Fantastic, so you've narrowed down your top 3 venues. There are so many beautiful venues in the area, each offering a range of amenities and services and price points. You've scanned their websites chock full of drool-worthy gorgeous photos and have narrowed it down to your top 3 picks. What's next?
Schedule the tours!
When scheduling tours, try to schedule them on the same day, if possible. The notes from each venue will be fresh in your mind and will make comparisons easier. The date you want to book for your wedding is available but can suddenly change within hours. You'll want to tour your venues as quickly as possible to ensure you get the date you want before someone else books it. Event dates are booked on a first-come, first-serve basis, so don't waste any time.
Confirm your tour date and time.
Reach out to the venue to confirm your appointment. This signals to the coordinator that you're attentive to details and that you're serious about reserving a space for your special day. If you can't make it, please be courteous and let them know. You don't have to give a reason, just simply say, "Our plans have changed. We will get back with you to reschedule the tour if anything should change". Or simply let them know you found another venue. Either way, they will understand and be extremely happy for you!
Try to limit the number of people in your group to just the important decision-makers.
Friends joining you for the tour may get bored and distracted and stray from the tour. Questions and answers can be more difficult if everyone is not together to hear what is being said. Those who are not decision-makers or not supportive of the marriage or your wedding plans and ideas can be a distraction by challenging you and your fiance or the venue coordinator with debates and arguments that could be embarrassing and result in losing valuable time in the tour.
Limit questions until the end of the tour.
Wedding venues give hundreds of tours a year and are well-rehearsed on highlighting their facility's amazing features. A barrage of questions and comments robs you of the wonderful tips and ideas the venue coordinator will offer throughout the tour. She/he will also highlight terms of the contract along the way, which will raise some questions you may not have thought to ask. At the end of the tour, they will sit down and answer any questions.
Take notes while touring the facility.
The venue will give some awesome ideas that you can use at any facility. They are full of delightful tips and tricks to make your event a beautiful day to remember.
Allow plenty of time for the tour.
Tours generally last about an hour if you include the time to sign a contract. The venue coordinator wants you to take your time reading the agreement in case you have any questions. Compare the notes you've taken with what is in the contract. She is available to clarify anything you may have misunderstood. The facility where you'll hold your event is a significant investment. They are available to answer your questions before signing the agreement.
Tours an excellent opportunity for you to view the facility but, you'll also get to visit with the staff to glean an understanding of their professionalism, personality, and of course, their packages and pricing. She is someone you'll be communicating with for up to 2 years! You'll want to sense a personal connection.
Something to keep in mind..they are also looking at you and your group. Will you make a good fit for their venue? Do your wedding plans and ideas align with their policies? Are you insisting on a sparkler sendoff even after they've confirmed they don't allow fireworks or open flames? The coordinator is looking for clues as to how well you'll work together. They sincerely want you to be happy even if it means recommending and promoting another venue. Your venue coordinator will be accommodating by referring several facilities whose policies align with your design and ideas. Take your time and choose wisely as packages are non-refundable.
Be prepared to book on the spot.
The best venues book first! Dates book quickly, and it's quite common to have 1-2 tours on one day, both interested in the same date for their event. Venues book on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you're flexible when selecting an event date, then even better! They can help select a date based on price, promotion, time of year, etc.
Flexibility is key to getting a great deal!
When you've made your decision
Let the sales coordinator know as soon as possible. Venues book event dates on a first-come, first-serve basis. Sign your contract and pay your "save the date fee." If you did not make your reservation at the tour, it's possible to sign your paperwork through email. Most venues are prepared to do everything online or through email, but don't waste any time. Remember, the best venues book first.
You have a venue!
One of the hardest parts of wedding planning is the location. Now that you have a venue, everything else seems to fall into place.
Let the wedding planning begin!