Planning a wedding is equal parts exciting and stressful. After all, you are preparing for the biggest day of your lives. Weddings are always a major production involving many people and exhausting a lot of resources – time, money, moral support, you name it. The first step after the proposal is usually to decide on a date for the wedding and deciding on what kind of ceremony will take place. After these have been decided on, and before you even start looking at gowns, party favours, cakes, flowers, photography and videography, you need to tackle an important task – deciding on a wedding venue.
Choosing a wedding venue can be tricky, but a good rule of thumb is to choose one that fits the theme you have in mind for both the ceremony and the reception. For example, if you want a solemn ceremony and a huge party afterwards, it might be a good idea to have the ceremony in a small chapel or church (or any place of worship, depending on your religion) and renting a bigger venue for the banquet and after-party. If you want the ceremony to spill straight to a huge party, renting a spacious venue is ideal. If you prefer outdoor venues, such as a garden, poolside, or even at the beach, then you have to take the weather, as well as the number of guests, into account.
Because the venue is a major factor to be considered for your wedding, it is highly recommended that you have several options, and that you enquire extensively about all the details, including the setup, requirements, payment, preferred caterers, and others. Here are 16 questions you can ask to help you narrow down your choices for your venue:
Is our date available?
This question is the make-or-break one. Of course if the venue is not available on your wedding day, you’d need to look for another one.
How many other weddings will be booked that day?
No matter how big your guest list is, you’d still want to keep your wedding intimate. In case a venue has more than one function room, you’d want to know if there’s another wedding party because it can get noisy if events are held in adjacent rooms.
Is the venue available for exclusive use?
Venues that can be rented exclusively for your event are ideal for those who want to keep things private and who do not want to worry about it being too noisy. It also makes everything more secure.
You’d want to know right off the bat if the venue you are eyeing can fit all the guests you’re planning to invite, with enough space for cocktails and dancing.
How long do we have at the venue?
It’s important to know how many hours the venue will be available for you. You also need to clarify whether those hours include the setup time before the event, and the time it takes to take everything down after the party is over.
If it’s an outdoor venue, is there a backup venue in case it rains?
If there are no function rooms, at least make sure that there are tents that can be easily set up and decorated in case it rains.
How many restrooms are there?
One of the most overlooked details is the number of restrooms available. It is ideal to have at least three in a venue – male, female, and disabled restrooms.
How many parking slots are available?
Another overlooked detail is parking. It is best to find out right away if there’s ample parking, so that guests can plan accordingly. If parking is limited you can give guests who know each other the option to carpool.
Music and sounds
Is there a projector available for audio visual presentations?
If the venue does not provide one, you need to rent a projector from a third party vendor so that you can mount slideshows and video presentations. Choose one that is big enough for everyone to see.
Will you provide additional lights on top of what is already installed at the venue?
Additional lights can add a touch of whimsy to a nighttime event, so if your venue has inadequate lights, you might want to consider lighting equipment hire to ensure that everything looks good.
Is there a microphone available for speeches?
If not, you can request your sound system provider to include it in your package.
Are there limitations to the kind of music we can have?
It pays to clarify if you can bring a live band, or have a DJ spin during your event. Some venues only allow acoustic setup to minimise the noise, while some allow a full band setup.
Food and styling
Do you have any accredited/preferred caterers?
This is one of the first questions you need to ask. If you really want to bring your own caterer, some venues will charge an extra fee.
Do you have a prep kitchen or does the food need to be prepared in a separate venue?
A venue that has a prep kitchen ensures that your food will be fresher, as opposed to food that is prepared in a place that is not on-site.
Will there be a corkage fee for wine and additional food items not included in the catering package?
If the venue insists on the services of their preferred caterers and there are some items you want to bring in to personalise your party, clarify if it will cost you extra.
What’s allowed and not allowed as far as styling is concerned?
Some venues can be very strict in terms of styling (to prevent damage to their property), while some are lenient and allow their clients to get creative. Make sure the terms are clear so you don’t get charged extra.
Choosing a wedding venue can be difficult, but with this guide, you’ll find one in no time. Happy venue hunting!
About the author:
Camille Montenegro is a writer and infopreneur. Her long experience has a blogger made her an expert on different niches like home security. As a blogger, she believes in quality content and backs up all of her posts with relevant research information. It is her goal to share this quality information in the form of guidelines, reviews, lists, and other types of blog posts to her readers.