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Wedding Venue Search -Advice No One Tells You That You Need to Know

Updated: Jan 1

Wedding Venue Search - Advice No One Tells You that you need to know.. The Wedding Venue search is quite possibly the most fun you will have planning your wedding. Seeing the various locations and ideas running through your head can be exciting, however here are some things to look for

Couple Kissing at Wedding Ceremony

1.    While researching wedding venues, I would ask myself. What type of venue is this? Do they have an in-house exclusive caterer? Are you okay with that and the limited options, or do they customize the food selections? Are we allowed to bring in our own caterer? If so, the type of caterer matters because some banquet chefs require full-service kitchens and will charge you to rent one if your venue isn't equipped.

2.    Read all the bad reviews. As a wedding planner, I have to believe reviews. The couple's perspective is what is most important. I absolutely have to take it with a grain of salt, though. For whatever reason there are people out there that will have an absolutely beautiful experience and yet will write a bad review over something very very minor. So read reviews carefully and really pay attentioin.

3.    Tour the place in person. Are they clear and concise on the rules and regulations? Answers your questions? And most importantly: How do they talk about other couples? If they are trashing other couples, other vendors, etc...this is a sign to run. I strongly suggest taking a wedding planner/coordinator with you to each venue tour you do. We know what to ask and what to look for.

4.    Ask venues if they have an open vendor list, short mandatory vendor list, or a mix of the two. This might mean you are limited in the amount or who your vendors are. Sometimes venues will only put vendors on their list if they pay! This causes the weddings to all look and feel the same. Sometimes that isn't a bad thing!

5.    Do they use a platform like AllSeated, Triple Seat, or Social Tables? This makes it easy for you to view what your wedding will look like. The software enables you to scale your event and visualize the event in real time. It's a game changer for luxury weddings, large guest counts, and eventful weddings.

6.    Will you be charged for wedding crashers? Wedding Venues have the right to put into their contract that they will count each guest to make sure they are not going over the set food, drink, and place settings. They will want to charge accordingly to add extra tables, chairs, linens, and table settings for additional guests. If you expect that to happen, I would ensure there isn't a fee. We had a recent couple that had tickets made up for the reception. No ticket No entrance. It worked like a charm and kept out the crashers.

7.    Are you allowed a wedding rehearsal onsite the day before? Not every venue will allow you to take up additional time frame for a rehearsal. If your venue is both your ceremony and reception venue, and this is important to you, I would ask this very early on. You might pay for additional hours to your officiant for a rehearsal, not knowing that you aren't able to conduct one at the venue.

8.    Do they provide their own tables, linens, chairs, and set it all up for you? In all of my weddings, only once did my clients have to deploy their family members to set up ceremony chairs. It was not known to them in the beginning that this was even possible, but it was buried in the contract. Taking the time to figure that out in the beginning may sway your final decision.

In short, I recommend hiring a wedding planner for every wedding venue search. Believe me it pays off in the long run.

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