Choosing the wrong wedding venue for your big day can lead to some huge post-wedding regrets. To prevent those regrets, we’ve compiled a list of common mistakes couples make when narrowing down their choices of wedding venues.
Not asking about all the fees
Contact potential venues in your target area for prices before you visit—and don’t forget to ask about the details. We’ve given you a list of 15 questions to ask venue staff here, and don’t be shy about asking about charges and fees (such as an overtime fee) and what is included in the cost they are quoting you. This becomes especially relevant when comparing a venue that offers staffing versus a venue that does not. Once you factor in the cost of staffing, your prices may become equal—or it might be less expensive to go with a venue that offers staffing once you include all the costs together.
Looking at venues out of your budget
Once you’ve factored in all the costs and fees, mark off the out-of-budget venues off your ‘must see’ list—and don’t make any exceptions. Don’t risk falling in love with a place you can’t afford—or jeopardizes your future financial plans together as a couple. Do make sure that you, or someone you trusts, visit your potential wedding venue in person; don’t make this huge wedding planning decision without seeing your venue and seeing how it compares to the pictures you’ve seen online.
Don’t assume that you can hold an awesome reception until the early morning hours. Restrictions like a limit on reception hours or choice of vendors can really dampen your reception. Do your due diligence when researching your wedding venues; make it a point to ask about any restrictions or venue requirements. If you have a caterer or florist in mind, choose a wedding venue with an open vendor policy which gives you control over who you hire to provide service at your dream wedding.
Not focusing on your guests’ needs
It doesn’t matter if you’re inviting 100 or 1,000 guests to your wedding. Keep your guests’ needs at the forefront of your venue decision while still selecting a venue that matches your style. Choose venues that are handicap accessible for guests with special needs, or make accommodations for them so they can attend (i.e. a golf cart that can transport them to your ceremony or reception). Don’t forget to think about all the needs of your guests, such as parking; your guests shouldn’t have to take out another mortgage on their house to pay for parking so they can come to your wedding. If possible, choose a venue with a specified parking area just for your guests
Choosing a venue that doesn’t fit all your guests
As much as you love that cozy little venue, don’t sacrifice the comfort of your guests—or their safety in an emergency—in a venue that won’t fit everyone. Ask your preferred venue how many guests they can accommodate, and narrow your list to wedding venues that can realistically fit all of your guests.
Thinking you can take it all on (when you can’t)
Feeling overwhelmed? Consider booking a wedding venue that has an event planner on staff. With an intimate knowledge of the venue, an on-site wedding planner can help you plan the night of your dreams—and help you avoid the mistakes and post-wedding regrets.