Before you say yes to the dress or set a date, you’ll want to book your venue! Find the perfect setting for your big day and then make sure to ask the coordinators these essential venue questions:
“How many guests can this sucker hold?”
Venue capacity should be one of your first questions. This will lay the ground rules for making your guest list! Are you thinking of inviting 200? Always add 10-15 spots on top of your original number ( ya know, for your mom’s coworker and the groom’s high school baseball coach, etc.) Ask if the venue’s guest capacity will change once all the tables are set up. It’s a great idea to ask for a portfolio of photos and layout options so you can envision your wedding and ensure the space meets your needs.
“When is the deposit due & what is your cancellation policy?”
*cue the groom’s heart attack*
Figure out when the deposit is due, then the full balance. Also, breaking news: life is unpredictable. If for any reason (god forbid) you had to cancel – you’ll want to know if the deposit is refundable or the latest date that you could cancel and get your money back.
“His friends like to drink. A lot. And do parkour.”
You can be blunt and say this or simply ask if the venue’s staff has health and safety training. You’d be surprised how many receptions T.A.M. (techniques of alcohol management) has saved. It’s also a good idea to inquire about CPR services and first aid.
“What is your bar policy?”
This is when you’ll learn about the venue’s options for an open bar/cash bar/etc. Consider your preferences, get a menu and decide if they have everything you’re looking for (including frozen drinks, the wine selection, beer of choice and non-alcoholic beverages!)
“Aside from the event room, what other spaces will we have access to?”
This includes the bridal suite and places to take photographs. You also want to determine if there are enough bathrooms and parking spaces for your guests.
“Let’s see that menu!”
Do you want to design your custom menu or lay out a buffet of options? Discuss the dinner possibilities and selections/variety. They should be flexible and eager to work with you to plan the perfect dinner plan. A build your own mac + cheese bar, sautéed asparagus and filet? Add Meg to your guest list, thanks.
“Do you provide any special amenities?”
Secondary food services, complimentary coffee and mints seem like the most minuscule of details, but the little stuff is what sets apart the wedding venue from your list of other options.
“Do you offer on-site coordination services?”
Find out who will be in charge at the venue, if they will be available to handle guest needs and properly host the event. The answer to this question is super important! Rachel at The Watson House may offer to stay behind the scenes and assist with minor issues, while Brittney at Newport Country Club is willing to help with everything from parking services to helping the bride pee. Decide what you’re looking for and then get the deets.
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