Confused? Over Whelmed? Don’t know what to ask a Venue

canstockphoto7163612Everyone gives Hot Tips for the Photographer, DJ’s, Catering, etc. questions on what to ask when hiring them for your wedding or event.

Since finding the perfect venue or hall for your wedding or event is generally the first of many vendors you will need to contact, we thought we would give you some Hot Tips on what to ask from a venue before deciding which one would be perfect location your wedding or event.

First I want to really express when you call a venue don’t ask how much do you charge for a wedding over the phone.  That is impossible for a venue to give you a straight forward answer and if we even gave you a ball park idea you might just say oh you are to expensive for me without really considering what all is include in the fee and believe me I don’t think you will find two venues priced the same.

In fact finding the venue may be the hardest vendor you will need to visit with because there are so many variables involved with every venue.

There are basically two kinds of venue pricing: An All Inclusive venue or a DYI Venue.

An All Inclusive venue generally means.  They have set a flat price for your wedding, reception.  Many include in that price the venue, table, chairs, linens, tableware, decoration, meal, and photographers, DJ etc.  For some brides they love this idea way less decisions to make, the venue does that for you with generally offering a couple of different packages. Be sure and ask what fees are not included like taxes, service charges.

DYI Wedding Venue like the Ellis Ranch Wedding Park has a flat fee based on the number of guest.  We do include tables and chairs the rest is left up to bride and groom to design the wedding of her dreams.  Now day’s brides love to have more hands on with their wedding planning then past years, either by doing everything themselves or hiring the help of a wedding planner.

Before you jump in the car and go viewing venues you really need to some homework first.

1) Now with the Internet we find some of our brides know more about us then we know about ourselves before they set foot on the ranch.

2) Get yourself a three ring binder so you can have general location for all your paper work that will come your way during the process of planning your wedding / reception.

3) Have a list of questions:  Leave many lines because you will have more questions the further you get into the planning process.

4) We highly recommend to always schedule a showing with the venue.  This will give you the undivided attention with the venues sale manager to explain their venue, cost involved and what is and what is not included and to answer all your questions.   If you just drop in on a venue it is really hard for a venue to offer you the attention you will want and need.  As with any other professional businesses a venue schedules their day by the hour, whether it is a showing, walk through, contract signings or repairs that need to be done.  Also allow yourself enough driving time so you will arrive on time to your appointment with the venue, late brides just starts the entire year off to a bad start.

5) Not every venue is the perfect choice for your wedding / reception.  I would write down what kind of wedding you would like to have: formal, fun, layback, rustic, themed, etc.  When doing your researching on line you should be able to get a feel for the type of venue they offer by the photos they have posted and the reviews your read.  As with our venue the Ellis Ranch Wedding Parks we can offer a very formal wedding but it will always still have rustic feel to the wedding because, we are, after all a ranch.

6) I would choose my top three to five venues that you want to go visit.  Call each of them and schedule a showing, don’t just ask what do you charge for a wedding.  If you are totally a price shopper you are cutting your special day short because you may have just eliminated the venue of your dreams.  Remember no two facilities are priced just the same, there are so many options included in each venue.

7) Here is where your three-ring binger and list of questions come in handy.  Bring it with you to every appointment.  I know from experience we love brides who are organized and have lost of questions.  We are lucky we have a dynamite web site that can answer most brides questions even before she arrives.

8) Now you may ask:  How does your pricing work?

  • How many guest can your venue host?
  • Is there an extra charge if I go over a certain amount of guest?
  • What is included in the rental fee:  Table, chairs, linens, tableware, silverware, decorations, up lighting, draping on the ceiling.
  • May I hire a cater, DJ, Photographer (vendors of my choice) or do I need to use yours.
  • Do you have a recommend list of vendors you would recommend?  This is an area I would really listen to the venue manage, they work with hundreds of vendors a year so they truly know which vendors work best for their venue.
  • What hours are available?
  • May we host an open bar or do we have to have a cash bar?
  • Do I need to hire bartenders or security?
  • What is your cancellation policy?
  • What are your decorating policies?
  • How do you handle a family member that is in a wheel chair?
  • Do you offer a bride and a groom’s dressing room?
  • May I bring in my own alcohol?
  • Do you all pets in the wedding?
  • May I have family cater my meal?
  • What are your hidden charges, taxes, service fee, elevator fees, etc.
  • Do you recommend wedding insurance, where can I find company who will offer this service?

Hope this has helped you some with how to approach choosing the perfect venue for your special day.  If you have any more questions please contact us on our Face Book Fan Page, we are always available to all brides not just the one who choose the perfect venue at our Wedding Ranch.


Ellis Ranch Event Center & Wedding Park

2331 Ellis Ranch Lane Loveland, Colorado 80538


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