Whether you’ve hired a wedding planner or you’re taking a leap-of-faith in planning your wedding, selecting the perfect wedding venue for you and your guests is the single most important matrimonial decision to make after saying ‘I do!.’ Remember, it’s entirely OK to be picky when choosing. You’re even off the hook for becoming a bridezilla or groomzilla…
To help in your quest for ‘the one,’ follow this checklist of 10 questions you may not have considered – but should – when it comes to your wedding site:
1. Does it have ambiance compatibility?
Are you going for a black and white wedding, or fuchsia colored bridesmaid’s dresses? Do you have a specific theme, or will it be one big party? Choosing a venue that aligns with your unique wedding preferences will save you a lot of time (and money) in looking for and purchasing additional décor.
2. Does it offer an exceptional food/ drink vendor?
It’s important to find out whether or not the venue you’re considering requires you to use its vendor(s) or if you need to seek out your own. If you’re required to provide your own, you’ll need to make sure that the venue offers a kitchen for on-site prep work, heating and refrigeration. While many off-premise caterers can build out a kitchen it’s more expensive.If you find a specific vendor you want to use, make sure they visit the space and the venue works for them. Finally, make sure to ask yourself that while the menu may be appealing to you, would it be appealing to your guests?
3. Are tables, chairs, linens and other amenities/ services included?
It’s important to find out which amenities are included with your venue. It will make or break your decision when choosing a location because an event in itself has so many moving pieces that outsourcing vendors on your own takes time and money. Most couples want a turnkey venue that includes amenities such as chairs, tables, signage, catering and even parking.Ask questions such as, does the venue offer staff that will help with setup and cleanup? Is audio/visual included? If it doesn’t offer you the amenities that will make planning and executing your wedding easier, or on-site coordination of planning, it’s time to look into another venue.
4. Are you allowed to bring your own additional food or desserts?
Do you have a special family tradition when it comes to desserts? Are your hearts set on bringing a specialty oversized wedding cake? It’s important to ask if this is permitted or where you can store these items. Many weddings are now providing guests with a late-night-snack from a local burger place. Will your venue of choice permit this new trend?
5. Are the sound system/acoustics up to par?
You don’t want to leave yourself or your guests with ringing ears after your wedding. And shouting over each other at dinner is never enjoyable. Asking about the venue’s sound system will save you and your guests a headache (literally). You may also want to ask if they provide microphones or a projector screen for toasts and photo slideshows.
6. Are there photo-op places to take wedding pictures?
Apicture says a thousand words, and the backdrops to those photos say about half of those words. A photo is only as good as its background. Is there an Instagram or wedding photo album-worthy spot of this venue that will add to your wedding photo shoot? Some vendors even specialize is themed photo spots ranging from custom drape and pipe to different colors and textures.
7. Will there be another wedding or large party in another room of the venue?
It’s important to ask the venue how many events they schedule in one day, how far apart the rooms are, and how long your party can stay. You don’t want to hear the thumping of another party’s dance music while you’re about to start your first-dance or when your bridal party is making its speeches.
8. Does it have a unique or historical background that will add to your/your guests’ experience?
You have to keep your guests in mind when it comes to choosing your wedding venue. Odds are, the majority of your guests have been to a countless number of weddings. You should seek a venue that will give them a different experience and one that they will remember. Give your guests somewhere special to celebrate your special day instead of ‘just another hotel venue.’
9. Is there a space for the bridal party to freshen up in?
In-between the ceremony and reception, the bridal party should have the option at the venue to freshen up in their own private space away from incoming guests. Make sure the venue you choose has a designated area for you and bridal party to prepare for all activities. This area is also the first opportunity for your closest family members and friends to celebrate with you before the celebration.
10. Is the dance floor big enough for all of your guests + the photographer?
Some of the best moments at your wedding will happen on the dance floor. Your photographer(s) and guests should have enough space to capture your wedding’s most memorable moments and enjoy the dance floor themselves. As a rule of thumb, 30 percent of the total number of guests will be on the dance floor at one point.
The good news is there is something for everyone, and for every budget. Weddings are a family affair, which involves combining two lives, families and sometimes even two communities. No two places are exactly alike so choose your venue carefully, ask the right questions and make sure it’s the right place for you and your guests. We’d be delighted to talk to you about what Mayne Stage can offer you.