Your Guests Matter
You have narrowed down your list to the most important people. (If you haven’t done this already you should. Having an exact number for the venue when you plan to tour is very crucial.) Call ahead and see how many people your preferred venues can accommodate. Don’t waste time at venues that will have you cutting guests that you know are important to have with you on your special day. Falling in love with a space and figuring out later in order to fit you need to cut family or friends will be difficult.
Your guests comfort is also an important factor. Will guests be able to see the ceremony well from where they are seated? For outside venues, is there shade available if the sun is very hot (especially for elderly guests).
Also, ceremony spots that require long walks or uneven terrain to access will be nearly impossible for older or handicapped guests. Are there golf carts available? Are there elevators in older buildings and venues? Aim to be handicap friendly, not just handicap accessible. Check with your venue and your guests before you get locked in.
What is the Backup Plan?
Don’t be unrealistic about the weather? It’s the one part of your wedding you have absolutely no control over. Make a plan for your “worst case scenario”, speak to your venue and don’t sign any paperwork until you are comfortable with that. Be specific in your questions about inclement weather. Do they plan on moving you to your reception space? Will tables and chairs already be set and visible? These are things you want to get comfortable with now, and not be surprised about on the day of your wedding.
Ask about Preferred Vendors
Having a team that has worked together in the past makes the day run smoother. Some venues actually have certain vendors that they will not work with, as well as ones that they prefer.
If you are choosing your photographer before choosing your venue, they may have suggestions of venues with the best spaces for getting ready, portraits, etc. They may know the lighting or flow of another is preferred in photos.
On the flipside don’t just take your vendor’s word for it, make sure to check reviews on multiple sites to ensure that you are pleased with certain vendors and details.