Every year, we host over a thousand weddings. We know weddings.
To those couples that trusted us with one of the most important day of your lives, thank you.
My favorite part about being a wedding Venue Manager at The Springs Events was giving tours. Especially to couples on their first tour. As in, we’re just engaged, so excited, madly in love, and this is starting to feel oh-so-real and OMG, we’re on our first wedding venue tour! That level of excitement, nerves and enthusiasm is hard to match and I loved meeting with couples taking their first wedding steps. Each venue manager at The Springs Events is whole-heartedly invested in the couples that reserve with them and hold couples’ hands from tour to wedding and everything in between. In fact, the office phone at each location is the manager’s cell phone – you’ll never find a more willing group of ladies to be your #1 wedding guru.
Something that became very apparent to me was that many times, couples just don’t know what to ask. And, why would they if they’ve never done this before? If that’s you, here’s a post about the most important questions to ask on a venue tour & a handy checklist to compare venues along the way. This post is about the logistics of a venue. The behind-the-scenes stuff that only a venue manager would know to look for in a venue because she’s been behind the scenes at oodles of weddings. (One day I’ll count up how many, but for today, let’s stick with oodles).
Is there enough parking for your anticipated guest count? What type of surface is it and would it be sturdy in the chance of rain? Is there ample lighting? Is there a guest drop off area for your guests in heels or with accessibility issues?
Make sure you go in during your tour. Is it clean? How often are these refreshed during your event and who is responsible for this? Are there enough stalls? Is there a changing table in both the men and women’s restrooms? Is it close for guest access or will they be on a hunt for restrooms (and missing part of the celebration)?
First of all, not all venues have kitchens. Where will the caterer be prepping for food service? Are there built-ins for a buffet and if not, who will provide tables and break these down after dinner service? Is there a separate entry for your caterer or will they be using the front door and going through your event for deliver and packing up? Is there a refrigerator to store floral arrangements, food items that require temperature regulation, wine, etc? Where is ice stored?
4) Vendor Parking
Think: Catering truck, floral delivery, cake delivery, bartender, DJ, etc. Where will these companies park their large vehicles and will they be hidden away? Is there a service entry for loading and unloading?
Even if you don’t need it at the time you tour, a lot can happen in a year (the average engagement period) and one of your guests just might need it by wedding day.
6) The Ceremony Aisle
If you’ll be planning an outdoor wedding, is there a stone or sturdy walkway? The last thing you want is just grass. It’s not heel-friendly and remember, you’ll be dragging your-most-cherished dress over it. There are ceremony aisle runners, but these can be pricey and can even be a tripping hazard. Not something you probably want to even think about for that magic moment walking towards your future spouse!
Stop and listen during your tour to the surroundings, especially at the ceremony site. Is it peaceful? Do you hear a highway? A train? Dogs barking? Pay attention to what’s around you as you arrive and depart the venue.
8) Ceremony Audio
This is huge if you want to make sure that your wedding guests can hear your ceremony & vows. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay a DJ to bring in a second set up with a lapel mic to hook up for your officiant.
Though you’ll probably tour during the day, do ask the venue staff where the sunset occurs and where it is in relation to your ceremony seating. If you’d like to know what time the sun sets on your wedding day, you can check that here by using the handy sunset calculator once you pick the date.
DJ, Lighting and Catering equipment will require plugs and enough amperage to provide services. If there aren’t enough plugs, you’ll have extension cords galore! And, without enough power, you’ll run the risk of blowing a breaker.
11) Dumpsters & Trash Receptacles
We average 10-15 bags for each event, so this is a biggie! Are there enough trash receptacles provided by the venue and what do they look like? Where are the dumpsters located? Too close for comfort or a serious hike? How often are the dumpsters emptied? Who is responsible for trash service?
12) Restroom in the Bridal Suite
If you think about the flow of your event, the bridal party is in the dressing suites while guests arrive. The guests will likely need to use the facilities before the ceremony. Does the bride have a separate restroom that’s private? Later, after the ceremony and photos, the bride will need to bustle her gown (how large is the private restroom?) and freshen up before making the grand entrance together to the reception. Privacy is so important!
We’d love to be your venue guru and your first tour. At your site visit, we’ll provide you with tips for not only how to plan a wedding at The Springs Events, but also for what to look for in each of your next venue tours. Narrow down your top 3 picks for a wedding venue and start touring today. Happy Wedding!