Are you in the wedding planning stage? Are you looking for your dream venue? If so, I have the perfect blog post for you. I had the opportunity to speak with Wedding Venue Owner Kasia Bartley who owns MeadowView Weddings & Events. Kasia and I put together a list of the top 10 questions to ask while your venue hunting!
How many people does the venue hold? Every venue has a capacity! Make sure that prior to venue you have some kind of idea of your guest list, this doesn’t mean you have to know the exact number or know every single person that is coming but ensure that you have a good idea of the number of people you plan on inviting! Make sure that your venue can hold the amount of people you plan to invite and leave a little room for the guests in fit comfortably! The last thing you want is to have to make cuts to your guest list due to not having enough room!
What does the backup plan look like? I’m with you girl, none of us want it to rain. With that being said, we still need to make sure that there is a strong backup plan just in case it does! So ask… What will it look like if it rains? Who will be responsible for moving the items? Will you need to have somebody on hand to move the chairs, tables, and arbor or will the venue have staff to do that for you? These are all SO important! You want to make sure you and your venue are on the same page and have a plan for things like this before the big day!
What is included? All venues are different, some venues include things such as chairs, tables, tablecloths, setup, and cleanup. It’s important that you inquire about things. If your venue does not include these items then you will need to rent these items from other vendors! If your venue does not include cleanup/setup make sure you already have someone you can count on to do these things!
How many hours does the rental include? Your day is already going to be full of timelines, make sure that the venue you choose allows you enough time! Some things to keep in mind about time is you need to allow yourself or whoever is decorating for you time to setut (aka putting down tablecloths, flower arrangements, and other items). You also need to allow enough time for cleanup afterwards. Some venues will include cleanup in their price, others will require you to do either all or some cleanup. Make sure that you not only are allowed time to clean up but also have someone in place to clean up if this is not included with the venue. Also, some venues offer day before set ups and day after clean up – this is an amazing add on and will take a lot of stress off your day!
Ask if your venue includes heating/air! Let’s be real, this is the last thing on your list when you are thinking about a venue. Whether you’re getting married in mid-july or late December these two things are a necessity! You want to ensure that YOU and YOUR guests are comfortable! Let me tell ya, as a photographer I have shot weddings in venue with no air in the summer and everyone was melting and I have also shot weddings in the winter where there wasn’t a good heat source. Barn weddings are super popular now, but this is something you need to think of depending on the season you are getting married!
Now I know what you’re thinking… another rain talk. This topic is less about weather and more about seasons! More than likely you will not be touring the venue during the time or season you plan to get married. It’s important to ask questions about what color will the trees be, will they still be alive, turning, or bare? If you are getting married in the winter will the trees be dead in the back of you pictures? If you get married in the winter and it snows is there any hills that your guests will have to drive up or down? These are all very important questions to asked based on the season you choose to get married in! If its in the summer, are there any shady spots to take pictures?
Alright brides, you found your dream venue! Congrats! But… it doesn’t have a bathroom, don’t stress! There are plenty of other alternatives! Last month I actually worked a wedding with something I had never seen before. I’m sure we have all seen porta pottys, but have you seen a restroom trailer before? These trailers are perfect for weddings, it allows you to make sure your guests have everything they need while still keeping it classy😉. This one even had a full sink and air conditioning!
We all know before touring anywhere you need to have a budget. Setting a budget can be hard but there are tons of resources out there that will help you break down each thing price by price and make that process a little easier! Make sure that the venues you are touring are within your price range (you don’t want to waste your time if not). If your venue is a little too out of your range something to consider is a Sunday or Friday wedding, Sunday/Friday weddings are normally much cheaper than Saturday weddings and will still allow you to get married at your dream venue and stay on budget! Also, sometimes venues will give discounts during “off season.” This normally runs from around November – February in Kentucky. Something to also think about is that maybe a venue has a high price but they include the chairs, tables, tablecloths and other things, while there might be another venue that is cheaper it may not include those items that you will need and you may end up paying more for those items renting them!
It is always good to ask what the cancellation policy is at the venue. Let’s get real, things happen! Circumstances change, sickness hits, etc. You need to be aware of the venues cancellation policy that way there are no surprises. For reference, a lot of venues keep your deposit once you book that date.
Something to keep in mind is that some venues will require you to use their vendors. This might include catering, bar service, and florals. Ask if it is required to use their vendors or if you are allowed to bring your own vendors in. If you are at a total loss at finding your own vendors then a good thing to ask the venue is “do you have a vendor list?” A lot of venues will provide you with a list of vendors that they recommend for you to use! When choosing vendors it is always up to you and your personal preference. If it is in your budget booking professional vendors is something I HIGHLY recommend. There are so many benefits of booking a professional vendor, one of these is experience – they know what they are doing, more than likely this is their full time job, and they know exactly how to handle all the things when something goes wrong!
With all this beings said choose the venue that works best for YOU! I hope that this list will help you with your wedding planning journey. Wedding planning can be scary, I’ve been there! That is what inspired me as a wedding & elopement photographer to create my blog and podcast!
The new season of Up 2 Date with Kate is filled with all your wedding planning needs! Let me know what kinds of stuff you would like help with or have questions about when it comes to wedding planning!
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