Today’s helpful guest post comes to us from Sarah Chancey of Chancey Charm, and author of The Chancey Charm Practical Guide to Planning Your Wedding. Enjoy!

Venue tours filled with guest counts, pricing and preferred vendor lists can quickly take over your weekends and joy as a bride. My first piece of advice is to always figure out your budget and guest count before you start the search. Making a large list and narrowing down the venues that can actually fit in your budget and accommodate your guest count is crucial to making the venue hunt a smooth success.

Read the full post after the cut!

Figuring out which venues are truly a fit and only visiting those, will save you time and help keep the process sane. You’ll avoid the emotion behind falling in love with a venue that doesn’t work with your guest count or fit your budget. I also recommend investing more in a space you already love and avoiding the mentality that you can “fit it up” later with decor and florals. This will help you avoid unexpected spending near the end of the planning process. All of this said, I suggest emailing a few venues for pricing and space availability before scheduling your tours.

While at a potential venue, here are a few key questions to ask:

  • What exactly is included in the venue fee?
  • Where will our guests park? Is this cost included in the rental fee?
  • Are there any rentals, linens, etc. available for our use?
  • If there are not rental items included in the cost of renting the venue, do we have to rent them through a certain company?
  • What are the standard costs for rentals in the area?
  • Do you carry a preferred vendor list?
  • If we don’t use the vendors on your preferred vendor list, will there be a charge for outside vendors?
  • How many hours and exactly which hours will the facility be open for my vendors and I on the wedding day?
  • Is there a food and beverage minimum? (Some venues include food and beverage minimums in their contract. Their venue rental fee may be low, but this fee can really take costs up quickly. Make sure you include this cost in your budget before signing the contract.)

All Photos by: Once Like A Spark Photography

Pro Tip: Be sure to do your homework on any vendors you are required to use at a specific space. Their costs may put you over budget if you’re not diligent to get estimates from them and crunch the numbers before signing the dotted line with the venue.

Thanks Sarah! For more information about Chancey Charm, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to their website.

Do you have any questions or comments for Sarah? Add them to the comments below!