Your wedding venue will be one of the most important vendor decisions you make throughout the entire event planning process. It can be a bit daunting! But don't worry, we've put together a list of ten things to consider when choosing your venue to ensure that you decide on a location that checks all the boxes.
It's important to consider what the weather at the venue will be like at the time of your wedding. That includes both time of year and time of day. This is especially important to ask about when planning a destination wedding, as you may not be as familiar with the area of the property. Some locations may be gorgeous in the spring but way too warm in the summer. There are also things to consider such as stormy seasons and mosquitos in tropical areas! But all in all, the venue coordinator should be able to easily guide you through the process of picking an appropriate time and date to work well with the location.
With many outdoor venues, it may be necessary to have a tent set up. This is most common for properties that don't have an indoor alternative space for guests to go if there is a weather issue. While we love the potential of a romantic sperry tent, make sure to check with your wedding planner on whether or not it may be necessary at your preferred venue.
It is very common for venues to work with a list of preferred vendors. This is usually a list of vendors that have an established working relationship with the venue. This can really come in handy when it comes to finding a photographer that knows the best locations on property to capture the sunset or a floral designer who understands the potential for installation rigging in the courtyard. Using your venue's preferred vendor list is a great jumping off point to begin selecting your vendors.
Some venues require that you work with their preferred vendor list and some don't. But even the venues that do require it usually allow you to bring in a certain number of outside vendors, so there is no need to worry about working with the photographer or caterer of your dreams.
If you have specific vendors that you know you want to work with, ask them if they have any experience working with the venue you have in mind. They may have some great points or suggestions.
Is there an on site event coordinator provided for the day of the wedding? We always swear by full-service wedding planners, but it can still be really helpful to have an additional coordinator on site to manage any venue-related services. This may be something that is important to you or your wedding planner and is definitely worth considering.
Some venues include everything from chairs to wait staff. Make sure you take into account what the venue does or does not include in the rental. This could make a big difference in overall cost when comparing venues.
6. Catering and Minimum Spending
Some venues, like many resorts, come with on site catering and bar options or requirements. Others don't even have a kitchen to prepare food. Just make sure you have a full understanding of what your options are. Some venues come with a minimum spend amount on food or bar, so be sure to take all costs into consideration.
As silly as it sounds, ask about restrooms! Some venues may have great restrooms with easy access, and some may require that you bring in portable options.
If your wedding is taking place in an area that may require guests to drive themselves, parking will be an important point to consider. If a venue has limited parking availability in comparison to your guest count, ask about other transportation options that they offer. They may have a shuttle service or experience working with third party transportation services.
We recommend talking to your wedding planner about the venue's lighting options. Depending on where outlets are, etc. can affect the layout and overall design of your evening. If you have a specific vision in mind, it is a good idea to talk it over with your wedding planner and venue about what is possible with the given utilities. It may be a conversation that also includes your rental company or floral designer depending on what your vision is.
10. Set Up and Break Down
Don't forget that the amount of time you have access to the venue pre and post event will effect the efficiency of the set up and break down of your wedding. Just make sure to confirm that the time frame included with the rental agreement works for your wedding planner's needs.
We hope that these suggestions will help you to feel more prepared to find that perfect location!