The Free Guide with Over 40 Questions to Ask Before You Say "I Do" to the Venue - sponsored and co-created by our friends at Hawthorn Hills Ranch in Denton Texas.
It’s tour time! Just when you started to figure out this whole narrowing down the sea of options and asking questions now it’s time to be nervous about touring.
Grab the FREE guide here - Part 2 will have all the questions to ask while you tour
Personally, I think it’s super exciting and hopefully, after you listen in to episode #02 (haven’t yet? jump to listen in HERE) and read over the 2nd part of the venue guide you will be able to kick those nerves to the curb too and be ready to soak in the moment.
Now that you have the top choices of venues that check your basic needs (guest count, style, within budget), next you’ve asked those additional questions to see if they can meet your needs and are left with your favorites.
If you haven’t used the first part of the guide you’ll want to think through questions to ask before touring like alcohol or vendor policies. Maybe you want to have signature cocktails but some venues only allow beer and wine, or no alcohol at all. Or perhaps you plan to hire the DJ that worked your cousin’s wedding because he was amazing and you want people on the dance floor - you want to make sure you tour venues that allow outside vendors.
There are two sides to the tour:
Getting ready and what to expect when you’re there.
We recommend choosing no more than your top 6 choices to visit. You can always visit more if those don’t work out, but if you’ve asked all the questions before then odds are you may only have 4 - 6 that are a great fit for you so there is no need to cause yourself more confusion or have to cancel brunch with the besties while you visit 20+ venues.
When you go you should take a notebook or the 2 page worksheet from the second part of the venue guide. This is where you’ll fill in all the answers to the questions you ask and take notes so you don’t forget anything about the property and how you felt during your visit. Of course everything planning related is more fun when you share it with others so grab your fiancé, bestie or a family member to go with you. Give them something to do - like take photos/videos during the tour and save yourself the easy task.
We don’t recommend taking more than 3 people with you on tours for the simple reason that most times it results in a stressed couple who feels like their voice was lost as everyone else asks questions, chats with excitement and they don’t get to do what they came to do.
What to expect when you are on a wedding venue tour
When you arrive at the venue you will want to plan to show up 10 - 15 minutes early, but not to get started early. This gives you a chance to breathe, to get your papers/notebook ready, and if you’re in DFW, possibly chill out from the traffic. It also gives you the chance to leisurely walk up to the venue, to stop and take in the view, walk around the grounds and find the office or person you will be meeting with. Overall - it drastically changes your experience versus rushing in late, whipping into a parking spot to jump out of the car as you drop your phone (bummer), and rushing in to start a meeting short-winded.
Once you meet your venue representative you can count on answering a few questions before you get to ask your own. Don’t worry - this is completely normal, within reason, and makes total sense. A lot of couples feel anxious during their first tour when it comes to this, but hear us out.
You want a venue that is going to provide you with an experience from now until you drive off in your exit car laughing from all the amazing memories you just made on the dance floor. How can they do that if they don’t know some basic information?
As you walk around the property and building they will tell you about the venue, and the services and show you a glimpse of what it is like to celebrate with them.
Get all the details from the wedding venue team
Before you say goodbye, you need to have ALL the information - I mean, it is why you went in the first place right? They should review any package and service options you are interested in and yes, that means pricing. We get that can be an uncomfortable conversation - you don’t want to feel like you’re stuck in a car dealership and odds are, they don’t want you to either. In reality, though, that is why you are there. This is most likely the last time you will sit face to face with them before booking the venue so it’s time to make sure you know all the details and avoid any surprises.
Don’t forget that one of these venues is going to be the perfect fit for you - and when that happens the next step is to make it official and reserve your date. If you are at that stage and want to check off the location from your planning list be sure to have what you need on hand to book the venue.
As you heard in the episode, a few big questions we think you cannot skip (don’t worry they are on the guide along with 13 other questions) are:
What will the venue look like the morning/day of?
What fees should we factor in? Service fees/percentages? Vendor fees? Security costs? Damage deposit and event insurance are all great examples
Can you send us a contract to read through?
This Episode hosted by AMANDA
Grab the FREE guide here
(Part 2 will have all the questions to ask while you tour)
Learn more about our series sponsors + guide co-creator: Hawthorn Hills