Picking a venue to host your wedding reception is undoubtedly one of the most important tasks when planning a wedding and certainly one of the first steps a couple will take after getting engaged.
There are however, a few things you should do prior to taking venue tours and booking your event. Do your research, every venue and their websites are completely different. Take some time to explore their site and make note of questions that arise and your pros and cons, this will help narrow down your top locations. Secondly and mostly importantly budget, budget, budget! Sit down with your significant other and set a clear financial plan for how much you’re willing to spend on the location. Get a list of questions ready for your tour appointment; you want to ensure that you get all the right answers to help ease your decision. Here are some important questions to ask:
Is the venue available on your chosen date?
This is the most important factor because some venues are booked years in advance. If you and your partner have a particular date set in your hearts and you’re not willing to budge then this is the very first question to ask. Otherwise, choose a season and year and ask them what dates they have available for you to choose from.
What is the venues capacity?
If you are planning on having a large guest list make sure the venue can accommodate that size. You should also consider the guest count minimum, nearly every single venue will have one.
In house catering and alcohol service provided?
Whether you’re having a full four course meal or buffet style, you should know if the venue will include dinner. If you’d rather hire your own catering company, find out if A, the venue allows it and B, if there are any restrictions. Ask about options if you have guests that have special food requirements. The venue will be able to go over the menu with you and choose what suits your event best. If you will be serving alcohol at your wedding, ask the venue if they can supply the booze, this will help cross off an additional task off your list.
What is provided in the package?
Don’t assume that everything you see in pictures or the website is included in your package. While most venues will provide the tables and chairs, ensure you ask what other essentials will be provided and what you must obtain yourself.
Where will the guests park?
What is the parking like at the location? Do they offer valet? If so, you must determine if you will be covering the cost for your guests, be sure to ask what the cost will be and if it is determined per car.
Can I hold my ceremony at the same location?
Some might opt to have their ceremony at the same location. Be sure to ask if there is an additional charge, as well as a bridal room and if rehearsal is allowed. Some venues offer ceremonies at the same location free of charge. One example would be Royal Palace Banquet Hall.
Deposits, total costs and cancellation policies.
Your venue will not be considered “booked” until a proper deposit has been placed to guarantee your date. You should find out what the required initial deposit will be to book your date as well as when the total cost should be fully covered. What are their cancellation and refund policies?
Wedding decor and set up
The venue representative will be able to give you strike hours of when your centerpieces cake, and other decor can be delivered and set up. Make sure you write this down! As you will need to notify your other vendors. Or you can pick a venue that already comes decorated, this way you will save on some costs and time. Venues such as Depending on the venue you choose will set the tone of your wedding. Do your research and ask all the appropriate questions. Add questions to the above list and go prepared. Lastly, pay attention to the entire venue – restrooms, foyer, decor, lighting, etc. this will help you picture your big day and bring it all to life.