As you may have seen if you follow me on Instagram, Logan and I finally picked our wedding venue! We are so excited to be getting married at Magnolia Venue and Urban Garden! There are so many reasons that we ended up choosing Magnolia, and I will definitely be sharing them with you all throughout our planning.
For now, I want to share with you guys how we came to pick Magnolia. I scoured the internet and looked at nearly 500 venues, chose 35 to email and toured a total of 5 venues. (I’m picky, what can I say?) Narrowing those 500 to 35 was easy. But what narrowed down those 35 to the only 5 that we toured? Logan and I compiled a list of 36 questions that helped us determine whether a venue would meet our needs or not.
Listen guys, I have SO many friends who work in the wedding industry and EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. OF. THEM told me that my venue would determine everything for this special day. I can’t stress enough how important it is to be open and ask ALL of your questions. While these high-level questions can help you figure out the overall logistics, I also encourage you to think about the things that are important to you, and be sure to ask them as well!
- How many hours are included in the rental? Does this include load in and load out? Are we able to add additional hours to our rental time and if so, at what price?
- What all is included in the rental price?
- What is the loading process? Where is the loading area? Is there staff to help load/unload? Are there any loading challenges?
- Where does the caterer set up? Are there any restrictions they should be aware of? Is there an area for them to clean up?
- Does the venue provide a coordinator? If so, what is the meeting schedule?
- Where are the entrances? Are they handicap accessible?
- Is there a coat check area in the case of inclement weather?
- What kind of lighting is in the venue? Can it be dimmed?
- What is your vendor policy? Do you have required vendors? Preferred vendors?
- Are there any electricity restrictions? Where are outlets located? Does the electricity restrict any layouts?
- What are typical ceremony locations/layouts? Reception locations/layouts?
- Is there a plan for inclement weather?
- Where are the restrooms located? Are they handicap accessible?
- Are there any special requirements on our end? China, etc…
- Are there any alcohol restrictions (locations, types, etc…)?
- Are there any decoration restrictions?
- Are there any volume restrictions?
- Are we the only event the day of?
- How is the rehearsal handled? When we should we expect it to be scheduled? How long are we given? Is it included in the rental price?
- Does the venue provide tables and chairs? If so, what do they look like? If not, is there a partner vendor that you work with?
- What other equipment is provided or available for rental through the vendor?
- What are the acoustics like? What should we plan for?
- Where are the nearby hotels? Do you have a partnership with any?
- Does the venue have a set officiant or are we able to bring our own?
- Are there any photography limitations?
- When is the deadline for the final headcount?
- How many times will we meet with the venue? When will we do walk-throughs?
- Is there a bridal suite/groom room available?
- What is the parking like? How many cars can it hold?
- Is wedding insurance provided?
- Is there gift storage available?
- Is security provided?
- What is the cancellation policy?
- Is there a sample contract that we can review?
- What is the deposit? What is the payment plan?
- Are there any extra/hidden fees we should expect? What is the bottom line?
TA DA! There they are, the 36 questions that we asked every venue to help us narrow it down and pick the one! If you’re wedding planning and looking for your venue, my number one suggestion would be to narrow your venues down by asking the most important questions BEFORE you take the time for tours. Tours are tiring, extensive and can take hours. And I can’t tell you how exhausting it is to tour venue after venue, each of them not being able to meet your needs.
If you want to read more tips on picking the perfect venue for your day, check out my “Picking the Perfect Venue Tips,” here!
If you have more tips that I may have missed, DM me on Instagram! I’d love to add them (and credit you) to my list! And if you have any questions, send me a message and let’s chat! Wedding planning is one of my favorite things that I’ve ever done and I’m always happy to bounce around ideas with others!