outdoor wedding ceremony at Sassafras

7 Questions to Ask Before Booking a Wedding Venue

Are you into the rustic look or something more modern? Is it going to be a big wedding or something small and intimate? There are roughly 30 or more wedding venues in the Northwest Arkansas area. That’s a good thing in that you have a lot of choices, but it can be really confusing on which way to go. How is this venue different than that one? Picking the venue is one of the first steps in planning a wedding, and it’s a big one! There are some things to think about before you book. Here are 7 questions to ask before booking a wedding venue.

7 Questions to Ask Before Booking a Wedding Venue

I’ve been to almost all the wedding venues in this area, and there are plenty of things that make one unique versus another. I will put my thoughts at the end of all of this, but I thought I’d reach out to the venues and see what their thoughts were. They know the venues best, so here’s what they thought.

1. What are your inclusions?

At Sassafras we have many inclusions.
Round Tables, chiavari chairs, linens, centerpieces, Buffett tables, cocktail tables, tea, water , lemonade, white garden chairs , and decor.
new addition at Sassafras
We also have chargers, china, napkins, silverware for a small cleaning /dishwashing charge.
We have licensed and insured bartenders and bar set up which includes 2 wineArita machines, beer, and wine purchases. We can do a hosted bar or cash bar or any combination of the two.
Center pieces at wedding at Sassafras Springs
We do this in hopes that money will freed up for things like photography, videography, cake, food, music and florals.
It is so important to ask questions when you come and visit a venue. Here are two questions I get often.

2. Where will my guest park & is parking free?

If your venue is in the city, this is an extremely important question to ask. In many places, parking is very limited, far away, or can be expensive. At the Apollo, parking is free in downtown Springdale & The Apollo on Emma holds a contract with FUMC so your guest have easy and close access to parking by the venue.

The Apollo sign3. Can I use my own vendors?

Who you hire for your big day really does matter, so we urge clients to use whomever they would like to help make their day a success. If you’re struggling finding the right people, we can also suggest some wonderful vendors we have worked with in the past.
inside the Apollo wedding venue
Heidi headshot
Heidi Ann Faires | General Manager

4. If you could change one thing about your venue, what would it be?

The thing about this question is it lets them tell you what might not be perfect about the venue without asking in a negative way. Each venue has a weakness, and I think it’s important to know what it is. There are several venues that are constantly improving, so I think the second part of the question is just as important. Maybe they already have a plan to fix that issue. Lately, Sassafras Springs Vineyard has done two amazing upgrades. They built a covered patio area that’s perfect for ceremonies, and they also built a giant lodge that couples can rent. I’ve also talked to several other venues that have plans to change and improve.

outdoor wedding ceremony at Sassafras

5. Will there be anyone there from the venue?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve needed something from the venue. It could be a ladder, changing the brightness of lights, or needing something random like tape or a screwdriver. Some venues have a manager there that is quick to help, while other times, I haven’t seen someone from the venue the entire day. Besides the manager, are there other people that help out with things like picking up trash, security, or things like cutting up the cake? It is so nice to have a well-staffed venue there. It can make things go so much smoother!

venue owner working in the rain
In the background you see one of the owners actually out working to clean up for a ceremony. Read the full story here: https://strieglerphoto.com/blog/amazing-wedding-service/

6. Are there any restrictions or rules?

Each venue is different, which means they allow you to do certain things and not others. You don’t want to show up on the wedding day and find out you aren’t allowed to do something. One of the big things with this question is it might help you figure out how late you can stay at the venue. Some let you stay till midnight while others make you leave much earlier. The biggest thing I’ve seen as far as rules is what you can do for an exit. Some allow you to do sparklers but others don’t. It makes sense though. Rules are there to protect the venue, but you want to make sure you know what they are, and if there are any fees that might pop up if you break them.

sparkler exit at Sassafras Springs Vineyard

7. Will we have the venue the night before?

A lot of people are going to Friday and Sunday weddings these days. The problem with that is that means that Saturday weddings can’t get in the night before. Decorating for a wedding is quite the chore, and it can add stress if they are having to do it the morning of the wedding.

Need more help?

Picking a wedding venue is not an easy task, but hopefully these questions have helped you think about some things you hadn’t before. If you need more help, check out this article or feel free to reach out to any of us with more questions.

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