Casa Feliz / Ashely Johnson
Searching for your venue is typically the first step in your wedding planning. Without a venue, you have no date! Without a date you can’t even begin to start booking your vendors. We love all of the different venues we’ve gotten to see with our couples and all of the different they each offer. I bet you didn’t know it, but Seas Your Day’s origins are in venue management, so allow us to lend our experience and advice to make your venue hunt a little easier!
The most important part of choosing a venue is to make sure you feel comfortable and at peace there. If you walk into a new venue space and it’s giving you chaotic or uncomfortable vibes, it might not be for you. At the same time, if you’re feeling like it might be a little too plain-Jane for you and you’re looking for extravagance on a budget, you might need to go in a different direction. You want your venue to work WITH you as far as décor. When walking into “your venue” you will know it!
Here are some questions to serve as a guideline to be sure all the important things are covered! And don’t forget, if you have your Planner early on they can help you navigate the treasure map that is your venue search and keep track of all this info for you!
✨Pro tip✨: Always bring along a notebook and write down all of your questions, leaving space to write the answers (so you don’t forget the answers too!).
Is there a bridal/groom suite? You might not have decided on hair and makeup vendors yet, but you will at least want the option to get ready on site. Make sure there’s enough room in there to fit your bridal/groom party too! A full bridal party or dude crew in a small room can get hectic. You will want it to be spacious enough to not be overwhelmed. Also check and see how early you would be able to access the suites and if the venue allows outside food and drinks for those getting ready times. Finally, remember that your getting ready photos will likely be taken here - does that aesthetic work for your overall wedding vibe?
The Black Barn / Ashley Johnson
What’s the plan for inclement weather? Central Florida weather is indecisive to say the least, and that rain can come out of nowhere even on the sunniest of days. If there’s no indoor alternative, make sure your tenting has side walls to battle those infamous sideways rains. You will have to factor this into your budget as well.
Does the venue allow outside food and drinks? This is a huge question! Especially if the venue comes with catering. They may only allow certain catering companies (preferred vendors). You should also ask about bar logistics - can you bring your own alcohol or do you have to use theirs?
✨FLORIDA WEDDING TIP✨: ABC Fine Wine and Spirits has a buyback program. Any bottles that haven’t been chilled or opened can be bought back if unused. They also have helpful liquor calculators on their website and can help make sure you have the right amount of liquor and mixers to keep your party going all night long! They also deliver!
Can the rentals stay out all night or do they need to be picked up at the end of the night? The last thing you want to do at the end of the night is break down chairs. This is where your wedding planner comes in. They can coordinate the clean up and staging for a night-of pick up or a next-day pick up. (It may sound weird, but that’s one of our favorite parts of coordinating!)
What is the bathroom situation? You would be surprised how often this question can save the day! Are there enough bathrooms for the entire party? Will someone be available for clogs and clean up? Is the bathroom accessible for grandma? These are things you don’t want to think about on the day of but are necessary to plan for. If there aren’t enough bathrooms, does the venue have restrictions on the type, size, or source of where the accessory bathrooms come from?
Does the venue have required vendors? This is a great question to ask when setting up your tour. Sometimes venues require you to use certain vendors that they provide/partner with. Check to make sure just in case you have certain vendors in mind but won’t be able to use them. There may be an extra fee for using vendors that are not on their preferred vendor list. Falling in love with a vendor and then not being able to use them can be so disappointing so check with your venue first!
What time can you start setting up? - Check with your coordinator for how long they might need to set up your décor. It’s not unheard of for your SYD crew to get a solid décor set up done in two hours depending on the size of your event, but planning ahead is key! And if you are feeling a little extra, let your imagination run wild!! Just be sure to check with the venue about additional time for set-up if it is necessary.
If being provided by the venue, who will set up tables and chairs? Oftentimes, if your venue comes with tables and chairs the venue staff will likely be the ones setting it up. If you are renting tables and chairs from an outside vendor, be sure to check your vendor contracts for who is responsible for set up and breakdown of these items. Here’s where a coordinator can come in handy. SYD can help you go over these contracts to make sure all of your bases are covered.
The Black Barn / Ashley Johnson
Do you have a permanent or mobile bar set up available? If the venue doesn’t come with a bar you may want to rent one that fits the vibe or even improvise with a folding table. A 6ft table with a pretty table cloth will do the trick! Add some simple décor and voila! Bar set up.
✨WEDDING DAY TIP✨: Is there a place to store ice? A silly, but VERY commonly overlooked necessity is ice. If the venue does not have an ice maker, the caterer or bar service will have to help you with this. Calculating how many bags of ice are needed for chilling drinks throughout the evening and also for drinks is a beast all in itself. Make sure you check on who is bringing the ice and how many bags your bartender recommends.
Is there power where you envision the DJ going? Extension cords are possible but also create a tripping hazard. Most venues have a typical spot where the DJ sets up as well as where the dance floor sets up. Be sure to ask where this is to help you envision where things will be on your wedding day.
Can you bring your décor during your rehearsal and leave overnight? Wedding day time is precious and unloading cars with décor on the day-of can take away from that precious time. As planners, we have found that bringing décor to the space the night before and having it ready to go on wedding morning is a huge time saver.
✨Seas Your Day Special✨: If your venue won’t let you leave décor overnight, we’d be happy to load it into our mobile storage space ships aka our cars! One less thing for you to worry about so that you can focus on getting ready for your big day!
Choosing a venue is so important and special. We at Seas Your Day Events would love to show you some of our favorite venues. We’ve been to a lot of them! We would also love to explore NEW venues with you. We’re here for you every step of the way, including the first step - venue hunting!
The Black Barn / Ashley Johnson