Ok. You’re engaged. Congratulations. But you know time flies and now you have all these decisions to make; starting with the Wedding Venue.

There are so many options out there, how are you supposed to know what to look for? Which questions should you ask? And what are the red flags?

This guide should help you with your search. Adapt it as you feel fit and always ask plenty of questions. So, read on!!

Privacy?

If you’re having a day time wedding in a public park, beach or botanical garden, be prepared for strangers to trek past your party. Banquet halls and hotels often hold more than one event at a time, so you might meet other guests around the venue.

Lighting

The type of lighting you have can dictate the mood of your entire evening. If you are getting married during the day, make sure your hall has plenty of windows. If it’s an evening event, confirm the rooms are not too dim.

Included Details

Venues vary on what’s included in the package price. Confirm if you’ll have to bring in your own rentals for the dance floor, chairs, linens, plates and silverware. Also, take a throughout look around the room to see if it has lots of outlets.

Good Acoustics

A tile or wood floor, for instance, will amplify sounds, while a thick carpet will muffle them.

Parking for everyone

Make sure the reception is near a spacious enough parking lot, garage or big empty (safe) street where it’s legal to park.

Cool, now you got the basics. But do you know what to ask on your site tour? No? Don’t worry. I got your back girl!! Let’s go!!!

  • The first one is obvious, but it’s always a good idea to ask if the venue is available on your date. Or if not and you’re in love with the venue, do they have another date that suits you?
  • As a wedding photographer in Raleigh, NC, I see this happening all the time. How long will the venue be available to you? This is very important because it will dictate how long you need to have your photographer. Nobody likes paying for more hours than the need… right?
  • Are you and your groom getting ready at the venue? If that’s your plan you need to know if the venue offers enough space for you, your bridesmaids and your groom to get ready. I added the groom to the mix because we see a lot of times the groom gets ready far from where the bride is getting ready. This will probably throw a wrench on the timeline because of photographers travel time.
  • Are there any noise restrictions or sound curfew? That’s pretty much self explanatory, right?
  • How about your favorite vendors? Can you bring them or do you have to pick from a venue’s preferred vendor’s list? That one is huge in my opinion. So, ask ahead of time to avoid ‘surprises’.
  • Another important question that nobody asks is: What’s the staff-to-guest ratio? You should know this because you don’t want guests to be waiting for a long time to be served. In case of dinner gets delayed, it will throw off the timeline and you might have issues with your vendors.
  • How about lighting? What’s the lighting set up? Who will control the lights during the reception? Do you need to bring your own lighting equipment?
  • If it’s an outdoor wedding, what’s the plan B in case it rains? And if yes, will there be any additional fee? Most outdoor venues have a plan B in case of rain but it doesn’t hurt to ask especially the extra fee part.
  • Is a ceremony rehearsal included?  That’s another important question. Most of the times we just assume it will. Never assume anything. Ask plenty of questions.

So, there you have it. I hope this helps a little bit.

Planning a wedding is a huge undertaken. Some brides are more laid back than others, but it’s still a process that will most likely bring some stress to your planning.

The main take is to try to have fun planning your big day. After all, it’s probably one of the most important days of your life. Enjoy the process. Don’t try to do everything by yourself. Delegate but don’t micro-manage. You want good memories that you can cherish forever.

Happy Planning!!