Bride’s Guide Finding a Wedding Venue 101-Part 1

The beginning of planning a wedding is always the best. You get a beautiful ring, all of your friends throw you great parties, and not to mention you get to shop…a lot! But just like most shopping adventures, you need to know what you are shopping for and more importantly, how to shop smart.

When searching for the wedding venues that will forever hold the fond memories of the day you said “I do”, there are a ton of questions that most brides forget to ask, let alone consider. It’s so easy to get distracted by how shiny a building is that you fail to remember that your dream venue, might not be all it is cracked up to be. Here a few extra important points to take into account when you are looking for the perfect setting to tie the knot.

In House Catering vs. Outside Catering

Although the idea sounds good in theory, outside catering is not a simple as “I need this, I like this, oh, and this sounds good”. Caters include more than just food and could end up costing you extra in the long run.

Consider if you are required to pay for:

  • Staffing
  • Kitchen Equipment Rental
  • Outside Catering Fees

Aside from the fact that outside caters always run the risk of running out of food, getting lost on their way to your venue, or transporting the food in unsafe conditions, the food is always in danger of being cold.

In house catering tends to be a lot safer. Home field advantage usually includes in house staffing, thorough knowledge of your venue and an in house kitchen in the event something comes up. For example, in house culinary teams allow the flexibility to feed your distant cousin Dan that just so happens to be a vegetarian. Small details like who can eat what are easy to overlook but in house catering can accommodate smallest of requests!

Who Brings the Drinks?

What is a wedding without a bar? So many brides battle with this all important question in planning their wedding. While some locations allow outside alcohol, some don’t allow any at all. Before you scratch off another location because you can’t offer certain brands or bring it yourself, consider the hassle and liability that goes along with taking on that huge responsibility.

The biggest obstacle every bride will face when it come to having a bar and supplying the alcohol themselves, is the possibility the liquid party runs out. Never rule out guests you think might not drink for the simple fact you don’t see them walking around with a glass of wine every time you hang out. If the alcohol is free, there is a very good chance people will drink it. If, in the event your party did run out of beer, wine or spirits, guests could resort to cutting out a little early or even worse, you might have to request that one of your guests run to the nearest liquor store to pick up more. Who has time for that?

If your venue offers to take care of the alcohol, mull over a few of these points:

  • Your venue works with events like these all the time. The likelihood that they run out is far less than if you tried to make those calculations yourself.
  • If for any reason you decide to hire a bartender that doesn’t meet the TABC (Texas Alcohol and Beverage) requirements, you not only run the risk of over serving but more importantly, you assume the responsibility for anything that happens to your guests once they leave.
  • Most venues will already have glassware and other things to make the bar run smoothly so less items for you to have to worry about is always better.

Continue with Part Two of our Bride’s Guide to finding the perfect venue!