Codes, permits, electricity, and water mains – oh my! No doubt you have your hands full with just getting walls up on this big, beautiful dream of yours. My guess is you’re either praying you survive the construction phase of building your wedding venue or you’re dreaming of all the pretty design elements you can implement. Hello, tufted linen settee!
In either scenario, you don’t want to be looking back saying “I should’ve, would’ve, could’ve,” so here are 13 things to include when building your wedding venue that vendors will thank you for. Implement all or pick and choose what works best for your space! Any of these upgrades will impress vendors and have them recommending you to potential clients.
1.Give vendors a room, or at the very least a table, to eat dinner that’s still within earshot of what’s going on.
2. Light is the very best gift you can give vendors. Whether it’s an overall light and airy space or simply a bridal suite filled with as much natural light as possible, all vendors – from photographers to makeup artists – will be so appreciative.
3. A secure storage area. This room needs to be close to the main reception area and have a security code. Photo and video teams need a secure area to store their gear that can easily be accessed during the event when they need to switch out a lens or two. This room can also be utilized by a bride, coordinator, or florist to store empty inventory boxes. Since it has a code on the door, you can easily change the code often to keep it secure.
4. Adequate power for lighting, sound, and AV equipment. Enough said!
5. Photogenic space to display bouquets. Bouquets for bridal parties are usually delivered straight to the bridal suite and since this room is typically occupied with 10+ girls all getting hair and makeup done at the same time, you can bet it looks like a tornado (or ten) have whipped through there. Simply hang some pretty, floating shelves for floral bouquets and other details to sit and be photographed.
6. Loading/unloading considerations. First, make sure the area is easy for large vehicles to get to. The door to the kitchen should have plenty of parking in order for the caterer’s box truck to backup and unload. If possible, have double doors that do not have the metal bar in the middle; the lives of DJs and bands will be made easier when they’re unloading their heavy equipment. Have ramps for carts. Any doors used for vendor access should be covered. Mother Nature has a tendency to flex her muscle with a downpour right as florists are unloading delicate floral arrangements. If it’s in the budget, have a concrete parking lot or at least a concrete drive. There’s nothing worse than trying to roll large equipment across loose gravel.
8. Accessible kitchen sink to dump water and rinse things like rental flatware and vintage china.
9. A wow-factor bridal suite. Make it large enough to accommodate ten or more girls, more outlets than you think you need, large mirrors, lots of natural light, counter space for hot irons, low back chairs, racks or hangers to hang gowns, a designated table or counter for food, and try to make sure it is minimally yet thoughtfully decorated.
10. Reserved parking spots for photo and video teams. Weddings that have their ceremony off-site present a little bit of a challenge to vendors. Due to the timing of things, more often than not, the photographer and videographer are the last people to arrive to the reception and are the first people who are needed inside. By the time they arrive, all parking spots are taken by guests and they’re left circling the block to find a space and then are racing to make it in time for the first dance. Be gracious and give them a reserved parking spot on the front row.
11. An ice machine that the caterer and bartenders can share.
12. When creating your ceremony space, here are some things to keep in mind. In addition to guest seating, make sure it is large enough for a 5-6’ center aisle. There should be plenty of space for side aisles that vendors or guests with crying children can easily access. There should also be plenty of space in the back for DJs or live musicians.
13. For an outdoor ceremony site, have a covered area for DJs or musicians that is out of direct sunlight and sheltered from the weather; rain or strong winds are not friendly to entertainment.
Keep in mind that vendors are happy to give their two cents when asked. A good way to cultivate a great relationship with your chosen vendors is to ask them for their input and let them know you value and appreciate their advice!