Your Wedding Venue Checklist
While you’re planning your wedding, you’re likely drowning in the details and options. Was there a company that you wanted to cater? Did your cousin offer to make your wedding cake? How do you feel about table cloths of the accent color? If you’re not interested in planning small details, you could hire a wedding planner, but you could also help yourself out by choosing a venue that will give you everything from the officiant to the take-down after the reception for one flat rate. While you search for wedding venues, keep in mind the following must-haves to make your life easier—during planning and the event itself.
License to Serve
Why do people attend weddings? To celebrate the union of the couple they know and love, of course, but also, for the party. Having a reception is not just fun for you and your new spouse—it’s also a great, memorable time for your guests. While this doesn’t always include an open bar and endless food, most weddings will at the very least have a champagne toast to commemorate the new couple’s commitment. While searching for a venue, make sure that you are clear about the policy for alcohol and glass. While most traditional wedding venues will be used to hosting events with alcohol, there are certain outdoor wedding locations that you should double check.
While this seems like a given, you’d be surprised how often people will misjudge the amount of individuals on their guest list. Booking a tiny saloon for what ends up turning into a 300-person guest list is a recipe for distress. It’s always a good idea to find out what the venue’s max capacity is as well as how many people can comfortably fit. Use the “comfortable capacity” number when booking your venue, and even then, make sure there is wiggle room between the comfortable capacity and your starting guest list. Just remember that guest lists have a bad habit of growing all the way up to the day of the wedding.
If you are in love with your mother’s cooking, and must have it in your wedding, make sure that your venue will accept food from another place. Many wedding venues have deals with local caterers, and will need to honor those agreements. If this happens with your perfect venue, it might be worth considering their caterer. Make sure, though, that you schedule a tasting before you commit.
Potential for Creative Expression
A wedding planner will generally be able to make something out of nothing, but it is always helpful if they have control over what they’re working with. Creative license in event planning is fun for any wedding planner, and various wedding venues will allow more or less of this. This is another great reason to bring your wedding planner with you when you start visiting potential venues. While you might walk into a venue and see mediocre-looking empty space, an experienced wedding planner might see a space full of potential.