To me, our wedding venue was going to set the tone for the wedding so initially, aesthetic-appeal was top of mind (I’m a graphic designer – I can’t help it!). Location and budget were also important, but there are many more factors that will help you select your wedding venue.
I’ve compiled some thoughts I learned along the way when shopping for a venue…
Venue staff will play a key role in your day
Your venue may or may not include: an event coordinator, servers, bartenders, kitchen staff, a decorator. And the absence of any of these team members means you may have to outsource and you have to ask yourself if you are prepared to do that?
Our venue includes a coordinator and all catering and kitchen staff. There isn’t an official decorator on site but the coordinator can help as needed. As a bonus, the coordinator is calm, caring and customer-focused.
When budgeting the venue cost, don’t forget tax and gratuity
Most venues will give you an average cost/person – this can be based on food, food and alcohol, or an all-inclusive event. What isn’t included in this cost/person is the tax and gratuity, which will add approximately 35% to your total cost. I, thankfully, was tipped off to this knowledge before shopping for venues and was able to factor it into my initial budgeting.
Be open to new ideas and don’t put all your eggs in one basket
I had one venue in mind when we initially started our hunt. I had seen the venue set up for a wedding a couple months prior. It looked perfect and I couldn’t wait to view it as one of our options.
We ended up visiting our final venue before going to our initial first choice and we were completely wowed! Our venue is Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards in Harrow, Ontario and we are so happy we had an open-mind when visiting it. Our previous first choice truly doesn’t compare (in my opinion)!
What did you learn when selecting your wedding venue?