There are great wedding venues and there are terrible wedding venues. And while you seem to have found your absolute dream venue, believe me, it is JUST A DREAM. The second you sign on the dotted line and pay your non-refundable deposit, you'll have wished you listened to me!
It may look like a dream, but through planning, any venues will turn out to be a complete nightmare!
There's a fee for everything!
Yes, there are always going to be fees. The ceremony site fee, the reception site fee, a fee for rentals (tables, chairs), a fee to use their linens. And this is all normal. Of course a venue has to make their money somewhere, right?
But there are some fees that personally, I think are completely unnecessary. And while they may seem small and insignificant at the time, they add up! And these two fees are for your cake cutting and pouring of the champagne. There are millions (yes, millions!) of venues out there without these silly fees, so I promise you can find a venue you love where these items won't cost you a penny!
Your Lost Voicemail
The wedding industry is full of amazing people who truly will do everything they can to make your wedding day fabulous. But always remember, every vendor is running a business! So of course we're all in the business of making money!
If a venue does not return your voicemail even the first time, I would turn around and RUN! Think about it this way...they WANT your business, as many venue coordinators and directors are bonused on you booking with them! So if they don't care enough to call you back before you've booked, then believe me, they are hardly going to care once your check is cashed!
And yes, voicemails get deleted or can't be heard due to bad service and emails get lost who knows where. So give them the benefit of the doubt! (I know because I was once a Catering Director). But for the most part, a forgotten or disregarded email is a forgotten or disregarded email throughout planning when help is most needed!
No Site Coordinator
Always, always, ALWAYS ensure there will be someone who works at your venue on site the entirety of your wedding from set up through clean up.
What if the power goes out and there is no one there to show you how to re-start the lights, electricity for cooking your meals, music, etc.? What if all of the toilets overflow and there is no backup toilet for guests to use? What if the building accidentally gets locked behind a vendor and there is no way to get back in the building?
There are a million and one things that only a site coordinator will be able to handle, so make sure this is set IN STONE (and in writing) before you reserve your date!
Too Many Rules
Every venue is going to have rules whether we like it or not. And while they may not explain them, there is a reason they are there! Some will bend the rules for you and some won't and it is your job to ask the questions and ensure everything that is within your wedding day vision can be accommodated at your venue.
However, there are some venues out there that go above and beyond to ensure their list of rules is exhaustive. So if every single item you ask about is an absolute no (or if anything is a no that is an absolute must for you), then you haven't quite found your perfect venue.
You will be working with your venue and their site coordinators every step of the way. So make sure your dream wedding can be accommodated and make sure you get all of your questions in writing on your contract. If ownership changes hands and you don't have everything you want listed on your contract, unfortunately yo may be out of luck!