Venue Tour Tips
Expert Advice on Booking the Wedding Venue of Your Dreams
One of the very first things on a newly engaged couple’s to-do list is booking the wedding venue. With so many different options available, it’s important that you do your research and ask plenty of questions to ensure you are picking the perfect space for your wedding vision (and budget). Below are a few expert tips and tricks to help you on your journey to finding the wedding venue of your dreams!
Step One: Do Your Research
Although it’s tempting to fill your calendar with appointments to see different venues, it’s important that you do your homework to narrow in on the top spaces that fit your aesthetic, budget and expected guest count. We recommend creating a spreadsheet to keep all of your wedding venue facts in one handy place. This spreadsheet can include information such as location, capacity, unique features, onsite catering, parking, etc. Once you have developed a list of your favorite wedding venue candidates, you’ll want to make sure they have availability for the date, month or season that you’re hoping to get married.
Step Two: Book Appointments
We know you’re probably SO excited and want to go on a wedding venue tour marathon, but we strongly suggest calling ahead to set up appointments rather than just stopping by. Many venues are by appointment only, and others may be private mansions or museums that serve other functions than just weddings. When you do call to arrange a wedding venue tour, you’ll likely get asked a few questions from the sales team so they can give you the most applicable information during your visit. You’ll want to have an idea of your:
● Wedding date or season: if you are unsure, you’ll want to know at least what day of the week you’d like (are you only open to Saturdays? Perhaps a Friday or Sunday?)
● Approximate guest count: you can provide a range, but you’ll want to know roughly how large your crowd will be to see if you will comfortably fit in the space.
● Ceremony location: many venues offer ceremony space, so it is helpful to know if you plan on tying the knot in an alternate location, such as a church, outdoor park, etc.
Step Three: Bring Your Tour Toolkit
Does such a thing exist!? Now it does! It’s important that you are prepared with the right questions and supplies so you can make the most out of your wedding venue tours. Each venue has its own unique set of policies and amenities, so be sure to take detailed and organized notes so that you are able to clearly distinguish each one. Below are some items we recommend having in your wedding venue tour toolkit:
● Notebook and pen or digital tablet: during your visit, write down the information provided and confirm all details you recorded are correct before departing. This ensures you have understood things clearly because there are a LOT of details provided in a wedding venue tour. Also, take note of the person who gave you the tour and their contact information in case you have additional questions for them.
● Camera: have a camera or phone at the ready to take photos and videos of the space. It will be beyond helpful when you are trying to remember which venue is which! We also recommend following your prospective wedding venues on Instagram, so that you can visualize what other weddings looked like in the space.
● Questions: obviously, right! Don’t be afraid to ask ALL the questions - write them down in your notebook and get them answered as you go. Here are a few of our most frequently asked wedding venue questions:
○ What is the facility rental fee? What is included with that cost?
○ How long is my rental time? Is it possible to add hours? What is the cost?
○ Is there a promotional rate for off-season weddings? Fridays? Sundays?
○ Are there getting ready spaces for the wedding party?
○ What are the parking, transportation and nearby accommodation options?
Do you feel ready for your next wedding venue tour? Use this guide to ensure you have the best experience possible. Check out some of Minnesota's best wedding venues here. Happy planning!