Choosing your wedding venue is one of the most important parts of planning your wedding, but choosing and booking are two different things. Booking a venue comes along with all sorts of additional tasks such as determining availability, what services are included, and what types of activities can be performed within the guidelines of the venue’s policies. Fortunately, we have put together a comprehensive guide to booking a wedding venue that should make the process as painless as possible.
It’s always a good idea to check with your venue to see what services they include with the rental. Sometimes wedding venues offer included services with your booking such as catering, entertainment, or service staff while other venues require that you hire these services yourself. In order to plan accordingly, you’ll need to know what you’re working with.
Wedding venues are a very busy establishment, so the pricing will fluctuate depending on the time of year and the day of the week you select for your wedding. Be sure to ask about the difference in rates on a weekday evening versus a Saturday night to see if you can get a better deal. Often times you’ll find that a wedding venue is considerably cheaper if you book off peak hours.
Avoid Other Events
Depending on the type of wedding venue you intend on booking, many locations book out for other types of events; even on the same day. Be sure to ask if there will be other events on the same day as your wedding because this can cause complications if you’re using the same resources. Usually everything is well-timed, but sometimes things run long and it can throw off your wedding schedule.
Policy on Alcohol
Most wedding reception venues expect there to be alcohol served, but it is always a good idea to ask about their policies at the time of booking. Even if they do allow alcohol, many venues require that you buy the alcohol through them and pay to have a bartender serve it. That can cut into the budget for your photographer to capture some great pictures.
Make sure you inquire about the restroom situation and verify that there is ample capacity for the amount of guests you’re expecting. Most wedding venues will have this well-in-hand, but it never hurts to ask in advance and avoid any possible situations on your wedding day.
If you are expecting a person with a disability to attend your wedding or reception, you want to make sure that there is proper access to the facility. Most modern buildings are required to provide this by code, but many older buildings were not designed with disability access in mind.
Check with your venue about restrictions at the time of booking. Many venues have a set time when the party needs to be over. Additionally, they may have restrictions on the use of wedding sparklers, candles, or other items during the event. This can be local law, or it can be insurance related. Either way, make sure you research ahead of time.
Most venues have limitations on how far in advance you can cancel without incurring a penalty, and some venues charge a fee for cancellation regardless of how much notice is given. Though most couples don’t expect to cancel their wedding date, unforeseen events such as a death in the family or severe weather like a hurricane can disrupt your normal plans. It’s always best to check with your wedding venue before booking so that you’re not blindsided by an expense you never saw coming.