When you’re planning one of the most important events of your life, your wedding venue can be an important ally, a valuable source of advice and support. But as with other relationships, achieving this kind of mutual respect and trust requires ongoing communication on both sides.
A good wedding venue will be committed to being accessible, listening to your priorities, answering your questions, and sharing suggestions when asked.
That said, you have a role to play, too, in equipping your venue to make your wedding dreams come true.
I’ve compiled some guidelines that can help you interact effectively with the wedding venue you’ve selected and work together to make your big day an unforgettable success.
Ask Strategic Questions
Wedding venues, especially those with a few years of business under their belts, have seen the good, the bad, and outright cringeworthy moments that occur in the months and weeks leading up to a wedding. Why not learn from others’ mistakes?
Consider playing reporter and interview your venue contact. What planning mistakes do they see most frequently? What are the top three pieces of advice they have for customers — and wedding planners? What, in their opinion, are the keys to wedding success?
Keep Them in the Loop
But you don’t want to end the communication there. As you make key decisions related to your wedding, be sure to share them with your venue contact so they can make the necessary preparations on their end.
This sounds like yet another to-do to add to your endlessly growing list, but it is in your best interests. You want your venue to be prepared to provide you with their best possible services. So arm them with information.
Some of the details that will help your venue give you their best include:
· The number of people to expect
· Floor plans and seating charts for your reception
· Menu choices, dietary restrictions, and special orders, including meals for children and vendors
· Bar orders and special requests
· Custom requests, depending on what your venue offers, whether that’s a margarita machine or tenting for an outdoor ceremony
· Rentals from outside sources and deliveries the venue should expect to arrive at their door
· Wedding rehearsal schedules and details
· Any changes in plans you’ve already shared — as soon as possible
Designate a Decision-Maker
Ideally, only one person — preferably, you — should be communicating key decisions and planning updates, from headcounts to rental selections, to your venue.
Why? It protects you, the customer. It prevents misinformation (I never ordered these!) that can throw a wrench in your plans. It protects your wallet (How did our balance get so high??). It makes sure everyone is on the same page.
Add Your Vendors to the Conversation
You can do even more to promote smooth sailing on your wedding day by providing your vendors — goods and service providers like florists and deejays — with your venue’s contact information and vice versa.
Your vendors need to know if your venue has any policies that could impact their work, like windows of time when they can set up on your wedding day. And your venue needs to know if your vendors could use their help, possibly by accepting deliveries on their behalf or providing details the vendors will need to set up sound equipment.
Laying Groundwork for Success
Your wedding venue is going to do its best to accommodate you no matter what kind of working relationship you have.
But, when you cultivate a positive, respectful relationship with your venue, you’re setting your wedding day up for greater success. It allows your venue to make sure the staff, materials, and supplies for your wedding are lined up in time. It helps them understand your priorities and prevent details from slipping through the cracks. Essentially, it helps them deliver wedding excellence.
About the Author:
Roger Igo is the founder and CEO of special events venue, The Bell Tower on 34th, along with Houston catering service Excellent Events, and research resource, Venues in Houston. He is the author of “Keep On Going, The History of The Bell Tower on 34th,” a former radio host, a graduate of CEO Space International, and an alumnus of The Disney Institute.