7 Wedding Venue Red Flags You Shouldn’t Ignore
Searching for the right wedding venue goes beyond finding a stunning location that’ll look great in your photos. Yes, we love a drop-dead gorgeous setting as much as the next person, but we also know there’s much more to consider before signing on the dotted line.
Before you finalize your wedding location, check for these warning signs at the venue of your dreams. If you see any red flags, you might want to reconsider.
Photo by Katie McGihon
1. Overly complicated contracts. Don’t get us wrong — your venue contract should be comprehensive, and it’ll likely be several pages long. But there’s a huge difference between comprehensive and complicated. Keep an eye out for weird clauses that confuse you and details lacking specifics. Especially watch out for parts of the contract that forbid you from writing negative reviews online — it also means couples who married there before you couldn’t necessarily post their honest opinions.
2. There are tons of added costs. The truth of the matter is that the price tag on a venue isn’t what you’ll end up paying — there will most definitely be additional costs. But if the venue says they’re going to charge for things like access to bathrooms or the parking lot, you can bet they’ll tack on some unexpected costs. Talk about a budget killer.
Photo by Suggs Photography
3. The staff is unreliable before you even book the place. You have an appointment to tour the venue…and the event manager is late. Or maybe you’ve emailed the booking coordinator three times and still haven’t gotten a response. If they won’t communicate reliably with a potential customer, they sure won’t be reliable when you’ve already paid the bill. A trustworthy staff is just as important as a pretty venue.
4. Negative online reviews. Sales reps and marketing materials can make any venue sound like an ideal place to get married. But the truth is hidden behind the curtains! Couples who’ve already married there dish the reality on wedding boards and review sites. Take it a step further and check the Better Business Bureau, too.
5. Your wedding planner (or another vendor) never works there. Most wedding pros have favorite venues, either because they’re easy to work in or are run by helpful staff. And vendors know this stuff inside and out. Ask a vendor you’ve already booked (or one you’re totally set on) for their opinion of the venue, and you’ll get a completely new perspective. Haven’t picked any other pros yet? Check the venue’s preferred vendor list.
Photo by Abby Jiu
6. They don’t do many weddings. While venues that host non-wedding events can still make for great wedding venues, nuptials are just different than charity auctions and business meetings. A venue that’s not used to big parties could be totally caught off guard by a wedding. Make sure they understand what a wedding entails and have a sufficient amount of experience to pull off your day.
7. You’ve just got a funny feeling. Hey, you’re spending a lot of money on the venue and everything that goes into it. If something doesn’t feel quite right about the venue or its staff, skip it! Trust your instincts — you’ll be glad you did.
- -By Kristin Doherty