Picking a wedding venue for your big day is a huge decision! There’s so many variables to consider that it can even seem a little overwhelming! You want something that looks beautiful, is within your budget, in a convenient location for the majority of your guests AND is available when you’re planning on having your wedding. To be completely honest, this is actually just scratching the service, as you still need to consider all the amenities that may or may not be offered at the venue you’re considering. All of this may make it seem nearly impossible to find the perfect venue without turning your hunt into a part-time job!
Having been in the wedding venue industry for years, we’ve worked with hundreds of couples throughout the Greater Houston area as they planned their wedding day. Over this time, we’ve seen trends develop around crafting customized weddings. With this experience, we thought it would be good to compile a list of questions everyone should ask before booking with a wedding venue. Whether that happen to be with us here at Madera Estates or anywhere else, these will ensure you know exactly what you’re signing up for and most importantly, that everything will be covered! So, without further ado, let’s get into the guide of what to look for in a wedding venue.
👉 Are you flexible on your wedding date?
Before even considering a wedding venue, you’ll need to decide whether or not you have a specific date that you’d like to have your wedding on. If you haven’t already nailed down a specific date, you’ll certainly have a lot more flexibility here. However, for those that have a date set in stone, you’ll want to make sure the venue is available right away. Particularly in high population areas where there is a plethora of venues, this should help you simplify your options. For most venues (Madera Estates included), you can simply reach out via e-mail or a phone call to confirm specific date availability! Our best piece of advice here is to pick the perfect venue before deciding on the perfect date!
👉 Have you thought about location?
It’s likely no surprise that location plays a major role in where you end up booking your wedding. If you’re booking at a venue that has more of a remote location, are you going to need to provide transportation to the venue? If so, how does that tie into the master budget that you’ve set for the wedding? In the cases where the wedding isn’t in a remote location, is there plenty of parking available for guests?
Lastly, on the topic of transportation, you’ll want to consider your guests. If you’re using a venue in another city, have you discussed transportation for your family and friends to make it there? For questions on the matters of parking, the wedding venue should be able to provide answers right away. However, when it comes to your guests availability, that one’s going to be on you. 😉
👉 Time for food! Have you discussed catering options?
Different venues have various restrictions when it comes to catering, so this is something you’ll want to discuss in the early stages. For some couples, this isn’t as big of a deal, but it’s certainly important to mention nonetheless. It isn’t uncommon to see venues have one exclusive caterer that you must use. Conversely, some venues will charge you additional costs if you use an outside catering company. Again, for some, this might be a deal breaker, as the additional fees could stretch your budget too far.
To simplify matters here at Madera, we provide various cuisines to hopefully meet everyone’s interests. With all of these coming from some of Houston’s premier catering companies, we can stand by the quality! An approach like this encourages simplicity, while also giving different options. Just for your reference, the caterers offered at Madera include Cafe Natalie, Churrascos and Hometown Chef Catering.
👉 What vibe are you trying to create?
This is more of an opinion question to be honest, but is certainly something important to keep in mind! Inside, everyone has a general vibe that they’re hoping to create with their wedding. Is it a barn-style wedding? Maybe you’re looking for more of a casual-type ceremony? Whatever vibe you have in mind, it’s important to keep your options open in the initial stages.
Based on personal experience, actually completing a venue tour and witnessing first-hand the environment is where you start to craft a vision of what you are really looking for. At the same time, it doesn’t hurt to do your homework beforehand. Take a look through their gallery or Facebook/Instagram feeds. Does it appear extra lighting is added to give it the desired “look?” Or does the natural setting have enough pizzazz to get the job done? In either case, this is another aspect where budget should be considered. If you need to bring in additional lighting, that could be another added expense to be mindful of.
👉 Have you discussed details in regards to the actual date?
Unfortunately, most of these questions aren’t actually brought up until the actual wedding date, but they are certainly something to be aware of. Asking these questions ahead of time though will ensure a stress-free wedding experience. Do you have a day-of contact? You’ll want to make sure that you (and any other outside vendors) have a phone number to get ahold of the venue contact as needed. An important note to keep in mind here is that your planning coordinator might be different from your day-of coordinator. Make sure to clarify this beforehand!
Don’t forget to discuss the fine print when it comes to money. Early in the planning process, you’ll want to discuss payment schedule. When are deposit payments made and when is the final transaction due? Additionally, different wedding venues have varying policies on no-show’s. If guests that you already paid for don’t show up, what happens? It’s important to discuss these ahead of time to avoid any surprises on wedding day!
Don’t let the stress overwhelm you. Enjoy the process!
While it can certainly seem like a lot to take on, the wedding planning process should be enjoyable. It shouldn’t feel like you are wearing a million hats trying to get everything planned. That responsibility should fall on the shoulders of the wedding venue! With this said, it is very important on your end to ask plenty of questions in the preliminary stages. Getting these out ahead of time prevents any chances of a surprise popping up later in the process.
At Madera Estates, we strive to make this entire process as simple as possible. Whether you live here in Conroe, the Woodlands, Houston or anywhere else, our mission for every wedding never changes. By laying all the cards on the table during your initial consultation, you’ll know exactly what will happen. Our process is straightforward: (1) Book a Tour, (2) Choose Your Season and Day of the Week and (3) Customize Your Package.
If you would ever like to book a free tour of Madera Estates or have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at (936) 441-9337 or pick a time here!