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The To-Do List For

Preparing For The Wedding Venue Search

The cost of the wedding venue can be just as high (or hire than) footing the catering bill. A wedding venue is a place where you will be putting on your dress, conducting your wedding ceremony, hosting the reception and snap amazing photos with your wedding party during cocktail hour. With the location rental, you typically get direct access to the venue coordinator whose job is to ensure that you and your hired team of wedding vendors have everything you need from the venue. 

Before you go looking for your wedding venue, we are going to dive into your first steps you must complete before you ever pick up a phone to set appointments with potential locations your interested in. 

Step 1: Build Your Strategic & Actionable
Wedding Day Vision Board

Think about the last time you bought a new phone or car. Both products require a decent investment out of pocket so you are careful to do a little research first. You are looking for features, style options, return policies, guarantees, price point, and maybe even specs if you’re a little tetchy. 

In this case, you are looking for things like: 

Google Reviews
The Knot Wedding Reviews
Distance From Venue To Hotels With Local Activities
Distance From Hotels To Airport

Step 2: Build & Validate A Detailed
Wedding Budget

Most of the time, when I ask a couple about their wedding budget during consultation calls, I get something that sounds like this… “We are looking to stay within $20,000”. What I wanted to hear sounds something like this… “We are working with a $20,000 budget for everything, but intend to stay within $2,000 – $4,000 for our wedding planner or coach to help me work through the process. Do you have a package that you would recomend?” 

This tells me (the vendor) that you (the bride) has a clear understanding of what is going on, you know what you are capable of handling and that there is no room for negotiation on the financial terms. The vendor (if availible) will be open to working with you within your budget. For our example, my response would be something like this… “Okay, great! It sounds like you’ve got a clear picture of what you can spend on each part of your wedding. As for my packages, I do offer one-on-one coaching to work with you through the process or I have a full service package option where I would take over everything but the financial and contracting responibilities. Package A runs for $2,000 for 4 months and package B is $5,000.” 

As the vendor, I’m opening the playing field for a short (in budget) negotiation, leaning you to the coaching experience. 

Step 3: Decide On Your Ideal Wedding Venue
Through Research

Similarly to Step 2, this also involves doing research on the individual venue candidates before you pick up the phone. In this step, you will be researching the venue’s website looking for online indications to help you check off some of the following boxes. 

Event Rental Space Photos

  • Rental Price
  • Address
  • Contact Person Email Address and Phone Number
  • Recommended Vendor List
  • Outdoor Photos

Step 3: Do Your Homework On Each
Wedding Venue Candidate

I once reviewed a Barn wedding venue for a golf association, during my visit I was really impressed by the barn’s size and versitility potential for weddings, the design possibilities were endless! Walking around outside of the barn, there was a golf green far off to the left and off to the right was an untended field of overgrown weeds. The entire property was lined with tall oak and maple trees with a dirt circle driveway leading to the barn. Sounds beautiful right? They wanted $4,500 for the venue fee.

Now, let’s talk about what the venue still needed in order to host any guests on site at all. Mobile bathroom rental $2,500 fee, generators $1,000 fee, Heating Units $1,000 fee, Tables, Chairs Etc. $1,500 fee. With this in mind the TRUE cost of renting this peticular location was actually $10,000 for a rustic outdoor location with holes in the walls.

Taking each of the 4 steps into account first, you can get a grasp on the over all value of booking each venue before you ever set foot on site or speak to a venue coordinator. The style, location, cost, and convienence all play huge roles in the ending dollar amount you will be spending on your wedding. 

What was your biggest takeaway from todays post? Let’s continue the conversation in the comments below!

See you next time!


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