Selecting the venue for your wedding is one of the most important (and expensive) decisions you will make during wedding planning. Perhaps you already have the perfect place in mind. Or maybe you are on the hunt for the space that suits you both. Either way, here are some things to consider and questions to ask the before signing on the dotted line.
Is there enough space?
Even if your guest list is not finalized, gather an idea of how many people you plan to invite. Find a reception space that allows everyone enough room to spread out comfortably without too much extra space. Most venues charge a minimum fee. So, consider the 15-20% of your guest list that will not be able to make it. Here are also some tips for keeping your list small.
What is included in the package?
It is important to obtain package details in writing so you can evaluate it against other venues. Do they include catering, or will you need to bring in an outside vendor? Is there staff available to serve food and work the bar, or do you need to ask your caterer to provide this service? Are there clean restrooms nearby that your guests can access? Make a list of the important items and have it ready for your meeting. Anything you need to take care of independently should be carefully considered before you make the final decision.
Is it in a convenient location?
Consider where your overnight guest will stay before you make the call. While there may be the perfect space in the middle of the country, it may be difficult for some guests to commute. Research suitable hotels nearby and find a reception hall close to the ceremony location. Ideally, you will select a venue where both can take place on site. There is no need for your guest spending precious time driving across town!
What about alcohol?
Be sure to ask the venue if the carry the proper licensing before you decide to stock the bar. If you choose to bring in your own supply, ask if they charge a cork fee. There may be a significant cost difference between the purchase of alcohol on site versus the per bottle opening charge you find on your bill at the end of the night.
Planning a wedding can seem overwhelming, there are many details to bring together. If the thought of making it all happen at the right time creates anxiety, here are a few tips to help keep you on the right track.
Lists, Lists, Lists
If you are a list lover, this is an easy step for you. If lists are not your thing, give it a shot anyway. The point is – wedding planning can be a lot to store in your head. Here are organizing pieces that are easier to maintain with a list.
- To do’s – A planning list on paper will help you see your tasks in order so you can check them off as you go.
- Vendor list – Create a list of vendors you need to visit with names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails. It is a good idea to keep your vendor’s contact information handy, even saved in your smartphone.
- Guest list – You will refer to your guest list for showers, pre-wedding parties, invitations, and thank you cards.
- Wedding musts and wishes – As you are planning, write down the MUST happen items for your wedding alongside your list of wishes. Rather than throwing everything in all at once, this will help you prioritize and keep your budget under control. Your wish list items can be included through the process once you determine how your finances align with your preparation.
Hire a Planner
If you have the funds in your budget to hire a wedding planner, DO. It will be well-worth the expense. This person can ease your load by taking on tasks and details for you. She understands the planning process from start to finish and is a great resource for top wedding vendors.
If there is something extra you want for your wedding, ask. Whether is it a vendor, your coordinator, the reception hall, or a helpful comrade; sometimes the answer is “yes” if you simply ask! Perhaps you can expect a simple “no” for special circumstances and become pleasantly surprised to hear that “yes” is a possibility.
Save a Paper Trail
Keep a folder with a copy of all agreements and contracts. Even take note of the verbal agreements and promises to be stored in this file. You never know when this will come in handy. Your records should back up your demands in a crunch.
If you are interested in more planning tips, here is a checklist you can follow.
Amidst planning a wedding, you will sit down with many vendors. With so many options available, narrowing down your choices may seem a bit overwhelming. Keep in mind that not all companies are created equal. Here are few things to consider to assure you find the right person for the job.
First impressions are a big deal. When you walk into someone’s shop, do you
feel welcome? Do you feel like there is chemistry during the initial greeting?
Where some brides prefer efficiency, others may want a little more personality.
When comparing two choices, strongly consider the one that best suits your character.
Remember, you will be working with this person throughout the planning process
and they may be present on your wedding day!
For brides on a budget, price is defining factor. A few
things can determine why a vendor has quoted you a higher price. It could be high
overhead costs, better quality, or even greater demand. If you choose the company
that offers the lowest price, just be sure they offer comparable features. Do a
little research by checking customer reviews, requesting references, and taking
the time talk to other brides who are familiar with their service.
Yes, it is necessary to confirm that your vendor of choice
is available on your wedding day. This is one of the first items that should be
covered. After you fall in love with a certain company it is hard to steer in a
different direction. If your preferred selection has a team member you want to
work with, be sure to make that request in advance as some companies may have a
full schedule. The earlier you choose your vendors the better your chances of
booking them for your day.