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10 Things to Consider When Selecting Your

Wedding Venue

Picking your ideal farm wedding venue is a big deal. It’s expensive. It sets the tone of the whole day. When booking a wedding venue you want to make sure you get all of the information about the space so that your wedding is as magical as you have always imagined it would be. Selecting a wedding venue is one of the most important parts of the wedding planning process so you want to get it right. Nothing is more disappointing than not having your wedding venue come through on your wedding day so we thought to help we would give you a list of 10 Things To Consider When Selecting A Wedding Venue to help get the ball rolling.

  1. Can I afford this venue?  Don’t torture yourself and keep a $12,000 venue on your list when you can really only afford $2500. It’s just going to break your soul and waste your time.

  2. Is this venue available on the date (or month, or time of year) that I want? Some venues have online calendars, others you can email for rough availability. And I always recommend double-checking their availability at the site visit.

  3. Will it fit my guest list?  It is not easy to have a guest count two weeks into the wedding planning process but if you don’t have an idea of what size wedding you are going to have you will not be able to pick a venue confidently. No firm count is needed to look at venues, but one of the first questions the venue will ask a couple is how many guests you’ll be hosting. Having a rough idea of your wedding size — whether it be 60, 125 or 300 guests — will allow you to cross venues off your list without having to go look at them in person since almost every venue lists their facility size online.

  4. Does this venue’s layout/available space fit my needs? For example, if you’re doing ceremony, cocktails, and reception all in one venue, does it have three separate spaces for all of those events? Taking into account what style wedding you want will help you choose the venues you need to visit. Many couples think that they don’t need to decide on a wedding style early on, but I think it is one of the most important decisions because you might be able to save on decorations and decor if you select a venue that suits your wedding day style. It’s also important to talk through the flow of the ceremony if you’re having one there. Where is the couple kept prior to processional? Are there multiple places if they don’t want to see each other beforehand? Where do people process from? Is there a typical ceremony layout or “altar” area?    

  5. How Much Of A Deposit Is Required? Here a few important questions to ask about the financial requirements of a venue. Number one, what is the rental fee, what is included in that price and what is the refund policy. You can also inquire about a discount for a day or season that is not as popular. Second, how much is the deposit, when is it due and is any part of it refundable. And third, do they offer a payment plan. You should get ALL of this in writing so there are no misunderstandings! Also, be warned, many venues do not lock in your date until they have a signed contract and your deposit.

  6. Does this venue have any catering restrictions? Sometimes a venue makes you use one exclusive caterer (who is usually really expensive—and therefore means this venue pushes your budget too far). Other times you were dreaming of having your favorite Mexican restaurant cater your wedding, but this venue won’t allow non-traditional caterers—or they will, but at an additional cost.  Heritage Farm leaves the choice entirely up to you.  The only requirement is that they are licensed and insured.  

  7. Will It Be Too Hot or Too Cold? Couples probably have a good idea of what season they want to tie the knot, which will help to shape the wedding venue search. But don’t forget: many venues might showcase images from a beautiful season like summer on their websites, so make sure you ask to see pictures from the season you intend to get married. If the venue holds weddings in all seasons, make sure you ask questions such as, “Is there heat and air conditioning? Is there a ‘backup’ space if all of a sudden it starts to rain? If there is good lighting so that our guests will be able to see as the evening goes on?” While getting married might be one of the most exciting times in a person’s life, you also need to take into account any special accommodations your guests might need when selecting a venue. While any established wedding venue will have proper accessibility for people with disabilities, a venue that is not typically rented out as a business might not have full wheelchair access or adequate rest room facilities.

  8.  What Are the Hours of Operation? This is a very important consideration. If you envision dancing under the moonlight followed by late night snacks and more dancing, be sure the venue allows that. Some venues have noise restrictions that limit how late you can party. Others have set hours with no option for over-time while others charge a fee past a certain number of hours. Be sure you get their “Hours of Operation” policy in writing.

  9. How Close Are Overnight Accommodations? If your wedding is a destination wedding or you have guests traveling far enough that they will want to stay overnight, it’s a good idea to find out if there are enough hotels and motels in the area to accommodate everyone. Some venues like Heritage Farm provide overnight lodging onsite. It can be major problem if once you’ve booked the venue you find out that there are no adequate housing option nearby. It’s a good idea to call the local innkeepers and find out if they will provide a room block and a special rate for your guests. Most are happy to do it. Then communicate with your guests so they know their options and the date they have to book by to get the special rate and to be assured of a room at the end of the night.

  10. And finally, does this venue fit your general vibe? This is a hard one to nail down, as it’s usually a gut feeling and completely depends on the type of wedding you’re hoping to have. I do recommend you stay open to possibilities until you do a site visit. I’ve had lots of clients think they want one thing, only to visit a venue and then switch gears altogether. This is also where you should consider decor. Is the venue naturally beautiful and impressive, so it doesn’t require additional lighting or pizzazz? Or is it a blank slate that will need uplighting to warm it up, and additional decor? Take a close look at those marketing photos the venue shows you online—often they have a TON of uplighting and draping to decorate the space. Make sure you’ve either made room in your budget for that, or that you prefer the space as-is.

These are 10 important considerations when deciding on a venue, but there are many more to think about as well. So make a list of all your important questions. Access a helpful spreadsheet to help you organize here.  Write down the answers when talking to the venue owners, and don’t be afraid to ask a million questions, that is the only way you will know if the venue is right for you. Take pictures and try to visit at least one more time before making a final decision, ideally while they are setting up or hosting another wedding and/or at the time of day your wedding will be held. And one more time…GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING, read the fine print of the contract and when you make changes or updates, be sure you get an updated copy signed by the venue. Good luck and Happy Venue Hunting!

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