your wedding day only occurs once, and it's worth hiring a professional who will help ensure any potential issues are anticipated for or dealt with right away. The last thing you want is a problem that develops up when you're two minutes away from walking down the aisle!

How many people can the venue hold?

Another critical question to ask! Will all of your guests fit into the reception hall? When you're asking this question, you also want to make sure that they can comfortably fit once inside. For example, at my wedding, we were told that the venue held 150 guests. Well, I had 125, and it was tight! Our mistake was not factoring in the space needed for the dance floor and our band. Be sure to ask how many people it can holds once vendors have are set-up.

What are the restrictions? 

Everybody's different. I've worked venues that don't allow alcohol on site. Some that won't allow liquor, but they allow beer, wine, and champagne. Other places could even have restrictions on which vendors they allow on-site. They just also might have strict rules in general. IF it is a historic facility, they'll have stringent regulations on what you can do on the property. Address any special requests when you're touring! You'll want to know what all the restrictions are before you book your date. 

Do you have a preferred vendor list? 

That goes in conjunction with the question following, are there any in-house or required vendors? So let me tell you what the difference is. If somebody has an in house or required vendor, no matter what, you will be using that vendor because it's part of renting the facility. Some people tend to think that an in house cater specifically might be more expensive. A lot of times, it's about the same, and it might even be cheaper! 

But you still want to ask about any in-house or required vendors for two reasons. Using required vendors will restrict your choices, they won't have items other vendors can supply. So, for example, a venue coordinator might be able to save you some money if you decide not to hire a day-of coordinator. But be prepared to do a bit of work! There's a lot of things a venue coordinator will not do for you that a day of coordinator will. Remember, there is a big difference between a Venue Coordinator and a Day-of coordinator. A venue coordinator will NOT move your chairs or help set up your decorations. They are there to ensure everything runs smoothly for the venue standpoint. A Day-of Coordinator is who've hired to help set up your day, keep you on schedule, and much more!

A preferred vendor list, on the other hand, is vendors that the venue knows does an excellent job. They are essentially vouching for them! The difference is, you're in no way required to hire them if they are a preferred vendor. Be sure to obtain any preferred vendor list for the venues you're considering.

Is there a rain plan in place? 

If they say no, do not get married there! I repeat, if there is no rain plan in place, do not choose that venue! There is always a chance it might rain on your wedding day, no matter how many times you checked your weather app. A rain plan is what will happen to all the guests and your ceremony plans if it begins to rain. It may include renting additional items like a rain tent. All furniture may need to be brought into the shelter so your guests can then continue to enjoy your wedding from a covered space. Who's responsible for this? If you're planning an outdoor wedding in a field, be prepared for everything. Keep in mind; a rain tent needs to be set up 48 hours in advance, whether it gets used or not. It cannot erected the day of the wedding or when it starts raining! So, having a rain plan already in place at the venue can make an enormous difference if the weather turns bad on your wedding day. So you want to ask what policies the site has in place if it begins to rain.

Do we have any other responsibilities?

Some venues require event insurance, others that say you have to pay for offsite security. They can make the arrangements, but it is still an additional fee you'll need to consider. Some venues require you to dispose of the trash at the end of the night. The venue may have an event the next day, and they can't trash from multiple weddings on-site. Always ask if there are any other responsibilities you as the couple will be responsible for. Consider the stress and time it takes to fulfill those responsibilities or the amount of money needed for somebody to take care of it for you. 

How does the day of logistics work? 

You want to be crystal clear about this! Logistics includes things like, is there going to be enough parking? Is there air conditioning or heat required? Is the site handicap accessible? What time do you gain access to the facility? What time can vendors arrive to begin set-up? And so on! You want to make sure that it's going to be comfortable and stress-free for you to be able to get everything done on your wedding day. Working out these logistics in a conversation with your venue beforehand is a tremendous value. They will be able to tell you a little bit about what a typical wedding day looks like there, and you'll get a better idea if its a fit for you

Can I decorate days before, or does it all have to be done on the day of my wedding? 

Venues charge by the day, so you'd essentially be asking them a free day to set up your decorations. Some venues give this to you, and some do not. If they offer you that freebie, that day is closed for any other bride who wants to book it. The venue would be turning down another wedding, so not a lot of venues are going to include decoration days. Just be prepared for a no, even though you should still ask.

Are we able to hold a rehearsal here the night before? And, Are we ready to hold a rehearsal dinner here? 

It's is the same thing as decorating beforehand. Not every venue is going to allow you to have a rehearsal the day before because they are blocking off that day from booking another event. Most commonly, the venue says yes if they do not have an event scheduled the day you want to rehearse. Some will allow you to have a rehearsal dinner for free. Some will charge to have rehearsal dinners, and some just won't let you have a rehearsal dinner at all. Every venue is different, but there are various ways to work out your rehearsal, so not to worry!

If you can't do it the night before, at the actual venue, I promise you as a wedding planner, there are more critical things you should be focusing on. A rehearsal is more about the order people walk in, how you hold your hands, or how you stand in the transitions from giving somebody away. It also includes when the couple kiss and when they should walk back down the aisle. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the actual location you're standing in but more how you stand, where you stand, and when you walk away. So, if you can't rehearse the day before, don't give up on that venue! Especially if it's the venue that you want, your rehearsal can take place anywhere!

We hope that this helps you when you're considering different venues in your area! 

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