When you’re touring venues, there are a lot of things to consider. You’ll have a list of questions to ask, will be taking photos, and may be overwhelmed by the excitement. Plus, if you’re visiting more than one a day, they may all run together. But there are 5 key factors you need to take note of on your venue tour if you want a flawless reception.
While the location itself has to fit your theme and vision (rustic, industrial, urban, nautical, etc.), there are other aspects about the location that you should consider. For instance, how close are the nearest guest accommodations? Are there scenic spots nearby for your wedding photos? How far is it from your ceremony venue? Answering these questions on your venue tour will make the day of your wedding more seamless and stress-free.
You’ll want to go into your venue tour with a budget in mind, but the base number you’re presented with may not be the same as what you see on the bill. A venue may sound affordable at first, but then you realize that tables, chairs, and linens aren’t provided in that price. That’s a huge hit to your budget! Also, find out if you’re expected to use vendors from their preferred list and whether they require a minimum number of guests.
Your wedding day is one of the most intimate and personal moments in your life. Therefore, take note of how private the venue is. Are there other banquet halls within the space that may also be rented out that weekend? Will there be any renovations going on? The last thing you want is a construction crew down the hall or sharing the parking lot with another party. Similarly, if you’re getting married in a more public spot – like a park, garden, or hall – you’ll want to speak with the coordinator about ensuring privacy.
Parking & Traffic
Parking is something a lot of couples forget to consider when touring their venues. However, neglecting to prepare for any issues can cause a lot of stress on your wedding day. For instance, most barns have a grassy parking lot, which can turn to mud if it rains (not great for heels!). If you’re getting married in the city, your guests may have to search for street parking or pay a fee in a lot. Ask about the number of parking spots available, handicap spots, and valet service. You should also note traffic patterns around the time of your wedding. You don’t want anyone showing up late!
Management and Staffing
While on your venue tour, be sure to note where the coat check and restrooms are located and take a look inside. Are the bathrooms clean and well-stocked? Is the trash emptied and are the soap dispensers full? Throughout the rest of the space, are there any burnt out light bulbs or weird smells? You’ll want the venue staff to be attentive and proactive on your wedding day, so it’s important to see what condition they keep the space in. Ask if you can visit when the space is preparing for another event so you can see how the staff is dressed and how the space looks all dressed up.
We recommend tour at least three venues to be sure of your style and aesthetic. Try to schedule the visits all in one weekend so you can compare them while they’re clear in your mind. Touring around the time of day you’ll host your wedding is ideal, too, as it will give you a clear idea of natural lighting and traffic patterns.