Last week I chatted a bit about what to ask a wedding venue before you sign on the dotted line. Today I have a bit more to spill to all you soon-to-bes before you make that huge financial investment into the place that’ll be the backdrop for your big day. One of the mistakes Apb and I made when we selected our venue, is we were way oblivious to all the things we really should have been more proactive about. Your wedding venue really sets so many other wedding-related decisions in motion, so picking the perfect place should be done with caution and purpose. And a little wine if needed. Yeah, it can get that stressful.

{Find out what your venue can really offer aside from space} Many wedding venues these days bundle their packages together with things like Chiavari chairs, chair covers, linens, plate chargers, a ceremony space or free wedding night accommodations. Knowing upfront what items are available to you, lets you plan accordingly and also allows you to ask if you can receive a credit back should you decide to skip out on something your venue can provide you with, to source out and bring in your own.

{Be careful about exclusive/preferred vendors} It can be great to secure a coveted reception spot that suddenly has your date open, except you come to find out that you can’t use the photographer or florist you’ve already put a deposit down on. Some venues only allow preferred vendors, exclusive to their space, to be on board with their events, meaning vendors previously hired on your part are not welcome. Avoid this sort of mess by asking upfront what your venue’s particular policy is.

{Inquire about the bar recommendations and cost} There seems to be an industry standard that at an event, one bartender is sufficient per 100 guests. Yet, extra bartenders are kind of like an extra set of house keys when you’re locked out on your front porch; it can be wonderfully convenient and practical to have them. While it’s hard to predict what kind of drinks your guests will be ordering (mixed drinks versus say bottles) asking for an extra bartender can keep a nice flow to your bar line up.

Did any of you run into these problems when you were on the hunt for the perfect wedding venue? I have heard such awful stories about brides finding their dream venue only to discover they can’t work with their fave vendors. The photo above is from the wonderful Jen Lynne who photographed one of my weddings last August. Kelli and Brandon held their reception at St. Cecilias Music Center downtown Grand Rapids and I can’t say enough great things. Happy Tuesday, bloggies! xoxo