Last week we focused on How to Tackle the Wedding Venue Search. Now, we are going to get a little more detailed about the wedding venue needs and questions to ask, and what to look for in a contract.
ASK ABOUT THESE WEDDING VENUE NEEDS
Be sure you know specifics about your rental place:
Length of Rental
Weekend or daily access to the venue? If it’s daily, how many hours available? Ensure a minimum of a 2-hour set up and a 1-hour breakdown for your vendors. If your set-up is a little more complex, add more hours to set-up and even breakdown. This could come at a cost, so keep this in mind as you design your big day. If you have a planner, this is something we will make you aware of.
Tables & Chairs
Ask what’s included with the wedding venue. For tables, consider cocktail tables, guest tables and services tables. Asking for list of tables and sizes available is a plus. Make sure you like any chairs that are included. If not, inquire if it’s possible to bring your own in. Because you will be paying for the rented chairs, there may not be a fee, but there are a few venues that will charge to store their own chairs.
Production & Rules
This is where it is good to ask about specific rules regarding set up/design. Ask about candles! A lot of places are moving away from flames and requiring LED candles. In good news, LED candles have come a long way and can look real, especially when placed inside a pretty vessel.
Wanting installations? (A.K.A. all the amazing hanging florals you see on Pinterest?) Ask if there are any restrictions on hanging things from ceilings, chandeliers or walls. Most places do not allow things to be nailed or stapled into a wall, but 3M has wonderful hooks that have worked magic for us in the past.
Restrooms for your guests is one of the wedding venue needs that everyone should consider. For some outdoor spaces, you may have to rent a restroom trailer. Have no fear; there are gorgeous ones out there…I mean, ones that are much nicer than the ones in our homes!
Depending on size and amenities, we have seen them from $1,200-$3,000 in our area, which will certainly add to your venue cost.
A place to “get glam” is an essential for your wedding venue needs. If you’re planning on getting ready on-site, do they have a space? When space is available, make sure to ask if it’s included in your allotted time. If you only have an 8-hour rental, hair and make up should be done elsewhere, and you should get into your bridal gown/tux on-site.
This is a big one! Is there a chef or catering company on-site? If so, more than likely you have you to use them. If not, there could be a catering list you must choose from and in the rare case, you can bring anyone in to cater your event. There’s pros and cons to each of the scenarios.
Having a caterer on-site is nice for the “all-inclusive” feel, a one-stop-shop type of deal. We encourage you to check out the reviews (just like you should for each of your vendors!) about the food options, because most places may not allow you to have a tasting before signing.
An off-site caterer (whether from a list or not) allows you the opportunity to pick and choose. Reach out to each of them to see if you connect with them and their style, like their menu and if the price is right. Always ask for a tasting; you’re welcome. 😉
It’s about 50/50 in the wedding world if the caterer is able to provide alcohol or not. If you have the option to provide your own, we recommend pricing it out and considering the delivery. Think about whether or not it needs to be delivered chilled. That is a question to ask your caterer. Don’t forget to let your caterer know what you are providing so they can be prepared with the right mixers/soft drinks and garnishes.
Do you have a specific list of vendors you must choose from? We hope not! Most venues may have a “preferred list,” but it would be challenging to have to pick from a specific list for each and every one of your vendors. Every wedding is different so we would hope they can embrace that and give you the ability to create a wedding with a style all your own. Don’t confuse it with a specific catering list. Some venues work off of a specific catering list. This is to make sure the space taken care of and cleaned up properly.
What does the venue’s staff do for your event? If there is no catering on site, be sure to ask what the roles and responsibilities are of the venue’s staff. Most people confuse the venue staff with a wedding coordinator. The staff will ensure the rules are followed, the restrooms are cleaned and available for questions regarding the venue. They will not call each of your vendors to confirm arrival, ask their duties and go over rules. That is something your planner will do for you. 😉
We suggest making yourself a checklist for all your wedding venue needs before you sign anything. Ask every question you have!