Do you know what your dream wedding venue looks like? If not, that’s ok. For some, venue searching can be easy, and for others, it can be difficult. People can get caught up in the beauty of a location that they forget about everything else. While touring wedding venues, here are eight important things you should be taking into consideration.

Things to consider when touring wedding venues

Available Dates

When touring wedding venues you should already have an idea of the date, if not the month, or time of year you would like for your wedding to take place. The venue you like may or may not have the date you want available. If they do, that’s great! Put a hold on it. If they don’t, ask for alternative dates that are close to the one you originally wanted. If you and your partner are ok with one of those dates, put a hold on it so as not to lose the chance of having your wedding at that venue. Wedding venues will normally let you hold a date free of charge for up to two weeks. 

Site Costs

If you will be doing both your ceremony and reception at the same venue, there may be separate fees associated with this. Find out how much each of those fees is so you will be fully aware of the total costs you will have to pay. Also find out what is included with the venue. Do they provide their own caterer, bartenders, and servers? As well as all the necessary rentals such as tables, linens, and chairs? If these things are not provided, they will be additional costs you will need to take into consideration. 

Capacity Limits

Most venues will have different event spaces for you to choose from. Find out what the capacity allowance for each space is as you cannot exceed this number. As well as for aesthetics, a partially filled space doesn’t look good, so make sure you’re not below this number by too much either. It is very important when touring wedding venues that you already have an idea of what your guest count will be.   

End Time

Venues normally rent out their space for a certain amount of hours, which you can extend for a fee. Find out how late you’re allowed to be at the venue as well as what time their noise allowance goes until. Especially if you are having a wedding at a venue in a residential area, there will be a noise cutoff time for outdoor functions. Know in advance so you can plan ahead. 

Parking

A very important factor to take into consideration is parking. Will you need to hire a valet service or will the venue provide? If your guest’s can self park, where can they do that and will there be a fee? No matter what, your venue needs to provide enough available parking for all your guests.

Driving Distance

If your ceremony and reception will be taking place in two different locations, take into consideration the amount of time it will take to get from one location to the other. Also take into consideration how far your guests will have to travel. If your ceremony and reception will be more than 100 km or 60 miles away from the city where most of your guests will be traveling from, then they may need to stay overnight in a hotel. Look to see if there are there hotels near by to your venue and organize a room block for your guests.

Bridal Suite

Most venues come with a bridal suite that you can decide to use or not. It’s great for those that are having their ceremony and reception taking place at the same location. You can arrive early and get ready on-site with peace of mind knowing that if you’re running behind schedule you’re already at your venue. Even if you decide to get ready at your family’s home or at a hotel, it’s great to know if the venue offers you this Bridal Suite to use later on in the evening if you or anyone from your wedding party needs to take a quick break during your reception.

How it makes you feel?

The most important factor when choosing your wedding venue. How does it make you feel? Can you picture yourselves getting married there? The reactions you get from seeing a venue online may be very different to when you see it in person. Never put down a deposit site unseen. Always go in person and see the venue. You will know if it’s meant to be or not. Listen to the reactions your body is giving you. Your venue is out there so just be patient and flexible when searching.

My Personal Experience

When I got engaged I never knew what my dream venue looked like until my mother suggested it. It was a venue I had been to many times with my family and holds a very special place in my heart. My grandparents passed away some years ago but I always imagined that they would be there on my wedding day. When touring this venue, I could feel their presence, and knew that it was the one, even though I hadn’t seen any other venues yet. 

Even if the first venue you go to is the winner, visit at least two more venues just to make sure. The rule of thumb when making a decision is to view things in groups of three. You want to give yourself enough options so you can make the best possible decision. In my case when I went venue searching, I viewed three different locations with the first one being the one we chose. There were more venues I had made appointments to go and see but I canceled them. I already knew from my other two viewings that nothing would compare to the first venue I saw. It checked off all of our requirements and was everything we envisioned. You know when you know so trust your gut.

Best of luck to those that are starting their venue search. I hope these eight pointers can be of some help to you. If you’re located in Toronto and would like help with your venue search send us a hello. We’d love to assist you in finding your dream wedding venue! 

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