During a wedding venue tour, it’s easy to get caught up in the beauty—so much so that you forget to ask about all those pesky practical details! However, those practical details are incredibly important to planning and pulling off the day of your dreams. (Just as important as actually seeing the venue. Never book a wedding venue without scheduling a tour. Sometimes online photos can be deceiving.)
While you’re absorbing and taking in all those beautiful details on your wedding tour, make sure you ask these questions and discuss the details that can make or break your wedding day.
- Is there nearby parking? How many guests can park in the lot/structure?
- How far do my guests need to walk? Is there a shuttle?
- What is the cost? (Tip: include parking costs in communications sent to your guests prior to your wedding day.)
- Are there any hotels in the area?
- Is there a public transit stop nearby? How far?
Spaces & Staff
- How many guests can your wedding venue accommodate? (Tip: have an estimated guest count before touring venues to ensure the venues are not too big and not too small.)
- Is your venue handicap-accessible? Are there any stairs my guests need to climb?
- Is there a dressing area for me and my attendants?
- Is the dressing room secure so we can store valuable items?
- Will there be a staff member on-site during my wedding? Who can I contact if I have any questions or problems?
- Can I see the restrooms? Who is in charge of monitoring and restocking the restrooms on our wedding day?
- Is there space for my ceremony?
- If so, do my guests have to wait while the ceremony site is taken down?
- If the site is outside, what is plan B in case of bad weather?
- Have other DJs/bands played here?
- Is there anything I need to pass on to my entertainer about your system?
- Can I bring in my own caterer or do I have to choose from a list or preferred vendors?
- Who do I contact about planning details? What is the best way to contact you?
- When does the contract need to be signed?
- What is your cancellation policy?
- Are there any deadlines I need to meet?
- Do you offer event planning services? Can you assist me with some or all of the planning?
Once you’re engaged (congrats!), it’s the logical question in wedding planning: “What is the first step in wedding planning? When does it need to be done?” The answer: find and book your wedding venue. Finding the right wedding venue is an important part of the process, and a step that determines many other steps of the wedding process. After all, you can’t send out wedding invites or hire a wedding caterer until you book a wedding venue.
When should I book my wedding venue?
When it comes to booking the right wedding venue, the sooner the better. At the very least, try to book your wedding venue for your date 9-12 months in advance. If you have less time before your big day, there is still hope. Use these tips to plan a wedding quickly. If your chosen wedding date isn’t available at your wedding venue, ask if another date around your chosen day is open (such as a Friday or Sunday).
How do I choose a wedding date?
Deciding on the right wedding date is also a process; it isn’t always as easy as opening your calendar and pointing. When you’re trying to coordinate your wedding date and wedding venue, you can use several different strategies to decide on the perfect special date:
- Choose a season. If you have a strong affinity for a certain time of the year, this is your chance to enjoy every aspect of it (in your décor, photo opps, invites, every themed detail!). Another advantage of choosing a wedding date during your season is that you have a long list of wedding dates to choose from. Contact your wedding venue and ask them what dates are available during your favorite time of the year.
- Ask your wedding venue what dates are available. A really special wedding venue can be a huge part of deciding on the right wedding date. If you want to hold your wedding at the venue, ask your venue what dates are open for your big day.
- Zero in on a special date. The day of your first date. Your grandparent’s wedding anniversary. If you want to hold your wedding on a special day, add this question (“do you have this date available?”) to your list of wedding venue questions and use it as a deciding factor whether to tour the wedding venue.
- Schedule your wedding date when you’re not scheduled. If you have a busy season at work, schedule your wedding for a time of year when life isn’t as stressful.
What do I do if my wedding venue is already booked on the date I want?
It happens. You contact a wedding venue you love about your chosen wedding date and they’re booked. If you have any flexibility, ask about days surrounding your favorite date (such as a Friday evening, Sunday brunch, or another weekend). A little bit of flexibility can guarantee you the venue you crave—and the first step of your wedding planning checked off (and booked so you can move on to the next detail!).