So you’re shortlisting wedding venues, huh? During this exciting time, there is much to think about and a lot to consider – and we totally get that time is of the essence. Wedding venue tours typically take anywhere between 20 minutes and an hour, but whilst you might be a bit tempted to ‘pop in’ to the venues you’re interested in and get it done and dusted so you can move on with the rest of your planning, it’s important to spend enough time there to gather all the information you need.
eve tip: it’s easy to be blindsided by a beautiful venue that gives you the ‘feels’ straight away, without considering some of the more practical details. It can be helpful to create a comprehensive list of everything you’ll need to ask a wedding venue before you go so that you don’t forget any of the must-have info!
So, on to the good stuff: how long is a wedding venue tour?
There are a few things that will determine how long your wedding venue tour will take (including the length of your list of grilling questions!):
Size of the venue
The size of the venue you’re seeing will be an important factor in how long it takes you to have a good look around. If there is outside space that you’re hoping to use for your wedding you’ll want to be sure of contingency plans for bad weather, whereas if you’re looking to spend all day in one space, it won’t take you as long to get a feel for it
Ceremony and/or reception?
If you’re having your ceremony and reception in the same place, you’ll need to look around a few different spaces to work out the logistics of your day and ask all the right questions regarding how the space will be turned around between ceremony and reception, where your guests can go whilst this happens, and where your caterers and staff will do their thing.
If your wedding photos are an important part of the day for you, you’ll want to scout the best spots for your photographer – which can take a bit of time. When you view the venue, the manager should be able to share previous examples with you and explain the usual popular spots for couples.
eve tip: arrange a walkthrough with your photographer if they haven’t visited the venue before, so they start your wedding day armed with ideas (and save time on the day!)
Facilities and packages
If a venue can provide your catering for you, chances are they’ll have on-site facilities to do so. They’ll show you around the kitchen facilities and explain to you how the space will be used on the big day – do staff need to walk through the reception venue to get to the kitchen? – whereas if you’re taking this on yourself, you might not need to look at these facilities.
Similarly, if there is on-site accommodation available for you or your guests, take a good look around. Get a feel for your venue as a guest as well as a Bride or Groom – where can they park if needed, where can they stay if needed?
Can we do multiple venue tours in a day?
Yes – you absolutely can. In fact, it’s often easier to compare this way.
If you’re looking to save time, planning a wedding on short notice or just keen to get cracking, it’s definitely possible to look at a few venues in one day – just remember that all-important list of questions, take the time to ask them, and remember our top eve tip: go with your gut.
eve tip: This is an opportunity to do your journey. If you’ll be getting to this venue from home, do the journey from home if you can. If you’ll be travelling there from a church or reception venue, try and do that journey. Get a feel for how long it will take you on the day and whether it works for you logistically.
Go back again – and again, if you need to
After you’ve visited a venue – particularly if you do visit a few on one day or within a short space of time – go back and ask more questions if you need to. It can be a little overwhelming at first, so don’t worry if you don’t get through all of the questions on your list. You can always go back with more questions or to suss out décor – any good venue manager will be happy to have you (as long as there isn’t a wedding on, of course…)