A wedding venue is one of the most crucial aspects of a wedding planning process. Get this wrong, and it'll taint your entire special day; on the contrary, get it right, and your special day will be all you had ever dreamed and hoped for.
To make sure you are one of the latter, we have brought you this guide for booking a wedding venue that involves:
- 12 factors to consider when booking a wedding venue
- Key questions to ask before confirming your booking
Follow this guide to ensure you’re making all the right decisions for your big day!
12 Factors to Consider When Booking a Wedding Venue
#1: Understand Your 'Type'
Although some soon-to-be brides and grooms can clearly picture their wedding venue even before they have seen it, on the other hand, there are several who require a bit more guidance. Grand marquees, castles, and stately homes all provide food for thought. Likewise, it is the case with hotels that offer a blank canvas and an accommodating set up for convenience and comfort. But what goes on that canvas depends entirely on you. Therefore, if you want your wedding venue to reflect the wedding of your dreams, make sure that you first know what you want.
#2: Consider the Setting
The best advice we can give you is to always play to the strengths of your wedding venue. Contemplate how you can best incorporate the elements of your theme into its setting. For instance, if you are looking for a resort location like the Crystal Springs, this could be the perfect place for your wedding. Moreover, you can take it one step ahead by incorporating a marine theme with a nautical color palette.
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#3: Go Through the Packages
Generally, wedding venues have various wedding packages to choose from. These packages can be tailored to meet the needs and want of each couple. Moreover, make sure that the venue's price is transparent and communicated to you from the start. You must be clear on this front before you finalize your booking to avoid future problems.
#4: Ask About the Team
Most wedding venues offer a dedicated wedding planner or events coordinator's service to help and guide you to arrange all facets of your big day. Be sure to meet the team in the initial meeting to determine if they are capable of fulfilling your requirements in the best possible way and see if you all can get along together and work towards creating your dreams' wedding.
#5: Sample the Menu
Tasting sessions are generally offered to couples after the venue has been booked. However, you can gauge the standard and type of food provided by going through the wedding menu. If you are really keen to test out the in-house team's flairs, you can always visit the venue's restaurant - if it has one - to receive a decent indication of how the food will taste on your big day.
#6: Go Through the Rule Book
Before finalizing a wedding venue, always check that the venue has the appropriate and necessary licensing to host a bar and play live music in the evening. Additionally, make sure to ask the closing time of the bar and live music to promptly answer similar questions posed by guests on the wedding day.
#7: Number of Guests
One of the most critical factors to consider when booking a wedding venue is to see if it can accommodate all your guests. The worst thing that can happen at a wedding is people swarmed up together in a compact space, creating discomfort and irritation. Therefore, if you want the guests to have a great and memorable time, make sure to pick a wedding venue that provides adequate room for convenience and comfort.
#8: Décor Arrangement
If there is a wedding coordinator or wedding planning team provided by the venue, they can significantly guide you through décor suggestions and venue styling. On the other hand, if they do not, you will have to arrange and bring in additional recruits to help you set up. But be sure to ask in advance how far you can go with the decoration and venue styling.
#9: Take a Venue Tour
Do not just limit yourself to the reception and ceremony halls; you must always take a look at the entire venue. Even if you would not be using an extra room, accommodation, or the garden, it helps to provide you with a well-rounded and a 360 view of the venue and see what is in store for offer. Moreover, do not forget to visit the bride and groom's suite!
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#10: Don't Rush
When visiting a wedding venue, you do not have to decide or finalize the venue then and there. Instead, give yourself some time to contemplate and discuss it with your partner and family to reach a final decision. But that does not mean you sit on it for too long and let the opportunity slip away.
#11: Search for Reviews
The deal clincher; always search and go through reviews before saying 'I do' to your chosen wedding venue. The most reliable and honest evaluation of the venue can only be given by couples who've been there and done it themselves.
#12: Venue Budget
Another key factor to consider when booking a wedding venue is your venue budget. You might find a venue that has a lot to offer, but the price tag is way out of your range. In such a case, at first, you can try to negotiate with the venue owner for discounts or ask for any reasonable wedding packages they might have.
If not, you can always continue your search for the perfect wedding venue that fits your budget. It is vital to remember that a venue is not the only expense of a wedding; there are a plethora more! Therefore, be sure to create a balance between your expenses and the value received.
Key Questions to Ask Before Confirming Your Booking for The Big Day
There is more to a perfect wedding venue than just the aesthetics, which undoubtedly are a huge bonus! Nevertheless, there are all sorts of necessary details you ought to cover before signing on the dotted line.
The following are some key questions to ask before confirming your booking:
Availability and Price
Always try to visit venues before you have chosen an exact date for your big day. If you have some options or a range of dates that might work, you will be more likely to secure the venue of your dreams. Additionally, make sure to ask the following questions once you visit a venue:
- Is the venue available on my chosen date?
If not, ask:
- Are there any surrounding dates available?
You should also ask:
- Do you have a waitlist for dates?
- What are the charges for different times and days of the week?
- Do prices differ in altering seasons?
Prices are usually lower during off-peak seasons, so if you are tight on budget, you can always plan your wedding during the low season. Maybe you may consider a winter wedding.
- The rental charges for space include how many hours?
- How early can we arrive?
- How late can we stay?
Most wedding venues ask for an initial deposit upon signing the contract, and the remaining balance is to be paid in installments between the day you sign the contract up till your wedding day. Nevertheless, be sure to ask them:
- How much is the initial deposit?
- How is the payment schedule structured?
- What is included in the total payment?
For some venues, cleaning fees, service charges, gratuity, and other miscellaneous costs are included in the total payment, but others might denote them as additional line items.
Pro tip: '++' mark on specific items on the bill indicates that you will be paying gratuity and tax on top of the listed cost.
Other key questions to ask are:
- What is the cancellation policy?
- Will there be any cancellation charges?
- What is the last date to make changes to our reservation?
- Are there any penalties on changing the function date?
Pro tip: always find out how long you have to change the wedding date to avoid incurring a penalty or fee.
- Do you recommend any approved vendors we can use?
- Is it customary to use your approved vendors?
If not, ask:
- Can we bring in our personal vendors?
- Are there any guidelines or limitations we need to fulfill when bringing them in?
If you are not satisfied with the vendors approved by the venue, ask them if there is any other vendor they recommend most highly.
Pro tip: Keep in mind that a vendor who is familiar with your wedding venue will already be aware and well-prepared for the challenges and quirks of the space, which will make the entire planning process much easier and convenient for you.
In case, they don’t offer this service and you’re planning your wedding in New Jersey, reach out to 360SiteVisit to connect with a myriad of different vendors who’ll to take care of all the event basics for you. Some of the services offered by these vendors are:
- Floral arrangements and wedding decors
- Car services
- Bakers and caterers
- and much more
Several venues are under noise ordinances – county or town rules that require music to stop at a certain time – or have restrictions of their own. To prevent spoiling the events, ask the following questions ahead of time:
- Are there any noise restrictions?
- How late can the music be played?
- Will the sound system and speaker be provided by you, or do we have to arrange them?
In addition to this, the following are also key questions to ask before confirming your book:
- How many bathrooms are there?
- Will we have to rent additional portable toilets?
- Is there space available for parking?
- Will the guests be charged for parking?
- Who will be our point person during the wedding planning process?
- Who will be our point person on the day of the wedding?
It is always ideal if these two people are the same, but unfortunately, that is not always the case. Therefore, find out who will be your go-to person during the wedding planning process and get the information about whoever will be in charge of the wedding day.
Finding the venue of your dreams can be a bit of a task, but with the above-discussed factors to consider when booking a wedding venue and key questions to ask before confirming your booking can greatly simplify the process for you.
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