Undoubtedly the biggest and usually most expensive thing you will book for your wedding is the venue. With prices ranging from $1000/day all the way up to $25,000/day, this is NOT a small expense. Not only does your venue literally set the tone for your WHOLE wedding, but also determines how your wedding day flows for you! Here are 3 things I never let my couples book a venue, without asking!
1-Are chairs/tables/linens included with the rental?
You would be shocked at how expensive chair and table rentals can be, especially when you enter the luxury rental market, make sure you ask the venue if these are included! If they are not, you are going to want to shop around your local market and price out what renting these items will be, and add that total to the booking fee of the venue, this will give you the TRUE cost of renting there!
2-Do they include clean-up/tear down?
Depending on the guest count and size of your wedding, tear-down and clean up takes time, whether it's an hour or 4. It is worth asking to see if staff/the on-site venue coordinator helps with this. If not, again you will need to either make plans with your family/bridal party to clean up and tear down after you have left your reception or hire a tear-down crew!
3- Are they flexible with set-up time & Is rehearsal time included?
Your design plan will HEAVILY depend on how much set-up time is free to your vendors/bridal party! Knowing how flexible (or not flexible...) your venue is, is crucial! It's worth asking, if you are having a Friday or Saturday wedding and there are no other events booked before yours, to ask if you can start set-up the night before! A lot of the time if there are no other events, you can do some sort of set up the night before without paying a fee! ALSO, just as important, is knowing if your contract includes a free 1 or 2 hour block the week of your wedding, to do your rehearsal! This gives your bridal party/vendors a chance to get familiar with your venue and layout plan ahead of time!
4-Are there getting ready suites on site, with good natural lighting?
This may sound trivial but ask any good wedding photographer and they will half manically explain to you how good lighting is crucial, to those dreamy and beautiful getting ready photos you see all over Pinterest! Making sure the onsite bridal suites have adequate lighting/decent enough background for your photos is really important if you are wanting sentimental photos of you getting into your dress, putting final touches on, your veil, etc...
I hope these tips make selecting your venue easier, this is no doubt such an exciting time! Enjoy the process and start planning! <3