Choosing your venue is one of the most important decisions you are going to make while planning your wedding. Not only do venues cost a lot of money, their rules and requirements will dictate everything else you choose for your wedding; from what vendors you can hire, to how you decorate, even how long you can dance.
We know this can be a little overwhelming and we don’t want you to regret your choice so we have included a few things for you to consider when choosing your venue.
Venues fall into three categories;
1. All inclusive. These type of venues have everything you need. They have the space, the tables and chairs and a list of vendors you choose from.
2. Space Only. These types of venues are really a blank canvas. You can use whatever vendor you want but you also need to rent tables, chairs etc
3. Some sort of combination of the two. For example, they don't provide tables and chairs, but they have caterers you have to work with.
One type of venue isn’t necessarily better than the other, it really comes down to your budget and your priorities. For instance, with an all inclusive venue, you don’t have to spend money renting tables and chairs, but if their caterer is out of your price range, or doesn’t serve the type of food you want, then that won’t work for you. Also, if the chairs they have don’t match the décor you have in mind and you will want to rent chairs, then you aren’t really saving much after all. The key here is to know what you want, what the venue provides (and doesn’t provide) and what your budget is to fill in the difference.
Once you have found a venue that fits your needs, there are a few more details to consider before signing the contract. Here are some questions to ask your venue before you sign on the dotted line:
Will your event be the only one on site that day? Trust us, you do want to be navigating someone else’s “special day” on your special day. Also, you don’t want your vendors or guests getting mixed up.
When are you able to drop off your décor and how early your coordinator/set up team can get in to decorate?
How long can your music be on during the reception? A lot of outside venues have a 10:00 pm noise ordinance requiring music to be off. Trust us, 10:00 pm comes quickly, so if you were wanting a big dance party, look elsewhere.
Do they have an alcohol policy? Some venues only allow you to serve beer and wine, or they limit the number of hours hard alcohol is allowed.
Do they have any additional fees, such as a coat check fee, cake cutting fee or a fee for a second bar set up?
When do your personal items need to be removed from the venue? You and your family are not going to be super excited about having to pack everything out the same night.
Looking for a venue is a fun, yet stressful process so we hope these tips help. We are very fortunate here in the northwest to have some amazing wedding venues. If you find that you need help either locating your perfect venue, or navigate their complex contracts email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.