There can be a lot of confusion for couples when it comes to what they are really getting at a a wedding venue or with a venue owner. It's especially difficult when each one offers different levels of service, coordination, and presence during your journey. Clients need to be sure they are getting what they need, there are clear expectations, and they are choosing not only the physical space, but the vendor that is a good fit.
You can find THE VENUE you have been dreaming of, but if the service is a wrong fit, it's going to ruin your day! You have to ask questions and be sure you understand EXACTLY what you are getting.
Fealty Design and Imagery
So what are some venue services questions to ask?
How often can I visit before the day of my wedding or event? Some venues only offer tours on specific days/dates and you are only allowed in the venue during those times. This is pretty typical for larger venues that do a TON of weddings. Others do initial tours, then you can come back during Open Houses. A few offer more personal service that caters to your needs and availability. Just be sure you know the rules before you commit! The Tin Ceiling: Come as often as you like. We do schedule tours and times but work around your availability. Especially for brides- I want you to be so familiar with the space that it feels like "yours" on your wedding day. We actually limit the number of weddings a year so we can offer exclusive service to our couples.
What is included? Tables and chairs are typically included in the price of rental, but be sure you ASK! If the venue offers linens or décor options, find out if that is included or an additional charge. READ your contract before you sign to understand what you are getting. If it's not in the contract, don't expect it, ask to have anything you discussed included. A good manager/owner should not have any problem with that! The Tin Ceiling: Tables, Chairs, Full use of the entire venue (including the outdoor space when it's finished) is yours. We DO NOT offer linens, but have some great resources. Décor is included with most rentals, just be sure to let me know if you are interested in that! We cover that on the tour and IN THE CONTRACT.
What is allowed? Many will have an additional charge for alcohol if they allow it and may have rules regarding what can be served. There's rules around candles, (no one wants you to burn the place down) send-off materials (confetti is our worst nightmare ya'll!), and what can be used to decorate. The Tin Ceiling: Alcohol is allowed with a professional bar tending service. We have a few that we highly recommend. If you use a service, then there's no additional charge. We MIGHT have some BYO options for an additional charge on a case by case basis. This is one thing that we just have to discuss. We go over all of the candle, decorating, parking, send off stuff on the tour and IN THE CONTRACT!
What other vendors can be used? Do you have to use specific vendors or only those offered by the venue, or can you use anyone you want? Some will offer deals with partner vendors so be sure you are find out the details! The Tin Ceiling: We offer a premium package with a photographer and DJ we LOVE to save you hassle of additional booking and we know you are getting amazing professionals, but you can absolutely bring ANYONE you want as a vendor. You don't have to use our package at all and I LOVE to give recommendations of my favorites on just about everything! We do have some preferred vendors that offer some special add-ons, discounts... when you book through us or we refer.
What are CLIENT responsibilities on the day of? From set up to clean up, be sure you know what you or your family is going to be responsible to do. Does the venue do the set up and tear down or do you have to do it or help with it? What are you asked to clean up? Along with this, what times are you allowed to be there. The Tin Ceiling: Clients are responsible to set up. I will absolutely give you some advice and recommendations, but I let you set up so it's exactly how you want it. The clean up/closing includes helping put away tables and chairs and picking up any trash. I take care of everything else! You have the entire day and night!
What is the venue involvement throughout my planning process and on my day? Can you or your planner contact the venue for questions after booking? Do they have preferred vendors or partner vendors? Will someone be there during your event? Can they give you ideas on set up and the best use of the space? Do they offer any day of coordination? Hopefully a lot of this is covered on your tour, but have an idea of what you are expecting BEFORE you get there! The Tin Ceiling: I kind of want to be your fairy godmother if you will. I'm NOT a wedding planner, but I do enjoy giving you tips, offering advice, and I do LIGHT coordination on your day if needed. I'm there for your whole journey to chat, so never feel like you are bothering me or asking too many questions. I'm here for you!
My best advice is to ASK ALL THE QUESTIONS, and READ THE CONTRACT! There is not a right or wrong answer for what YOU need or what the venue (or any other vendor for that matter) offers, but just be sure you KNOW what you are signing up for and getting. It's an emotional time for some of you and it's hard to process all the details rattled off in a half hour. I like to follow up by email after our tour whether you have booked right then or not with everything we talked about and all of the options.
I think our Venue Workbook could be a BIG HELP and want you to have that FRREEEEEE below!
If you are looking for a venue in the Southwest Missouri area, be sure to check us out! I love meeting new couples and doing tours, so reach out to schedule yours. We have a few 2022 dates still available and booking 2023, 2024!