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Must Ask! Venue Selection Edition

February 4, 2019

Venue Selection - Wedding Planning

One of the many benefits of hiring a full-service planner, is the ability to tap into the vast knowledge he or she has from years of wedding and event experience. You walk hand-in-hand throughout the entire planning process knowing that all of your questions will be asked, all details will be addressed and you will have peace of mind that nothing will fall through the cracks.

While it is amazing to have someone with you the entire time, we totally understand that it’s not in everyone’s budget to hire a full-service wedding planner. Knowing that, we wanted to start a new blog series called, Must Ask! Each month we are sharing five important questions to ask a specific vendor before hiring him or her. We have been a part of countless weddings and have curated an extensive list of questions to ask each vendor. Our goal with these questions is to feature ones that are often overlooked, often not thought about and often things you wish you knew in retrospect. Since engagement season just happened, we are starting with 5 Must Ask Questions during your venue selection.

What is included in the room rental cost?

Asking about the room rental rate is a given. The key here is asking what is included in that rate. This is also the point where comparing venues can get tricky. Many full-service venues have higher room rental rates, but include tables, linens, chairs, votives, etc. Many of the “space only” venues, as we like to call them, have a lower rental rate. They may just include the space or they may include the space and some tables and chairs, but you are on your own for everything else, which can add up! Up front, a full-service venue may seem like more, but can save you money in the long run on linens, napkins, centerpieces, etc.

What is the maximum guest count that fits comfortably in the venue?

Comfortably is the KEY word here! You can pretty easily find the max guest count during your initial venue selection search, but more often than not, that number is close to the capacity. Always ask how many guests fit comfortably in the space during your venue tour.

Is there parking and what are the costs?

If you are looking at venues in an urban or downtown area where parking is a premium, always ask about the options! You want your guests to easily (and relatively cheaply) navigate parking. You don’t want to kick-off the reception with having upset guests. Ask the venue about how they handle parking. Is valet an option and how much does it cost? Is there a parking garage close and do they validate tickets? If there is onsite parking, how many spots are there? Will there be enough for all of your guests? All things to think about!

How do you handle tastings?

During your venue selection process, be sure to ask about tastings if there is onsite catering. Many venues have set days and hours dedicated to tastings that may not be the most convenient for you and your significant other. Also ask if they are private or group tastings and how many people can join!

What is the tax & service charge?

Always ask about the tax and service charge fee. Usually it’s an added fee to the bottom line that isn’t mentioned during the tour and it can quickly add up! Tax is pretty standard across the board, but the service charge can range greatly in terms of the percentage and what it covers. Be sure you understand the bottom line numbers!

Hopefully these must ask questions help with the venue selection process! If you need any assistance selecting venues, feel free to reach out!

Photo: Juliana Tomlinson Photography

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