What To Ask

During Your Wedding Venue Site Visits

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Hosting weddings on business property is no cheap task for the business owner or the couple. To make level the cost of staying within legal standards to host weddings & the cost of getting found, most venue’s are priced high. This price tends to sit somewhere between $1,500 & $30,000 for a wedding budgets between $20,000 – $60,000.

To help you make the best possible decision while touring your potential wedding venues, I have listed my Top 6 Questions You Should Be Asking During A Wedding Venue Site Visit. Click on each question bar to read everything you need to know about that question so you can ask with confidence in the progress you are making.

 

When you are researching for potential wedding venues, keep in mind that there are three basic types. 

  1. Commercial Banquet Venues (Like hotels, Large Wineries & Event Only Locations Like Remodeled Castles)
  2. Private Residence / Small Business Venues (Like Small Wineries, Home Rentals, Barn Rentals, Tent Rentals)
  3. State Property Locations (Like Parks, Lakesides & Pavillians) 

Option number 1 is most likely to host many weddings on the same property, at the same time, on the same day. This works fine if neither couple intends to leave for photos & guests are in a centralized & private location to minimize interruption or confusion.

The overall price of the venue is most likely going to fall somewhere between $3,000 – $6,000 for a nice location. Before you lock down any decisions, be sure to get information on where the bathrooms are, what tables & style chairs they have as gratis (free). Consider the size of the room, additional rooms you have access to & any outdoor property you can utilize for your event.

When you are talking with a venue coordinator about what they have for you to use, be sure that you are getting a clear answer if the item is gratis or not. If not, the chances are pretty great that the venue is getting paid to be a middleman for the transaction, which means you are getting charged a higher transaction fee over all. Simply ask if they receive a commission on their outsourced items & if so, how much & are you able to get your own items elsewhere. 

Depending on the venue’s local county, there may be some serious time constraints on your wedding capabilities. If the venue has come to an arrangement with the local residences to host weddings, they are likely restricted on time to some degree. For most, this may simply be music off (or “quiet time”) at midnight & your hired team has access to build the wedding starting at 8:00 am. 

Some places however may be much stricter. For example, here in Traverse City, Michigan there is only 3 wineries out on the Old Mission Peninsula that are permitted to have weddings at all. On top of this rule, each venue must shut down with vendors & guests gone by midnight or 1 am at the latest. During which time, the wedding needs to be dissassembled & taken away the same day. 

Many venues will provide you with a list of vendors they have worked with previously. Please consider that for most of these locations, the number of vendors they have actually worked with is far higher than what you see. If the venue is a banquet hall, you may be restricted on what vendors you can bring in. Not having this luxury doesn’t always work out as the most budget savy planning method, the venue is getting paid for the vendors to work & you are paying a high price for the space rental. 

One acception to this is the catering being restricted. Unless the food is aweful, (& I’m assuming it isn’t) is often a restriction based on the vendor. This has far deeper reasons depending on the venue & it’s peticular set of legal rules & or licensing restrictions. 

If all else checks out, you loved the location, loved the esthetic design, felt good communicating with the coordinator & the price is not an issue, then & only then ask for availible dates. This question is paramount to your negotiation process. Asking for a specific date tells that venue that you are willing to pay a higher premium for the specific date rather than fill a spot where they are completely vacant. Not only can you leverage this in a price negotiation, but you get to see where their price points actually shift. 

Are they less on Friday or Monday’s rather than Saturday’s or Sunday’s? Is it busier in the Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter?

After your venue site visits are complete, your job is to look over your notes for each one, look back at the pictures you took & consider all aspects of what you found out during your time on site. Making the best possible decision starts with evaluating where you are now, where you want to be, & understanding exactly what you need to get you there. Then you will have the answers to what you need from your ideal wedding venue, one that will have the price & check many more boxes for free on your shopping list. 

What was your biggest ah -ha! moment from today’s mini-training? I would love to continue the conversation in the comments below! 

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This powerhouse program is for bride’s ready to make a difference in their wedding experience & have a lasting impact on their guests.

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