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5 Tips for a Successful Venue Tour Experience


For most of us getting married, this is an experience full of excitement but also a little uncertainty. Since wedding planning is a completely unfamiliar experience for most couples, this leads them to feel overwhelmed and uncertain about the path ahead. We at Ocala Estate believe that this experience should be full of nothing but excitement and enchantment; with no feelings of stress or uncertainty. Today, we are offering some very helpful tips to our couples on how to get the most out of your experience when searching for the perfect wedding venue so that you can end up at the best place for you to say "I DO."

Research is your friend

Spending the time to perform proper research on your different venue choices before scheduling a visit will pay off immensely. Everyone’s schedule is filled to the brim especially when you add wedding planning to the mix. Finding the ideal wedding venue can be time-consuming. Most venues do not allow weekend tours since weddings are taking place at that time. Therefore, most people have to arrange their wedding venue tour during the work week. You want to make sure that any time off from work is not wasted. The best way to ensure this is to prepare ahead of time.

Our most organized brides use their downtime (after work in the evenings and weekends) to jump on the internet and social media to search for that ideal backdrop for their beautiful day. There are important questions all couples should ask when searching for the right wedding venue, including:

-Does this venue hold enough people to accommodate my guest list?

-Is this an outdoor or indoor wedding venue?

-If it is an outdoor wedding venue, does it offer adequate covered space in case of

inclement weather? Or will I be forced to rent a tent?

-Are they available on the date you are planning to get married?

Keep in mind that you might not get all of your answers just by simply perusing a website. Take a moment to contact each venue you are interested in and send over a list of questions. The staff will be happy to hear from you and will often share even more about their business than what you asked for. Another thing to consider once you have reached out to them is whether or not you are satisfied with the level and quality of communication you receive from the staff. This could be a big indicator of their quality of service and sets a precedent for a relationship you will be developing with their team moving forward. At Ocala, we take pride in quick responses to our brides and over-communicating along the wedding planning journey.

Limit the amount of “tag alongs”

This can be somewhat controversial but the amount of people that you bring to your wedding venue tour can affect your experience. Remember, this is all about you and your partner. Of course, we want to include parents and close friends. But there will be a time and place for this throughout your journey. Keep in mind that once you choose your venue you can always bring other people with you to visit on a separate occasion before the wedding day. Too many people on your tour can result in many opinions, which can cause confusion about what YOU actually want. Do not be afraid to wear that crown and make the decisions that best suit you and your partner.

It can be distracting to you and your partner if this turns into a group tour. The venue representative will be eager to answer all of your questions while on the property. However, it can be overwhelming and distracting if too many questions from multiple people are thrown around at once. The focus of the tour should be on you, your partner, and your vision for this event. A rule of thumb at Ocala Estate is no more than 2 additional people to accommodate you on your venue tour. Of course, we allow for more, but we find that by following some simple guidelines you will be able to optimize your wedding planning experience.

Take Pictures

Until you arrive on the property for your own personal venue tour you most likely have never seen the grounds in person. This will be a very different experience than browsing pictures on the internet. There will hopefully be areas of the property that inspire you. Make sure to capture this on camera to help with your further wedding planning and design ideas. Out of respect for the venue, always ask before taking photos. Most venues will be more than happy to allow you to photograph the space.

When taking these photos on your phone or camera, make sure you capture the features of the venue that are most significant for your vision. Having these photographs will assist you in the next steps of wedding planning when meeting with your vendors. Most vendors appreciate when their client has a clear vision for how they want their day to turn out. Is there a certain backdrop for a photo that really speaks to you? Suggestions on where you would like to say your vows, cut the cake, and have your first look are all helpful to your wedding planner and other vendors. You do not have to get too carried away with this on your initial tour. You will most likely have future on-site design meetings with your vendors. But it can be helpful to look back on some important photos when you take the time to make your final decision.

Bring a list of questions

In order to gather as much information as possible and take full advantage of your scheduled on-site venue tour make sure to record any questions you might want answered while on the property. These questions might be items you are not able to answer through cyber communication and internet searching. Consider keeping these questions in your notes section of your cell phone so you can add to them at any time and they will be readily accessible when the time comes to use them. A few questions that our brides and couples at Ocala Estate brought on their tour include:

-If I am getting dressed on-site at the venue, what are my options for remaining hidden

before I am presented to walk down the aisle?

-Where do most people set up their wet bar? (We happen to have more than 3 locations

on the property for a wet bar setup, which gives the couple the ability to design their

own unique experience)

-Do you have a hidden parking lot so I can be assured that no cars will be in the

background of my wedding pictures at the ceremony and reception?

-Where could a tent be placed if we decide to rent one for additional covered space?

Additionally, you might find it helpful for someone that is accompanying you on the tour to record answers to your questions and take additional notes so you can focus on and enjoy the experience.

Take a deep breath and enjoy!

This might sound obvious and possibly even cheesy but do not lose sight of the real reason you are here. You are planning the wedding of your dreams to celebrate the union of you and your lifelong partner. At Ocala Estate we encourage our brides to remain focused on the reason for the celebration of love. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience so you must enjoy it! Everything will be over in the blink of an eye.

Take a minute to connect with us on social media @Ocalaestatega or on our website to stay informed on our unique perspective on the wedding industry we will be consistently sharing.

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