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Congratulations, you’re engaged! Grab some dessert, a glass of champagne, and celebrate! Once you’ve soaked up the joy of being newly-engaged, one of the first things on your wedding planning to-do list is looking at venues. Picking the perfect place can be difficult—each venue and what they include in their service is so different that comparing them can be tricky! As you schedule and go to venue tours, remember these wedding venue walkthrough questions you must ask to help you avoid some common blind spots and choose the best venue for your event.
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but PLEASE make sure you know how many people you can actually have at your wedding! We usually recommend only booking a venue after you know what your expected guest count range is.
Is that usually enough time for your couples to arrange for setup and tear down? If not, can you add on more time, and how much does that cost?
Many venues have a required cleanup hour that gets taken out of your venue time—so if you have a 12 hour package, your guests might have to be out by the 11th hour.
Always make sure you know what you’re liable for! You might be responsible for taking out trash, wiping down the kitchen, mopping up spills, and more. Make a checklist of these items to give to your end-of-night crew!
Do you have to pay an additional fee for chairs? Are linens available for rent through your venue? Are there different spaces at the venue that are only included as add-ons or in different packages?
Keep this in mind for outdoor weddings and partially outdoor venues. If there’s no air conditioning, what equipment do they have to keep guests cool?
If not, you’ll probably want to find a rehearsal dinner venue that can also accomodate an actual ceremony rehearsal, just in case!
Sometimes venues will allow you to drop off your personal decor and items before the day of the wedding if they don’t have other events. This is a huge help if you can get it, so be sure to ask!
If the parking area is just a gravel or grass lot, you may want to ask how guests know where to park the day of the wedding.
Keep in mind that a venue coordinator is NOT a wedding coordinator! Venue staff are only responsible for things pertaining to the venue. You’ll also want to look into hiring a planner or coordinator who can be responsible for answering all the vendors’ questions. They can also help with setup and teardown, managing the timeline, and keeping you stress-free.
Whether they are or aren’t, you’ll want to write any lighting changes you want throughout your wedding into your day-of timeline. Usually overhead venue lights should be dimmed for dinner and turned completely off once the dance floor opens.
You’ll probably need a microphone for the officiant and electricity for any speakers, so if an outlet isn’t readily available, you’ll want to plan to bring chargeable equipment or extension cords!
Although it’s not very common in Wichita for a venue to require it, getting wedding insurance is never a bad idea. It can cover any expenses related to injuries or property damage that may occur at your wedding! We recommend checking out your options through Wedsure.
If you’re planning to have alcohol at the wedding, we recommend having a licensed bartender. We recommend this regardless of whether or not your venue requires it. However, some venues will have one or more specific bar companies that you can work with at their location. The cost of their services or packages will factor into your budget, especially since you can’t really shop around!
If not, you may need to let your caterers know that there’s not much space for food prep. This prepares them to bring in their own folding tables to put the finishing touches on your meal.
If they do, you may be able to save some money by inquiring with those vendors as you build out your team!
If not, you may need to assist your installation and rental companies in planning out how setup will go on the day of your wedding. For some more complicated installations, companies may need to have the space to themselves before other vendors can deliver or set up.
When a room flip crew isn’t included, it is always worth it to pay to add it on! Having your family or friends execute a room flip will take much longer and cause unnecessary stress on the wedding day.
If you’re responsible, also ask where the dumpsters and extra trash can liners are. You’ll need to have other staff or designated people from your wedding taking out trash regularly throughout the night.
If you’re planning on bringing alcohol, cupcakes, snacks, or anything else that will need to be refrigerated, be mindful of how much refrigerator space you have available!
Ask this about anything that you don’t want visible at the wedding. Including furniture you don’t love, wall hangings, etc. If you feel like you have to cover up or hide the venue to love it, you probably shouldn’t book there!
Just because a venue has bride and groom suites doesn’t mean that they’re great options for getting ready. When the bride and groom suites feel cramped, or don’t have natural light, consider other options. In this case, we recommend renting a hotel suite or Airbnb for the night before and morning of your wedding!
Hopefully your venue will provide you with a floor plan you can digitally manipulate or assist you in creating one.
Some venues don’t allow open flames, bubbles, the use of command strips, etc. Be aware of their rules while you build out your timeline and plan your decor!
Most couples want to see the venue at least once or twice more after booking it before the wedding day. They might want to show their loved ones or simply put their minds at ease. Ask how those extra walk-throughs can be scheduled!
We wish you the best of luck as you begin wedding planning, and happy venue hunting!
The Radiantly Curated Weddings Team
P.S. Looking for more tips on vendor communication? Check out this post!