There’s more to just the aesthetics when choosing a venue (although very important). There are all sorts of questions you should be asking when going to view potential venues. Here are some points to think about that will help you decide on your perfect venue. So grab a pen and write down a few of these questions to take with you to ask the venue manager on the day…
Pricing and Availability
Is my date of choice available? If not, are there any surrounding dates available? Or do you have a wait list for dates?
How far in advance can I reserve my date?
Are there different days of the week and times (Friday, Saturday, Sunday; morning, afternoon, evening)? What about different seasons?
How many hours are included in the rental of the space? How early can we arrive, and how late can we stay?
BRIDE TIP: " Ideally, you’ll want to be the only event on-site on your wedding day, as having other events happening can result in less setup time, limited venue access, and confusion for your guests. If you’re not guaranteed to be the only event that day, find out how much it would cost to do a complete buyout, as well as ask about how the staff handles having multiple events at once."
How much is the deposit?
How do you structure the payment schedule?
What is included in the total? Does it cover cleaning fees, or are those additional?
What is the cancellation policy?
When is the last possible date to make changes to our reservation?
Do you have a list of approved or recommended vendors we can use?
Do we have to use your approved vendors? If not, are there limitations or guidelines we need to meet when bringing others in?
BRIDE TIP: "If your venue doesn’t require you to use their vendors, ask if there are any they recommend most highly. A vendor who is familiar with your venue will already know the quirks and challenges of the space, which will make your planning process that much easier. "
Is the site handicap accessible?
Are there noise restrictions? Does music have to be stopped at a certain time?
How many bathrooms are there? Will we need to rent additional portable restrooms if you have a large group?
Is parking available on-site? How much space is there Canterbury
What is the venue’s capacity?
Do you have your own sound equipment and speakers, or will those need to be rented or provided by the entertainment?
What is the backup plan for rain or inclement weather?
Are there any décor restrictions?
When can vendors arrive for setup?
Will your staff be involved in setting up and breaking down the décor? In what capacity? Do I have to bring my own team in to decorate on the morning of? Do I need a planner to set all this up?
A venue like a hotel will usually have staff available to help arrange and set the tables, but confirm exactly what the venue’s staff will be doing so you can pass that information on to your other vendors.
Wedding Planner Christchurch
Food and Drinks
Do you have an in-house caterer?
If there is not an in-house caterer, do we have to choose from a list of approved options, or can we hire our own caterer?
Do you have a food and beverage minimum? What are the consequences if we don’t meet it?
Do we have to purchase liquor through you, or can we source liquor elsewhere?
If we can bring our own liquor onto the property, is there a corkage or service fee?
If your venue does allow you to buy your own alcohol, they may charge a fee to serve it on the property—which is still often much less than the price of ordering straight through the venue. This is called 'Corkage fee'.
Who will be our point person as we plan our wedding? Who will be our point person on our wedding day?
How much do they help with the day itself in regards of timing and keeping vendors in the loop with delays etc?
Do we need a planner to tidy up all those details on the day? Remember there's a massive difference between 'Wedding Coordinator' and 'Venue Coordinator' which I have written about here.
Hopefully these questions will narrow down your options and will help you choose your dream venue not just because it’s gorgeous, but also it caters for everything (or most) of the things you need to celebrate your big day!
I have a template available that you can take with you to your venues which will help you with those questions. It’s digital, phone and tablet friendly! And if you need my assistance to go through any of these options with you, I also offer a planning power hour session to go through all the logistics with you!
Wedding planner Christchurch
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