When to Schedule: Your venue visits will be some of your first interviews with prospective wedding pros (you have to have the place to have the party!). As soon as you have determined the major details – your date, your estimated budget and possible guest count – it’s time to start exploring venues.
In some markets there are more venues per capita than the industry could hope to fill. In most regions, though, the number of perfect spots is limited. It’s not unusual to find that couples have booked popular dates 18 months to even two years in advance. You don’t want to rush any major wedding decision, and you also don’t want to have to decide which “leftover” you can live with, so make a point of exploring your options as soon as you have the major details in place.
Having trouble finding the ideal event location for your ceremony, reception or other wedding event? Consult your wedding planner for insider, expert referrals. Other vendors are also great sources of the latest hot spots – it makes sense when you consider that venues are where they do much of their work!
How to Prepare: Bring a list of your highest priorities when you explore venues. You need to find a location that can adequately accommodate all of your guests, including sufficient parking or transportation, ceremony seating, reception seating, and potentially entertainment/dancing as well. Important details not to be overlooked include set up and break down times, equipment available as part of your
rental fee, equipment required as part of your rental agreement, permitted uses (alcohol restrictions, sound ordinances) and inclement weather options. Find out if there are on-site services or specific vendors with whom you are required to work. You may also want to ask about required proof of event insurance. And certainly, make sure the venue ultimately fits within your budget.
What to Expect: Generally a venue or sales manager will take you on a tour of the facilities and explain what is possible in various locations. Often they have pictures of the venue from past weddings, so be sure to ask if you want inspiration. You will likely be given a packet of information with policies, procedures and pricing. The sales person will explain the booking procedures and next steps necessary to secure the site and can tell you whether or not the venue is being held in your name pending future requests or not.
Need help with what questions to ask? Reach out to us!