Happy Thanksgiving AND Happy Engagement Season! Thanksgiving through Valentine’s Day is typically called Engagement Season in the wedding world since the most popular day of the year to propose is Christmas Eve followed by Valentine’s Day. So if you’ve recently asked the question or said yes (or hope to soon), congratulations!
One of the first things many people do after getting engaged is head out to look at venues – no surprise, this time of year brings time off work and trips home if the couple lives away from their wedding city – and a great place to start since the venue typically dictates the wedding date.
There are lots of things to look at when viewing potential venues – price, food, bar options, size, dates available, decor, etc, etc, etc. There are multiple lists out there of questions to ask venues – my friend Kay has written a couple killer checklists of things to ask both when you first call and when you visit venues so I won’t try to reinvent the wheel. Those links are live and will take you right there – I would suggest at least looking them over before visiting venues as they are a fantastic jumping off point.
Often venues hand couples lists of recommended or required vendors. If you receive one of those lists, I would suggest you always ask one simple question – Do the vendors on your recommended/preferred/exclusive list pay to be there?
Did you know that some venues demand vendors pay a fee to be on those ‘preferred’ lists? Unfortunately, this practice is becoming more common in Ohio. If the people on the list pay to be there, you’re being handed a list of paid advertisers and not necessarily a list of the best vendors in town – regardless of what they title it. Those two groups may overlap but…not always. Once you know whether the venue is recommending vendors just to line their pockets or because the recommendation is in the best interest of the couple, you can decide what to do with that list. Having the whole picture makes the planning process much easier and leads to less disappointment down the road.
FYI – if you see Emilie Duncan Event Planning on a fellow vendor or venue’s list, it is because we earned it…not because we bought it. We have never paid for a referral from a vendor and won’t in the future.
Good luck with your venue search and Happy Thanksgiving!