Wedding Planning 101: Venue

 Photography: Studio 306

Photography: Studio 306

We’re back with more wedding planning tips and this week it’s all about location! The venue is where all the magic happens, so it’s important this step doesn’t get overlooked. If you are following our advice, then you have already established your wedding-day vision, right? Are you going for a glamorous chic soiree, a preppy/nautical boat club party, or a rustic and organic outdoor wedding? We encourage couples to pick a space that is consistent with their overall look.   If you haven’t defined the vision yet, then you’re not ready to pick a venue!

Not only should the venue fit in with the style of the overall wedding, but it should also be budget-friendly. {Still a little stressed out about the budget? Don’t fret. Before reading on, take a peek at our last “Weddings 101” post on budget!}

The most important thing to do when touring venues is ask the right questions. Aside from the basic “What is the room rental and food and beverage minimum?” types of questions, there are many things couples forget to ask that are crucial to nailing down the perfect venue.

Capacity is often a confusing and overstated number.  When venues quote capacities, think no dance floor, no bar set-ups and tables so tight you need to turn sideways to get through!  Ask for sample floor layouts to really see whether your wedding will “fit” within the space.

We also encourage couples to ask for a sample BEO, or “Banquet Event Order,” which itemizes every little cost that a couple would need to pay. This is a definite must before signing on the dotted line!  Don’t forget to ask about extra charges that can add a lot to the overall cost.  Is there an additional charge for auxiliary room rentals?  Does your venue charge extra for tables, linens, chairs, lighting or lounge furniture? What about AV equipment? Is there a bartender fee or bar set-up fee associated with the venue?  Do you need to rent a dance floor?  What is the parking situation for your guests?  Is security required?  After all, nobody likes those last-minute surprises {and neither does your bank account!}

There you have it, friends. Now go schedule some venue tours and blow this one out of the park! Stay tuned for our next “Weddings 101” post on catering!