we’re getting married

5 Tips to Touring Weddings Venues

Michael and I went into our week of touring wedding venues pretty clueless. We weren’t sure which questions to ask. We didn’t really know what we were looking for, and we had no idea where we wanted to visit. It was very helpful to have so much guidance, however we also learned a lot on our own while going through the process. You might have a lot of voices in your ear telling you what to do, you might have no idea where to start, or you might even feel like you totally know what you’re doing.

Wherever you’re at, maybe we can share something we learned that will help you as you start looking at wedding venues. These are some of the things we have learned. We hope it helps and we hope you have fun finding your perfect venue!

Touring Wedding Venues at Flowerfield, St. James

#1: Brainstorm what you are looking for and what you want to ask before touring wedding venues.

Brainstorm! You don’t have to decide exactly what you are looking for and what to ask. You might recognize that some little details you hadn’t even thought of actually matter a lot. My grandma made it clear that she could not allow me to have a wedding without enough seating for every guest at the cocktail hour. Take some notes as you go. After thinking and writing down some notes you will feel more confident and less overwhelmed going into a tour. It is nice to know you have an idea of what questions you might want to ask. At the end of every tour we took our guide ended with “do you have any questions”. It’s also helpful to be able to check off things that you do or don’t want out of a venue throughout your tour.

After brainstorming, some questions we came up with were:

•do you have valet parking?

•can you provide an ice-cream bar?

•is there enough seating for every guest to sit down during cocktail hour? (this was a really big one for me)

•do you have an administration fee?

Some things that we wanted to make sure our venue had:

•a really big dance floor

•an open bar

•lots of really delicious food

2: There are a lot of benefits to touring multiple wedding venues in one week.

My mom sent me and Michael a long list of wedding venues on Long Island. We went through and did some research on all of them, picked our favorites, and sent those back. She then scheduled a tour of each and we visited them all in the span of five days. We wrote about that week in this post if you want to read that too. Here it is!

If you do not have a mom to make this plan for you, it is not too much work to do on your own. Planning wedding venue tours can actually be the first step to start thinking about what you are looking for in a venue. Michael and I had a lot of fun scoping out venues online.

Visiting many venues close together made it much easier to compare them to each other. Although it was overwhelming, I believe it was worth it. At the end of every day, we had so much to talk about. Going straight from a venue that we loved to one that didn’t even compare made it really easy to narrow down our list. For example, we visited one venue where I loved the woman who would be helping plan the wedding, and I realized that that relationship was very important to me. The next day, I visited a venue where I did not love the planner. I kept being reminded of the woman from the day before. I knew that the first venue had a big perk that this second venue was not providing.

3: Check in with each other often and make notes while you are touring wedding venues.

This doesn’t mean you have to carry a notepad with you everywhere. Taking physical notes is probably a good idea; however, we didn’t do this for every place, and I wouldn’t say that you have to. We did buy a wedding planning binder from Barnes and Noble, and we did write down some notes about each venue in there.

At some point, venues do start running into each other, and you might not always remember things that you did or didn’t like. Also, even if you do not choose a certain venue, keeping notes of things you like is a great idea. Me and Michael visited one venue that we knew was not for us, but they gave all guests champagne and strawberries at the door. I took note of this because I liked it. Later on, I was skimming our binder and saw that note. I asked the planner I loved at our venue if they could do that for us. She said, “Of course!”

With all of these things going on and so much to remember, make sure to check in with your partner often. Not only to see if you are on the same page, but because, sometimes, if you say something out loud, it makes it easier to see. You might notice something that you do not love about a venue and think you can look past it. Then, you might share this concern out loud and realize, “Oh, wait, no, that’s just not something that I can ignore.”

4: Prepare yourself for a bit of stress while touring wedding venues.

Michael practically never gets stressed, and even he was feeling exhausted this weekend. It’s a lot. We drove all over Long Island, we had tons of questions we had to remember to ask, weddings are expensive, and we had a big decision to make. I don’t really think either of us expected this week to feel so draining, and we were not prepared.

We were late to a few tours, and, on the one tour we went to without any moms or grandmas, we forgot to ask if they had valet parking. We knew the moms would be frustrated with us. At first, I kept feeling like I didn’t know what I was doing, and I felt like I was messing up. I do feel like we were able to let go of that idea, and, when we did, the whole process felt more fun and less stressful.

5: Enjoy the rest of your time that week.

Although tours might feel like they are taking up all of your time, they are not. Make time to enjoy yourselves totally separate from your tours. You are a newly engaged couple, don’t forget it! Mine and Michael’s favorite restaurant is a fondue restaurant called The Melting Pot, and we had not been in so long. We made a reservation and had the best time. There was also a street fair going on near him that we passed on our way home from a venue. Despite feeling tired, we made a stop, and we were so glad we did.

Melting Pot wedding planning

That’s it !

We had a great time touring wedding venues. Yes, it was overwhelming at times, but the feelings of excitement were much stronger. We really hope that if you are looking for venues that you find the perfect one! We wrote a post going into detail about our five days of venue tours and how we ended up with our venue. If you want to read that here it is! To keep up with all of our other posts wedding related click here!

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