What to expect on your first venue viewing.
Having previously worked at wedding venues I have lots of experience in venue viewings and what happens at these meetings. A venue viewing is something that every couple getting married will need to do at the start of their wedding planning. Your venue is one of the most important suppliers for your wedding so you want to make sure you get it right. This blog post will talk you through what to expect on your first venue viewing, the who, what, when and why of venue viewings and some top questions you need to make sure you ask to make sure the venue is the right one for you.
What to expect at your viewing.
Prior to your arrival at the venue you should have already spoken to the venue asking some basic information such as do they have the availability you want and do they fit in your budget. Most importantly do you like the look of the venue from the website!
On arrival you should be greeted by one of the wedding/event team who would be working with you to plan your wedding. You would then go through to have a quick sit down to discuss your needs before being taken on a viewing of the venue. In this short meeting you may go over the dates you have already spoken about and some more in depth details such as your wants and needs from your wedding venue, accommodation requirements (if a venue with onsite bedrooms) number of guests and if you are having a civil or church ceremony.
You will then go on your walk through of the venue, you will be able to see all areas of the venue that will relate to your wedding and requirements. Ideally this should be done how the day would flow so that you can get an idea of what your guests would see and how they would move through the venue. You should also get an idea of how the site can be used in different ways ,what the options are for setting up in each space and what you can and cant do in each space (have naked flames for example) if not make sure to ask these questions (see below for more questions!)
After walking around the venue with the team you would then go back to chat more about pricing, availability and this is time to ask any of your questions. You will be able to ask any questions you have thought of while walking around the venue but also the questions you have previously prepared. This is the time to really understand if this is the venue for you and dont worry about feeling like you are asking silly questions, there are no silly questions when it comes to spending a lot of money on something! The wedding coordinator should then go through the pricing and availability with you and make sure that your date is available and how much your wedding at this venue will be. If you like the venue but have other venues to see ask to make a provisional booking so that you can have this venue as a backup should you not like the others you are seeing. Better to be safe than sorry!
Who, What, Why, When of venue viewings.
Who - A venue viewing should only be with the most instrumental people in the wedding. Bride and Groom ideally but if a parent is paying towards the venue then bring them along. You want to avoid too many people as this can become difficult to make sure everyone is hearing the information and understands what the venue is offering so there is no miscommunication further along the line.
What - What to know before hand is your ideal time to get married. Ideally break this down to day of the week and month. You should also know what your budget is. Don't fall in love with a venue and then find out you cant afford it later down the line. Work out your budget before booking any venue viewings or suppliers!
Why - To make sure that the venue looks like it has been advertised! To make sure its safe and that its somewhere you feel is the right place for you to get married. You wouldn't buy a house without looking at it first and you know pictures can be deceiving!! Always do a viewing!!
When - Take a look at venues online first and narrow down your search to a shortlist of 4/5 venues. Then go and visit these. A venue should be the first thing you look to book and with most venues getting booked up a year at least in advance (especially for Summer Saturdays) I would go as soon as possible after getting your shortlist together.
Questions to ask on your viewing
There is lots of information out there on what to ask on your venue viewing and my advise is to research this and think about which ones would apply to you. Find out simple things like set up time, time you need to be out of the venue, do they allow external caterers etc then think about your vision of your wedding and work out if there are more in depth questions you need to ask such as how many staff are included in the cost, will there be someone to coordinate on the day or do you need to hire someone and does the venue have a wet weather plan! Some of my top questions to ask your venue are here in this blog post - 15 Questions to ask your Wedding Venue
If you would like some help finding your perfect venue get in touch to see how I can help you out!