Hidden Costs from Venues: Everyone's Worry
Trust us - we completely understand but here's the thing... Our team, our owners and our hearts are to keep all our cards on the table. What it really comes down to most of the time is not that the venues you are looking at are "hiding" costs but that you just don't know what to ask to get all the information. How would you know though? This planning world is a whole new ball game, so we're here and prepped both this blog post and our podcast episode (you can listen in over here) to help you navigate this new world of planning and skip those pesky little surprises from the start.
Weddings are personal, and so should be the decorations and small touches!
If you’ve been following along with us then you know we are on the final part of our tea on trends. We could not wrap it up without talking about some unique and untraditional touches couples do.
Anyways, let’s get to it.
Just a recap, we’ve discussed the what’s in the venue guide, how to prepare for touring these venue, narrowing down your list to only 3-6 venues, and so much more (take a peek at the previous blog for more info).
It’s always hard to think of questions to ask while you’re on these tours, which is why we got you covered not only with all the questions but also why you should be asking them. No, you don’t need to ask all of them, but its good to pick your 3-5 faves and have them ready to get those answers.
Why are they important? A lot of the questions are to help your future team experience and understanding what your day could look like. Let’s jump in and take a peak at what some of the podcast co-hosts would say are our favorites and why.
Amanda’s favorite question for couples to ask:
Eylin’s favorite questions for couples to ask:
It’s important to make sure you ask these questions before you sign that contract and ask for clarity on any part you’re not sure about. Your venue representative will be ready and happy to assist in answering those questions.
Next podcast episode we will be getting into more of the good stuff… Tour stories!
SO get your tea, its time to pour it out (;
It’s tour time! Just when you started to figure out this whole narrowing down the sea of options and asking questions now it’s time to be nervous about touring.
If you haven’t used the first part of the guide you’ll want to think through questions to ask before touring like alcohol or vendor policies. Maybe you want to have signature cocktails but some venues only allow beer and wine, or no alcohol at all. Or perhaps you plan to hire the DJ that worked your cousin’s wedding because he was amazing and you want people on the dance floor - you want to make sure you tour venues that allow outside vendors.
There are two sides to the tour: Getting ready and what to expect when you’re there.
We recommend choosing no more than your top 6 choices to visit. You can always visit more if those don’t work out, but if you’ve asked all the questions before then odds are you may only have 4 - 6 that are a great fit for you so there is no need to cause yourself more confusion or have to cancel brunch with the besties while you visit 20+ venues.
When you go you should take a notebook or the 2 page worksheet from the second part of the venue guide. This is where you’ll fill in all the answers to the questions you ask and take notes so you don’t forget anything about the property and how you felt during your visit. Of course everything planning related is more fun when you share it with others so grab your fiancé, bestie or a family member to go with you. Give them something to do - like take photos/videos during the tour and save yourself the easy task.
We don’t recommend taking more than 3 people with you on tours for the simple reason that most times it results in a stressed couple who feels like their voice was lost as everyone else asks questions, chats with excitement and they don’t get to do what they came to do.
What to expect on a tour
When you arrive to the venue you will want to plan to show up 10 - 15 minutes early, but not to get started early. This gives you a chance to breathe, to get your papers/notebook ready and if you’re in DFW, possible chill out from the traffic. It also gives you the chance to leisurely walk up to the venue, to stop and take in the view, walk around the grounds and find the office or personal you will be meeting with. Over all - it drastically changes your experience versus rushing in late, whipping into a parking spot to jump out of the car as you drop your phone (bummer) and rush in to start a meeting short winded.
Before you say goodbye they should review any package and service options you are interested in and yes, that means pricing. We get that can be an uncomfortable conversation - you don’t want to feel like you’re stuck in a car dealership and odds are, they don’t want you to either. In reality though, that is why you are there. This is most likely the last time you will sit face to face with them before booking the venue so it’s time to make sure you know all the details and avoid any surprises.
Don’t forget that one of these venues is going to be the perfect fit for you - and when that happens the next step is to make it official and reserve your date. If you are at that stage and wanting to check off the location from your planning list be sure to have what you need on hand to book the venue.
As you heard in the episode, a few big questions we think you cannot skip (don’t worry they are on the guide along with 13 other questions) are:
WELCOME to our little corner of the internet friends!
Why We Created The Guide
So here’s where we come in. We’ve done this, like hundreds of times and can navigate this in our sleep - but don’t worry we are showing up FULLY caffeinated and ready to help you because that is what you deserve. Between this first series (Episode 1 - 4 and the free guide you downloaded - and if you haven’t you totally need to jump over and grab that) you will know everything you need to to rock this first stage of planning. It’s a big stage, we know, and a HUGE check off your list for planning. Let’s do it!
Rather listen in? Skip over to the Behind the Party Podcast HERE to listen in now.
I’m not going to overwhelm you with my spreadsheets - organizing is my happy place guys, but instead I am going to give you all the questions and checklists you need to ask to narrow it down. Over in that guide we’ve also included worksheets to keep organized, as well as to print and take with you on tours so you don’t forget a question and have to go back to ask again.
On top of all the options though, venues do not make it easy - they each have different amenities, services and rules to guide your experience. It’s what makes them unique, what shows off their priorities and what they are known for and lets you get to know their personality but it’s also a huge pain to compare costs. This is when being prepared, feeling comfortable and confident in what you are looking for and keeping your eye on your priorities BEFORE you get too deep in planning is really important. It’s why we suggest you start with a little homework before submitting all those contact forms and information requests online.
Either way - you need to know what you are comfortable with and what your max amount is. Once you start getting a better understanding of real costs for services in your area this may adjust and that is okay. For now, give yourself the grace to come back and change your budget, but have a conversation of what this means for you. Really not sure where to start? Do a quick search and find costs of 3 venues, 3 caterers, 3 DJs, and 3 photographers in your area. You’ll see that 1) it definitely varies and 2) what is unrealistic and realistic for the type of wedding you envision.
Now that you have your homework done, use those 10 questions in the guide to field through venues and narrow down your top choices. Those are the ones we are going to focus on in Episode 2 - and get you ready to know exactly what to ask when you’re visiting.
Get the FREE GUIDE by clicking HERE
Listen in to the podcast Episode #01: Engaged, Now What? HERE
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