You are investing a lot of time and money into your wedding day, and it is important that the venue reflects your personality and style. Many venues will be more than happy to answer any questions that you have, so don’t be afraid to ask! Have your planning notebook with you so you can write down all the answers. There will be a lot to discuss and trying to remember it all will only get confusing as you tour different properties.
When you do your venue tour, have your finance with you and 1 – 2 other people. Don’t take a large group. Too many people will become distracting and you won’t actually hear your opinion over the opinions of others. Take someone who will give you an objective view and listen for the answers to your questions, not just what they want to see at your celebration. Here are three questions you need to ask when you go on each venue tour.
Think about it – if they are hosting more people than the space allows, where will everyone sit? Also, can there be dancing? Does the venue have enough bathrooms for all those people? If you change the layout, does that affect the capacity?
These are things you need to know before booking! If your guest count is 100 people, but the venue only has capacity for 60 people, no matter how badly you want that space, it will not work out. You will either have to lower your guest count or find another venue. This is why it is so important to know your guest count before you start looking at properties. Nothing feels worse than falling in love with a space that you can’t have.
What is included in the rental fee? When booking your venue, the rental price will not include everything you need. Consider things like parking, food and beverage minimums, service charges/gratuities, cost of linens or other decor items, security deposit, and any other specialty items you may need for your wedding day. Find out what is included in their venue fee such as decor items, tables, chairs, ready rooms, etc.
If the venue does not include anything beyond the basics, you will have to find it from another vendor. However, if they are included, this will save you some money on renting duplicate items. The more you focus on your priorities and discuss the inclusive items with the venue, the better you can stretch your budget and get exactly what you want.
What hours are included with the venue rental? Some venues have event times that can last from early morning until very late at night. If you plan on being up all night partying with your guests, make sure to check out the times they offer! Keep in mind, you will need a certain amount of time to prepare for your guests.
“Reception Hours” are typically different from “Event Hours.” A venue may say you get 5 hours total. Is that 5 hours of party time or does that include the time your vendors will have to set up for the party as well?
On average, you need 3 hours or more for professional vendors to set up and execute your wedding. However, if you have to set up all the chairs, linens, and vendor items and then have your celebration in 5 hours, this may not be the right venue for you. If you are not working with professional vendors, the time needed to set up may be even longer.
There are many more questions you need to ask (rain back up plan, multiple events at at time?), but these will get you started so you can understand the basics of how to outline your event. Once you start to tour different venues, you’ll realize what matters most to you and what you can let go of. Stay focused because this is only the beginning.
Once you have your venue, the next step is finding the right wedding planner for you. If you are not familiar with the wedding planning process, ask your venue for a wedding planner they would recommend.
More than likely, your venue will have their own list of preferred vendors they want you to work with. Don’t be scared if you don’t know all about timelines and contracts yet; just being able to explain to the planner what you’re looking for in a day helps tremendously when it comes time to put your plan into action. Read more here and check out Live Love Laugh Events on Instagram for more tips and planning questions.
L3 Events is your next Orlando wedding planner and event planner. A wedding planner creating stunning weddings and events steeped in passion, fun, and exquisite taste. Based in Orlando, Florida, the L3 team serves organizations, couples, and individuals. Planning events all over the United States.