Wedding Venue Red Flags You Should Always Pay Attention To

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The Royal York in Toronto in June 2020 – back when weddings teensie tiny!

Every couple wants a venue that will look absolutely beautiful in photos but this is only one aspect to consider during your search. You want to be able to trust the staff, know the food is good, and know that the venue knows what they are doing.

Your venue makes up a big portion of your budget, so there are a couple other things you’ll want to keep an eye on before you sign on the dotted line. It’s important to know what to look our for and questions to ask.

Along with trusting your gut, here are some warning signs that you should never ignore:

You haven’t had a good experience with the staff so far

First impressions are everything and if the venue is already not responding to your communications in a timely manner, it might be a good idea to look at other options. You want to trust the people behind your venue – it is your wedding day after all.

Experienced wedding vendors know the urgency of the market. Having to wait 2 or more days for any kind of a reply should be a red flag – though it could also mean your email has been lost or is in their spam folder. If you can’t get a quick response from the venue through any avenue (email, facebook, instagram), you might want to move on.

The contract is overly complicated

Overall, wedding venues do tend to have comprehensive contracts but comprehensive is very different than complicated. If any of the clauses seem confusing and the venue is explaining their way around it, see this as a red flag.

Contracts should be clear and easy for the average person to understand and explain. If you don’t understand a clause, ask the venue to explain it and then write it the way it was explained.

Be wary of one-sided contracts that seem to only protect the venue. You want to know how you are protected as well.

You’re struggling to find positive online reviews

It’s not difficult to make a wedding venue sound incredible with the right marketing, but reviews from past couples are the only real way to tell whether a venue is all it’s being made out to be.

Check our their facebook and google reviews – click on the names and check them out to see if they are actually real people who got married there, or if they seem like friends and family of the owner. Don’t be afraid to post in facebook wedding groups to ask others about their experience – but again, make sure they are real couples and not just friends of the owner telling you how great the venue is.

There are a lot of additional costs

The quotes that you receive from venues aren’t necessarily a true reflection of what you’ll end up paying. Ask the venue about all additional costs to decide if they’re realistic.

Don’t forget to ask about time for your rehearsal in the days leading up to your wedding.

Weddings aren’t their forte

There is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing a general venue for your wedding, but if they don’t do weddings very often, you may want to look into other options.

If your heart is set on a venue that doesn’t normally host weddings, you might want to hire an experienced wedding planner who will make sure every detail is taken care of (even and especially the ones you might not think of!).

Your vendors have never or won’t work there

Most wedding vendors have a list of venues that they work at on a regular basis, mostly because they’re pleasant to work in. Ask your vendors for their opinions on the venue you have in mind to gauge whether it might not be the best choice.

Exceptions might be venues that are new and hosting their first wedding season – officiants, caterers, photographers might not have had the chance to work there yet, but a smart venue will have reached out to local vendors to build relationships. And yes…I often get brand new venues reaching out to me to make sure I know about them!

Choosing a wedding venue is not a decision that you want to rush. Not only will it set the tone for your day but how it’s run will have an impact on your stress levels on the day too, so choose carefully. Visit a few of them so you can compare your experiences and make an educated decision before you sign the contract.

Also…if you have your other vendors picked but not booked, reach out to them to make sure they are available for your day so you can choose a date that works for every member of your dream team!

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