Once you lock in the wedding venue, other details will be easier to deal with. With so many factors involved with the selection of the perfect venue, it’s only wise to start the search as soon as you decide to get hitched.
Photo Source: MODWEDDING
You will most likely walk out empty-handed if you inspect potential wedding venues without doing your homework beforehand. Doing your homework is all about determining your own needs, finding the right questions to ask the venue coordinator, and deciding what you can and cannot compromise.
This wedding venue checklist will help narrow down your search by helping you ask the questions you’re supposed to ask but would have never thought of asking.
Is the venue available on my date?
Ask the venue coordinator about the place’s availability before heading to the place. If it’s a popular wedding venue, you’ll probably need to book at least six months ahead – even better if you do it a year ahead.
Will I have the venue all to myself?
If the whole place isn’t reserved for you exclusively that day, ask about the activities that will take place near your wedding venue. The last thing you want on your big day is for a grand corporate event’s band to drown your string quartet’s wedding march piece.
Which is more important to me – the wedding date or the venue?
If the potential venue really means a lot to you, consider moving the wedding date.
What is the average price of wedding venues nowadays?
Budgeting should be beyond, “How much are we willing to pay?” Couples should benchmark their ideal price not only by how much they have, but also by how much typical wedding venues cost based on their preferences.
If you set your budget too low, you might walk home empty-handed. You also can’t afford to splurge on the venue only to realize that you don’t have funds to spare for catering.
What price package am I willing to pay for?
When setting your budget, it’s a good idea to research on the average prices of several wedding venues. You should also take into consideration the package inclusions.
Maybe a certain venue comes cheap only for the first four hours but additional hours may incur a hefty price. Maybe an expensive venue already comes with catering, equipment, and exclusive use. Factor in your preferences when benchmarking your ideal price.
How many guests can the venue accommodate comfortably?
Photo Source: Park Tavern via The Knot
Some venues publish guest capacity beyond what they can comfortably accommodate just to secure bookings. Maybe a venue can accommodate 150 people but then some of them will have to be crammed at the back of the room.
When you inspect the venue, it would help to bring your planner, stylist, or caterer so that they can determine the best seating arrangement and layout for your guests in the venue.
Mood or Theme
How will the venue contribute to the theme?
If you want a classic fairy tale wedding, a hotel function room may be your best bet. Rustic weddings look best outdoors, but if your stylist wants to incorporate additional lighting to enhance the mood, you could face problems on technical aspects (e.g. electric socket, etc.).
Standard social halls usually offer cheap packages but you’ll probably need to spend more on styling if your wedding has a specific mood.
Check previous wedding photos of the venue, if there are any, to get a glimpse of how your photos will look on your big day.
Photo Source: Harvard Art Museums
You can also consider non-traditional wedding venues like museums, warehouses, and zoos if you want a unique feel.
How long will it take to get from your point of origin to the venue?
Where will your wedding preparations take place? Drive to the venue from there on a normal day to approximate the distance and time and try to find the most convenient route.
Photo Source: Wouldn't It Be Lovely
When you hand out the invitations, put a map indicating the time distance for your guests’ reference.
What facilities will the venue make available for you on the wedding day?
Some venues will provide chairs and tables as a part of the payment package. If they are offering a sound system, check if the specs match your requirements.
If you are bringing big equipment in the venue, check if the venue management has rules on usage of equipment that they don’t own.
Ask the management if they have an on-site kitchen where the caterer can prepare and store the food, if you’re sourcing an outside caterer.
In the case of an outdoor wedding, will there be a contingency plan if the weather changes?
Photo Source: Intimate Weddings
Talk to the management if an indoor function room is available if it rains, and ask them about setting up tents and generators as part of your Plan B.
Settle the Big Suppliers First
As mentioned earlier, everything will more or less fall into place when you’ve booked your venue. Decide on it well, because it will dictate the flow of your logistics.
If you hire a wedding planner, he or she will most likely ask these questions. Use this wedding venue checklist as a guide but don’t be limited by it. Answers to these questions will lead to other questions that will help you determine what you really want in a wedding venue.