Questions to ask on your Loudoun County wedding venues tour!
Top Photo Credit: Casey Hendrickson
Engagement season is just around the corner and we always wait in anticipation of the exciting emails that will hit our inbox following Christmas and New Year’s Eve! 2020 will be our 6th year in business, and each year we look forward to welcoming lots of couples to Shadow Creek for tours and to answer any questions they may have regarding the venue.
Since so many people will begin the planning process in the new year, and since there are many beautiful Loudoun County wedding venues, we wanted to provide an outline of the questions that may be important to ask as you try to find the right one for your vision. Aside from what’s included, capacity, and rates, there are a handful of other questions we encourage you to ask on any tour. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you select a venue that works with your budget, your vision and your personal situation when it comes to guests. Below we have outlined the questions we get asked frequently, but we have also mixed in a few we recommend asking on every tour. Let’s get started!
What is the venue’s capacity WITH a dance floor and band (if you plan to have a band)?
Capacity beyond just the seated number is a big question if you have visions of dancing the night away with all your family and friends to the sound of a full band. A full band (like you see in many reception pictures) requires a good amount of room, and while a dance floor can be sized down to fit a space, the reality is that a dance floor that’s too small for your group will make it harder for everyone to fit comfortably. Find out ahead of time what the actual seated capacity is with the details you want in your space, before committing to a venue and having to cut your guest list later. Beyond the dance floor and band, also consider whether you will have a photo booth, multiple bars, a dessert table, or elaborate escort card design. All of these fun details require some space so if you have your heart set on them, make sure the venue can fit them.
Does the venue have a RAIN or inclement weather plan? What is it?
Bad weather can show up at any time, on any date, and in any form. Some Loudoun County wedding venues have a definitive inclement weather plan and space, and others require more creativity or bringing in a tent. Regardless of what the plan is, make sure you are clear what it is and that you are OKAY with it. If you are getting married during a season of major thunderstorms or heavy winter weather, it doesn’t hurt to ask the venue if they have a back-up power source in the event the power goes out. You are likely going to spend close to a year or more planning your perfect day, knowing you are covered in the worst-case weather situation will be a relief.
Is your property handicap accessible
Loudoun County wedding venues are known for being beautiful, but for many families, the ability to include their friends and family is the most important thing on their wedding day. Double-check that your property is accessible to everyone who will be attending your wedding. This includes the ceremony and reception spaces. If you are not sure, always ask on the tour for a recommendation of how to accommodate all of your guests. This can also mean heating and air conditioning to ensure the space is not too hot or too cold at any given point. Climate controlled spaces are not always a guarantee, so make sure you ask before signing the contract.
Can I use any vendors I want?
This is a big question you want to make sure you clarify on your tour. You may love your uncle’s cooking, but the venue may require the use of their approved caterers for your event, so it’s better to find out early than risk disappointment later. Venues create preferred vendor lists because the vendors they include have consistently done an outstanding job for their clients and are very familiar with their property. It’s that simple. Ultimately, venues want you to have a great experience, and these vendors are tried and true in their talents and customer service. It’s not a bad thing, it’s saving you a lot of stress on the day of your wedding.
What’s the restroom situation?
This seems strange, but restrooms are NOT a given when it comes to venues. If you can’t see that they are built into the space, make sure you ask about it. Wonderful restroom trailers can be rented, but this is often an added cost and it’s better to know this upfront than be surprised later.
Do you allow sparklers?
Once again, the ability to use sparklers is not a given at every venue, and neither are open flame candles. If you have your heart set on one (or both) of these things, ask about this on your tour so you know the rules before you sign.
How many weddings have you hosted?
This may seem like a strange question to ask, but as with all things, an experienced venue can give you a lot of peace-of-mind when it comes to the property on your wedding day. The longer a venue has been in business, the more likely they are to be able to answer any and all questions you may have AND anticipate any issues that may arise from weather, etc. A good way to know how experienced a venue is is by reading their reviews.
Last but not least. Make sure you like the venue manager. This is likely to be the main person you engage with throughout your planning process. A nice venue manager will make your experience positive and enjoyable.
Happy venue shopping!
Ready to tour Shadow Creek? Contact us here.