Post # 1
I am looking for a new venue. I was not completely happy with the old one and i want to make sure I don’t make the same mistake again.
Do you have a list of questions I should ask? I want to make sure i’m prepared and practical.
Thank you all!
Post # 3
I’m actually in the same boat as you. I can’t offer any advice.
Post # 4
Honestly, I went through a lot of those “Top 25 Q’s You Should Ask Your Venue” articles online, copied and pasted all the questions, and deleted duplicates. I printed them out and left space to write in answers. I did research beforehand to try and fill in as much as I could, but I also wrote down answers while we were speaking with all these representatives from different venues. I’d suggest you do the same!
But the coordinator from the venue we chose suggested some really good questions to ask other venues:
– How do you let guests know what time to leave? Do you turn up the lights or clear off the tables before the guests leave?
– How long do the guests have to clear the premises when the event is over?
– Do you allow shots?
Obviously he suggested them because our venue allows you to linger a bit, they don’t turn up the lights, and they allow shots.
Our revealing question was a little more “personal,” but I am sure you could find something similar to ask:
“Can we bring in our own homebrew?”
My FI homebrews occasionally (by no means an expert), and wanted to brew something for our wedding.
The answers were very revealing. No one wanted to say “no,” so we got a wide range of weird excuses. Our venue was actually the only one who said “Sure, why not?” We liked that they were so willing to accomodate us.
I’d suggest asking something similar – even if you don’t plan on doing it. Say you bake pies, or your FI wants to bring in a particular drink they don’t offer. Just ask the question, and write down the answer pretty much verbatim.
Oh! Last thing I suggest – this really helped us a lot. Bring some extra paper with you and make a “pros” and “cons” list after your visit. We took turns and made individual lists, so we could see who liked what. After we met with someone, we sat in the car in the parking lot and wrote up the lists for about 15 minutes. We did “pros” first, and then the “cons” to help get us a little more grounded and a little less excited.
Post # 5
@CakeyP: thank you so much! I’m worried I’ll fall in love with a particular venue and forget about the price of chair covers etc. I will definitely do the pro and con list!
Post # 6
My big questions were:
Am I tied to any particular vendors or can we bring in whoever we want?
Is the venue open to the public for any portion?
How many weddings do you do here a day?
How much of the place will I have access to? (Related: where can I have cocktail hour vs. dinner vs. reception vs. ceremony?)
Will there be staff here if something goes wrong during the wedding (and for things like stocking bathrooms, etc.)?
If you’re cost sensitive, do I have to have a dance floor installed or can I use the regular floor?
And the overarching: what is included for the price?
Also really think about things that matter to you uniquely; the vendor person will probably already present you with a big portion of the information upfront, especially the costs and what is included, but those little quirky things they won’t know to volunteer, like the homebrew thing. Mine was “can I bring in a cake person” because I really wanted a particular baker.
TBH, picking a venue was relatively low stress from the “shopping” perspective…I didn’t find it particularly stressful or energy-consuming (just in the trigger-pulling) and I feel like there is some pressure off in that there aren’t really “options” like there are with catering and cake and dresses and whatnot. Mostly you like it or you don’t, and you can afford it or you can’t, there are often only very limited things that can be tweaked. I would just go, relax, have fun, and take in the atmosphere of the place. Really see if you feel comfortable and happy in the space. I think that’s the most important, details can even be hashed out later when you have some top picks.
Post # 7
Here was what was included on my spreadsheet:
Day of Person?
On avg. how many events on Sat. night?
How many Hours
Cost Addtl’ hours
# of bars?
# of Courses
Late Night Snack
Add ons- through who?
Proximity to Hotels