Yeah…you’re engaged! That was exciting, right? After they get engaged, one of the first things most couples do is try to figure out a date and venue. These things tend to be the first questions asked when looking for a photographer, caterer, bakery, etc. Then need to know when and where. So, let’s focus on how to make this all important choice.
There are really 5 questions you should ask a Venue when considering them for your Big Day! Here we go…
- Timing: First things first…are they available for your date/season? This is a big one. I’ve suggested in a previous post that focusing on a specific date tends to limit your options. Rather focus on a season and work around that. Once that is out of the way, ask about how long you have access to the Venue. Some have strict time limits, and others don’t. We offer couples access to the entire venue from noon on Friday through noon on Sunday, giving them plenty of time to decorate, do a proper rehearsal, enjoy their big day, and say a fond farewell over bubbles and brunch.
- Location: If you’re looking for a destination wedding, then a big consideration is accommodations for you and your guests. Hotels, motels, vacation rentals that are close by are a must have. You don’t want to have to drive an hour to get to and from your lovely AirBNB. What about restaurants and fun activities your guests can enjoy? We’re lucky to have a range of accommodations within a few miles, plus several fabulous local restaurants and wineries for everyone to enjoy. Plus, there’s hiking and tons of safe outdoor areas to explore in our neck of the woods.
- Weather Options: While I love a spring rain storm, not when I have 60 guests waiting for the Bride to walk down the aisle under the big oak tree. That’s why we have an outdoor pole barn that is perfect for a rainy day. Having a solid back-up plan for extreme weather is critical. Ask about inside and outside options in case of rain, high temperatures, ash falling from the sky, or any other calamity that might befall us in the future. It’s good to know what the back up plan is in case of another surge of Covid cases; outside seating opens up many options.
- Alcohol Policy: One of the biggest expenses, aside from catering, can easily be the alcohol. Wine, beer, signature cocktails, mocktails – you name it – it all adds up. Ask if the venue requires you to purchase beer/wine/liquor from them. Can you bring in your own? Do they charge a corkage fee if you do? Do they require a bartender? If so, do they provide one? In case you’re wondering, we don’t require anything. You can bring your own, we can supply it for you, and your brother can bartend if that’s his jam.
- Other Random Stuff: There are million tiny little things that couples may not think of while looking for a rustic wedding venue. Things like: What is the Change/Cancellation policy? If we’ve learned anything in 2020 it’s that we need to be flexible – make sure you know what you can and can’t do. Do they have a generator in case of a Public Safety Power Shut Off ( PSPS in California)? Do they have a staging area for you to put all the boxes after you’ve decorated? Do they provide ice (not cool to have to bribe your cousin’s boyfriend to run to the store to get ice). What about potties? Do they have them? Do you rent them? Not the most pleasant topic, but become important when the beer/wine start flowing.
Well, that’s about it. If you want to find the best possible wedding venue for your big day, make sure to ask these questions, and make sure you get straight answers. If you have any questions, feel free to drop us a note.