If your final venue walkthrough is coming up, you’re probably wondering how to prepare yourself. What questions should you ask along the way so that you and your vendors can feel prepared for your special day?
As a florist and event stylist, venue walkthroughs are essential to what I do. To style a space effectively, I need to familiarize myself with it first! Most venues in my area reserve the final venue walkthrough until 2-3 weeks before the event date. So be sure to coordinate with your planner, florist, and whoever else will install decor at the site! If your vendors have never visited your venue before, this is crucial.
However, I know this can all be a bit overwhelming! A wedding has so many moving parts that it can feel like your brain can’t keep up. My hope is this comprehensive list will give you the assurance you need. Once you've covered all your bases, you can relax, knowing all that’s left is to enjoy your day!
Venue Walkthrough Questions Checklist
- Take note of traffic flow and any obstacles between your guests in the reception space and the restroom. Grab a few photos and videos of these areas to reference later, if necessary.
- Note any locations where you’d like portraits taken with your partner so you can mention them to your photographer.
- Confirm when you/your family members will be allowed into the venue on the day and whether or not this includes access to the “getting ready” area.
- If your walkthrough is close enough to the wedding date, note the weather patterns for that day. Also, record when the sun sets. Your photographer will want to be aware of this for outdoor photos!
- Make sure you have a well-thought-out Plan B if your event is outdoors. The weather can change on a dime, especially in the midwest.
- Is there a table or area allotted for your vendors to rest and eat dinner? If so, is it located within the reception space or elsewhere? Does your caterer know how many vendors to serve?
- Don’t leave the venue without a floor plan! You’ll need one for making final decisions regarding flowers, decor, and table numbers.
- Will your ceremony be in the same space as your cocktail hour and reception? If so, ask when and how your venue plans to flip this area over. Are there any items that require special attention while moving tables and chairs, such as breakable glass or delicate flowers?
- Where should your vendor team park? Can they park closer to the venue for loading and unloading purposes, and is there a loading dock? If so, does your planner know how to access it?
- How can you communicate with your venue coordinator on the day? Is there an emergency number of which you should be aware?
- Are there sufficient garbage receptacles and water sources?
- Will you have a large floral installation, such as an arch or chandelier? If so, check that your florist has communicated with your venue regarding logistics. Where will the installation be, and will it move at any point? Is your vendor required to stay and remove it at the end of the reception?
- Is your venue accessible to relatives and friends who may be disabled or unable to climb stairs? Is there an area with a clear, wide path for those using walkers and wheelchairs? Additionally, if your venue has an elevator, when will it be accessible on the day?
- Does your venue coordinator have names and contact information for all relevant persons? That includes you/your attendant, your planner, your florist or decor rental vendor, your caterer, your cake maker, and parking attendants.
- Where will your cake be, and who will deliver it? Is their contact information available?
- Does someone need to remove your cake from the refrigerator at a certain time?
- Who is decorating your cake, and what will they be using? Do they know where to find flowers or decor your vendors have left for them?
- How will you cut the cake? Are you serving it, and to whom?
- Have you set a specific time for cake-cutting photos with your photographer?
- Will you take the cake home, and who will do so for you? Do they have something to transport it? (You’ll probably be taking off for your honeymoon when this happens.)
I hope this list has clarified what to ask on your final venue walkthrough! It may seem like a lot, but trust me: when your wedding day arrives, you’ll be so glad you did. This blog also features images from some of our favorite venues, including The River Center and Rollins Mansion! Read more about Our 4 Favorite Wedding Venues in Iowa.
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