Choosing a ceremony and reception venue (or venues) is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make while wedding planning. While COVID-19 has definitely changed how you plan your special day, you can still find the perfect place to celebrate your marriage.
While it will definitely be more challenging to tour venues right now, you can still create a short list of your ideal places for your wedding day. To help you out, we put together this list of some of the most important things to look for in a wedding venue during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Begin with your guest list
Before looking at wedding venues, you should have a clear idea of how many people will be attending. You may have narrowed down your guest list to just your closest friends and family because of the pandemic, which actually can open up more possibilities for venues. However, you also want to make sure that you have room to spread tables out and allow your guests adequate space to social distance.
Have a definite budget in place
This goes for any wedding vendor but especially for your venue, which can be one of the highest price items in your wedding budget. You should have a clear idea of what you can afford to spend and how much wiggle room you have. You’ll be able to immediately cross venues off your list that are outside your budget and avoid touring and falling in love with any location that you just can’t afford.
Know what’s included in your package
Most venue rentals include additional items, such as equipment rentals, catering or even accommodations. Be sure to understand what the package options are and what items come at an additional cost.
Ask about postponement and cancellation policies
During the pandemic, it’s important to be flexible, in case you need to postpone or cancel your wedding. Talk to the venue about what their policies are for cancellation or postponement. After all, you want to lose as little money as possible if you have to change your date.
Understand what safety parameters are in place
Be sure to talk to the venue about their protocols for social distancing and cleanliness, especially if catering is part of the package. You want to be sure that anyone handling food is taking the proper precautions, even if we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic. Ask about how you can arrange the tables to allow families and quarantine pods to stay together and distance from everyone else. Most venues will likely have some sample layouts in mind to help you plan.
Schedule an in-person visit
An in-person visit to your venue is essential to make sure the space meets your expectations. Most venues look amazing in photos, but you want to see it in real life to make sure you’re getting exactly what you want. A venue tour is also a good chance to see some of the COVID-19 safety measures in action. For example, does the coordinator or person giving you a tour wear a mask? What about other staff in the building? This will give you an idea of whether or not they will stick to these procedures for your wedding day as well.