10 Questions to Ask a Wedding Venue Before Booking
Finding the perfect wedding venue for your special day is no small task. Serving as the foundation of your fabulous festivities, your chosen location must embody your personal style as a couple, appropriately serve the size of your guest list, offer an attentive staff and so much more, all while being conscious of budget. There’s truly so much to consider when making this decision! We know your head might be spinning at this point in your search, so we’ve compiled a list of 10 questions to ask your potential wedding venue before booking to ensure that you’re getting the most out of the sweet setting that will hold a precious place in you and your loved ones’ hearts for years to come! Read on to find out what you should be considering when selecting your local Oklahoma wedding venue and why!
What kinds of services does the venue offer?
Does the venue have a kitchen and can it provide catering for your wedding? Can outside caterers use that kitchen? Do you offer a set up and clean up crew or will I need to build an event team or find volunteers? Getting clear on all the services your potential wedding venue has to offer can save you so much time and money in the end! Conveniently located amongst some of Oklahoma City’s most popular attractions, the Renaissance Waterford is pleased to provide its couples with a talented catering team, rentable AV equipment, professional planners as well as the ability to book a block of ten or more rooms for your wedding party to receive a special group rate! The Renaissance Waterford will provide you and your guests with an unbeatable setting along with a staff passionate about making your dreams a reality!
What makes your venue unique?
This one may seem obvious, but you definitely want to make sure you’re taking full advantage of all the venue has to offer! Understanding the location’s history or even learning more about its features can add such a special personality to your celebration. Newly renovated, Remington Park has the perfect space to make your reception, rehearsal dinner or wedding shower uniquely you! Their executive culinary team is dedicated to providing elegant dining and first class service. Complimentary valet parking is available for all groups during live racing as well as groups of 50+ all year long. Remington offers an exhilarating experience like no other that your friends and family are sure to remember for years to come!
What floor plan or ceremony space do you recommend for my guest count?
Consider asking your venue coordinator what floor plan or ceremony space is appropriate for you and your guests. Although you may think you know what you want, listen to what they have to say initially. You never know, their ideas based on past experience could inspire a new direction for your celebration! Offering an elegant and rustic flair, Moore Farms Rustic Weddings & Event Barns boasts three unique facilities along with a Bride’s Cabin and Groom’s Bunkhouse. The Hitching Barn is a massive climate controlled 6,560 square foot rustic barn, featuring a loft with a balcony and stacked stone fireplace. The Rustic Pavilion is available next to the barn set within a canopy of oak trees. A beautiful setting for any event during all four seasons. Their Timberline Barn is ideal for a social cocktail hour or rehearsal dinner.
Embassy Suites Norman Hotel and Conference Center | Holli B. Photography
Can you help customize our wedding menu?
Customizing your wedding menu is such a special way to convey your personality as a couple and emphasize your theme. The Embassy Suites is the perfect setting for your wedding day, and their experienced team is ready to cater to your every need! Their on-site social events manager will be there with you every step of the way, from complimentary menu selection tastings to ensuring that each and every detail is executed flawlessly the day-of. Aside from their incomparable dining experience, the Embassy Suites is prepared to accommodate celebrations with a guest list of anywhere from 10-2,000. They have a wide variety of space options, from their breathtaking Grand Ballroom with 26’ ceilings to the University Ballroom with 18’ ceilings. They offer small banquet rooms that work great for intimate events such as your rehearsal dinner, bridal shower, brunches and gift openings!
Do you have an exclusive vendor list?
If a venue has an exclusive vendor list, this can really drive up cost. However, an exclusive vendor list is different from a preferred vendor list. An exclusive vendor list indicates that you are only permitted to use those vendors for your event while a preferred vendor list consists of vendors that venue simply has a special relationship with. It’s important to make this distinction on your first tour, especially if you have any significant creatives in mind. Your guests will feel like they’re being entertained in the middle of a European courtyard at The Palace Event Center. Their preferred vendor list is quite extensive, including many of our favorite local Oklahoma wedding creatives! With it’s Old World Style décor, large crystal chandeliers and rare architectural antiques, you’re sure to love their space. The Palace can host up to 500 guests for ceremony and reception.
What’s included in the price?
From food to rentals to beverage minimums, you’ll want to know all of the detailed specifics of what’s included in your potential wedding venue. Hidden gems like tables, chairs and linens can save you the hassle of finding and renting furniture yourself; however, oftentimes the minimum charge of food and drink can far exceed what your ceremony will require. Make sure you request an estimate based on the qualities of your wedding. The Grand Canadian Theater is a wonderful example of a venue offering spectacular perks! From their fun photo booth room to the timeless marquee sign outside displaying your name, their team is dedicated to making your special day oh-so unique!
What is the venue’s backup plan for rain or inclement weather?
Will Rogers said it best: “If you don’t like the weather in Oklahoma, wait a minute and it’ll change.” Unfortunately, this is not the kind of uncertainty you look for on the most important day of your life! With that being said, it’s essential that you not only ensure your potential outdoor venue has a game plan for inclement weather, but that you actually LIKE that space! The Oklahoma City Zoo is a spectacular setting to host your special event. Choose from a variety of beautiful settings – from a reception ‘underwater’ with the sea lions, a large picnic area set by the lake or an exotic gathering by the elephants in all the new Sanctuary Asia (opening later this summer). They offer exceptional, award-winning culinary options and professional event planning services to meet all of your catering needs!
Cox Business Center | Aaron Snow Photography
What sort of lighting is included in the venue?
Or even better, is special lighting included at all? Lighting has the ability to make your event take on a certain ambiance that can give it the extravagant mood it deserves! Another important point regarding lighting is restriction. Oftentimes, venues have parameters around what can and cannot be hung and draped, as well as whether or not an open flame is permitted. The Cox Business Center provides couples with six lighting enhancements of their choosing along with complimentary votive candles. In addition, Cox Business Center offers all-inclusive wedding services with catering by renowned Chef Devin Levine, CEC. Home of Oklahoma’s largest Ballroom and spaces flexible enough to accommodate even the largest extended family, Cox Business Center offers in-house floral, state-of-art A/V and technical services, and late nights. Couples have a catering manager and an event coordinator to make the big day flawless.
Can I rehearse my ceremony?
Rehearsing your ceremony at the wedding venue may seem like an obvious component of your package. However, this is not always the case. It’s important to clarify in case you need to find another location to run through your big day! The Hamilton Event Center offers wedding parties ample time to rehearse, along with an unbeatable rehearsal dinner package to make the night before as intimate and personal as possible. The walls are a taupe brown with panels of textured fabric that hang from the open 16-foot ceiling, covered with a beautiful lightweight fabric hiding colored accent lights to match your theme. The room has wood floors perfect for dancing, and it has a large decorated accent window ideal for a beautiful backdrop for any picture. With two 60” large flat panel TV’s, you can display your personal slide show and turn your party into a memorable event.
Who will be our main point of contact when planning our wedding? Can we meet them today?
Coming face-to-face with your potential main point of contact in connection with the venue is a telling sign of how attentive their team will be throughout your wedding planning process. You’ll want to make sure you walk away with their personal information and feel comfortable leaving your big day in their hands! Situated in northwest Oklahoma overlooking Experiment Lake, Woodward Conference Center offers an experienced staff that will assist you with everything from design to local vendors and are able to make your wedding day stress-free and oh-so memorable! Woodward can accommodate up to approximately 650 guests with both indoor and outdoor ceremony spaces available. The Conference Center is the premiere venue for creating the picture perfect wedding you’ve always dreamed of!
Other Local Vendors: Josh McCullock Photography, Aaron Snow Photography, The Palace Event Center, The Hamilton Event Center, Cox Business Center, Holli B. Photography, Embassy Suites Norman Hotel and Conference Center, Kelsi Laine Photography, Moore Farms Rustic Weddings & Event Barns, Woodward Conference Center