Finding the appropriate venue is the FIRST vendor you should book when planning your weddig. Did you know that having your event at home is actually MORE expensive than paying for a hall? It's true! Imagine you are building a venue from scratch. You will need tables, chairs, linens, tent, dance floor, electrical hookups, bathrooms, insurance, not to mention if it's outside you'll need to also make sure the landscaping is flat enough, you are supplying proper heating and air, and you've sprayed for bugs. And you'd still need to setup and cleanup everything. That's a LOT of stress, money, and work on your plate. Let a venue handle it!
When picking the right venue, you need to ask these questions:
- Capacity- Make sure your venue will hold all your guests. A venue that is too large will swallow your crowd and feel empty. A venue too small will stifle flow, feel cramped, and guests will likely leave early. Be aware that while many venues say they can hold a certain amount...this is likely uncomfortable if you hit that amount and does not account for placement of extras like a DJ, cake table, gift tables, buffet tables, and head table. (Personally, I play it safe by assuming the most comfortable arrangement is 50 guests less than their said capacity.) Ask for a scaled floorplan or pictures of weddings that have been setup for that many in the past.
- Style- Does the style of the venue fit your design? A well designed venue will save you money on decor as you will not need as much of it to pull off the look you're going for
- Inclusions - Find out what comes along with your rental fee. Do you get tables/chairs? linens? What's the time frame you have it for? Do they setup/teardown? Does it cost extra to have the ceremony there? Do they have an onsite caterer, or can you bring your own? Do they allow you to have a rehearsal, or decorate the day before?
- Restrictions- What decorating restrictions do they have? Any restrictions on bringing outside food?
- Parking- Do they have parking available or nearby for all your guests? Is it handicap accessible?
- Cost- Remember all venues and vendors will cost more on holidays. If your event falls on a weekday or Sunday, ask if it will be cheaper than a popular day like Friday or Saturday.