You've said yes to a wedding date, you've said yes to your bridal party, and you have begun compiling your guest list, but it's now time in the process to pick a venue. Where do you even begin? Don't worry, we've got you covered!
What season are you looking to get married in?
Determining what season you're planning on getting married in will help you to create the aesthetic and mood you are looking for. If you are having a classy black tie wedding in the winter, you may choose to have your wedding inside a banquet hall, hotel, or indoor event space. A summer bride looking for an outdoor wedding may opt for a barn wedding venue or a beach wedding. Beginning with a season will help you to narrow down the type of venue to search for.
How many people are you having attend your wedding?
The size of your guest list will help you to choose a venue that will comfortably allow for all your guests without feeling like the space is too big or too small. Looking for a venue that fits within the parameters of your guest list ensures that you have the appropriate amount of space WITHIN your budget. Larger venue spaces tend to cost more, so make sure you aren't paying for extra space that won't be utilized.
Determine your budget early on.
One of the last things that you want to do is tour a venue, fall in love with the space, and find out that the venue is WAY over your budget. Decide the range of your budget even before touring a venue so that when you do go to view the space, you won't have to worry about staying in budget. This way when you tour the venue, you'll be able to enjoy the searching process and will be able to envision your big day.
Questions you'll want to have with you when booking a venue.
Frantically running around on wedding day is the last thing a bride wants to be doing on such a special day, so we have put together the top most forgotten about questions to ask that you'll want to have with you when booking a venue. We have asked our vendor friends to help us out to give you the most helpful tools to put your mind at ease and make this a fun and enjoyable process.
If catering is included........
We've compiled a list of answers directly from vendors so that you can gauge a bet†er idea of some answers to your questions:
How many wedding packages do you have to choose from at your venue?
Some of our responses were from....
@ROOTS Catering and Cafe
What are things you don't allow at your venue?
Kids!!! (J.K. But for real though)
What percentage of the time do couples have to use Plan B?
20%. Usually in the late fall with wet months.
What are the common add-on fees that couples forget to ask about?
Is there an additional cost for having a couple's ceremony at your venue too?
No. This is included in the price.
Is scheduling a tasting always important?
Tastings are important because it is an opportunity for the client or couple to connect directly with their catering sales manager and have a personalized experience to fine tune their menu by sampling various items, viewing the ways they will be served, previewing rental items and going over any details specific to their event.
What's the most budget friendly option? Buffet? Stations? Plated?
Buffets are typically your most budget friendly option as they do not require as much on-site labor to efficiently manage your catering services. Stations and plated dinner are much more labor intensive, therefore, increasing the cost of your overall catering service.
Do I (client) supply the plates, silverware, etc or does the caterer?
While the client can provide their plates, utensils and glassware, we can provide all the items for the client or coordinate rental orders through various rental partners! Having your caterer coordinate your rentals, streamlines your planning process as they can combine contracts and invoices.
What's a food option that's memorable for guests after the wedding? I want something that my guests will remember!
Late night bites are a great way to commence the evening before your guests send you off! This is a great opportunity for the couple to personalize their favorite snack, go-to item or a memory of a great date they had (i.e. pretzels & beer cheese at a baseball game from their first date or food from their hometown like a mini Philly cheesesteak).
When do we need to send our final guest count?
We ask for your final count two weeks prior to your wedding!
How do tips work? Do we tip the catering staff? Are tips built in?
We do not include gratuity in our catering contracts, nor is it required of our clients. It is always appreciated if a client chooses to do so and will be evenly divided between all on-site catering staff members.
Are there extra costs that tend to come up with catering that people don't plan for?
When creating your catering budget, it is important to consider that labor, china, flatware, glassware, any additional rentals and the service charge contribute to roughly half of the overall catering bill.
How many hours before my event do you like to be on site for set up?
We will typically arrive 2 hours before your event begin to set up.
Thank you to Overlook Barn, The Andrews Farm, Hospitality Butler, and ROOTS Catering and Cafe for your help in creating this guide!
April is a professional violinist and the music coordinator for Dean's Duets.