9 Questions to Ask Potential Wedding Venues in Knoxville TN
You fell in love. He popped the question. She said yes. And now, it’s wedding planning time. You’re bound to get hit with all kinds of questions on date, location, wedding party, registries, and more.
But before you can start answering those questions, you’ve got to ask some questions of your own.
As you start meeting with Knoxville wedding venues, you’ll want to make sure you ask the right questions to guarantee that your venue is all you dreamed it would be – and maybe more.
Here are 9 practical questions to ask wedding venues in Knoxville TN:
1. Is there a certified wedding planner on-staff?
There is a lot of coordinating, finessing, and orchestration that goes into making your wedding go off without a hitch. There are lots of people to get on the same page, from the wedding party, to guests, to vendors, to the officiant, and more. You don’t want that falling on your shoulders for the wedding weekend.
You want a certified wedding planner to handle all of the orchestration. A certified wedding planner has seen and done it all. S/he knows how to help you get the wedding of your dreams without driving yourself crazy in the process.
Best of all, when it comes down to your wedding day, you’ll have peace of mind as deliveries, vendors, timing, and more are handled by someone else and you are left to focus on you, your love, and your special day.
2. Does your outdoor wedding venue have an indoor backup location?
Outdoor weddings are amazing. The sun shine, the fresh air.
But sometimes the invitation to Mother Nature gets lost in the mail, and rain can threaten to put a damper on your outdoor wedding.
You definitely don’t want to be outside scrambling to make an outdoor wedding work when it’s raining cats and dogs.
Make sure your venue has a back up location that’s available for use and that can’t be scheduled for another event at the same time.
3. Do you offer catering and lodging or is there something close by that does?
After the “I do’s” it’s time to party. And we all know a good party is nothing without delicious food. Venues generally fall in to one of two camps – either they allow outside caterers, or they have their own catering company or staff that they work with. You’ll need to know this so you can start looking for a caterer or make sure the caterer they work with has the unique food options you’re looking for.
Lodging is also important for out-of-town guests. How close are nearby hotels and are they just a bed to sleep in or will they enhance your guests’ experience?
Bonus tip – onsite lodging is great for out-of-towners, but it’s also great for the bridal party, providing a place to get ready and be together and you all prepare for this amazing celebration.
4. What amenities are there for guests and the wedding party?
Whether the wedding party stays on site or not may be influenced by the available amenities. What if the girls could wake up in the morning to spa treatments, like massages? What if the guys could fish or head out on a hike?
For the guests, consider what they’ll be able to do since they won’t be quite as occupied as you are. Does the lodging offer a game room? Snacks? Outdoor activities like canoes, tennis, hiking, or golf?
5. Can I get catering food tastings prior to the wedding?
You want to make sure your guests love the food and that’s it’s even tastier than it sounds. Help their mouths water by getting a menu tasting prior to the wedding. You’ll have a better idea of how you’d like to pair entrees with sides and the courses you might like to have by tasting in advance.
This will also help you have a better idea to help mentally prepare for and envision the day. Mental pictures grow stronger with taste and smell.
6. What time do I have access to the venue?
Weddings are often a whirlwind of months of work and strategic planning culminating in about 48 hours. Having access to the venue for set up, tear down, to see what the venue has set up, or even to add your own final touches are so important to that 48 hours going off without a hitch.
These 2 clarifications will give you insight into what that window looks like:
- What time do you have access to venue?
- What time do I have to be out of venue?
7. Who is responsible for the setup and cleanup of items brought into the wedding venue?
This question and #6 go hand-in-hand as you figure out how to execute (with the help of your amazing coordinator!) the wedding of your dreams. You’ll need extra time allowances – and extra hands – if setup is up to you. And you’ll definitely want to appoint someone to be in charge afterwards so that you can head off on your honeymoon without a care in the world.
8. What items are included in the wedding venue rental?
A venue is just part of what you’re looking for. You’ll need tables and chairs, linens, centerpieces, and maybe some other decorations to make your wedding say “you”.
And while it may seem like those things are included in the price, be sure to check. Some venues provide tables and chairs, but require third party rental of linens. Center pieces may be provided but not in your style.
9. Is the wedding venue available for photos?
You want your wedding pictures to tell a story from start to finish. Nothing can help you do this better than showcasing your love at some of the same places throughout your story.
Find out if you venue allows photos before the big event – think engagement photos, bridal portraits, and more. You also want to ask about a rainy day – if any of your scheduled days fall when there is rain, can you reschedule?
Also ask if there is a fee for additional photo days and find out how that fee works if you would need to reschedule.
Some additional questions to ask East TN wedding venues
While these questions didn’t make the top 9 we wanted to include them because the little details can affect your big day in so many ways. So here are a few additional questions to ask.
- What details should I know about at your venue? This open ended question can often give you additional details you wouldn’t have thought to ask.
- What are the written rules for the venue? Knowing the written rules are so helpful to know what you can and can’t do, can and can’t have in advance of making additional plans.
- What food items can be brought and what are not allowed? Onsite of the venue, there may be things like outside alcohol that aren’t allowed.
- What is the policy and times for rehearsals and dinners? Some venues have times for meals or set up, so that they can schedule weddings on consecutive days. If you know that rehearsal dinners at always at 6:30, you’ll be able to plan around that.
- What attractions and restaurant options are in the area for out of town guests to enjoy? Besides onsite lodging, what can guests do for fun in the area?
- Do you have references from former couples? And can I talk with them? It helps to gather experience from someone who has had their wedding at the same place!
This list should help to equip you find the venue that is just the right fit for your wedding. Planning will go all the more smoothly with all of the information up front.
It would be our pleasure to work with you on planning your special day at the Whitestone Country Inn. Please contact us if you have any questions or if we can assist you at all in planning your beautiful wedding.
Photos courtesy of Bridges Photography and Tonya Damron Photography.