The most important aspect when planning your wedding will be choosing your wedding venue. This will be your canvas where all the other wedding elements will stem from. Almost everything will revolve around the venue as in the proximity in distance from your ceremony location and photo location to the venue and so on. If you are doing your ceremony, photos and reception in the same venue you will spend you entire day there! So make sure it is everything checked off your checklist. How do you create a checklist you ask? We have simplified it for you with these simple tips.
1) HOW MANY GUEST WILL YOU HAVE?
Most likely than not unique in demand venues may not accommodate a wide variety of wedding sizes especially large counts. Every venue has a guest minimum. To be on the safe side aim for low numbers that guarantee the guest minimum. As long as you have the minimum number reached you will not pay for additional plates for guest that declined invite. It will also be easier to add guests than deduct.
2) FIGURE OUT A BUDGET
Create a list of your top three venues and call or visit them to get a quote. That way you will have a ball park idea of costs. The maximum amount of you should spend on your venue is 50% of you overall wedding budget. On tops on how to create a budget see previous post ( How to create a wedding budget).
3) PICKING THE DATE
If you are flexible with your date opt to choose an off-season month. Such as fall or winter. This way you can secure the venue of your dreams at a lower rate.
4) HAVE A VISION
its important to know your theme, colors and overall vision of how you want your ceremony and reception to look like before choosing your venue. This way when you visit venues you can tell if the colors on the walls or the in house items such as linens and napkins will compliment your overall look. This can save you money on decor in the long run by not outsourcing different color chairs or draping all the wall in the reception space.
5) ASK ALL THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
Venues may charge additional fees for things such as corkage fees for bringing in outside alcohol, security, overtime fees as well as external vendor fees. These are all fees where if you do not ask you will not know about. They can pop up later closer to your wedding date where you did not expect to budget in these costs and that can be costly and problematic. Always inquire on what the hidden fees or any possible additional fees that can come up before booking the venue.
6) BACK UP PLAN
If you plan on having your picturesque ceremony outdoors on the venue property ensure you inquire on all back up plan options in case of rain. If you decide your back up plan is to get married on your reception room dance floor that may not cost any additional fee however, if you want to lets say get married in another ball room all together than you will be charged additional fee for extra chairs they have to set up as a back up plan in that room an so on. Ask about all options and costs.
7) DETERMINE IF THEY HAVE PREFERRED VENDORS
These vendors work alongside the venue and know the ins and outs of the space which is a huge benefit but that means you won't be able to book the DJ or decorator you wanted. These vendors are typically great at what they do but that comes at a costly rate and you may be limited on your vendor choices which means you budget will be affected. You may than have to compenate on other aspects of your wedding.
8) DO THEY HAVE OTHER EVENTS TAKING PLACE SAME DAY AND TIME?
Does the venue have other ballrooms? If so, will there be other events taking place same time as yours? How about if you booked the gazebo outside for your ceremony, are there other ceremonies taking place that same day? If so, what time are they taking place? It is very important to know especially the ceremony area because your decorator will have to set up around the other event's schedule and times which may or may not cause time restraints.
9) WHAT DO THEY OFFER
What do they offer in house. Such as the type and color of linens, napkins, and chairs at no cost that you can use on your wedding day. If it is a historic estate they may not have upgraded electrical systems which means you will have to factor in the cost of outsourcing generators. Read the fine prints.
10) DO NOT GET PRESSURED INTO SIGNING
I know you want to secure your date right away so no one else snags it. But do not impulsively sign and offer a deposit until you read over everything in the contract and are certain that this is exactly where you envision getting married and remain within your budget.