Before you say I DO, you have to take care of a lot of wedding details that will make your special day spectacular and memorable. After getting engaged, one of the first and most important things you will decide on is your wedding venue. There are so many things to consider that it can get a touch overwhelming. This is the hard part.
So pick an evening where you and your significant other are free, grab a bottle of wine (you’ll need it) and brainstorm your socks off. Meanwhile, here are a few tips on booking a wedding venue:
- Number of guests. Tell your venue how many guests you plan on inviting. Be sure that the venue can fit every guest on your list because the 80/20 rule of RSVPs has quickly become an old wives tale and it’s likely that more than 80% of your guest list will come to your wedding. Always overestimate so that you aren’t in a pickle when the final RSVP’s come in.
- Ask about the inclusions of the venue accommodation. It all comes down to linens. When you are spending thousands of dollars on gorgeous floral arrangements and then you place them on an over laundered, likely stained, basic linen that is threadbare and doesn’t touch the ground on all sides, it might not be worth the savings of using the “in-house linens”. Renting linens won’t amount to much being spent, but they will definitely make a big, positive impact on the appearance of your wedding reception. This concept could also apply to more than just linens, including wedding coordinators, chairs, music, and sometimes desserts.
- Make sure that timing is accurate. This especially comes into play with church ceremonies. Most will only offer an early mass/ceremony time which will leave sometimes as long as a 3 hour gap between ceremony and cocktail hour.
- Check out the layout example. Ask to see what a layout would look like for your ideal guest count. Some venues may say, “We can make it work when you get your final guest list” or they will tell you it might look different for your wedding day. If you want a head table, sweetheart table, all rounds, or all longs, you will need to see how (if at all) the guest tables will fit. If your vision doesn’t fit, neither will your guests, and you will need to either choose a different venue or cut the guest list. Also, you may not like the outcome of “making it work” so be persistent! Moral of the story- don’t sign a contract without seeing an example of a layout.
- Inquire the time needed for setting. Ask the venue if that is possible to do so and ask your team to set up at a particular schedule. Be clear that all the tables and chairs need to be in place so that the vendors you hire can also do their jobs.
- Ask if there is a special deal for the day. f you are offered a “deal” for a special day, ask why. Don’t just consider the discount as a gift- there is always an underlying reason. Case in point: I have seen venues that offer a Sunday brunch to their members, book brides for a Sunday event date by saying they will get a discount.