No one ever teaches you how to plan a wedding. After all, you are likely only doing it one time! Anytime you are trying something new, there can be a steep learning curve, and no one wants to experience that when planning the best day of your life.
That’s why we put together this handy list of questions to help guide you in choosing a wedding venue. There are so many options out there, and details really matter when it comes to the location that meets you and your groom’s personality, style, and needs.
Here’s a few considerations to get you started and help ease your worries when locking in the wedding venue.
How many guests can this venue accommodate?
This is a fairly obvious one, but sometimes deceiving! You will want to choose a venue that can comfortably fit your entire guest list (even if some people can’t make it). Diamond A Ranch, for example, can accommodate up to 250 guests.
How accessible is the venue?
It is common for venues to have restrictions on parking and schedule. You should also ask about ADA accessibility to accommodate all kinds of guests. At Diamond A, we have plenty of parking (after all it is a 2,000 acre ranch!) and wedding receptions are asked to end by midnight at the latest.
What does my venue rental include?
At Diamond A Ranch, your wedding experience includes access to all facilities across the ranch, including a putting green, horseshoe pits, cornhole boards, a fire pit, a heated pool, and a covered outdoor kitchen, in addition to lodging for yourself and 18 guests. We also offer you the choice of 3 different ceremony locations!
What does my venue rental NOT include?
Your wedding venue should be transparent about what is not included. No hard feelings, but make sure that you clarify what your venue price covers and what you need to pay for separately.
What are the rules about decorating and/or bringing my own decorations?
Most venues have specific guidelines around when and how you can decorate, some more strict than others. Be sure you have asked this question and understand expectations. You may also want to clarify when you can begin decorating and/or if early access to the venue is included in your package.
Are catering and alcohol service included?
Be sure to ask how food and alcohol can be brought into the wedding or if they are included in the venue so that you can plan accordingly.
What are your policies on outside vendors?
Some venues have rules about which vendors are allowed on-site. Diamond A is “vendor flexible,” meaning that you can choose your own or use those on our list of preferred creative partners! Some outside vendors to consider include: Alcohol service, food, photography, hair/makeup, event rentals, floral arrangements, wedding planners, music, transportation shuttles, and more.
Do I need event insurance?
In most cases, a wedding will require some form of liability insurance, especially if you are serving alcohol. A qualified, knowledgeable venue will be able to help you out with this process.
How often can I visit the venue prior to my wedding day (or weekend)?
Some venues have strict policies; Diamond A allows for unlimited visits, just call us ahead of time so we can schedule a meet-up! This helps you plan more effectively, stress-free! No one wants unpleasant surprises on their big day.
Does the venue allow for my save-the-date or engagement photos?
In addition to your bridal shots the day-of, your romance has so many other photo-ops! Ask your venue if they allow for other special photography sessions, such as your save-the-date and engagement shots.
Can my rehearsal dinner be hosted here?
Be sure to ask about your rehearsal dinner and see if that can be accommodated at the venue or if it is an additional cost. You should also ask if there are time restrictions on the length of your rehearsal.
What is the backup plan in case of inclement weather?
If you are planning an outdoor wedding, it's important to have a backup plan in case of rain or other adverse weather conditions. Talk to your prospective venues to determine whether or not there are indoor options in case of unforeseen circumstances.
What is the closest lodging?
Your wedding day is about you, but of course, you want to make sure there are great options for your guests as well. Ask about hotels and other lodging options for your guests and how far those are from the venue. This will also help you determine whether or not offering transportation/shuttles to and from hotels is a viable option.
What is the closest airport?
If you have out-of-town guests coming, it is convenient for a large airport to be nearby. Diamond A Ranch is located near the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, which is a central hub and makes flying in and out easy for almost any guest!
We hope that these questions help spark all of the necessary conversations between you and your future wedding venue!
Remember, your wedding venue relationship is just that: A relationship! And we all know that honest, direct communication is important for relationships to thrive.
We believe that by asking the right questions ahead of time, you can work with your venue to plan the perfect day, stress-free, so that you can enjoy every moment.
Your venue should work for you, not the other way around.
We would love to take you on a tour of our ranch and talk about all the details above and more! Click here to schedule your tour.
We can’t wait to hear about your vision for your big day!