virginia weddings

What to Know Before Contacting A Wedding Venue

One of the most important decisions you will make as you plan your wedding is choosing your wedding venue.The wedding venue determines many aspects of your wedding, details that include the vendors you will use, theme, wedding dress and bridal party attire, decorations, colors, activities you will include for guests, and many others.

Photo by Tim Souza Photography

Before you start contacting venues to inquire or schedule a tour here is a list of questions you need to know so you do not waste the venue’s time or yours.



Know the price of the venue.

Most venues will list the price on their website or on the sites that you find the venue, if it is not listed, then you should call or email to find out the price before scheduling a tour.

Photo by IYQ Photography

Know and understand what the venue includes for the price.

If a venue charges one price for just the rental of the facility, then you are going to have to price out what you will need to host the wedding. IE- outdoor venue- tents, tables chairs, etc.

IE- Indoor venue- tables, chairs, etc.

Photo by Tim Souza Photography

Know what kind of venue you want.

This may seem obvious, but you need to understand that an outdoor venue, for instance, is going to be outside, and that you and your guests will be outside, most likely under a tent for the reception.  An indoor venue may not be as interesting as hosting your wedding on a beautiful plantation, a beach or at a vineyard but you and your guests may prefer the inside of a hotel ballroom or a rustic barn where the temperature can be more controlled and possibly where all guests can have accommodations right at the venue ( like a hotel or resort option).

Photo by Greg Poland Photography

Know your budget.

 Another obvious factor, but many couples do not do enough research to understand what they are going to have to spend if they want the venue of their dreams. Many venues require the catering and even alcohol to be purchased through the venue, which will reflect the bottom line of that venue to be much higher than a venue that may allow you to bring in your own catering and alcohol. Or one that provides the tent, tables and chairs vs a venue that may be much cheaper but does not provide the necessary set ups, that in the end, you will wind up having to rent for additional fees and that may exceed the higher priced venue’s cost.

Schedule a tour.

Once you have done your homework and decided on what kind of venue you would like and can afford it is time to schedule a tour of the venue. You really cannot tell from photos online or in an ad what that venue truly looks like or the vibe, until you take a tour. And be sure to schedule the tour if at all possible during the season that you plan to have your wedding.

Keep your appointment.

There is nothing worse or more inconsiderate than scheduling a tour and then not showing up or not cancelling the appointment ahead of time if something arises. The staff at these venues are taking the time from their busy schedules to meet with you.  Many stage the venues for tours so it will reflect what it will look like on your special day. If you cannot make the tour once scheduled, please call the venue to cancel or to reschedule the tour.

Be Prepared to Book.

On the day of of the tour, be prepared to sign a contact and pay the rental fee or required deposit if you love the venue. Most venues book a year in advance. High demand months such as May, June, September and October fill up fast. Venues will not hold a date without payment and a contract in place.


Photo by Wendell Powell 

The author: Angeline Frame

Angeline is the owner/publisher of Palm Beach Weddings Magazine and Virginia Bride Magazine and the show producer for The Greater Virginia Bridal Shows. She has a degree in Public Administration and Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. A former model and wedding venue owner- she loves all things wedding , fashion and decorating. In her spare time she likes to write, travel and get new ideas to share with brides.