Top 10 Things to Look for in a Wedding Venue

June 13, 2015 by Just Marry!

Your wedding venue will set the theme for your entire wedding. Whether you’re going for shabby chic, trendy boho, or absolute glam, your venue should reflect it. We understand the importance of this decision, so today we put together our list of the Top 10 things to look for in a potential wedding venue:

  1. Is it available on your preferred wedding date? This is obviously the most important question. Be sure to check this prior to booking a tour unless your date is flexible.
  2. Is the timing right? If you’re picturing an English Garden-style brunch wedding, you can’t book a venue that isn’t open in the morning. Find out if your potential venue is available when you want to hold your ceremony.
  3. How inclusive is the base site fee? If you’re booking your wedding ceremony at the venue, there is often a site fee associated with it. This fee can cover just the cost of reserving the site, or it can include everything from ceremony coordination to seating and site setup. Make sure it suits your needs and budget.
  4. Do the F&B minimums fall within your budget? Reception venues nearly always require that you meet a set food and beverage (F&B) minimum to reserve the space. Find out what it is and make sure you can afford it. Keep in mind that this fee is often exclusive of taxes and service fees, which can impose hundreds to thousands in additional costs.
  5. Is the catering manager receptive to your ideas? Get a sense of how flexible the catering manager is. Are you going to be allowed to customize your menu? Can you choose how the reception is set up? Do they accommodate dietary restrictions? Does he or she have suggestions on how to make the most of your budget? You’ll be working with this person for months, so make sure you mesh well!
  6. Are there any restrictions or requirements you need to know? For some ceremony venues, you may have to enroll in premarital counseling. For others, there may be an additional fee for power if you have a DJ or band. Find out if there are there any noise curfews, whether there’s any type of décor they don’t allow, or anything else specific to your potential venue that you need to know.
  7. Is the venue inclusive? Find out what items are included in the venue’s fees and what you’ll have to pay extra to bring in.
  8. How convenient is it? Whether you’re planning on having the ceremony and reception in one location or in two different ones, consider how convenient it will be for you and your guests to travel to, and if there is somewhere onsite or nearby where guests can sleep if they don’t want to travel after the reception ends.
  9. What parts of the venue can you access? Some venues host more than one event at a time. If you’re expecting to have flexibility with where you and your guests can venture during the wedding, make sure it’s allowed. This is especially important for photographs!
  10. What’s the plan for inclement weather? If you envision an outdoor wedding, make sure there’s a good backup plan in the event of inclement weather. Tour the potential venue’s backup space so you can see if it fits your wedding vision.

These are the most practical points to choosing your wedding venue, but we know things like family tradition and personal taste may also weigh into your decision. The important thing is that the venue suits your needs and budget. From there, it will all come together!

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