Beginning the process of touring venues is exciting! It’s probably your first big step in your wedding planning process and oftentimes couples are eager to get started right away. We frequently meet with couples that have been engaged for a matter of days and while they are early in the process, it’s important to think about a few key factors before choosing your venue. (You could tour without knowing this information, but it’s definitely necessary to know it before you book!):
- Ballpark your guest count. All venues have a max capacity (ours is 150!) so it will save you time to have a rough estimate before touring. You don’t want to tour a venue whose max capacity is 100 when you’re inviting 200 guests! Remember, the number you invite will not be the number you expect! In fact, most weddings will have about 65% of their invitees show up on the big day.
- Have an idea of your budget. I get it, chances are this is the first time dealing with the wedding industry and it’s hard to know what things cost! And the venue is normally the first big number you receive. Sticker shock can set in, but remember that oftentimes a venue includes much more than just a rental so you’ll be able to mark other items off of your list! (For example, your package may include tables, chairs, a Bridal & Groom’s Suite, etc.)
- Do you have a date in mind and is it firm? If you really love the venue you may be subject to their availability. If that’s the case, have a general idea of the month or season you’re hoping to get married in but go in with an open mind! And, if you’re looking to get hitched in a hurry, oftentimes venues will give special rates for open dates in the near future. (We’re currently running a promotional for dates from now until June 2019! Inquire with us for more info!)
Remember, you don’t need to have it all figured out. Just as the venue can help direct your design decisions, it can also help you direct your guest count, budget, and date (if you’re willing to be flexible). However, taking these aspects of your wedding into consideration will help you choose the right venues to tour and it will help those venues serve you better as you dream up your wedding day together!