10 Tips for a Great Wedding Venue Visit, Part 2
The Mansion at Forsyth in Savannah, Georgia
Last week, we talked about the first of the five tips for a great wedding venue visit. This week, we’ll round up our last bit of tips that will help you choose a wedding reception or wedding ceremony location with ease and confidence.
Become a complete space cadet. One of the most important features that makes your potential site a viable choice is its ability to accommodate all of your guests. You will want to inquire into how many guests can comfortably fit at the venue, because size matters. Can you have the ceremony and reception at the same place? Are there options for inclement weather? If there are tenting options for outdoor weddings due to space or weather concerns, how much extra is this option in addition to the costs of the rental? Some venues will require you to book an additional space as your backup—be prepared to factor this into your budget when comparing costs later. If there are multiple rooms at the venue, ask how many other events are booked on your wedding day.
Gain absolute clarity on the role of your “coordinator”. Many venues erroneously give their on-site catering manager or coordinator the misnomer of “wedding coordinator”. This gives most brides the impression that their “venue comes with a coordinator”. In most cases, this is true and false, and causes much stress and frustration for those on-site coordinators who deal with questions that they cannot and should not deal with. The coordinator is on hand to answer your questions in terms of your wedding ceremony and or reception, not the entirety of your wedding. Some on-site coordinators do not stay at the wedding the entire time to execute or oversee, so these will be questions you will want answers to prior to booking your venue. If their duties are limited, ask for recommendations for wedding coordinators that can work with you on a day-of-wedding level.
A matter of convenience. Since you and Mr. Fabuluxe know your guest list the best, consider your guests in your decision. How large is the parking lot? Is their a fee for valet parking? How far is parking from the venue? Take note of the number of restrooms and their locations– compute if it will be convenient for your guests. If there are only two stalls in the bathroom, your guests will spend more time in line than at the wedding reception. If you have elderly or handicapped guests, make sure that the exits are easily accessible, with ramps, if necessary. If your venue is a resort, ask if there is shuttle or cart service to get guests to the main hotel areas.
Is there room at the Inn? Ask ahead if there is a changing or private room for you and your groomsmen if you will have your wedding ceremony there as well. When planning your timeline, having an onsite room will be most convenient for you. If it doesn’t, it gives you notice to pad your travel time in the the wedding day timeline. This room could also be a perfect hideaway if you would like a private moment with your new husband in the midst of the festivities.
Don’t Go Solo. Have your fiance, maid/matron of honor, parents or wedding planner attend your venue visit with you. It is good to have a second opinion—especially if you are madly in love with a specific venue. Another person’s point of view will help you see things you had not or considered.