Meeting, falling in love with and getting engaged to your future spouse is a beautiful thing! Next up comes the wedding planning!  Now that your engagement is officially official, the next part of your wedding planning process will be finding the perfect venue. A venue that fits the vision that you and your fiancé have for your big day, and hopefully doesn’t break the bank!  

Truly, no other wedding planning decision affects the outcome of your wedding day as much as your venue choice! Not only can the location inform the plan for the execution of your big day’s logistics – the date, budget, and number of guests – but it will also influence the entire vibe of your celebration. As in… are you going for Bohemian by the beachside? Rustic farmhouse nuptials? Ultra-lux garden party? Swanky cocktail party? Traditional wedding banquet? 5 course gourmet feast?

Whatever your plans may be, before you get all swept up in the seeming potential of a venue space, and what photogenic moments you could create there, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for a couple of  major red flags! So, here’s the 2 biggest (in our opinion) red flags to watch for when selecting and hiring a wedding venue!

Poor Communication

Imagine yourself scrolling through wedding inspiration when you spot that ‘perfect for you’ venue that ticks off all of your and your fiancé’s wedding boxes. You try to arrange a site visit and hear nothing but crickets for weeks. Concerning! Or you arrange a visit and you fall in love at first sight, but when you reach out for more information and to enquire about officially booking the space, you don’t receive a response, or receive an incredibly delayed response! Very concerning! These are big red flags!

While you and your fiancé might be willing to overlook a short delay in response, especially with a proper explanation, little-to-no back and forth communication might be indicative of a much larger issue. In our experience, venues that reply in a timely fashion, are better adept at addressing problems as they arrive, and tend to prioritize customer service and satisfaction over simply filling up their calendars.

While the examples above are major deal breakers for us, less-than-perfect communication doesn’t have to be! If you’re noticing a slower than you’d like, but not excessively long response time, your best bet is to schedule a call or face to face meeting with the on-site coordinator to manage expectations, and see if these communication breakdowns can be overcome.

Long History of Bad Reviews

While even the most amazing wedding venues or vendors receive a bad review from time to time – can’t please EVERYONE after all – those bad reviews will be an anomaly in their otherwise sterling review history. What we’re talking about here is an ongoing pattern of mid to low end reviews over time! 

This point is especially salient during the venue booking process. If many of the bad reviews start off mentioning poor communication/headaches during the initial contact, or difficulty securing their dates or signing the booking contract, you should definitely take note! This is when sales reps and event managers should be especially friendly and communicative, so if you feel like you’re getting the runaround straight off the bat, you might want to run along to a new wedding venue! The poor communication and lack of professional etiquette are unlikely to get better after the contract is signed and they receive your initial payment.

Also, professional and highly regarded wedding venues and vendors, will often reply to bad reviews with patience and a spirit to resolve (to the best of their ability) whatever preceded the bad review. So, if bad reviews are replied to in a disrespectful or dismissive tone, with absolute refusal to take any responsibility, run in the opposite direction!