Once that engagement ring is secured and that proposal goes off without a hitch (or with hitches, who cares, sometimes the hiccups make the ‘how it happened’ stories EVEN better), it’s game on to find the place you’ll celebrate your “I Dos” with the best people in your lives. It’s truly such an exciting time, and lots of couples can’t wait to start getting into the planning. All that said, searching for your venue isn’t just about picking your date and flipping through the photo albums and galleries of weddings that have gone down there; you’ll want to do that, for pre-vow vetting purposes, for sure, but you also need to consider everything that can impact your choice to go with that particular place. There are soooo many stunning and stylish settings for weddings these days, but when it comes down to it, if the spot doesn’t check everything off your ‘have to have it” hot list, then it just might not be the right fit. We chatted with WedSafe, the wedding insurance specialists who have your back on ALL the wedding basics, and they helped us compile a list of all the top things you should take into account - about your venue - when you’re tying the knot.
Where to begin…
It’s very easy to get engaged and get swept into a post-engagement whirlwind of wedding venue scouting and dress shopping suuuuper quickly. I can attest to that! My husband proposed at the end of September, and I had lined up our first weekend of venue hopping two weeks later (disclaimer: we ended up picking our venue and date, and then literally did very little planning for an entire year, because our engagement was 2+ years long).
But before you start Insta crushing on venues and telling people where you NEED to get married, it’s smart to have a meeting - a few glasses of wine and Netflix (on low volume) in the background can’t hurt, either - with your S.O. to at least put together some preliminary questions for all of the venues you’ll visit, and, even more importantly, to align on your individual preferences for the day.
The first question out of any venue coordinator’s mouth will ultimately be about your first choice dates, or, at the very least, what season you’re hoping to get married in - so first things first, make sure you and your fiancé are on the same page about the timing of it all.
WedSafe recommends using these as a starting point:
Think about a date that’s special to either of you. Perhaps it’s a anniversary date or maybe a fun play on numbers.
Determine your seasonality preferences; they really should be second nature to you. We all enjoy certain seasons more than others and for your wedding, there’s always a chance your ideal date will already be booked at your choice venue - so try to be flexible about other dates that'll work just fine. If you can agree on a season that you’re both psyched about, you’ll save yourself some struggles when you start your venue go-sees.
Suss out whether it's Saturday night or bust. For so long, couples and their families have fixated on Saturday weddings, because of the convenience and flexibility it affords guests (and the peace of mind/stress relief that comes with knowing there’s a buffer day to recoup, relax, and decompress before a new week begins). But nowadays, Saturdays aren’t the end all be all. If a couple is open to considering a Friday, Sunday, or even week-night for their weekend, they can very well save some $$$.
Keep a level head when you’re hunting for a place to start your happily-ever-after.
It’s always great to have some ground rules and parameters in place when you go out venue shopping for the first time, but sometimes those go out the window (and fast) when you find yourself touring a place that completely blows your mind and immediately has you thinking “whoa, this is the one.” Venues are looked at by sooo many couples and the people on staff have totally honed their pitches as to why their spot is best, and rightfully so, that’s their jobs, they should sell their s*** to the best of their ability.
But when you’re looking, even though it’s fun to get lost in the fantasy of your future wedding day, you should still keep your wits about you and not lose sight of essential qualifying questions - WedSafe advises asking all these important questions of your venue so that you’re as prepared for your big day as possible and aren’t stunned by any surprises.
How many guests do they hold?
Do they handle set up and break down for you?
Are there on-site ceremony fees? If so, how much are they?
Can you bring in your own caterer?
How many weddings will they host in one night?
If it’s an outdoor venue, do they have a backup plan in case of bad weather? And do you have a say in their alternatives?
If you’ll be having a winter wedding with them, do they offer a discounted off-season package?
Does the venue require liability insurance?
When you’re looking to move forward on locking things down definitively, refrain from signing contracts or submitting ANY deposits until you’ve covered off on ☝️ and feel comfortable with the venue’s responses. If you need clarification on any of the above considerations, then ask for it!! Your wedding day will be a huge financial undertaking and significant investment, so you’ll want to know what you’re responsible for and what the venue can accommodate if any unexpected circumstances come to bear.
And one of the last things you’ll need to think about is whether you and your love have cancellation/postponement insurance in the event that any wedding mishaps occur. Even if your venue gives you the reassurance and confidence you need to book with them, wedding WTFs do happen, and sometimes liability insurance (usually requested from the venue) just doesn’t cover it.
You’ll need to know what your options are for as much protection as possible.
WedSafe offers couples two insurance options to help protect their special day: wedding liability insurance and wedding postponement/cancellation insurance.
Liability Insurance protects you against financial liability that can arise from your wedding; it’s often required by many venues. This will protect you if a guest is injured, if the venue is damaged, or if there is an alcohol-related incident.
Cancellation and Postponement Insurance protects your financial investment in the event of the postponement or cancellation of your wedding. If circumstances beyond your control force the cancellation of your wedding, this coverage could reimburse you for up to the total cost of your wedding. Reasons could be anything from severe weather to the venue closing its doors permanently, to the illness of a person integral to your wedding. Keep in mind; however, that wedding insurance does not typically extend coverage should you choose to call off the wedding on your own accord.
WedSafe advocates bundling policies and appropriate coverage together and taking advantage of available discounts as they are offered. This is certainly the most cost-effective way to walk away with limited wedding day worry.
Head over WedSafe to learn more about coverage or request a free, no-obligation quote.
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