Securing your wedding venue isn’t just a huge relief to check off your to-do list, but it sets the stage for the remainder of your planning leading up to the big day. There’s a lot that weighs on your decision, and some important questions that you need to ask before writing that deposit check.
Thus far, the recurring theme of your planning process has probably been ‘where do I start?’ and that’s normal! Luckily, when it comes to your venue, there are some basic evergreen questions that can quickly determine whether or not you should move forward.
Making sure the venue is available for your ideal wedding date (or date range) is step number one. Take note of the difference in price between the busy season and the off-season as well – if you and your fiancé are flexible with your timeline, this is good to know for your dream venue. Knowing how many guests they can accommodate also helps to map out your guest list.
Having a site visit gives you the opportunity to visualize what your wedding day will look like as well as work out logistics with your venue manager. Come prepared with a list of questions such as, how many hours are included in the reservation or if they offer any all-inclusive wedding packages and what they entail. If a venue provides any equipment or rentals, it can save you a significant amount of money and stress throughout your planning process.
Double-check that the manager will be the point-of-contact on the day of, that way you can eliminate any confusion and smooth out communication methods beforehand.
Pay Attention to Your Contract
Never assume that a venue will bend rules for your event. If there’s any fine print that could be potential deal breakers (like alcohol restrictions, hidden fees, etc.), you’ll want to discuss that before signing rather than trying to negotiate after the fact. With an outdoor wedding, make sure they have a contingency plan set in place for inclement weather, otherwise, that’ll fall on you and your fiancé to secure any back-up rentals.
Be mindful of noise ordinances and what time your curfew is. Find out who will be responsible for breaking down and cleaning up after your wedding so you can organize accordingly and avoid any additional charges.
Staying on top of everything leading up to your final venue walkthrough will ensure that any concerns or questions have been addressed, and you’ll be able to breathe a little easier knowing that you’re inching closer to the finish line!
Paulette Alkire is the Lead Wedding Planner at Chalet View Lodge. Chalet View Lodge is a full-service wedding venue as well as a boutique resort, and spa tucked in the mountains of Graeagle, California. This unique property boasts ten beautiful acres that creates the perfect private wedding oasis.