In part one, we looked at what to consider before you begin your search of wedding venues. Now that you’ve narrowed down your search, it’s time work on finalising your plans.
Visiting the site
Make a trip to the site(s) during the same time of day as your wedding, if possible. This is often an exciting moment—your first time in the wedding venue where you’ll get to say, “I do”. The butterflies may be flitting around in your stomach as you imagine the wedding venue filled with flowers, food, and your family and friends. But, don’t let your excitement derail the purpose of this visit. You’re there to get valuable information and to choose “the location” from all the possible wedding venues on your list. During this visit, explore the space. Get copies of the floor plan or create a rough sketch that you can refer to later. Try to note any potential problems with access, parking, bathrooms (some older buildings such as houses may lack adequate facilities), or anything else that may or may not be a deal breaker. The staff should be able and willing to answer any questions you may have.
Take individual needs into account
Every wedding venue has its pros and cons. Which is which depends on you and your partner’s individual tastes. Some venues require extra wedding insurance or that you use their list of preferred suppliers. Some may even offer you the ability to go outside their vendors for a cost. Does the wedding venue allow music after a certain time? Or live bands? Is the dance floor the right size or too small? Does it sit too close to where the cake will be? During the time of your wedding, ensure there will be no major construction. You’d be surprised about the schedule of remodels. Also make sure the wedding venue is available on your date and whether or not you’ll be splitting the day with someone else. Some wedding venues will host two weddings in a day (one in the morning and one in the evening, usually). If you’d rather not share, be sure to check on the venue’s schedule.
- Have a list of initial questions to ask. Not only will this keep you focused, but it’ll help you make an informed decision. As you’re going through your initial visit, more questions will pop into your head. After three or four sites, it may be difficult to keep it all straight. It’s best to have someone come along and take notes. Some important questions to ask are:
- What is the cancellation policy?
- Is there a payment schedule?
- What kind of deposit is required (usually this is 20-50% of the final cost)?
- Do they have a liquor license?
- Are there any hidden costs or extra fees? Before you sign, read the contract thoroughly.
- If choosing the same location for both the ceremony and reception find out how long it takes for the staff to switch things over.
After the glow of being newly engaged has faded, the work begins. Once you start looking, you’ll know when you’ve found the perfect wedding venue.