Something couples might not think to do when choosing a venue is writing out your guest list before making a commitment, or at least a rough draft. Not only do couples not realize how many people they want to share their big day with until actually writing it down, they can often forget that most guests will bring a plus one. If you haven’t written your guest list yet, stop what you’re doing and read these tips first.
After writing out your guest list, it is easier to narrow down venues based on capacity. If you already have a specific venue in mind, you will need to check if they can accommodate the number of guests you are planning for. Make a list of your top choices for venues and eliminate the ones that do not fit your needs as you go.
This is also when you will want to decide on a wedding date. It can also be helpful to choose a second date in the case that your first choice is booked at your venue of choice.
Some things you will want to keep in mind to ask your venue before signing a contract are:
· What is the cancellation policy?
· Are you required to use their approved vendors?
· If not, can you bring in your own food/drink?
· If yes, will there be an additional fee?
· Does the venue staff set up and take down?
· What is the fee if you exceed the agreed upon time?
· Is it handicap accessible?
· When can vendors arrive for set up?
· What items are prohibited, such as candles?
· If you plan to have an outdoor wedding, is there a back up location in the event of inclement weather?
· What kinds of deposits are required, when are they due and are they refundable?
· Is there enough parking for your guests?
Although it can seem intimidating, sit back and relax a moment to enjoy this process! Picking your venue can be one of the most exciting parts of planning your wedding because this will be the place you will say “I do,” share your first dance as husband and wife and celebrate the beginning of a lifetime of love and happiness with your closest friends and family!