20 Questions to Ask a Wedding Venue

20 Questions to Ask a Wedding Venue

(Photo taken by Bonphotage Photography)

 

After the engagement, you first need to determine your budget and guest list.  This will help you with the next step….

 

Choosing a wedding venue.  Determining your guest list will show you how big of a space you will need and outlining your budget will help you choose a venue that stays with in your price range.

 

When searching for a wedding venue you will want to ask the right questions to help make your decision and know what each place has to offer.  Here is a list of 2o questions to ask a wedding venue before choosing your location.

 

20 Questions To Ask A Wedding Venue

  1. What is the rental fee?  What does this include and exclude?
  2. What is the deposit and cancelation policy?
  3. How many can the room accommodate for a seated dinner, buffet dinner, cocktail reception?
  4. Is the space shared with another event?  How is privacy ensured?
  5. How many hours are included in the rental rate?  What is the cost of overtime?
  6. Are there any restrictions on the type of music, number of musicians or time played?
  7. Are there any rules on decorations, flowers or photography?
  8. Is there heating and air conditioning?
  9. Do they have an in house caterer or preferred list?  Can you bring in your own caterer?
  10. Can you do a food tasting before choosing the menu?
  11. Do they provide bar service?
  12. Do they have liability insurance?
  13. Do they require vendors to have any insurance?
  14. Is there a location for a ceremony?
  15. Is there parking for guests?  Are there any parking fees?
  16. Do they have a bridal suite?
  17. Do they provide tables, chairs and linens?
  18. Is the venue handicap accessible?
  19. If you are using the outside, what is the backup plan for rain?
  20. What time can vendors start setting up?

 

I hope you found this article helpful.  Please feel free to print this out and take it with you to your venue meetings.  If you have anything to add, please comment below.

 

Winter Wonderland Wedding in Chicago

Winter Wonderland Wedding in Chicago

As the snow is lightly falling outside I thought today would be the perfect day to show off Asha and David’s winter wonderland wedding in Chicago.  Snow and winter scares a lot of us when it comes to planning a wedding, but that didn’t stop Asha from her dream wedding.  We had a snow storm that day which made for some pretty awesome photos!

Let’s hear it for the vendors who made this day happen:

Ceremony: Faith United Protestant Church in Park Forest

Reception: Tuscany Falls

Photography: Jolie Images

Music: DJUj Mobile Lights and Entertainment

Flowers: ZuZu’s Petals

Transportation: Chi Town Party Bus

Band: Lynne Jordan and the Shivers

Wedding Planner: Creatively Yours

What’s the Difference Between a Venue Coordinator and Wedding Planner?

What’s the Difference Between a Venue Coordinator and Wedding Planner?

As a wedding planner, when I speak to couples, I often hear “I don’t need a wedding planner, my venue has a coordinator”.  At this moment I cringe because I don’t think most couples know the difference between a venue coordinator and wedding planner.  I spoke with a local venue coordinator recently who told me about an experience she had with a couple who thought that since she was the coordinator for the venue, she would help with the timeline throughout the day and inform people of when they are needed for events.  Clearly they didn’t understand what the venue offers and what more we bring to the table, so now it is my job to explain to these couples how little the venue partakes in the entire planning of the day and all the details we help with.  Let me break it down for you…

What Can You Expect From Your Venue Coordinator

  • They are a salesperson and liaison for the venue
  • They are solely responsible for wedding details that concern the venue such as the banquet event order, menu tasting and the room setup.
  • They are responsible for making sure all vendors abide by all venue rules and regulations.
  • Their job concludes once the dinner and cake has been served, whereas a wedding planner will be by your side the entire night.
  • The venue coordinator that you start working with may or may not be the onsite contact for your wedding day.
  • They will provide a list of preferred vendors but that is the extent of their interaction with those vendors.
  • They will provide a timeline that is solely for the catering staff, that focuses on when the food will be prepared and served.
  • You will be sharing your venue coordinator with about 100 other Brides.  This could mean delayed responses and working around their business hours.

What Can you Expect From a Wedding Planner

  • A wedding planner acts as a liaison between you and your vendors and attends all meetings.
  • A wedding planner will customize a timeline for all the vendors arrivals and pickup times also including details of the day from when you wake up in the morning to when the doors close.
  • When your ceremony is in a different location, a wedding planner will be with you at your ceremony location and reception venue to ensure all details are taken care of.
  • A wedding planner will assist in etiquette, family matters and decor ideas just to name a few.
  • A wedding planner is the stage manager for all parties involved including the bridal party, family, vendors and guests.
  • A wedding planner takes responsibility for setting up all of your personal items and collecting them along with your gifts at the end of the event.
  • A wedding planner will oversee time management including ceremony processions and recessional, cocktail hour transition, entrances, cake cutting, toasts, dances, prompting vendors and troubleshooting.
  • A wedding planner ensures all vendors setup and strike correctly.
  • A wedding planner is there until all vendors and guests have left.
  • A wedding planner is available almost 24/7.  If you are having an emergency you can pick up your phone and text your wedding planner.  Your venue coordinator will not give you their personal cell number.

The biggest difference: A venue coordinator works for the needs of the venue and a wedding planner works for you, ensuring every details is flawless and your day is orchestrated just as you planned.

Backyard Chicago Wedding | Blush + Gold

Backyard Chicago Wedding | Blush + Gold

Andrei + Cassandra’s wedding was so unique and one of the best weddings we have had the opportunity to plan.  They work together for his Father’s family business.  With very little time on their hands they came to us to help with all the details for their backyard Chicago wedding.  They started the day taking photos with the bridal party at St. Mary’s in Mudelein.  They had a Persian ceremony in the backyard of the Groom’s childhood home followed by a romantic reception under the stars.

Vendors for this Grand Affair

Wedding Planner: Creatively Yours Wedding & Event Planning

Hair/Makeup: Salon Cambrai

Vegan Wedding Cake: The Bent Fork

Catering: The Picnic Basket

Persian Food: Noon O Kabob

Photography: J. Brown Photography

Transportation: M&M Limousine Service

Photo Booth: Fotio

Bar Service: Professional Beverage Services

Restrooms: Portable John

Rentals: M&M Special Events

Flowers: Trellis 

Invitations: Lucky Invitations 

Video & Drone: Xpress Video Productions

DJ: Mike Staff Productions

 

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Black + Gold Wedding | Chicago Cultural Center

Black + Gold Wedding | Chicago Cultural Center

Jennifer and Steven were married in July, Downtown Chicago. They came to me almost 2 1/2 years ago to help manage their time and the planning process. The bride is a nurse at a local hospital and the groom worked 2 jobs, so they needed some help. They were married at St. Alphonsus Church in Chicago, IL with 130 friends and family. The bride arrived with her Father and Mother in a 1962 Rolls Royce and later got to take advantage of some great photo opportunites. Afterwards there was a formal dinner and reception held at the Chicago Cultural Center on Michigan Avenue.

Thanks to all the vendors:

Ceremony | St. Alphonsus Roman Church, Chicago, IL
Reception | Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL
Caterer | Jewell Catering
Photography | Wilde Sparrow Photography
Videography | Gravity Weddings
DJ | Spin Productions
Florist | Prairie Basket
Ceremony Music | Belle Music
Classic Car | Classic Wedding Cars
Transportation | Emperor Limousine
Hair + Makeup | Pin Me Up Chicago
Photo Booth | Admit One DJ’s