Wedding Venue Red Flags

Photo by Jeremy Wong

Choosing the right venue is extremely important when it comes to wedding planning. While life can happen and not every aspect of the event is within the venue’s control, choosing a place that’s professional and experienced can make a huge difference if something does go wrong. And, of course, choosing a venue that doesn’t care about its clients can be a problem. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of wedding venue red flags you should look out for.

Poor Communication

A wedding venue that leaves you hanging in the planning process will leave you hanging on the actual day. That’s not to say they literally won’t respond to you, but their response may be slow or unsatisfactory. LuckEleven Events owner and wedding planner, Melanie Levin, explains, “If the venue event manager is quick to reply, there is a better chance that he or she will solve problems as they arise. Those that are slow to respond either do not prioritize their customers and may be an issue if there are last-minute concerns.”

Bad Reviews

Plenty of people will try a new restaurant or airline without checking the reviews first, but you don’t want to be that laid-back when it comes to your wedding. Thoroughly check the venue’s reviews before booking anything. Aced Events founder and owner, Ashley Czaplicki, explains, “Sales venue reps will make it sound like a dream—that’s their job. Do your research and hear from honest couples.” Wedding planner Hovik Harutyunyan echoed, “If [a venue’s team is] rude, unpleasant, or disagreeable, make sure you take note of that. You can’t always trust online reviews, especially if your direct experience is contrary to how they act or treat you. During tours and booking is when they should be the nicest, so the experience will only get worse if it starts off on a bad note.”

Not Enough Set Up Time

Different venues have different policies in place regarding when vendors can start setting up for the event. It’s important to coordinate with everyone involved and make sure that the timeline works for you. Czaplicki says, “If it’s a two-hour window, run! You want a venue that gives your vendors ample time to set up. There is nothing worse for your vendor team, execution and design-wise if they are rushed. It reflects poorly on the entire team and that’s when mistakes happen!” Levin also noted you should pay attention to when the bride and groom are allowed into the venue. She said, “One red flag to look out for is what time the [bridal] suite is available. Hair and makeup for the whole bridal party often takes hours and begins early in the morning. The last thing brides will want to do is gather everyone halfway through the hair and makeup process and move to a new location.”

No Plan B

A good wedding venue will always have a plan B in place, just in case something goes wrong. For example, if it’s an outdoor venue, they should have a backup plan just in case it rains.

Photo by Asad Photo Maldives

Levin explains, “Venues without a backup plan are definitely red flags. Whether it is inclement weather or a natural disaster, venues need to have a backup plan in place better than ‘you’re on your own.’”