When it comes to wedding planning, booking your venue is one of the first big (and arguably most daunting) tasks to check off your list. After all, you can’t book any of your vendors if you haven’t secured a date.
In the process of hunting for wedding venues it can be easy to overlook some very important details. That's why coming up with a system to organize them all is super handy and helps to avoid any extra costs, confusion, and helps to keep your sanity (somewhat) intact throughout the process!
Start with a spreadsheet (a great tip from A Practical Wedding). APW suggests creating columns for:
· Venue Name
· Capacity: Can it accommodate your estimated number of guests?
· Availability: Will it be available around the dates you are looking to tie the knot?
· Type: Is it a country club, hotel, rental house, etc.
· Layout: Is there enough designated space for the ceremony, cocktails, and reception or will you have to flip (turn ceremony space into reception space during cocktail hour). Is the location weather dependant? Where does the bride wait prior to her big entrance? If it’s an outdoor wedding, is it easily accessible for your older guests?
· Rates: IS THIS WITHIN YOUR BUDGET
· Website: So you can easily refer back to their details
· Restrictions: such as no BYOB or a definite ending time ($$$)
· Parking/Transport: Will guests have to pay to park? Is there enough parking space for all your guests? Will you need to hire a shuttle?
· Facility Extras: Find out what’s included in the price and what you will be nickel and dimed for like linens, plates, and chairs. Make sure you are very clear on what is and isn't included in the price as some venues may trick you with a lower booking cost.
· Full Service vs Non Full Service: Does the venue have required vendors (such as caterers, wedding planner, etc.) you must use when booking them? This may prevent you from finding vendors more suitable to your budget.
· Alcohol: Check to make sure your venue doesn’t have some type of limited permit that may restrict certain kinds of alcohol or prevent them from serving. Is there a ridiculous corkage fee?
· Multiple Weddings on Site: You might be surprised to hear this but it is not uncommon for venues to host more than one wedding at a time. This is definitely something to consider if you don’t want to be running into another B & G on the property during your day.
Once you’ve got a rough idea of these then you should be able to narrow down which venues aren’t worth the time to visit.
I hope you found this little run through helpful and would love to hear your feedback! xoxo