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Planning Advice: Wedding Venue Site Visits

Planning Tips

September 20, 2021

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 Welcome to the Soiree 99 blog, a journal about all things hosting, design, wedding planning and anything else that makes my heart flutter.

Hi, I'm BRITTANY.

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Making the Most Out of Your Wedding Venue Site Visit

Every spring, my days are filled with meeting with clients and having a wedding venue site visit. Spring season is usually busy for wedding planners as we meet with clients—finalizing plans and gearing up for our summer and fall weddings.

I love site visits and think they are an amazing opportunity to get inspiration and feel more confident in your decisions. 

What Is a Wedding Venue Site Visit?

A wedding venue site visit is just that—a planned trip to the venue (with your planner, preferably) to look in detail at the building and to meet any of your main vendors in person if you haven’t already done so. 

If you are local to the area, a site visit is usually easy to schedule and chances are good that you have already seen the venue before booking.  

If this is a destination wedding for you, it is very common to book your venue sight-unseen and then your site visit may be the first time you are seeing your venue in person. 

In both situations though, a wedding venue site visit can be very useful for finalizing those wedding plans. 

Photography: Orange Photographie

Is a Site Visit Necessary? 

No.  A site visit is not always necessary. 

Helpful?  Yes.  

Absolutely necessary?  No. 

In some cases, especially with destination weddings—which the majority of my weddings are—it is just time-prohibitive to schedule an additional trip to your destination. If that is the case, then truly, do not worry about not having a wedding venue site visit.  

If you aren’t able to have a site visit, then rest assured that this is where having a solid, experienced planner will be even more useful. Your planner will most likely have experience at your venue and, if not, should be able to schedule a visit. I personally never go to a wedding, sight-unseen. I always make sure I have visited the property, with or without my clients, before the wedding day. 

So, if you can’t have a wedding venue site visit, then no worries. Just make sure you have a vendor team that you trust and leave the rest up to us! 

Wedding Venue Site Visit
Photography: Orange Photographie

Why Do You Need a Wedding Venue Site Visit? 

So, why is having a wedding venue site visit a good idea?  

Well, if you don’t have a planner, I would say that a site visit is 100% necessary. There would be no way you could plan a wedding successfully without seeing the venue beforehand. 

But even with a planner, seeing the venue beforehand definitely holds its value. 

Peace of Mind

The number one reason a site visit is helpful is for your peace of mind. 

Chances are high that I know the venue, so for me, it is easy to envision the design and all of the decor. This, after all, is a very important part of my job. 

But, chances are equally high that this is the first time you have planned an event at this venue so seeing the venue while envisioning all of your amazing plans is a great way to feel confident in the decisions that have already been made.

If we are hanging chandeliers or drapings for your wedding, seeing where exactly these will be placed, can be a great way to better envision the design.  Looking at the ceremony spot in person and making sure you like the layout is a great way to avoid last-minute changes. 

Basically, seeing the venue in-person will help you feel more confident that the decisions made so far are exactly what you want!

Photography: Stella Photography

Making Those Final Decisions

Everything falls into place once you have the site visit wrapped up. 

You feel more confident and your excitement should be growing. 

But you probably still have some more decisions to make and having this site visit should make these final details much easier to wrap up.  The site visit will spark inspiration and give you great visuals, making the final few months of planning a breeze. 

What Should You Plan on Doing At the Site Visit?

*Meet With Vendors When Possible.  

It is always so nice to meet with your vendors before the wedding. You will have a lot of interaction with some of your vendors on your wedding day (photographers, djs, videographers, etc) so meeting them face-to-face before the big day can you feel more comfortable and make you feel like you are working with old friends when the day finally arrives. 

Also, when meeting with your vendors at the site, you can give them an idea of your expectations and ideas.  

For photographers and videogrpahers, showing them where you are getting ready, where the ceremony is, and any ideas that you have for the first look can be helpful. This will also give them an opportunity to look at the venue and come up with a plan for photos and determine if they will need any additional equipment for your specific venue. 

If you meet with your emcee at the venue site, make sure you discuss where they will be setup and make sure it will work with their setup. You can also go over ideas for the grand entrance, toasts, and dances so they have an idea of what their setup will be. 

Wedding Venue Site Visit
Photography: StellaK Photography

*Look at Your Ceremony and Reception Spaces in Details

Take a look at your spaces with your planner and make sure you are happy with the layout, the location, and all of the other details you have decided on so far. Likewise, if there are any big decisions still outstanding, this would be a good time to talk to your planner and try to envision your options. 

*Look at Lighting and the Surrounds

If possible, and it isn’t always possible unless you are having a long engagement, try and go to the venue around the same season of your wedding.  This will let you see the lighting, the overall weather, and what trees and flowers are naturally in bloom around the grounds. 

So there you have it!  An overview of what a wedding venue site visit is and how it can be helpful to the planning process. 

Tell me, how do you think a site visit could be useful to your wedding planning? 

Can’t wait for your next newsletter? You’re in luck—there is so much wedding planning goodness already on the blog. Check out this post about creating the perfect wedding timeline.

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I'm Brittany and I'm so happy you're here. This blog is a journal about all things hosting, design, wedding planning and anything else that makes my heart flutter.

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