Booking a wedding venue is not something to take lightly. Picking the right venue requires a lot of attention to detail, planning, and budgeting. The last thing you want is to be disappointed in your choice or dealing with logistical issues on your wedding day. As a top wedding venue in Lake Tahoe, we want your big day — and your venue — to be everything you always dreamed of. With that in mind, we recommend planning ahead to avoid these common wedding venue mistakes.
Mistake #1: Booking too late.
Venues book fast. Popular venues can even book out 1+ years in advance. If your heart is set on a specific wedding venue, lock it in as early as possible — especially if you have a specific date in mind as well. Generally, signing a contract and making a deposit is the only way to hold the space.
Mistake #2: Not getting specifics in writing.
Contracts are important for a reason and meant to protect both the couple and the venue. Take the time to read your contract carefully and don’t make assumptions. Pay close attention to capacity numbers, cancellation policies, and when payments are due. There’s generally room for some negotiations, but once a contract is signed, the deal is done.
Mistake #3: Not touring the venue ahead of time.
Some couples will just go off pictures and online reviews and assume that everything will be perfect. Don’t fall into that trap. There are always those scenarios where pictures either don’t do a venue justice or, on the flip side, make it look grander than it is. If you’re planning a destination wedding, try and make at least one trip before the big day to see venues in person if possible. Even if you’re familiar with the venue already, you’ll see things with a new perspective and notice different details once you actually start visualizing your wedding there.
Mistake #4: Booking before setting your budget.
Many couples get excited and jump right into venue tours and booking before discussing their budget. Venues often take up a large chunk of your overall wedding budget, so it’s important to have finances nailed down from the get-go. That way, you can weigh decisions appropriately without worrying about overspending or having to cut back later on.
Mistake #5: Booking before the guest list is finalized.
Having at least a ballpark number of guests is important to make sure the venue is able to accommodate you appropriately. Many engaged couples jump the gun and book the venue right away and then later have to trim down their guest list due to capacity limitations. They also make the mistake of assuming a good number of guests will RSVP “no,” then are surprised when they get mostly “yes” replies. To be safe, it’s best to plan as if every guest will attend.
Mistake #6: Not paying attention to accommodations & amenities.
Keep in mind there’s more to a wedding than just the event venue. Many of your guests will be traveling and need lodging accommodations, dining options, and other amenities to keep them comfortable during their stay. It’s also Lake Tahoe, which means you and your guests should take advantage of all the fun recreational activities and attractions that we have to offer. With that in mind, it’s important to also consider:
- Attractions (restaurants, shopping, recreational activities) near your venue and easily accessible
- Lodging and hotel amenities for guests
- Traffic and parking
- Space and accommodations for events before/after your wedding (rehearsal dinner, gift openings, bridal brunch, etc.)
Working with an all-in-one venue (like Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel), where lodging, your wedding ceremony, reception, and other wedding-related events can all be held in the same place, is a great option in this regards. It minimizes transportation between various locations for you, your guests, and your vendors. A centralized location also reduces a lot of coordinating, timing issues, and miscommunication between all parties involved.