What is a venue walkthrough or site visit?

A venue walkthrough (or site visit) is a meeting that happens closer to the wedding date to confirm and fine-tune the day of details with your venue and vendor team. All your vendors do not need to attend the walkthrough, but there are a few you should extend the invitation to who will likely want to join. Those vendors include:

  • Wedding Planner – Your advocate who has your best interest at heart and can point out potential problems as well as opportunities.
  • Venue Coordinator – The on-site expert who can answer questions pertaining to the venue including what can and cannot be done as well as confirm the feasibility of your design ideas and layout suggestions.
  • Caterer – The professional who can answer any of your food and beverage questions as well as details relating to linen, plateware, flatware and glassware.
  • Florist – The specialist who can answer your floral and décor questions as well as details relating to how long it will take to setup everything, what will happen to the centerpieces at the end of the night and so forth.

Sometimes, a DJ or band member may also want to visit the site if they have never worked at the venue before, but that’s not always the case. Photographers, videographers, hair stylists, makeup artists and other vendors generally do not attend. 

A venue walkthrough is different from a venue tour in that a tour occurs during the planning phase when searching for the right venue to have your wedding. In other words, a tour is what you do before you are under contract with a venue. A venue walkthrough occurs after the contract is signed and about 1-2 months before the big day to finalize the wedding details—which way your ceremony will face in the space, how big your aisle should be, reception floorplan, setup and breakdown times, vendor load in instructions, order of timeline events, lighting and sound setups, linen selections, parking, plan B, etc.—with your venue and vendor team. This meeting is essential so that your wedding professionals are on the same page of what is to occur on your wedding day. 

It’s important to be prepared for a venue walkthrough meeting. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The most important one being “What are you [planner, venue, caterer, florist, DJ/band] responsible for and what are we, the couple, responsible for?” You will find that each party does and does not do certain things, so it’s important to discuss what exactly everyone will be doing and fill in the gaps when needed. For example, most couples provide smaller décor items such as table numbers and a card box, but some venues may have them onsite that are complimentary to use or a small fee to rent. If the venue doesn’t provide those items, your florist may be able to rent them out to you if you do not wish to buy them. Another example, what happens to the flowers after the wedding is over? Some florists may take them back to be donated to a hospital or church the next day, or tell you that you and your guests can take them home.

It’s important to know what your options are and who is doing what, which is why it is essential to have a venue walkthrough a couple months before the wedding to finalize the details with your venue and vendor team.

Monday, July 31, 2023

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