One of the biggest decisions you will make during the wedding planning process is where you will have your ceremony and/or reception. We are here to help you through this decision making process! We have highlighted some tips for choosing your wedding venue and some things to consider in our blog post below!
Will the ceremony and the reception be in the same location?
First, you need to determine if the wedding ceremony and the reception will be in the same location. If they are in the same location, where will guests go while the space is transformed from the ceremony to the reception? Who will change the space over? If the ceremony and the reception are in different locations, how far will you be asking your guests to travel between the two locations? How much time do you need to put in the timeline for traveling? Is transportation provided or will guests drive themselves? Is there parking?
How many guests do you plan to invite?
Get a rough idea of how many people you plan to invite. You certainly wont have a definite number of guests this early in the planning process, but it is important to look at venues that will support the number of people you plan to invite to the wedding. If it is more important for you to have a certain wedding venue, double check with them to see what their occupancy limits are for the space you want to rent. Then you know the maximum number of people you can invite. Additionally, factor in space for a dance floor, Photo Booth, bar, cake table, gift table, and a buffet table if you choose to have any of those during the wedding reception. Some venues state that they can seat a certain number of people, but that number might be lower once a dance floor is added or additional space is taken by tables or other decor.
Make a list and check it twice!
Research the wedding venues that fit your location and occupancy criteria. Consider the style/theme of your wedding and if the venue will compliment the overall feel you are trying to achieve. Start a list and book tours if they offer them. If an in-person tour is not available, check out their social media or search their location and hashtag on Instagram to see what other brides have posted about having their wedding at that venue.
Now the fun begins!!
Once you have an idea of what you are looking for, it is time to start touring venues and making some decisions. When you tour a venue, it is important that you ask them the following questions to ensure what they have to offer meets your expectations.
What dates to you have available? If you have a certain wedding date already in mind, make sure that the venue is open for that date before you tour it!
What is the maximum occupancy of this location? Does that include space for a dance floor, DJ, bar, photobooth, buffet, cake table, and any other additional spaces you would need?
Will guests have a place to park?
Are restrooms provided or do we need to rent portable restrooms?
If you plan to have a bar, ask if is alcohol allowed. If so, are certain areas off limits for alcohol (many venues do not allow guests to take alcohol outside, even on a patio).
Is outside food and drink allowed or do we have to use an on-site caterer/bar/bartender?
Is there an on-site cake decorator that we will be expected to use?
Do you offer rentals for tables/chairs, linens, or any other decor? If you do, can we use an outside rental company if we choose to do so?
Is there an on-site wedding planner? If so, what all do they do? Are we allowed to have an outside wedding planner come with us?
How much is it to rent this venue and what does the rental fee include?
How much is needed to secure this venue for our wedding date?
Do you carry insurance or do we need to secure our own insurance?
How many hours before the event are we allowed to come in to decorate?
How long can the event go into the evening?
Do we need to clean up the same evening or can we come back the next day?
At this time, you might want to ask them some questions that are specific to the impact of COVID-19. Ask about their sanitization protocols. Will they require guests to wear masks? Do they have any additional restrictions as far as the number of guests allow in the space? Ask them what their cancelation policy is if the wedding has to be postponed for a later date. An most importantlyget this in writing!!
We hope this gives you a good idea of some important things to consider when choosing a venue for your wedding! It is an exciting process, and hopefully these tips help you go into this piece of wedding planning prepared to make the best decision for your wedding day venue!
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