Looking for venues is such an exciting moment in the wedding planning process. It's the moment when you finally feel like a bride and when this whole wedding thing starts to become truly real. But choosing a venue is probably the most important decision you will make—It's the backdrop of the entire day and will set the tone for everything else that follows. As you're touring venues, be sure to keep a notebook on you to take notes, and always ask these five questions.
What is included in the price?
Some venues have an all-inclusive package that can include everything from the food to the photographer, while others offer these a-la-cart services or even none at all. Make sure you have a clear notion of exactly what is included in the price they give you. All venues are different, especially when it comes to their pricing, so something that seems to be in your budget could actually be way out of it. Price everything out before getting your heart set on one place!
What dates do you have available?
When my husband and I got married, we wanted to do it on our 10-year anniversary (which, lucky for us, happened to be on a weekend). Although we were looking at venues over a year in advance, there were some places that already had our date booked. For us, the date was the most important factor of the day, so we quickly let those go. If you feel the same, or even if you have a specific month in mind, be sure they have that timing available beforehand.
Are there minimum guest counts?
We often hear of places that have a maximum guest count, but did you know that many venues also have a minimum guest count? If you're looking to have a small, intimate wedding, make sure that this isn't the case for the venues you are touring. The same is true for those with a huge guest count—and take note: just because the venue says they can fit 300 people, doesn't mean they can fit them comfortably. Take a good look at the space and make sure it's actually big enough for everyone to dance, mingle, and enjoy themselves.
Is there a list of approved vendors?
Do you have your heart set on a florist you want to use? Make sure your venue allows them. A lot of venues have a list of vendors that you are allowed to work with, meaning you can't pick any vendors not on that list. Always know what your options are for vendors outside of the event space before booking a venue.
Who will we be working with?
This one may be the most important question of all. The person who gives you a tour of the space isn't always the person you will be working with throughout the wedding planning process. Your point of contact at your venue is someone you will be speaking with a lot. Not only that, but they will also be the one there on your big day making sure everything goes smoothly, so make sure you know who they are! If they aren't giving you the tour, ask to set up a time to meet them in person—if you don't like the wedding coordinator at the venue, you could be in for a rough ride!
Style Me Pretty Contributor - Jessica Tzikas is a freelance writer, editor, and content manager from South Florida, who recently moved back to the sunshine state after living in Philadelphia for the past few years. When she isn't writing, you can find her reading by the beach, spoiling her black lab, and exploring nearby towns with her new husband.