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What to Look for When Venue Searching

Updated: Jun 9, 2022

The perfect wedding all rides on one thing: the venue. Nothing sets the mood, scene, or environment more than the right venue. The hardest part of planning is knowing what to ask and what to look for.

Photo courtesy of Sarah Larae Photography

Start With the Basics

Begin discussions about what you might want out of your venue and start with a wish list of must-haves and a list of what you could let slide.

The one thing we can't leave out is a wedding planner. We know they come with a cost, but there is nothing that holds pieces of your wedding together more than a fantastic wedding planner. Local planners usually know the good and the bad, who to avoid when shopping, and who has the best prices.

Where To Start Looking

We know. There are hundreds of wedding venues with at least a hundred different options to choose from. One simple search of "wedding venues near me" will reveal that this task is more daunting than most. While you search high and low for the venue that meets your needs, it is important to have questions on hand to have all of your bases covered.

Things To Consider

In all honesty, every wedding venue we visit has something different about the way they operate. No two wedding venues are the same. All of them have different layouts, regulations, and some can even be picky about whether or not you use sparklers for exits. Do not be afraid to be the one that has an entire list of questions. Sometimes the question can be as simple as "can I bring my own caterer?"

Photo courtesy of Sarah Larae Photography

Keep Safety in Mind

COVID-19 has changed guidelines and regulations in many up-to-date wedding venue contracts, so be sure to read through every agreement thoroughly before signing on the dotted line. Something as simple as the capacity allowed to promote social distancing can be a deal breaker for many.

General Variety Questions

  • Is the venue available on the date you need it?

  • How many guests can the banquet room accommodate?

  • What are their wedding packages and what is included?

  • What other events are going on at the venue on the same day?

  • What rooms are included? Bathrooms, bridal party rooms, lounge area, cocktail area, and coatroom?

  • Do they have photographs to show you of other receptions?

  • Who is the main venue contact for day of wedding?

  • When can you start decorating?

  • Are there decorating restrictions?

  • Can the centerpieces contain candles?

  • Do they provide in-house catering? If not, do they have a preferred list of caterers?

  • What time do they allow the music to play until?

  • Do they offer payment plans?

  • What type of payment can they take – cash, check, credit card?

  • What it their cancellation policy?

  • What are the insurance requirements for you and your vendors?

  • Does the venue have its own insurance coverage?

  • Are there any photograph or video restrictions

  • Can rose petals be strewn?

Finding the wedding venue that hangs the moon and works just for you can be tricky but is also a rewarding process when you find the one that fits just right.

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