ON / BY Jessi/ IN Advice + Tips/ 0 Comment

Tips on Finding a Venue

The stage is set. The night is beautiful. As you and your new spouse walk into the room, a smile beams across your face. Hand in hand, you stroll past all your guests and see that every detail is perfectly in place. As your happiness bubbles over, you quickly realize none of this would have been possible without choosing this amazing venue.

Selecting your ceremony and reception venues will be the biggest challenge of the wedding planning process. Take your time to find the venue that will not only make for breathtaking pictures, but also will set the tone for all of your friends and family. Overwhelmingly, when your guests reflect back on your wedding, they will picture your reception. You will want to find the perfect venue to express your personalities and make you and your guests feel as comfortable.

How to determine the type of reception you want: 

  • Do you want the ceremony and reception to be in the same place? 
  • Based on the size of the guest list, what size ceremony/reception site do you need? 
  • Do you have a strong preference towards outdoor/indoor ceremony? 
  • Do you want an elegant reception or more casual? 
  • Do you prefer a Friday night, Saturday afternoon or evening wedding? 
  • Do you want a cocktail hour in a different location/room for dinner? 
  • Do you want appetizers/dessert or a full meal at your reception? 
  • Do you want a live band/DJ at your reception/ceremony? (You will need adequate space and electricity) 
  • Do you want alcohol at your reception? 
  • Do you want seating for everyone or scattered cocktail tables?

Your reception will be responsible for roughly 35-50% of the cost of the entire wedding. This will include your facility rental fees, catering and bar service. 

Questions to ask when selecting your venue:

  • What amenities does the site offer? (Changing rooms, bathrooms, dance floor, lighting, entertainment equipment, wheelchair access, picturesque areas, on-site stocked bar, kitchen facilities, coat rooms, etc.) 
  • Is catering and bartending available? May we use our own caterer, baker, bartender, etc. or must we use a vendor provided by the venue? 
  • What is included and what are the fees involved with the venue rental? Have them give you an itemized list. 
  • Are there any special restrictions? Restriction to access of rooms, décor, alcohol, music level, timeline, smoking, animals, or flames? If having anything unique, discuss this with the venue during this time. 
  • How many people will comfortably fit in each room? 
  • Is there any décor included in the venue rental? 
  • Can any décor be removed from the venue? 
  • Are candles allowed? And what is the candle policy? (Completely enclosed flame, etc.) 

Things that should be included are the following: 

  • Facility rental fee 
  • Cost of catering (at least minimums, final decisionswill be made later) 
  • Cake cutting fees 
  • Floral fees (if using an onsite vendor) 
  • Linen and service ware fees (if using an on-site vendor) 
  • Beverage fees (this will be a decision dependent on your bar service needs) 
  • Bartending fee (usually per bartender) 
  • Cost of setup and take down 
  • Ceremony fee (if having onsite) 
  • Staffing fees 
  • Taxes for all services and rentals 
  • Minimum rental fee 
  • Overtime fees 
  • Security fees 
  • Permit fees 
  • Parking/valet fees 
  • Any other services specific to the venue

Check out the best venues in Minnesota

Minnesota Wedding Guide is honored to work so closely with some of the best ceremony + reception venues in the state of Minnesota. We have now made the hunt for the perfect venue even easier for you! Get your FREE copy of our Minnesota Wedding Guide to search over hundreds of venues by capacity, policies, and even amenities. You can also view them here on our website!


With love,
Minnesota Wedding Guide

Main blog image by Nicole Ashley Photography

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