Now that you and your fiancee have successfully chose a date and created a budget the next step is to research potential venues. There are some who have known all their life where they would like to get married, what they want the space to look like etc. and then there are some that the idea of venues, catering and planning simply stress you out. This post will share venue searching from two points of view:
Perspective No. 1:
You love the idea of planning...you close your eyes and envision your colors and decor and spreadsheets, binders and organizers are your new best friend. You have a theme and a vibe and the perfect venue will make itsself known to you. With that being said crack open that organizer and click excel on your computer and prepare to take extensive notes.
1. First things first when you begin your venue research the first inquiry should always be whether your date is available and maximum capacity.
2. After confirming that your date is availabe it is necessary to find out the venue cost, liability insurance requirements (if any), and deposits that must be paid and whether the deposits are refundable or non-refundable along with cancellation policies. You dont want to waste precious time and risk falling in love with a venue thats out of your budget.
3. Next step is to find out what is include in the venue cost. Typical items that are sometimes provided include the following: linens (be sure to ask what colors they offer if they offer linens at all), parking, security, basic up-lighting, chairs and tables. If parking is available you will want to also inquire as to if its self-parking or valet. If security is not provided, inquire whether it is necessary and if so how many officers per guest will you need.
4. You will also want to know whether the venue works with a list of perferred vendors and if you are able to bring in your caterer of choice or if you're required to use one of their vendors. Also, you will need to ask about liquor license and the bar, if you must use the venues bar staff and service or if you are able to find your own.
5. It is very important that you jot down the time blocks for the venue and whether its possible to reserve the entire venue or if you are only able to reserve a particular section this will come in handy when creating your run of the show for the actual day as well as providing your vendors with drop off and pick up times. (Most venues provide clients with 12 hour blocks, however this can vary based on location).
6. You will further want to ask about any decor restrictions such as open flames, candles, confetti, etc.
7. It is equally important that you ask about cloakrooms, dressing rooms, and bridal suites as a part of the facilities on-site services. Although you may not get dressed at the venue it will be necessary to have a place to store your belongings following the ceremony as well as space to freshen up as needed.
At this point, you are prepared to create a section on your excel spreadsheet for each of the questions above for each potential venue so that you can properly track and compare what each venue offers. This will make the narrowing down process much easier.
Perspective No. 2:
Color schemes, patterns, caterers, planners and organizers all give you a headache at the thought of them. You would prefer to visit as few venues as possible because as long as the man of your dreams is present your big day is solid. Things dont have to be complicated and in fact, you would prefer them not to be. For you...I say cheers! to the ALL-INCLUSIVE venue.
Yep, I said it, all-inclusive meaning they will not only provide a building with four walls, an alter, tables and chairs, but they will provide the linens, centerpieces, and catering. These venues are ideal and can be very beneficial depending on your style. Keep in mind you will still need to ask questions from above although the venue is all-inclusive pricing, capacity, restrictions, policies, and parking should all still be discussed.
As always I hope this helps and if you have more extensive questions please feel free to message me @ email@example.com!