First off, why is it that when we get a free day off like we did this past weekend it makes going back to work even worse?! Okay back to wedding talk- It has astounded me the amount of planning that goes into a wedding. I literally knew nothing when I started, thankfully I have a great sister and some good friends and family that have helped tremendously along the way! If you are in the Kansas City area I can’t wait to share all my do’s and don’ts of places to check out! So without further ado, here is my rundown of how to pick the perfect wedding venue.
How to Find the Perfect Venue
First and foremost make it fun! Plan a date or some fun activity after venue hunting, you will be drained after! And as always, wear something you can walk around in! I can’t tell you how many times we failed to do this and it did not go so great 😉
Get on the knot.com, I recommended this to anyone and everyone bc there is a reason they are so known for wedding resources! It provides you with a checklist, a free website (which can also come from stationary sites like minted), and thousands of reviews of local vendors! This can be key if your wedding happens to not be in the area you live in! As much as i’d love to say that wedding venue shopping is all sunshine and rainbows, its not! You HAVE to do your research before hand or you risk not getting what you want and overpaying! Wedding Wire is also another great resource and some vendors prefer to only work with one or the other.
Originally we were going to have a destination wedding and I requested soo much info from soo many places through the knot! It was great because I could see pictures, get directed to their contact information, and read reviews from past brides on their experience with those places. Finally, we landed on a Wedding in KC after realizing we didn’t want to have a wedding somewhere that we’d never been and with the holidays and our timeline we just didn’t foresee the ability to go and check out all the places we wanted!
Tips for what to do before & during your search
#1 Do your research on the place BEFORE you get there. Look at all the pictures you can, google, Instagram, and Facebook the venue. If you don’t do this, you will be overwhelmed and will not be able to evaluate the venue properly.
#2 Get a price sheet BEFORE you get there. Do not go and see somewhere out of your price range, it’s like going and trying on a $400-dollar dress when all you can afford is a $150-dollar dress. Chances are your brain will tell you the more expensive one is better bc it cost more. You’ll end up loving it and will be crushed when you can’t get it. (TRUST ME 😉 )
#3 DO NOT sign a contract the first visit. Go home sleep on it and discuss with your partner.
#4 take pictures/a video, if allowed. This will come in handy when you go home and want to review and compare.
#5 Come prepared with questions:
- Can you have candles? (easy cheap decorating!)
- A/C – heating- temperature control- options
- Speaker options (do they have their own sound system etc.)
- Typical floor layouts?
- Can you have your ceremony there? What is the fee for that (ask about rehearsal and fees too!!!)
- Who is the main contact person- what is the best way to get ahold of them?
- Outdoor spaces – inclement weather plan B’s?
- Bathroom options?
- Do they provide tables, chairs, or linen?
- Wheel chair accessible (grandma wants to come too!)
- Venue time (typically 5 hours or more)
- Set up time (typically 4 hours or more)
- Do they charge extra for overnight deliveries? – are overnight deliveries and option?
- Is there a service fee? (this can be up to an extra 25% and while that doesn’t seem like much, it can be thousands of dollars!!!!)
- Can you bring in your own caterer?
- Rental Fee- ask if some months are less expensive than others
- Can you bring in your own alcohol?
- If not- what are their bar prices per person?
- If so – do they have agreements with any local bartenders? What are the fees with those? Also look up how much alcohol you will need.
- This site can help you calculate http://www.thealcoholcalculator.com/
Here are my reviews of some Kansas City Venues
Amazing rooftop views- hefty services fees
14k & up for reception only
We LOVED this venue but couldn’t get over the 4k in just fees 🙁
Cool Westbottom vibe – in house catering only
20% service fee
Liked the venue but felt too big for our wedding size
Minimal Parking for guest, in the heart of Westport
In house catering and alcohol
Price Per person – this was great as the price went down per person the more people you had!
Wasn’t sold on the set up- better for groups of 120 or less
Don’t let their pretty website fool you! This is a cool space, but what you see is NOT what you get.
In all my other meetings I met with the event coordinator or owner, here I met with someone’s mom? She didn’t know much of the specifics, and it seemed over priced for what it was, lots of rules and regulations. I have a friend who got married here 5 months ago and is STILL waiting for their damage deposit back, not to mention they said there were so many inconsistencies in what they promised and what they actually got. DO NOT BOOK THIS PLACE
LOVED this venue, just a little too big for us.
In house bar, but reasonable prices. LOTS of parking. Cool vibe, GORGEOUS chandelier.
The coordinator I worked with was super nice and they have an amazing outdoor space for a ceremony.
If our wedding was a bit larger I would have totally gone for it! Also reasonably Priced
This is the one we picked!
In house bar and decent parking options.
So truth be told we went back and for the between this and the brass for about a month. We both loved the brass but couldn’t justify wasting that service fee money. Yes, you have to go through an alley way to get there, but it’s kind of like a secret members only club now that I think of it! Matt also told me he hated the venue when we were walking in. LIKE HATED and then we got inside and he changed his mind!!!
So go do your home work, take some tours, lots of pictures, ask questions, and then sleep on it! Sounds like a lot but you will be FINE and whatever venue you choose will be PERFECT!
Thanks for reading! I truly hope this has helped you!
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