Did you and bae get engaged recently? Congratulations! First, take at least a week to bask in the love and excitement. You have time! But, eventually, you'll want to start choosing wedding venues to visit. You can find tons of information about capacities, photos of ballrooms, and phone numbers for preferred floral designers all over wedding venue websites, but there are so many more questions to ask. Schedule a visit (and make sure there's space on your phone for video!) and bring these along.
Which entrance will guests use?
The #1 rule of wedding planning is to never assume anything. There may be a couple of ways to get into the venue, and that could spark tons of ideas about how to design the flow of your wedding.
Are there music-volume restrictions or curfews?
Some wedding venues may have an end time built in because of their curfew. If you want to keep turning up past midnight this is a huge one. Majorly important if you'll be making use of outdoor space.
Are there any decor restrictions?
Some wedding venues don’t allow confetti, candles, glitter, potted plants, etc. If you have dreams of walking down an aisle lined with candles or firing a confetti cannon for the last dance, this could be a decision-maker. Often, these restrictions aren't clear until you receive a contract...unless you ask!
Is there a designated area for coat check? Is coat check included in the price?
Most venues built specifically for weddings will have a coat check area, and you can hire coat check attendants through your caterer. Consider this even if you aren’t looking at cold weather wedding dates -- it’s nice to check your umbrella in April!
Is it possible to see the [tables, chairs, linens, etc.] that are included in the price?
Some wedding venues own furniture (usually tables and chairs at most) that you're able to use for the price of renting the space, or a minor additional fee. MAKE SURE YOU ASK TO SEE IT. If they're standard tables and not specialty (farmhouse-style, etc.) you'll be covering them with linen so it's not so important. But if you don't want chair covers, you want to see those chairs. Not pictures. The chairs themselves.
Don't be shy! You'll be glad you asked.