Girl, all of your wedding dreams are coming true!!
If you are newly engaged, finding the perfect place to say “I do!” is not only super fun and exciting, it should also be one of the first things on your to-do list. After discussing with your fiancé all of your plans and dreams, you’ll likely begin to search for local wedding venues. Making comparisons and picturing yourself walking down the aisle at the various ceremony locations can be such a sweet time of picturing the start of your forever. But how do you decide where to actually host the biggest day of your life?! What things do you need to consider to make sure you don’t have buyers’ remorse?
Having worked with many venues and coordinated the necessary prep work behind the scenes, here are a few questions that will be vital to ask in your selection process. Avoiding these questions can lead to unnecessary stress, shattered expectations, and additional costs that push you over budget. At Spring Lane, we want all of our couples to be able to relax and not only enjoy the planning process, but also to be able to focus on the marriage to come – not the pesky details! We’ve got your back 🙂
PHOTO CREDIT: ADDIE ESHELMAN PHOTOGRAPHY
How many hours is the venue reserved for your event?
While all venues are different, you should expect your wedding package option at the venue to outline how many hours are you allowed to be on-site. Often, venues will specify how many hours are be designated for the event itself (ceremony, cocktail hour and reception) – typically around 5 hours with additional hours available for a standard hourly fee. Other venues, however, will simply state times when the grounds are open for set up and when clean up must be completed. Either way, make sure you have a very clear understanding of when you and your vendors are allowed on site. This will drastically affect when your ceremony starts, when you schedule your grand exit, and how the timeline will be structured. Of course, your planner will be able to help you make sense of how many hours are available and how to best utilize your time 🙂
What does the venue provide on your wedding day?
This is so important! When it comes to comparing what you want in your wedding venue and planning your budget, this is a MUST to consider. Venues vary widely on whether or not they include chairs, tables, sound systems, arbors for the ceremony, and more. These may sound like small items, but can easily eat up part of your budget that could otherwise be allotted to additional décor items, catering, or your honeymoon budget!!
Do they have a required vendor list to select from?
If your venue has a required vendor list, it will cause a ripple affect on who you select as your caterer, planner, and can also drastically affect your bottom line. Just because you have a venue that is within your budget, doesn’t mean the required caterer will be equally as affordable! Having a planner in your corner to help you understand how all these pieces can fit together to make your wedding vision come true can be super helpful. We also recommend asking the venue how they selected the vendors on their required list. While most venues partner with vendors they’ve been impressed with during weddings in the past, some allow vendors to pay to be on their list, which doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best in their category. Just be sure to get all the information the venue can offer in regards to selecting your other vendors 🙂
PHOTO CREDIT: ADDIE ESHELMAN PHOTOGRAPHY
What décor is allowed?
We all love open flame candles, but the dry wood of an old barn venue provides a less than ideal location for these lovely accents. As you look to bring your Pinterest board to life, you will need fully aware about what rules the venue will as you to abide by. You can generally expect venues to prohibit attaching anything to the walls, moving their own in-house décor from it’s standard place, and no open flames. Breaking these rules can lead to extra fees – not exactly the cherry on top you were hoping for after your wedding day. But don’t let any of that worry you! With easels, glass cylinders to surround your candles, and a planner to help you make it all happen, your table décor will be beautiful!
PHOTO CREDIT: CMC PHOTOGRAPHY
Do they require a planner?
As it is becoming more common for vendors to work with planners, many venues are now requiring you hire one to provide day-of coordination. You may hear that your vendors love working with a planner because they bring expertise in making all of the puzzle pieces fit together for your big day and run like a well oiled machine! You likely won’t even see all of the work your planner will do on your wedding day and leading up to it – which is exactly the point! They will handle issues behind the scenes, with you being none the wiser 🙂 This is the BEST way to keep your venue and other vendors happy and able to provide you the best services on your day!
In order to ensure you are best informed and know what questions to ask when, the safest bet is to hire a planner. The couples we work with have appreciated our ability to handle the behind-the-scenes workings, as well as managing the venue/vendor paperwork, floorplans, timelines and set-up/clean-up. Make sure your day is focused on the two of you – not the details that distract from what is most important 🙂