The big question after you get engaged is always “Where are you getting married?” or even “When are you getting married?!”
I would get soooooo flustered and upset when we were first engaged because people would ask us those questions and we were still in the early stages. But once we finally made the decision on our venue, everything felt a lot easier and a little less stressful!
While we were on the hunt for our prefect venue, Ryan and I sat down and talked about what WE wanted. Selecting a venue should be about the two of you and how you envision your perfect day. We love the beach, and we wanted to give our friends and family the experience of being where we live. However, we started to realize it just wasn’t the right fit for our day – which is totally okay!
When venue searching, we made sure to ask questions and I wanted to share some of those with you!
First thing to ask is, What dates to you have available?
Try not to be stuck on a specific date. If you’re able to be more flexible, it definitely helps!
What is your backup plan if it rains?
THIS!! This was ALWAYS Ryan’s question, and I am so grateful he would ask! It helped us eliminate venues because we visually didn’t like their backup plan!
How much is the deposit, when is it due, and is it refundable?
Get an idea of when you’ll have to make payments, can totally help with deciding your budget. And if you book your wedding over a year away, it gives you more time to pay things off! Even asking how they accept payment is SO important! If you can use a credit card without extra fees, you can get points on your credit card to help pay for things like travel for your honeymoon!
What is your cocktail hour like?
We’ve been to weddings as guests and it always breaks our hearts when there is minimal food during a cocktail hour. The cocktail hour sets the mood for the reception!
How is alcohol priced, and is there a bar minimum? Is there any additional charges for bar staff?
Some venues had a liquor license, while others didn’t. One venue we looked at had a wild cost associated for alcohol. Compared to the venue we went with. Some venues don’t have a liquor license, which sounds overwhelming! However it is actually less expensive and pretty easy! Tip: If your venue doesn’t have a liquor license, they have a vendor you can work with to deliver the alcohol. Whatever alcohol isn’t opened, you can return to the store! But make sure no one opens bottles at the end of the night, if you want to return them!
What is included in the set up of the reception?
Does this include chairs, tables, linens, silverware, table numbers, lighting, candle holders, etc.
You’d be surprised to find out what IS included with your venue that can help cut down your cost!
Who is there to help the day of?
Before you spend extra $$ on a day of coordinator or month of coordinator, find out who on staff will be there to help make your day run smoothly! We didn’t hire anyone, and honestly our venue CRUSHED it! But if you need someone to help you feel more confident the day of – its always helpful!
If it is hot out, will there be AC? Along with, if it is cold out, will there be heat?
I know, this seems silly! However, some venues charge extra for air conditioning. And the last thing you want is to be sweating on your wedding day!
Can we get ready the day of at the venue?
If your venue isn’t connected to a hotel, you’ll have to coordinate what time you have to leave for the venue post hair and makeup. Sometimes it is just easier to get ready at the venue!
Do you provide a shuttle service? Or do you have a preferred vendor for transportation?
By far my least favorite vendor from our wedding. 48 hours before our wedding we were told that we no longer had a shuttle service (long story!) and the company was having a hard time finding a backup transportation company. Then the day of our wedding the transportation “broke down” on what was supposed to be 1 of 2 shuttle runs. I highly suggest reading reviews for this one!
Before you sign a contract and place a deposit, I would definitely ask all the questions. Even if they seem silly or ridiculous!
Check out some photos from Jeff and Lisa’s Wedding at The English Manor, which is located in the jersey shore and is local to me!