CHECKLIST FOR CHOOSING THE PERFECT VENUE / by Eric Monteiro

There's so much to remember when you're planning your event. Checklists have subheadings with other checklists, but what should be on these checklists? 

The venue you select will affect every other aspect of your event in some way, from catering to the date of the event, so it should probably be at the top of your event planning to-do list. Let's take a look at what you need to think about before booking your venue.

  • BUDGET

Step one will always be to establish your budget.

  • GUEST COUNT

Establishing an estimated guest count will affect your venue selection.

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  • WHEN TO BOOK

The sooner the better, but 4 to 6 months prior to your date will give you the necessary time for planning everything.

  • LOCATION

Do you need your venue to be near a church, temple, convention center, performance hall or any other place that's a key part of your event?

  • CAPACITY

Venue capacity is an obvious item on this list, but needs to be mentioned anyway! Considering this first will narrow down your options from the get go.

  • PARKING

Is parking an issue for you? Does the venue offer parking or valet? Will valet fit into your budget? Is there a public garage or lot nearby and is it reasonably priced?

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  • SERVICE & AMENITIES: WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THE VENUE RENTAL FEE?

Do you need advanced AV?

Are dance floor, decor, tables, chairs, linens, security or parking included?

  • LAYOUT

Does the venue's floor-plan work for the type of event and any activities you have planned? Do you need a bridal suite? Are you planning a wedding ceremony and reception in the same venue? Will you have a bar? Do you need a stage? Multiple conference rooms for a corporate event? What will the flow of "traffic" be through your event? 

  • AMBIANCE

How does the venue's existing decor work for your event? If it doesn't work can you enhance or hide it with your decor? 

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  • ACCESSIBILITY

Can all your guests and vendors access the building? Do you have guests with special needs? Are children on the guest list and do they need special accommodations?

  • SPECIAL OFFERS

If you're not stuck on a particular date, ask the venue if they have open dates they're willing to fill up at a reduced price, is a certain period cheaper than another, or are week days less expensive than weekends.

  • RESTRICTIONS

Does the venue have any strict restrictions? These may include not allowing certain food, decor or alcohol. Are there any noise restrictions that would affect you having a DJ or a band or impose an early end to your party?

  • REFUND & CANCELLATION POLICY

Make sure you are aware of their cancellation and refund policy.

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