Photo: Nathan Desch Photography
Congrats! You found the venue of your dreams, signed your contract, and officially set the date for your wedding.
This is a huge accomplishment, but there are a few more things that you’ll need to finalize with your venue before your big event.
Venue pros give us the scoop:
Find Vendors—With Your Venue’s Help
“Shortly after booking a venue, the vendor selection process should begin,” says Douglas Armstrong of Whitehall Estate & Winery in Bluemont, Virginia. Your venue can be a great resource to help you find vendors. Of course, check out WeddingWire to read vendor reviews as well! Let your venue know who your vendors are as you book them.
“A month or two after booking the facility, the couple should revisit the site and begin the planning process,” says Douglas Armstrong of Whitehall Estate & Winery. “This is a great way to refocus in on the property and lay out a timeline of to-do items leading up to the wedding.”
“Shortly after signing your contract, be sure to confirm any deadlines that the venue has for wedding details and payments,” says Carrie Biddle of The Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California.
If You Hired a Wedding Planner…
“It's always best to connect your coordinator with the venue as soon as possible so everyone is on the same page,” says Carrie Biddle of the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California.
Menu Tasting (if Your Venue Offers Catering)
“Once the contract is signed, your next step is to attend a tasting if your venue provides one,” says Kate Vondenhuevel of Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in Lewis Center, Ohio. “You’ll want to do this roughly four to six months prior to the big day. Don’t worry about making any decisions at the tasting, just have fun! Try to have a general idea of how you plan to structure your event so you have that in mind as you sample different things. (Are you considering plated or buffet? Same entrée for everyone or do they get a choice?).”
“Your menu is the next most critical factor,” says Andrew Harris of the Mayflower Park Hotel in Seattle, Washington. “A preliminary menu should be in place within one month of signing, although it’s common to continually tweak said menu up to 30 days out.”
Final Walk-Thru and Detail Meeting
“After the tasting, you’ll have a detail meeting with your venue,” says Kate Vondenhuevel of Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in Lewis Center, Ohio. “You’ll want to come prepared because at this meeting you’ll be finalizing both the food menu as well as bar selections, the timeline for the wedding day, and the set-up/layout of the space. This meeting generally takes place one to two months before the wedding.”