What do you even ask venues?
Things to ask a venue before touring…
SKIP TO THE BOTTOM TO GET THE FREE 9 PAGE GUIDE: WHAT TO ASK VENUES
Yeah, it can be quickly overwhelming to think through all the different options, services to compare and narrow down so many great options.
Most people will tell you that the first step is to pick a date and a venue location. We are going to stop you right there though because being a venue we disagree. If you jump right into the search for a venue without a little prep work you are going to be quickly overwhelmed and stressed. Worse, you could end up stuck in a situation that you later realize is not what you truly want for your wedding experience had you known sooner. So that is where we are going to start in this blog, so that we can really help you out - no reason to tell you where the finish line is if you don't know were to even sign up for the race right?
Before you start clicking on those venue contact pages here are the steps you should take first to avoid unnecessary stress - and so you can feel confident in your choices.
In the end, we have a free guide for you - 9 pages filled with specific questions to ask before you visit venues, why you should ask them, and worksheets to keep you organized when doing it.
Step 1: Guest Count
Of course, no one is expecting you to know exactly who is coming to your wedding, and right now this should just be a working list that may change over the next couple of months. To make your wedding guest list there are a few areas to consider.
Step 2: Budget
Again, don’t think you have to have it all together right now. As you begin getting quotes you may see that you want or can adjust your budget. Having a general sense of the amount you can or will use for your celebration is very important. Without this conversation and decision, you can easily end up in a place spending more than you ever wanted to. I mean, have you seen all those TikToks of brides going over budget in every category? Yeah, let's not do that - what do you think? Let's take a breath, figure out this whole planning thing and then tackle it like a pro.
Specifically, you want to determine the amount you want to spend on your venue. The tricky part is that some venues are very basic whereas others include catering, linens, staff, sometimes bar packages, and more. The comparison of each one can be, well honestly - a pain. It can also mean a lot of research on your hands if you haven’t hired a professional planner that you trust to give you general costs and values.
The goal is that you don’t jump into a venue blindly and end up spending thousands more than you wanted, or if your budget is not a concern, that you don’t end up stuck with options/vendors you don’t want.
Step 3: Your Vision
This is probably your favorite part - ours too. I would bet you already have this part pretty much figured out. Hate to break it to you though, style-wise the guest table and wedding cake décor parts are not the most important right now. The overall vibes of your day though - now that’s what we want to focus on. Do you picture a certain time of year? Celebrating in the summer sun, or a cool winter day are drastically different. If you envision yourself having an outdoor wedding on a rooftop venue in the city or surrounded by trees, nature, and your pups it will help guide your search.
What you two want to focus on and should be thinking more of is the setting you want to welcome your guests into. Think of it as finding your dream house and then filling it with your décor. Find the venue that allows you the ambiance you’re seeking to not limit your vision as it comes together over the next few months.
Once you have narrowed down your overall style you will know if there is a certain time of year you want to say I do. Then you can narrow it down even more to fit your lifestyle.
Step 4: Set Your Priorities
This one! Ooh yes, you have to figure out what is on your dream list and matters to you. Of course, saying I do and getting married is the first thing so let’s not count that one.
Moving to the next - focus on what you will be spending money on and what is the most exciting to you. For some people it is florals, others it is photography or maybe yours is unique touches like a coffee truck. These top items are where you want to make sure you’re choosing a venue that 1) allows your vision 2) has room for what you have planned (especially if a mobile truck) and 3) is not going to steal part of the funds you were going to use for those special touches. The thing about it is, choosing your venue is the first investment most make for their day and it also is one of the biggest portions of your budget. Going over means you have to give room somewhere else - and trust us no matter how much you love your venue if it means 6 months later you realize you don’t get that dream honeymoon you will be bumming a bit and no venue wants that.
As a venue team, we can promise you that venues are excited about hosting your wedding, and we are thrilled to see the wedding vision and style you come up with! Even more than that - we are counting down the days for your wedding and we would never want you having second thoughts about choosing us.
Whether you are engaged or pre-engaged (we see you boo) having a realistic grasp on these will really help you as you take that first big step into planning. Half of it is fun, like exciting make your style board and dive down the deep hole that is instagram and TikTok inspiration to find the best vibes that match both of your styles. The other half… well not many people like budgeting and looking at money we know - but with the amount you are getting ready to invest whether it’s a tight budget or open ended you need to do this.
Alright so - have you done these four steps? If so then good for you, go grab your favorite beverage whether it’s sparkling water or ranch water and get ready for more of the fun stuff.
Questions to ask venues before you tour
Why is it important to talk to a venue before visiting? Great question friend! Here’s the skinny… There are a ton of options a TON of venues near you to choose from, visit and get lost in. When I got married almost 10 years ago from when I am writing this there were like 5 venues north of DFW in a two-hour radius. Now you can print that google map off, hang it on your wall throw a dart, and land on like 10 in one bubble.
That’s amazing great news for you BUT it does mean more prep work. I know, I know I said we were done with that after the first 4 steps but this is different I promise. The perk is you do not need to settle, you can find your style, your budget and your priorities to have the day you deserve. The down side is that it can be super confusing to compare all these options and if you aren’t careful a total time suck.
Most cultures only book 1 venue for their wedding, a few book 2 (especially if you are having a henna ceremony, rehearsal dinner, or post-wedding brunch), and a small number book 3 or more.
What that means is you have to take that list of 100+ venues in your area down to 1 (for the sake of this let’s just pretend you are looking for 1 specific venue right now). You are about to spend so much time researching what venue is gorgeous in fall, which venue has a great reputation, where will my guests stay… Then you’re going to spend days on days visiting these places.
Once we had a couple visit us to see everything, and they were obviously burnt out. They couldn’t think of a question to ask, they seemed overwhelmed and kept confusing all the places they had looked at - when we asked they told us they had visited over 60 wedding venues. 60 VENUES! Could you imagine the time it took to set up those visits, work around work, social calendars and then to drive to each spot? No wonder they were overwhelmed, and if you take anything from this post please know you do not need to do that to find your dream venue.
If you are visiting 10 venues you have not asked the right questions and are doing too much. In fact, if you ask our venue manager “how many venues should I tour?” she will tell you if you have seen more than 5 you have seen too many.
The difference is that we know this industry, we know what to look for, what to ask, and how to narrow in on what is or is not a good fit. By the time a couple is finished touring with us we can tell you if you are a good fit for us, and if not 3 venues that would be perfect. Now, wouldn’t it be nice if you could do that too?
Imagine all the conversations you would not have to have with venues you really are not into!
So that’s our goal here - we are going to take you from newly engaged and lost in a sea of wedding planning to feel prepared, confident, and most importantly EXCITED about your venue.
We’ve organized all of the information for you on an easy to ready PDF that is completely FREE to you. Then, because we are extra and super organized, we also made you a worksheet to keep it all organized, typed up email templates for you to send inquiries to wedding venues and a guide on what to ask when you’re visiting. We’ll talk more about that in a different blog though.
No gimmicks, no weird sales email from us just helpful tools to get you in the venue you deserve and is waiting for you.
One last thing before you jump into the guide and workbook though - if you are lucky most of these venues will have the bulk of this information on their website. If you are going to take the time to reach out to them, that means you would visit that venue right? Well, I promise you taking time to look over their website for this information will be a lot faster than 50 back and forth emails, and definitely faster than going to visit a venue that is a 30-minute drive just to realize whoops, they don’t check one of our boxes.
Check out their websites, fill in the worksheet, and then use the templates to reach out to them to get the rest of those answers!
Ready for that guide? CLICK HERE AND ENTER YOUR INFO
If you have any issues with the link shoot us an email and we will get it right over to you!
No sales pitch, just 4 helpful emails each with a guide, templates or worksheets to use.
Contact Us: email@example.com
Photos by (top to bottom of blog):
Enchanted Luna Photography
Taylor Salerno Photography
5 Tips to Conquering Your Floorplan
One of the BEST things we get to do with our couples is help draft a floor plan. It’s sort of like one of our favorite things when it comes to details and prepping… is that weird? Well, if you didn’t know we are wedding nerds now you do! Floorplans should get way more hype and credit than they do when it comes to planning. It is the BIGGEST way to bring your vision to life and will outline your entire reception.
A lot of times what we see though are couples who are burnt out by the time they need to sit down and draft a floor plan. It’s not the most exciting thing, and it doesn’t always look the best - compared to floral arrangements or that cute custom sign you had made that is. It can also be very overwhelming once you start thinking of all the little details and things that go into a floor plan. Which brings us to this blog post - 5 steps to setting up your perfect floorplan.
As always - resources, links and more at the bottom!
We suggest planning for a safe number - the upper range with some flexibility. If you choose a layout with 10 tables you can seat 80 by placing 8 chairs at each, or 100 by placing 10 at each. What that really means for you is if your RSVPs come in at 90 you’re not stressing to build/order another centerpiece to make it work. If your count comes in lower? That’s easy! Seat less per table or bonus remove a table meaning you have the decor you would have set on it to use at the bar, the entry, etc.
When thinking about your guests you should also consider the VIPs in the room. These typically include your wedding party, their significant others, and your immediate family members. We can’t recommend reserved tables enough - with their names at their place setting. Each weekend we see parents come in from taking post-ceremony photos with the gorgeous couple to be stopped by many friends who are saying hello. What couples don’t think about though are all their other guests - you know, the ones not in those family photos who made their way into the reception hall half an hour ago to claim their seat. Your VIPs should not be left looking for a chair in the back corner of the room - a simple “reserved” sign helps. Place cards with their names ensure that your second cousin once removed doesn’t self proclaim to be VIP, and it also enables your pros to help direct guests to a fantastic seat while leaving those seats reserved alone.
The room itself is not the only thing you will want to know the shape and size for though if your venue has tables, chairs or other furniture provided for you as them the sizes so you can space accordingly. There is a big difference between 6-foot long banquet tables and 60 inch rounds. Your venue should also have basic details and information about the furniture for you. For example, our 60 inch round tables seat 8 - 10 with our chiavari chairs. If someone were to bring in folding garden chairs which are wider we would suggest 9 tops, and ideally only 8 chairs per table.
Every venue is different - one thing you don’t want to forget about when planning your perfect floorplan are the permanent features in the room. It may be large furniture or decor items that cannot be moved, or it could be something more structural such as a door or counter. For our venue that includes our bar - a long granite counter located in the southwest corner of the reception hall. Keeping these permanent features in mind will help you use the space to your advantage and really let the floorplan work for you rather than being stuck with what you have.
Electrical outlets are another feature couples sometimes forget about. For example that band you’re planning on having? Or that amazing photo booth your guests will be lined up at all night long? They need power - and enough of it too. For our couples we keep it simple, we have multiple outlets on every wall, outlets at the ceiling for those who hang decor and have larger installations such as lights, and we even have outlets on the floor. It keeps creating their floorplan a little simpler with one less headache to have to worry about.
4. Know the details before you dive in
It’s kind of hard to plan your space when you don’t have a clear vision of everything you need there. Are you serving a buffet line or will meals be plated? Do you have a DJ or an 8 piece rock band? All these things make a huge difference in what you have space for and where you need to start to tackle your floor plan. If you jump the gun and start drafting your floor plan without knowing these details you may find yourself erasing…. A whole lot. Or you might finally reach the end and then realize you forgot to put your head table in the room - YIKES.
This checklist is just a glimpse of the questionnaire we send our clients and items that are in the majority of the floorplans we’ve built.
Talk about saving the best for last! This is the one area that can be hard to visualize - so please talk to your vendors and have them look over your floorplan with you. The flow of your guests is very important. Often we hear during tours how couples don’t want lines - lines at the buffet line, the guest book, and especially not at the bar. Now keep in mind that there will be busy times when lines are unavoidable. Even our intimate weddings with less than 40 will have a line at the guest book to sign in and leave a note - that’s expected. What you do not want though is a traffic jam.
Could you imagine if the line for your bar crossed paths with your buffet line? What about if in addition to that your caterers and bar staff had to walk across the lines to get to ice and their utensils. PLEASE don’t do that to your pros, your guests, or your sanity! Break apart the hotspots of the evening - even photo booths can be so fun near the bar but if they are in the same corner is a crowd waiting to happen.
Our venue was designed with the kitchen and the bar on opposite ends of the venue for a reason. The kitchen has multiple doors so that caterers can move freely and not through crowds. Use it to your advantage - keep the buffet line near the kitchen and spread out the flow or your event to utilize all areas of the venue.
See a photo you love?
Check out these awesome photographers:
1st, 2nd and 3rd photo by April Sapp Photography
4th and 5th by Blackall Photography
6th by Brooks Captured Moments / Lovesick Photos
Looking for hands on help?
Contact our team for help with your floorplan, and to set up a time to tour!
CLICK HERE TO CONTACT US
Budgeting 101: With CM Promotions
Wedding Planning! So exciting, fun, and..... Stressful?
No matter how much you love the planning process most couples have never fully planned a
wedding before. Even if you have, odds are it hasn’t been many and as we all know every
wedding is as unique and as amazing as each individual couple.
SO where to start?
Well.... Everyone’s budget is unique and what is reasonable or expensive to you could be
completely different to those brides in your Facebook group that are giving you suggestions of
photographers that are “reasonable”. In addition, having a budget can help you stay on target
and in control of your wedding spending. The two problems we hear from couples in the
beginning of planning is that
1) “We have no idea how much a [planner] should cost! Is this a deal? Is it expensive?”
2) “How much of our budget should we spend on [floral]?
Questions and Answers!
So, we can give you our tips all day long, but we thought hearing directly from a planner who
helps consult and set budgets would be way more helpful. Cindy is a local planner we love
working with and is always so professional with couples.
We’ve asked her for her two sense on budgets - take a peak.
Q: I can’t afford to pay an arm and a leg for floral that’s just crazy! I am looking for an
affordable DJ - who can help?”
“We as vendors see this question all the time, I need a planner who doesn’t cost an arm and a
leg, I need a low budget DJ, can’t spend an arm and a leg. Wedding budgets will look different
for each couple but just to set the record straight.
The price of a new prosthetic leg can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 and an arm that is
fully functioning and can bend at several locations can range from $20,000 to $100,00.
Is anyone’s budget here $150K? OK perfect so none of you will spend an arm and a leg.”
- Cindy, CM Promotions
Know your ideal budget and ask or look for it! Vendors cannot help or have any idea what is
“reasonable” to you if you don’t give a range or max amount. We do recommend that you look at
vendors that are slightly above that range to compare what is provided at that price level.
Our venue for example includes some services like tablecloths where others do not. That
service saves you $200+ easily from your budget so may first look like we are above your ideal
venue budget when in reality we save you more in the long run.
Q: How should I start figuring out where to spend my budget?
“Make a list of your wedding priorities: Start with the top three things that are most important to you on your wedding day. For example Food, Live Band and Photo are mine, and yours may be
different and that is ok. Whatever is most important put it at the top and book those vendors
first. Anything leftover you distribute to everything else you need but at least you’ll have your
main priorities taken care of.” - Cindy, CM Promotions
Q: Are there ways I can stretch my budget or make the most of it?
“Be resourceful! There are a lot of items/decor for weddings that can be used for both the
ceremony and reception. Example: Bridesmaid bouquets can double as centerpieces for the
reception, lanterns used to decorate the aisle can be brought inside and put on tables/stairs for
extra decor. Adding a colored napkin to a white or ivory table cloth can add so much to the
room for only a little expense.” - Cindy, CM Promotions
Q: Should I go for the best deal I can find?
“Do your research: As important as budget is to your wedding day, you can’t get a redo - if you
think your vendor has a deal that is too good to be true, dive in a little deeper, read the reviews,
post to one of the Facebook groups and see what other brides have said. Having an
experienced and knowledgeable vendor team is crucial to the success of your day, the planner,
DJ, and Photographer all have to work hand in hand to ensure your day is a success.”
- Cindy, CM Promotions
Q: How much of my budget should go to each area?
“I feel like the wedding budget is different for everyone so this Budget 101 breakdown is like a
middle ground and it works for those who have a budget of $20,000 or $60,000.”
- Cindy, CM Promotions
CLICK HERE cmpromotions.co/to set up that free consult call with CM Promotions.
Like what you see?
Photos on this page (top to bottom) by:
Brandon Jones Photography (photos 1 and 2)
Enchanted Luna Photography (photos 3, 4 and 5)
Planning 101: Stationery and Paper
Stationery questions - Making it custom, personal and part of you vision
Do you ever feel at a loss for words? You have this great idea or picture in mind of what you are planning but when it comes down to putting it in action your mind goes blank. Now add on that stress of making it tie into your wedding vision and PHEW. It's enough to make anyone stare at a screen of options for hours and hours.
Your invitations have a very important job. They give those people who mean the world to you all the details to get to your day to celebrate and soak in the love. Your invitations alone let them know so much more than when and where, they also tell them the overall style of your wedding from color to how formal it may be and the tone of the day.
Your wedding stationery; from menus and programs to mailed invitations are all a part of your day and is the first look your guests have to the event you have been working so hard to plan. The colors and overall style should match your vibes - but the wording?
So, we reached out to one of the best - an amazing woman owned business local to North Texas that is! Seriously guys, you have to check out her amazing work. Not only does she cover all your paper needs but she is crazy talented and you will not be disappointed! Back to the information - we had a quick Q and A with Erin and have all the details here for you. Don't forget to visit her website to get even more questions answered and look into having your dream set designed.
How can we ask guests to not bring a plus one, or what if we’re planning an adult-only reception?
"Properly addressing the envelopes is going to be the best way to specify who is invited to the wedding. If an envelope is addressed to “Mr. John Smith” then he should not be bringing a guest to the wedding. If the envelope is addressed to “Mr. John Smith and guest” then he may bring a plus one. The same goes for families - an envelope addressed to “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith” is just for those two people, whereas “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith and family” or “The Smith Family” would include all members of that family.
If you are worried that your guests will need another reminder, you can add the words “Adult Reception" to your website and/or the reception card included in your invitation suite. "
- Erin Wright
Save the Dates vs. Invitations: When are they sent?
"Save the Dates should be ordered and mailed 6-8 months in advance.
Wedding Invitations should be mailed 2 months in advance. Printing time is typically about 3 weeks and we will want to leave time for proofing the design on the front end, and addressing/stamping/stuffing on the back end. Therefore, we suggest you start working on your invitations about 4-5 months in advance. That gives you time to look at samples and narrow down the style of invitations, then go through the proofing process to make sure all design aspects and wording is just as you would like. "
- Erin Wright
What other paper products should I be thinking about?
"Day of Wedding paper (programs, menus, table numbers, seating charts, etc.) should be ordered once you have your final headcount (usually about a month before the wedding). We typically start designing these shortly after the invitations are sent out, that way once you receive your replies and have a final number, we are ready to move forward with printing.
Notecards can be added to any of the previous orders, or placed as their own order. You will want to have these in hand right after the wedding to start working on thank you notes."
- Erin Wright
Photo and more amazing tips at Sincerely, Addison
What are your top tips on choosing a style/theme for their stationery & how it should tie into our overall style?
"Your invitations are meant to set the tone for your wedding. You won’t want to send a rustic looking invitation for a black-tie event. The invitation suite will gives your guests a hint as to what to expect on your wedding day, therefore you will want a cohesive look throughout. Keep with the same color scheme and overall style. When deciding on your invitation design, we suggest looking through samples and photo galleries. Find what is catching your eye about certain invitations.
However, we want to make sure everything about this day to be representation of you two as a couple. Talk to your stationer about your likes and interests as a couple. Tell us the story of how you met and things that are important to you. Are their moments in your life that you want to incorporate in your invitations or day of paper? We have done custom sketches of pets, fun facts about the couple printed on cocktail napkins, and tables named after places the couple has travelled. Our job as a custom stationery company is to design something specific to you."
- Erin Wright
All Images Are Property of Sincerely, Addison
Week Four: Wedding Venue Giveaways
Last week of giveaways already?
We've got just as many giveaways.... and who knows maybe an extra surprise or two up our sleeves. This month was definitely more fun getting to do these weekly giveaways with you guys! We don't normally get to do things like this and we're SO grateful for your participation and joining us.
If you've missed the first couple weeks we've had here's a little recap of what to do...
- we'll be posting throughout the week with how to win
- follow the directions & you'll be entered
- you have to follow us & let us follow you back (so we can see your posts)
- for entries with photos: sending any photos/videos to us via DM also works!
- each prize has it's own way to win: best photo, random winner, etc
Anyone can win: wedding pro, couple, neighbor, even if you just randomly stumbled on our page!
Prizes are delivered via email (giftcards) or mail.
*Bonus is only open to any couple who has not booked our venue, tours within the window of time and books before the end of the month.*
If you have any other questions you can contact our team HERE.
We love to help others & being a part of your big day! We believe in dreaming big, smiling often & southern charm.
10340 Jackson Rd. Krum, TX 76249