Nov. 2. 2018

Venue Shopping Tips

Finding the right venue can be a big undertaking. However, it is one of the most exciting decisions you’ll make. Once you know where you’re getting married, you can start planning all the really fun details! From decor to invitations to food, there are a lot of decisions that you can’t make until you have secured your wedding venue.
Although I always recommend that you work with your planner to find the right venue, some circumstances will result in booking your venue first. Either way, I want you to be prepared, so that is what this post is for!
Here are a few questions I want you to ask yourself before you begin the search:

*How many guests you actually want to attend, versus how many you think you need to attend.  Have a list A and list B- this will help your search parameters for venues that offer the right size.

*Figure out your budget with your fiance, and possibly your parents, before going in to look at venues.  Your venue will represent between 30-50% of that number (depending on if they offer catering).

*Consider how you want the day to FEEL and what kind of experience you want your guests to have.
*Contact a wedding planner! Yep, I’m just going to tell you straight. Alleviate any potential stress NOW.   I recognize y’all are anxious to get the process started though, so if you really can’t wait, read on!
When you’re ready to start seeing venues, here are a couple of important steps to follow: 
*Book appointments! It is always best to let a venue know that you’re coming so that they can devote their attention to you. Give yourself about 30-60 minutes and try to keep to 2-3 venues in a day so you don’t overwhelm yourself.
Added tip- sometimes it is best to choose during the week or “after work hours” since weekends are reserved for events.  Weekend appointments may be convenient for you, but you wouldn’t want someone barging in on your wedding to view a venue, right?  So, in short, be flexible!   Now, if I’m making your appointments with my power planning system, just let me know when you’re in town to tour and meet with vendors, and I have you covered!
*Prepare a list of questions to ask. Here are a few to get you started:
Can any other weddings be booked for the same day?
Are there any restrictions for the photographer (flash)?
Is there liability insurance that would protect us if something happened to the business?
What packages do you offer and what is included in each?
What forms of payment do you accept, what is the requirement to secure a date and what is the timeline for when payments are due? 
If your venue is outdoors, ask about the Plan B option. 
* Visit the venue as a couple- wait until you’ve narrowed down options to bring friend/family or a planner along.

*Bring your vision! You might be surprised what you can do with a space with a little fabric or florals. Even in a super beautiful space, you still want to bring your imagination. Also, ask questions to determine if your venue has transformation potential. We’ve seen some amazing things happen with draping, tenting, furniture and more.

I hope that helps, y’all! As always, contact me if I can help!

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