When planning a wedding the possibilities can seem positively endless or utterly overwhelming. But it helps to enter the planning phase with some key ideas about what matters most to you and your fiancé, so that the big decisions are a little easier to make, and the smaller decisions can just fall into place. Obviously one of the most important choices you’ll need to make early on is where you’ll wed. Here are some key things to ask while trying to find the perfect wedding and reception venue.
Is My Date Open?
After predetermining if the venue fits your guest needs and within your budget, tasks that can usually be accomplished online, the first question you’ll want to ask is if your date is open, that is, if you have already selected a meaningful wedding date. Keep in mind that many brides start planning more than a year in advance, so if you’ve chosen a popular date (in the spring, or October, for instance) you may find it difficult finding an opening. This is why it helps to be flexible if your heart isn’t set on a particular calendar date. By moving your wedding even a week, you may be able to book your dream venue, even during a peak season.
What Is Included When Booking?
Next, you’ll want to determine what is covered in your venue fee, and get familiar with any rules the venue has. For instance, many wedding venues allow alcohol, but there is a separate fee to hire a security guard to stay on premises during the event. Some may include tables and chairs with the cost of the rental, while others expect the caterers to provide these. Before booking a venue, make sure you understand just what will be provided to you, and what restrictions apply.
Does the Venue Have Recommended or Required Vendors?
While most venues can provide a list of recommended wedding vendors, from florists to photographers, some actually require brides to choose vendors off an approved vendor list. If this is a requirement, make sure you take the other vendors’ costs into consideration when comparing venues. For instance, if you have a $1,500 banquet hall that requires you choose between one of three caterers whose meals are all $3,000, this will be a more expensive choice in the long run than if you find a $1,800 venue that allows you to cater from your favorite restaurant for only $2,000.