Five Tips for a Successful Venue Tour
Congratulations you're engaged! Now that you've had some time to enjoy the excitement and get used to that ring on your finger 😍 it is time to get down to business. First on your list or at least one of the first is probably nailing down when and where the wedding will take place. So that likely means conducting some venue visits to see which one is the best fit for your wedding day.
Venue visits are a really exciting time and may be one of the first wedding planning tasks you and your future spouse take on together. It can be easy to get overwhelmed or forget a key question and you certainly don't want any surprises later in the planning process. So, make sure to bring a notebook, take tons of photos and bring your key supporters along for the tours! Below are some additional tips to make sure you get the most out of your venue tours!
This is your time to get everything off of your chest to get a full understanding of what the venue has to offer for your wedding day. Here are some great questions to ask:
1) How many events are held at the venue in one day? Will your wedding be the only one or will you be sharing the space?
2) Who is responsible for the set up and clean up? Who is responsible for removing trash and/ or bussing tables?
3) How have they seen past couples utilize the space in unique ways? For example is there an outside patio to use for cocktail hour or a private dance between the couple?
Talk About the Flow of the Event
When you are at the venue picture what it would look like with your event. Imagine how guests will move from one space to the next. For example, what is the flow from the ceremony to the reception space or cocktail space. Will there need to be a room flip and where will guests be able to move to during the room flip?
If you are considering having buffet dinner service where will that be set up and where will the line form.
Where does the DJ or entertainment vendor typically set up and where is does the dance floor typically take place? Will there be enough room for both a seated dinner and a dance floor? Imagine being a guest at the event and how it would feel.
Check Out the Bathrooms
This may seem silly but bathrooms are important! Is the stall big enough for you and your dress and maybe a helper?? You don't want to have to uncomfortably squeeze yourself in there or boot other guests out just so you can use the restroom on the night of your wedding.
Also, take notice of how many restrooms are actually available to guests. If possible you don't want guests stuck in a line for the bathroom during an important moment such as your first dance.
Verify Rental Guidelines
There are so many amazing venues out there and each one does
things a little different from the next. Venue tours are an opportunity to figure out what is included with each venue and what rental guidelines they have in the contract. Have a clear understanding on when you will have access to the venue on the day of the wedding. If having a rehearsal or setting up the day before is important to you ask if those options are available in the rental.
Double check what the guidelines are on certain décor items. For example, are flamed candles allowed? How about sparklers, fireworks, Chinese lanterns, confetti, balloons, animals or pets? If you are considering any of these items or other unique items you will want to make sure that venue doesn't have a policy against them.
Are there any restrictions on what vendors are or aren't allowed at the venue? For example if you have a family friend that runs a catering business and you really want to incorporate them in the wedding is that allowed?
Get to Know the Staff
Finally one of the MOST IMPORTANT parts of a venue tour is to get to know the venue staff. You will work right alongside the staff at the venue you select and it is important that the vibe within the staff matches what you are looking for in a venue.
Get a feel for their overall experience and knowledge in the wedding industry. Will they be a resources and answer questions throughout the planning process? What will their role look like on the wedding day and who will be available if something is needed during the night of? Consider how they communicate and show compassion for their customers.
Now if you've made it through this most hopefully you are feeling a bit more prepared for your upcoming venue visits. Consider sitting down with your partner and determining 4-5 nonnegotiables specific to wedding venues. This way you can rule out any venues that don't meet those absolutes. Most of all have fun!