Post # 1
- Wedding: Lombardi's On the bay
Good morning Bees!!
This coming Saturday I have two wedding venue tours scheduled. I am extremely nervous since it’s my first time and have no idea what to expect. Can anyone give me a typical tour run through? Alot of the questions I had were answered in the emails they sent me so, at the very least, that’s one less thing to worry about.
Also, how many venues did you guys visit before making a decision?
Post # 2
We looked at about 8 before making a decision.
I would just say don’t let anyone be pushy. People were understanding when we told them we just started looking and were still figuring out what we liked. People showed us the space, answered our questions, and walked us through pricing options. They asked us how many people, about our ceremony, when we might like our wedding to be.
It was pretty simple and quick. Just relax and enjoy it! It’s fun to look at venues even if you don’t end up choosing them. Once we thought we found the one we scheduled a second visit to look more indepth and talk more specifically about what we wanted.
Also, don’t worry about not picking venues. After the site visits I barely had any of the staff or coordinators follow up with me regarding out decision. I didn’t have to worry about telling anyone we weren’t interested.
Post # 3
happilyeverafter29: Venue shopping was my favorite part of wedding planning so far! Have fun with it 🙂
If you have any more questions you can think of, I would come to the venue with a list of those questions. We had an entire checklist made up of questions to ask venues. Depending on what the venues offer, most of our venues gave us a tour of the place and then sat down with us to talk about pricing options, to show us menus, and to go over the alcohol offered at their venue.
I think we visited 6 or 7 venues. After we saw the first one, we kind of knew it was it. We obviously looked at a handful more, but nothing compared. We probably would have booked viewings with more venues, but we were looking while home over vacation and had to go back to school!
Post # 4
happilyeverafter29: Typically they have a shpeal they will run through while they take you to each room, they will go over how it will be set up, and run through the day as if you are planning on getting married there. They will answer a lot of your questions, but I would still make a list of questions you want answered, like how long are you allowed at the venue, does it include set up and tare down, do they run multiple weddings in a day, do they charge if you go over your time…there were a lot more questions we came up with. It was also super helpful to have my mother go with my FI and I. He and I were in our own little world that we just went with everything the venues said, while my mother was the one asking all the budget and detailed questions which was really nice.
We looked at about 6 venues before we made up our mind. I am super budget concious, and even though there were a lot of beautiful places, I wanted something that would be in or under our budget, that accomodated the number of guests we came up with, that had catering on site (with the kind of food we were looking for, becuase my FI does not like typical wedding food), and had accomodations for our out of state guests.
It does get overwhelming but if you stick with a plan of what you want then you will find the right place. It is supposed to be fun so don’t let the stress of it get in the way. Let me know if you have questions on what we asked the venues and I will be happy to share more. 🙂
Post # 5
- Wedding: Lombardi's On the bay
Thank you guys so much! Im feeling better already. @msvintagect I hope the venues I chose don’t follow up after we visit. it must be really awkward to have to turn it down. @crackktheskyy 6 or 7 venues isnt bad. Right now we have three booked to view. Im hoping we fall in love with one of those. @kendrao I didnt even think about the set up and break down being included in the hours they gave us via email!! I’ll have to make sure to write up additional questions. 🙂
Post # 6
- Wedding: September 2013 - Pavilion at Rocky Neck State Park
We only saw two and ended up picking the second one. There aren’t a crazy number of venues in the area we were looking for (within a 45 minutes- 1 hour of my home town).
Also if you wanted to have your ceremony in the same place (some venues have the outdoor space for it) ask if there is a ceremony fee.
Ask if they provide the catering there or if you have to book your own (ask about the cake too).
As weird as it sounds ask about bathrooms. You don’t want one bathroom per gender if you are having a lot of people coming.
Post # 7
- Wedding: Lombardi's On the bay
@mandyhartwell another thing i didnt think about; bathrooms! thanks!!!
Post # 8
happilyeverafter29: Yea, while you think some places will allow a full 6 hours, sometimes that includes the set and and tare down and you are stuck with only 4. Ask them about cake cutting fees, non-alcoholic beverages, and if they include champagne toast, some will add another fee onto all of these and don’t tell you. Also, some will show samples of reception set ups with chair covers and overlays on the table, but those linens are an additional cost as well and can be pretty pricey.
If you are on a budget, one thing we did was look at all the venues, wrote down the prices, food and beverage minimums, and tax and service charge, went back home and added it all up. Tax really makes a difference, you can end up paying over $2,000 just in tax for some of the venues.
Post # 9
happilyeverafter29: Try to get a sense of how flexible they are, different rules that exist, how much they help out with planning or day of. I had one place that you had to be done by 10pm, which didn’t work for us. The venue we picked is beautiful, but also very flexible, we can go as late as we want, they allow open flames, they assign us a coordinator (who’s been super helpful), a lot of little things make a difference in the end, not just the look of the place.
Post # 10
Kendrao: what venue did you pick? My fiancé and I are looking to cater our own food too
Post # 11
Just remember that you should always try to negotiate for a lower price. I didn’t realize at first that things can be negotiated to a degree.
I only visited a total of 3 places. However, I’ve communicated via e-mail to multiple areas. I lost count. Here are some of the questions that we discussed when I was looking at venues.
- How many hours do we have the venue for? When does that time begin? Some places include the ceremony time as when the wedding begins and some places start the count down at the beginning of cocktail hour.
- What is the cost for each additional hour?
- What time does the reception have to end?
- Set-up and break-down details. Who is responsible for what? My venue states that their service people will do all of the set-up and break-down responsibilities with the exception of any decor that the wedding party brings in.
- Are there any restrictions on decorations? My venue doesn’t allow open candles unless it’s inside some sort of votive
- Is a dance floor available to rent? What is the cost?
- Are there any restrictions on vendors (e.g. photographer, catering, dj, etc.)
- Cake-cutting & corkage fees?
- What do you provide? What do you not provide? I find this question to be a final catch-all type of thing.
- Outside of the base price, taxes, and gratuity, are there any other fees?
- What are the bar packages available and can the packages be modified to suit our needs? The same question can be asked about catering if you are required to use the facility’s caterer.
- Is there a children’s menu available?
- What vendor meals can you provide? If you are required to provide a meal to your photographer or dj, try to see if there’s a vendor meal option so you don’t have to fork over the full amount it costs to feed each person.
- Are there restrictions on sparklers? We’re not doing sparklers since our venue is a hotel, so I don’t want to do the grand exit since I’ll be coming back to the hotel. But it doesn’t hurt to ask. Normally, venues will ask that you provide something that will put the sparklers out or that you are responsible for disposing the sparklers yourself.
- Ask to visit the bathroom stalls. If you have a lot of guests, I’m sure they’ll appreciate a venue where there are multiple stalls or multiple bathrooms. My venue appeared to have a one person per bathroom (for each gender). However, I was told that there are several bathrooms located throughout the building. It’s not as convenient as having a lot of stalls in one area, however, that’s better than just having one stall.
Hope I was helpful. Best of luck with your venue search!