You have made the big decision to get married – the question was asked, and the answer was “Yes.” Now, what? Follow this guide to plan ahead of time with a wedding venue checklist.
Planning for the big day
The most significant impact on the selection of the venue for your wedding and reception will be the number of guests and date. Decide if the desired date is set in stone because of a family or other tradition, or if you have flexibility for the time.
This and many other factors the selection of the wedding venue and impact on the cost. Let us examine some of the key decision points:
The Theme Of Your Wedding – You will look back years from now on this day, so you need to rely on a wedding venue checklist to ensure you’ll look back and smile. See if your concept is feasible and affordable. Your guest list and budget will be the driving factors in determining your decisions. Each element should be reviewed several times to make sure that everything is done and planned accordingly.
So let’s start:
Make Your Guest List
There is a guest list, and then there is a “Must Invite” guest list. Family and those closest to you are a must, and then there are people who you would like to invite. Start with compiling the “Must Invite” list. You will be surprised at how long the list will be. Count the heads, and then see if there is room to add others to the list – personal friends, distant relatives, family friends, work friends, etc. Probably, you will have to make some difficult decisions to cut the list. This is perhaps the most painful part of the wedding venue checklist. Also, the timing of the wedding will affect the number of out of town guests who will be able to attend.
Determine Your Budget
You must balance your budget with your guest list. Cuts may have to be made!
The time of year for your wedding reception will affect your costs. Cost is critical in your wedding venue checklist. Variables include the day of the week and time of day for your reception, the season of the year, and the venue’s event booking schedule (off-peak times versus high season).
Also, the financial planning aspect is important in determining the deposits required, payment schedules, changes to the head count and cancellation policy. Confirm if there are any particular packages available for room accommodations for guests or other incentives.
The answers to the following list of questions are relevant to the general information you need to select a venue suitable for your desires and budget properly:
Check if the facility can accommodate the number of your guests, and if the per guest cost is within the budget. Also, confirm flexibility in the final head count.
Check if the nuptials will be held at the same venue as the reception. If not, confirm the wedding ceremony venue and the reception venue are in the same vicinity, and consider travel time.
Check if the facility is accessible for out of town travelers, and are overnight accommodations available at the venue or nearby. Confirm if there are any minimums for the number of guest accommodations. Are there B&B, hotels, motels in the area, and is taxi service available after reception ends. The venue should have a list available for you. Also consider the time of day for the ceremony, traffic, directions needed, signs posted. Do due diligence and see if valet parking is available and if it is included in the cost per guest.
See if the venue is exclusive for only one wedding per day (important to consider depending upon the intended use of the grounds and other common areas for outdoor access, photos, etc.). Keep these things in mind, or organize your thoughts with a wedding venue checklist.
See if there are there changing rooms available for the wedding party. Also, preparations need to be made for the wedding party photos and other pictures. These are all minor things which are easy to forget, but a major problem if forgotten! A venue of marriage checklist will keep you on track.
The Food & Wine: Hamburgers or Filet Mignon vs. Fruit Punch or Champagne?
You’ll need to figure out how much wine/alcoholic beverages/champagne/tea and coffee is included per person, and are there corkage fees. These are all crucial questions to ask, and the style and context of your wedding will dictate the answer. Investigate how many choices for the main course are available. See if the kitchen satisfies special dietary requests, what kind or requests are foreseeable based on your guest list, and ask the venue if the champagne toast will be complimentary. Also inquire if there are any additional charges or service fees for waiters, busboys, etc. Most of these things can be arranged with the venue, but they’re great questions to ask and consider.
See what time does the reception start, what time does the bar open, what time is the starter served, what time is the meal served, what time is desert served, and what is the timing between courses, too long or short? – use the wedding venue checklist to juggle these many elements.
Check if there is any adequate number of toilets available for guests, and also if the toilets are maintained and if cleaning is available during the reception. These are things that most people don’t think about but are vital elements to any wedding.
The After Reception
Confirm if the facilities are available for an after reception party for special guests or out of town guests. Also, check if the venue provides for a champagne breakfast for those staying overnight at the facility. If not available, check if the venue coordinates facilities nearby. Remember to use a wedding venue checklist to ensure your big day goes smoothly!