Tips for Saying “I Do” to a Venue

You’ve narrowed down your wedding venues, but how do you make the final call? Go SEE them (and if you can’t, set up a video call to view them!). A site visit is a sure way for you to determine if you can envision your wedding there, and you’ll be able to see first hand the room configurations.

Here are the ten questions to ask before signing on the dotted line:

1. Capacity
How many people can fit and are allowed to fit in the venue - does it fit with your invite list and budget?  

2. Bathrooms
How many? If there are only 2 and you are planning a large wedding you either need to move to the next venue, or if your heart is set there, think of alternative options like luxury mobile restrooms. These aren’t as bad as they sound.

3. Catering
Do they require use of their catering (most hotels will do this) or do you have the flexibility to pick your own caterer and/or your own menu? Hotels are notoriously “menu set” in that you only can pick from their options, which limits you on bringing your personality to the table.

4. Furniture
Does the venue provide furniture (i.e. tables, chairs, linens, glassware)? If not, this will fall on the caterer and could cost more.

5. Staff
What support staff do they provide, if any? If a hotel, expect that they will. If it is a raw venue they’ll probably just provide one representative onsite and maybe security – the rest is up to you. If you don’t have a dedicated planner, consider hiring an outside day-of planner to help everything run smoothly.

6. Staff attire
What does the staff wear? If you have a theme for the event, you may want to ask to add something to that attire.

7. Parking
Where will your guests park? And can you comp or host the valet that evening for your guests if there is only paid parking (read: cities).

8. Ceremony
If you want the ceremony held at the venue, can the venue accommodate the request? Is this something they have done previously?

9. Sunlight
If your ceremony or reception is during daylight hours, where does the sunlight hit the room? Try to visit the venue during a similar time - we’ve been to weddings where this wasn’t considered and you couldn’t even see the bride and groom during the wedding

10. Referrals
Always ask for a couple referrals and talk to them, they’ll help you understand any challenges that they might have had and any pitfalls worth considering now

Photos courtesy of Splacer.co