How important is your wedding venue to your overall wedding plans? It cannot be overstated. Two of the things that your guests will be looking forward to the most will take place at your reception venue: eating and entertainment. We are not going to lie to you, you might get lucky and fall into a venue that will be perfect for your wedding in every way. But that is not the norm. Most of the time you will have to do some intense research, setup interview sessions with each venue that you are considering, and then do some side by side comparisons to determine which one is best for your needs and your wants. There are few places in the world that have venues that could be considered of a higher quality than one can find in the San Francisco area. Some of the locations are absolutely stunning. The problem for you will be to find one that you fall in love with that you won't have to rob bank to pay for. Unless, that is, that money is no object. To help you along as you go shopping, pay attention to the tips and questions below, they will lead you in the right direction.
Start your search for your venue immediately. It is that important. When you track down at least 3 to 5 that you are interested in, find out if they are available on your chosen wedding date. If they are, you will want to pay a visit to each venue and take a tour of the facility. Make sure that you know how many guests will be at your wedding before you do any site visits. Ask the site manager if the venue can accommodate your guests. Is there enough additional room for a DJ, live band, and dancing. Does your style clash with the venue or complement it? Is it permissible to add decorative elements?
Check out their portfolio of wedding receptions that have been held there. How have others setup the room? Are there enough electrical plugs? What about parking spaces? Bathrooms? What is the ratio of toilets to guests? If you have guests that are handicapped, can the venue accommodate them? Does the venue have an in-house caterer that must be used? Ask to see sample menus and pricing. Can you bring your own in if you want to? Can your florist and band can get there early to setup? How many weddings does the venue allow per day? If they say multiple, you will want to find out how they might impact your setup. This is an important consideration to keep in mind and find out about. If there is another reception that will be going on at the same time as yours find out how that would affect your service if you are both using the in-house staff.
Make sure that you ask all of the venues that you visit for references. Contact each reference and have a discussion about how their wedding went. Ask if there were any problems. Was the venue staff professional and attentive to the needs of all of the guests. How would they rate the overall experience? Once you are finished with all of your interviews, ask yourself which one rated the best. If price does not exclude this venue, you are ready to sign a contract and put down a deposit.
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