Anticipating Visiting Venues

Spring is almost here! It is really struggling to get to Maine, but it’s coming, I can feel it! The change in season has me so excited, I am that much closer to the time when I can go VENUE SHOPPING! Eek!

Were you aware that when planning a wedding EVERYTHING hinges on your venue? What flowers should I make? What guest book do I want? How many centerpieces should we make? The answer: “Well I don’t know, what does your venue look like?” To keep telling everyone I don’t have a venue is so upsetting. Not to mention I have no place to PUT my ideas! I’d like to make so many things! But where do I put them! I have no visual concept other than what I can imagine a barn wedding should look like.

When I first started planning, before anything else, I researched venues. We knew that we wanted a barn wedding, so New England barns was the top Google search. The problem was, there aren’t too many, especially in Maine. We eventually ruled out Massachusetts and New Hampshire simply for the distance. The barn HAD to be in Maine. After a grueling search, we were able to narrow it down to a few places.

Place number 1 and in the Top Spot:

It is perfect for a small event like mine! With the venue, we get the use of the Farmhouse for 2 nights, which sleeps 21 people, so anyone coming from out-of-town need not pay for accommodations, as well as the use of the barn for one evening! It was all for a really amazing price too! The best part about this venue is they have an on-site caterer to cater the meals. I’ve heard good things about them, and they know the venue so the event should run very smoothly.

Place number 2:

This adorable barn is directly on a personal farm! It’s got a really great surrounding area and the barn looks stunning. The coolest feature about this venue is they provide the option of a pig roast! Can’t get much more BBQ style than that!

Place number 3:

Since this venue is a park of sorts they have a whole bunch of activities for your guests to enjoy, they can come and make a vacation out of it. Based on some of the images of the surrounding area, it’s really gorgeous. They offer a complimentary honeymoon suite and cabins for your guests to rent at a really good rate. The biggest downside for me: no barn. There is a really nice rustic lodge that would be the reception locale.

Well those are my top 3 places. I know a little bit about each place, but of course I will have to come up with a huge list of questions, some questions tailored to each place. If you are venue shopping and need to have a list of questions to ask the venue, here are some good ones I found.

Top 15 Questions I’m Going to Ask

1. Is there a set up and cleaning fee? That’s also extra time being spent at your venue, so if there is no fee, they may charge extra for you staying over your time to set up or tear down.

2. What kind of lighting already exists? What do I have to bring vs. what’s provided. You may not have to go buy those twinkle lights you love because the venue already has them!

3. Is there an on-site caterer? So nice if there is, because that may save you money! Not to mention they know the venue, where everything is, so set up should be easy.

4. When does everything need to wrap up, including tear-down time? You may not be able to have a raging party till 2AM, make sure you know when you need to be out so you don’t get charged extra.

5. Is there a cake-cutting fee? Really? I couldn’t believe it when I saw it. That should come with the price of the caterer, why on earth does there need to be a fee for that?

6. Will linens, tables, china, glassware and silverware be provided? Does this include extra linens for the cake table, caterer tables, and DJ table? The more a place provides, the less you have to buy!

7. When is the final head-count due to be into the venue and/or caterer? If your venue comes with a caterer this is a really good question to ask.

8. Will tables have to be set up on the dance floor during dinner? This one affects your timeline, so it’s good to know, especially for small weddings and venue spaces

9. What are your rules on candles, sparklers, and luminaries? Rustic weddings practically require candles, so if your venue doesn’t allow it, that could be a big deal for the feel of your wedding.

10. What are the volume restrictions? If you are having your ceremony on a private residence, neighbors might not want to hear “I’m Sexy and I Know It” at 2AM.

11. What are the rules when it comes to alcohol and bar service? This is a multi-faceted question. Here are just three I thought of…there’s probably more… Can I bring my own alcohol? Is there a fee? How much extra is an open bar, and how much does it cost for that person to tend it? Is there a “corking fee” for champagne toasts? Another “REALLY?” If there is a corking fee, I will un-cork that sucker and pour it all myself!

12. What is the back up plan? Weather, power outages, that stuff happens. Make sure there is a solid plan in place.

13. Where is parking? If you are going for an outdoor wedding, make sure your venue has a spot roped off for parking, or there is a parking lot nearby, don’t want grandma to have to walk too far to see you wed!

14. When can I start setting up? BIG one! If you have a lot of DIY you may need that extra night before to get into the venue and start putting up decor!

15. What are any additional costs? There could be a bunch of hidden fees that you won’t be told up front but will be all over your contract. Cleaning fees, insurance fee waivers, lots of business stuff no one thinks of. Read everything clearly, and get EVERYTHING they say in writing!

My vacation is in July so I am still months away from visiting these spots. I hope they are everything I want! If you want to know more about these places, you can click on any of the images or contact me on the Keep In Touch page.

Which venue should I choose?


4 thoughts on “Anticipating Visiting Venues

  1. So many beautiful choices. I love that a venue tells you so much about what type of wedding it’s going to be – I feel like I have a sense of yours just by looking at the choices you’ve narrowed it down to!

    They’re all beautiful. I’m partial to number one, but not knowing what the costs are. Any one of them will make your wedding a fabulous day.

    A note about the caterer: Where I live (and this may be different elsewhere) having an in-house caterer isn’t always good. Usually in the contract for a venue that has one it will say you must use the services of the caterer they have an agreement with – this means that they don’t have to price their food competitively to hook you. May or may not be an issue when you’re looking, but perhaps something to thing about?

    Happy hunting!

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