Los Angeles Wedding Planning: What to Ask during the Wedding Venue Search!
Wedding Planning Advice
As a wedding planner, one of the most often-asked questions we get from our clients is how to find the right wedding venue and, more specifically, what questions to ask when visiting the locations. We suggest starting with several contenders and, once narrowed to the top choices, plan to visit each with your list of questions in hand, much like a wedding consultant would.
Main deciding factors should include location, guest capacity, price points, and availability for the dates you are considering.
A brief guideline to questions that should be covered on your visit:
- What does the rental of the venue include? Many venues will offer a variety of packages which may or may not include tables, chairs, linens, etc. Find out exactly what items will be included, specific options, and price. Also, is there an on-site wedding organizer or will you need to hire your own?
- Time limitations? How many hours does your rental price include? Some wedding venues will include prep time, reception, ceremony and party time. Others will include an entire weekend inclusive of rehearsal time, accommodations for the wedding party, after party, and next day brunch. Important questions the best wedding planners will advise you ask are: is there a time the evening absolutely has to end (in terms of staff limitations or noise restrictions) and are there any other critical venue rules? Be specific when asking what time you can begin setup and what time you must vacate the venue.
- What’s the Plan B for bad weather? To ensure the most comprehensive wedding event management, especially for outdoor venues, you always want to know if there is an inclement weather plan, or plan B? In case of rain, excessive wind, etc. is there an indoor option as a backup? You may be planning an outdoor ceremony and reception; however, just in case the weather does not comply, find out what your alternatives will be.
- What does the venue require when it comes to specific vendors? Most wedding venues will have a preferred vendor list (for catering, bar service, florist, etc.) and will either require that the vendors be selected from their list or, in some cases, will charge you a fee for using outside vendors of your own choosing. In other cases, you may use the vendors you like without any added fees. All of this information is valuable for the purposes of comparing apples to apples in your wedding venue search.
- How about parking? The number of wedding guests you’ll have does not usually correspond to the number of cars and vendor vehicles. How much parking is available and is the cost included or additional?
- Dressing rooms and lodging? Destination wedding planners as well as local wedding consultants will suggest finding out about facilities available for the wedding party to get dressed in, makeup & hair, and possible lodging etc. Often, the bride wants to spend the morning getting ready with her bridesmaids and the groom with his groomsmen. This is also a time to spend special time with closest friends/family and a comfortable space is important.
- What are the venue policies and rules? Always be sure to ask for the venue’s contract so that you can review the do’s, don’ts, insurance and permit requirements, and payment policies, so there are no surprises later!
Wedding planning can feel overwhelming at first, with or without a wedding event planner, but having the answers to these vital questions will make for smoother sailing during your wedding venue search and planning process.
All the best!
The Los Angeles Wedding Planning Team @ Party Planners LA