Once you've found your perfect wedding venue, you may think all that's left to do is hire your vendors and let them know where to meet you on the big day. Not so, say the pros. In order to get the details just right, some of your vendors will need access to the venue ahead of the wedding. Who should you schedule a site visit with in advance of your big day? That's exactly what we asked Jung Lee of Fete Events and Judy Smith at Pecan Springs Ranch, who shared a list of vendors that benefit most from being given the opportunity to take a sneak peek.
Your Wedding Planner, Florist, or Designer
The first vendor Lee recommends giving a tour of the space is your design team—namely, your wedding planner, florist, or event designer. "People tend to think that floral is about the ceremony and tabletops, but event design today is about creating the overall look and feel of each space," she says. "Remember that décor includes everything visual at your wedding—not just the tabletops." During a walk-through, you and your designers can get a real feel of the space—where to highlight, what to hide, and how it will all come together.
The Entertainment Company
Judy Smith encourages her couples to invite their band or DJ to the venue to discuss electrical needs and any other technical setup requirements they may have. About a month in advance is fine, she says, and it's best to do the walkthrough with your coordinator in tow to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
When it comes to catering, service is just as important as the food on the table. That's why Lee also suggests bringing your caterer in for a location scout. "Walk through the venue together from the perspective of the guest, from arrival to departure," she suggests. "Discuss what is happening at each space from a service, food, and drink standpoint." When you're talking cocktail hour, ask how many bartenders will be behind the bar. In the dining area, go over the floor plan to ensure there's enough space between tables for staff to move efficiently throughout the night. If any changes are needed, it's best to get them flagged well in advance.
Most photographers will say it's helpful to have an opportunity to tour the wedding venue in advance of the big day, the pros explain. This ensures they'll know where to set up for portraits and have an understanding of what the lighting is like. If they've photographed weddings at your venue many times before, they might not need this, but it's always nice to ask. And if your pro is located far away, consider scheduling a video call so that they can be given a virtual tour of the property.