Wedding Reception Forum
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Venue searching...

What are some of the important things I should be looking for when researching different venues?

Re: Venue searching...

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    fallbride1109fallbride1109 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Comment
    edited December 2010
    Well, it depends on a lot of things really but the basics are:  will it accommodate your number of guests; is it in your budget; and is it available on your date.  Also is it centrally located/easy to get to, is there parking, etc. (not a huge deal but something to consider).

    But then also: does it fit with the feel you want for your wedding; does it have good reviews; is there a place for you to get ready; is it what you want as far as your specific needs (i.e., is it all-inclusive or DIY).

    I knew I wanted a venue that allowed for an outdoor ceremony so I began by limiting my search to places that met this specific requirement.  You might start by thinking about what is the most important element for you (indoor/outdoor, place where you can DIY, place that is all-inclusive, place that has a water view, etc.) and then go from there.  If your local board is active, that can be a big help also.
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    What does the overall fee include?

                Rental times, what are they and how much are they? How much do extra hours cost?

                Catering (do they provide on site, can you bring in outside-- can you supply them w/ alcohol, can you bring in a cake, etc). If they do provide catering, when are your prices locked (when you sign the contract or when you give final numbers).

                Scheduling (do they have more than one wedding a day, what time can you set up, do you have to have some one 'take down' at the end of the reception or can you do it the next day, what's the standard time e.g. 4hrs/5hrs-- can you add an extra hour--how much?)

                When do they need a final head count?

                Payment issues (how much of a deposit, when's the balance due, what are their rights and your rights regarding cancellation (what kind of notice to they/you need to give/how much of a refund))   Deposits, what is due when? What are the damage deposits and what do we have to do to get them back?

                Ask about all the little extra charges - linens, cake cutting and serving, rental fee, , security, bartenders, and tip.  Are there dance floor surcharges if they have to "build" one?


                Do they provide chairs for the guests, or do you have to rent them yourself? Approximate cost? Is that in addition to whatever fee they are already charging?  How will chairs be set up? Is there a charge for moving them?  What is the max number of chairs that can be set for the ceremony? Do they have chair covers for use/rent? Rentals, what do you have on site we can use (chairs, linens...) is there a charge for the chairs?

    Do they have a Day Of Coordinator or a person who will be onsite? What do they do? Is there an extra charge for a DOC?

    Do you need an aisle runner? Can you use one if you choose? Any restrictions about how to stick to the floor to make sure it doesn't slide?  If you're having a flower girl, are there restrictions about dropping flowers on the aisle?

     What decorations are provided? Canopy/chuppa, pillars, flowers, backdrops, aisle runner, etc. If not provided, is there a preferred or required vendor that they use?

    Will they provide a small table for your unity candle/sand ceremony/whatever?

    Will they provide a trellis or do you have to bring your own (if applicable)?

    Can you bring in extra decorations, such as flowers, tulle, etc? Any restrictions to decorating (such as no tape, pins, etc)?  When can you come in to decorate - day of ceremony, night before?

    What kind of restrictions are there on decor? Any restrictions (candles, Can you use candles if they are under glass? sparklers, confetti, etc also Red Wine (some historic sites won't let you have RW b/c of the staining issues))?

    Do they supply any decorations for free/for a charge? (Some places provide mirror tiles, votive holders, greenery, topiaries, possibly even pillars or candles themselves!
     
    Is there a place to plug in a sound system or CD player for ceremony music? Is there a place for live musicians to set up and play?  What kind of amp system is available for music and mics? If not using these, is there a spot for musicians?

    Is there a room for the girls to get dressed/ready in? Is there a room for the guys?

    What time can the bridal party access their respective rooms?


    What time can vendors access the ceremony site to begin setting up? Do our rental times include set up and clean up, or do we have to fit that into ___hours?

     

    What do they do as far as clean up? What are we required to do and what is the caterers required to do?

    Do they require you to go through certain vendors for caterers (if they don't provide it on-site already), djs, photgraphers, etc. This sounds crazy...but some sites do this to boost each others' business!

    Are any other events being held on your date? Do they decorate for you if you give a diagram and the supplies ahead of time? Do they take care of setting up any of our favors, programs...? Can we drop off these things the day before?

    Outside location, separate rooms for cocktail time? Are there some and can we use them?

    What is the capacity? What kind of tables are available if any? (8' round, 10' round, 8'long, 10' long etc.)

    My piece of advice, don't just "settle" because of size/price...shop around, if you really like something see if they will "hold" your date free of charge for 2-4 weeks to give you some decision time! If they REALLY want your business...they'll work with you.
    I suggest sitting down and "number crunching with estimates" if they provide catering for you. This will give you a rough estimate of what the room/catering will cost exactly!

    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
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    i think Trix probably covered just about everything! A lot of things, I didn't think of until I read reviews and then picked out what was important to me, so I had those questions ready when I went looking. By researching thoroughly online, I was able to narrow it down to just a few options, and it was very clear which was the perfect location for us when we actually looked at them.

    We knew we wanted an outside ceremony and reception, I wanted somewhere to be able to get ready, the ability to have a live band and bring in the caterer of our choosing. The first place we looked at had it all, and more. The second was all inclusive, the outside area was too small, the owner preferred not to have live music, and she was a little eccentric. the final place the ceremony site was perfect, but I was not pleased with the reception area, and there was nowhere to get ready.

    If you are like me, you will know when you see it in person that it is the one. kind of like what they say about dresses hahaa. good luckj!

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    Wow Trix, I never would have thought about all of that. I am very tempted to copy your post and save it so I have it when it is time to book a venue!
    Next to being married, a girl likes being crossed now and then. - Jane Austen
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    ast284:  be my guest!  =)  It grew from our DD and SIL's search, and she had the list with her when she went to the place she booked.  The banquet manager was quite impressed.  =)
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
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