Have you ever toured a home that was for sale just because? I KNOW I HAVE! What is it about snooping in where someone else has made memories and a life that we just want to see?
Human nature kicks in and I think we all, if we are honest, at one time have snooped where we should not have. I think of the best parts of searching for wedding venues is being able to take a look around. See what each space has to offer, and then asked. Can I see myself here?
Besides all the FUN it is to venue shop. There are 5 important questions, every searching couple needs to ask!
ASK TO SEE THE CONTRACT.
This may seem like common sense, but take time to read it at home when you are not distracted by the view. There may be stipulations that just wont work with you and your event. If you can send a copy to your wedding planner, DO IT. They will be able to read through things and help guide you to the next questions. This may even save you time AND money!
ASK WHEN THE PARTY HAS TO END.
Make sure to get in writing the time that every personal item has to be out of the rented space once the event is over. There are TWO things I want to bring up here. One, a longer night creates a longer day of drinking for your friends, and usually if the night is too long there is more to handle at the end of the night than just finding an Uber home. Second, define what "end time" means to the venue. Does that mean the time everything and person has to vacated? Or does that mean last call and last song? This makes a HUGE difference to the vendors that you may chose to work with you on your big day and this question clarification will allow you to give your contributing vendors accurate information for the proposals they will be sending you. No one likes surprise fees!
ASK TO SEE WHERE THE ELECTRICAL OUTLETS ARE.
Probably, at the time of your initial visit you may not even be close to thinking of details this small. But, there will be plenty of logistical things that solely depend on your power sources. That perfect layout may not be as perfect with a large extension cord running through the middle. Ask, make a mental note and even write it down for reference.
ASK ABOUT ONSITE MANAGEMENT DURING THE EVENT.
Most wedding venues may have a designated event coordinator onsite to make sure the doors are locked up at the end of the evening. But, there are plenty of venues that we create into wedding dreams that do not have this staffing option. This can cause a lot of headache if things are not where they are supposed to be upon your arrival. There are plenty of times an extra table or chair is needed last minute and if your wedding planner does not have access to the storage of these items it can cause a big nightmare over a small thing. If the venue of your dreams does not provide a onsite event coordinator, tell your wedding planner as soon as you can. They will help you navigate the needs of this space and help book professional vendors who will be well worth the investment!
ASK ABOUT RESPONSIBILITY OF SET UP AND TEAR DOWN.
Most venues will want to tell you all the options their day of pricing includes. But, just having access to chairs and tables does not mean it wont be a ton of work to use these all inclusive items. Ask if the venue not only provides the those items but ALSO sets up and tears down. If your venue includes this service; you have a great start. If not, make sure to speak with your wedding planner about what options you may have. Their expertise on the logistics of your big day will be invaluable to you.
There are always things that may come up when visiting your wedding venue. So don't be afraid to ask questions! Even after your initial visit, follow up and get things in writing from any wedding vendor or venue. This could save you a lot of stress later on!