In my experience, choosing your venue and your officiant will lay the path for every other decision you need to make. When it comes to choosing your venue, you will find many venues book out a few years in advance so start searching now! Your choice of venue will be determined by your style and your beliefs/religion/cultural desires.
Before you book any site visits jump on the phone, email, or google and make a few notes. Here are a few considerations:
Is the venue available for your preferred date? Try to be flexible and consider dates and time outside the box to save $$
Does the venue have accessible transport options?
Is there sufficient parking available onsite?
How far is it to nearby accommodation for those that must travel?
Can the venue assist with organising guest accommodation?
What are your minimum and maximum guest limits?
Now that you have some ideas about the venues it’s time to visit. It can be overwhelming to start with so consider this list of questions for your visit. Don’t forget to take along a pen and notepad.
Ceremony Venue Questions
What is provided in the ceremony package?
How long do you allow couples to use the site?
Do you have any limitations on photography, flashes, music, or video?
Will you require anything from us as a couple before you are able to marry us? (Especially if a church)
What wet weather back up options are there?
Will there be a co-ordinator on site on the day?
Will we need any permits to use this location?
Do you allow any form of confetti?
Reception Venue Questions
What do your packages include?
Do your packages include cutting and serving cake?
How will the room be laid out for our guest numbers?
Do you have recommended suppliers?
Do you offer tastings with the caterer before locking in a menu?
What type of deposit is required and what is the schedule of payments?
Will there be a coordinator on site on the day?
Can we view the site when another wedding is being set up?
Will we have exclusive use of the venue for the day?
Do you provide any type of music or sound system?
Is any security required?
Do you allow rose petals, confetti, and candles?
Do you allow us extra time for set up and removal if we need to bring anything in?
Are you able to hold our date until we have finished viewing reception locations?
“Love is not only something you feel, it is something you do.” David Wilkerson
It is a lot to take in and discuss. Sometimes this can be too much, at the end of the day it can come down to a gut feel you have for the venue and their staff. Customer service matters above all else.
Don’t fill your days of site visits with too many locations. Take time out in between each venue to regroup, sit and enjoy a coffee together and make a list of pros and cons of each meeting.
If you would like some more advice about booking your ideal venue you can download our Wedding Planning Kit which has loads of extra information for you. However as with all things wedding planning, I know this can all become too much sometimes. If you would like to pass the research work of your wedding venue search over to a team with more contacts than you can imagine contact me and let’s book a time for an obligation free consultation.