Welcome friends! If you’re reading this, then that has to mean you survived Monday, praise Jesus for that blessing, right?! So today we are chatting about your venue! Not your specific venue, but more along the lines of what you need to know when making your final decision!
What To Ask Your Venue Manager
Obviously, first and foremost is the price! I mean, let’s get real, if it’s not in the budget then there really is no point in following up with the rest of the interrogation. So, number 1, SHOW ME THE MONEY!
Now that we have established whether or not we can actually afford our dream venue, it’s onto the details. It’s so important to find out exactly what you’re getting when you rent a venue. Most venues simply provide a shell of a building and then offer rentals such as tables, chairs, decor, and even table linens. I say most, however, in some cases you are on your own and will have to line up vendors to provide all of these things- this is where I stress to you that you NEED a wedding planner (and it just so happens we have some wonderful ones in our directory)! Knowing what is or isn’t included will help tremendously when planning your budget out! Take note of the style of venue you have your eye on. Many venues these days are open canvases. If you are scouting out a venue like this and are wanting to have your ceremony and reception there, chances are you will need a divider. If your venue does not provide pipe and drape to close off your reception site, this will be another expense to add to your budget.
Time is money! Make sure you are aware of any time constraints. The venue rental may only be for four hours, or it may be for the full day. You may have to purchase extra hours in order to accomplish all the preparing you will need for your big day. This is imperative for not only yourself to know, but also your caterer, florist, baker, and band.
Next on the list is something just for you, the bridal suite. Not every venue has a space for brides and her maids to get ready, and some may even charge to use it if they do have one. Make sure you understand the details and the use conditions for the space before scheduling onsite hair and make-up. If you’re planning on having mimosas that morning, you should also make sure the venue doesn’t have any constraints or rules on alcohol. You may have to purchase directly from the venue or not be able to have alcoholic beverages until the caterer gets there that afternoon.
Depending on the location of your venue, you will want to locate guest parking. If the parking is off site, does the venue provide a shuttle service or will you have to spring for that? You will also want to scout out the restrooms, especially if there is not a bridal suite on site. The next stop is the kitchen. Do they even have one? Do they allow outside catering or do you have to use theirs? Is the kitchen a prep kitchen or a full kitchen equipped for cooking? If they do allow outside catering, these are questions you will need to know the answers to in order to adequately prepare for your menu! You should also ask if there is a fee to use the kitchen or any hidden catering fees. Probably the least glamorous item on the list is the dumpster. You will want to locate it and ask the manager who’s responsibility removing the trash from the facility is.
As a side note, make sure throughout the venue you have located outlets and that there are enough for the decor, lighting, and band/DJ you plan to use. If not, make sure you have the extension cords in tow!
Now, friend, this may be the biggest take home message of this whole post. The venue manager is NOT your wedding planner/coordinator. The manager of the venue is there to answer all of your questions, unlock the doors for you, make sure the restrooms are stocked, the kitchen equipment works, the wifi is accessible, and that everyone gets in and out at the right times. They are not going to decorate or coordinate. Don’t get me wrong, I have met many venue managers that go over and beyond for their clients and darn near coordinate the wedding. But I’m going to tell ya, that is not their job and for the sake of your big day, do not rely on the venue manager for these tasks. Que the annoying repeat… see our directory for the best wedding planners and coordinators in Mississippi!!
Wow, that was a lot to throw at ya!! But don’t you worry, we have a lovely checklist printable for ya. Just subscribe below, or if you’re already an Insider, yours is already on it’s way!! Happy Tuesday Friends!!
Check out the venues in our directory here.