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Hello again, friends! I am particularly excited about this topic because it’s a little more on the fun side, and I had such a good time making this list of 13 things to add to your wedding venue blueprints! If you want to listen to the audio version of this list, check out my podcast! It’s also available in a downloadable format here. I put this list together because I think it’s important to take care of our vendors and provide them with good wedding venue blueprints. They’re an added voice for us—an extension of our marketing and our community. We bring them business; they bring us business. The ultimate goal is to make sure we’re all one happy team unit.
As venue owners, our main client is the couple, but I consider vendors tertiary clients, so it’s important to help make their job easier. I have seen the gap that exists between vendors and venue owners, and sometimes they’re pulling against each other. But, if they would just open up the lines of communication, discuss wedding venue blueprints, and work together, everyone could live in harmony. I put together this list of 13 things to add to your wedding venue building process that vendors will thank you for. They are in no particular order. So without further ado, let’s dive right into these wedding venue blueprints!
I’m someone who loves my vendors so much! A room dedicated just for vendors to set up their stuff, a place where they can leave their boxes, purses, coats, eat, etc. is such a great venue perk. I can’t tell you how good a room like this included in your wedding venue blueprints will make your vendors feel. A key element is making sure the room is within earshot of what’s going on and not in a separate building from where the reception is happening. This room also allows vendors to take a little bit of a break, put their feet up, and eat dinner all within earshot of the reception so that they still know what’s going on.
The vendor room and storage area are similar and you could use the same room in your wedding venue blueprints for both if you needed to. A secure storage area, particularly for photographers, videographers, DJs, and bands that are bringing in equipment, is really important and a great addition to your wedding venue blueprints. Make sure that it’s secure—maybe you have a keypad on the door or a keyed lock that the onsite venue manager has the key to. This way, the vendors can feel a little more secure knowing that their gear isn’t going to be messed with.
If your vendor room alone can’t accommodate all their gear, having two separate rooms is great. Bands, especially, bring a LOT of gear and it’s just so nice when they can put all of it in one room. Just a side note, as the venue owner, I don’t recommend storing gifts or money in here unless you have ample security cameras on your property so that you don’t get blamed for any mishaps.
This is a big one. Accidents happen, lightning storms hit, weather is unpredictable, and if the power at your building goes out, it’s really important to have a backup plan in your wedding venue blueprints. This is usually in the form of a backup generator. In the grand scheme of the total cost of a venue, a generator is a nominal fee to keep the lights on and the party going should something happen.
If you’re in the building process right now or even just preparing for booking season and you don’t know the voltage of your outlets, walk through the venue with your electrician so that you know that information. Make yourself a map that you can refer back to when you need to. It’s one of those small things that will make you feel very empowered because when your vendors call you, they will often ask you if you know the voltage of your outlets. Also, if you’re in the building process, having outlets every six feet will bless your vendors so much!
All the photographers just said, “Amen!” Light is probably the very best gift that you can give your vendors, especially photo and video vendors. I’m going to single out photographers and videographers a lot because they are the ones who are providing you the content to market your venue, so you want to make sure you’re taking care of them as much as you possibly can and including them in your wedding venue blueprints.
Lots of natural light, especially in the bridal suite, will really help not just your photographers and videographers but also your hair and makeup vendors. In your bridal suite, I would encourage you to use windows that come above the head so that you can’t see every person that walks by. Also, if you can, your getting-ready suites should be painted a really light color because it reflects the natural light the best. If you have a dark and moody space, you should really be networking with the photographers that also have that moody vibe.
A good loading zone makes it easy for everyone who is helping load and unload at the venue, and it’s an important part of your wedding venue blueprints. A key tip is this: don’t make the loading zone in front of your venue. Instead, put it in a strategic location that’s easily accessible and really convenient but won’t disturb a ceremony in case any vendor is running behind. Make sure this area has smooth ramps for, say, the baker who needs to roll in a five-tier buttercream cake. Finally, if you’re allowing your vendors to use your equipment such as step stools, ladders, or dollies, make sure you have COI’s (Certificate of Insurance) from all your vendors before allowing them to use your equipment because it can be a liability.
This is getting a little picky, but it would be the worst if the photographer couldn’t get good photos of the stunning bridal bouquet because there was no adequate place to display it in your wedding venue blueprints. Bakers can also use this area to set up the cake and get photos of it. When the bouquets are delivered, they’re usually brought straight into the bridal suite. However, bridal suites often have ten or more bridesmaids in there, so by the time the photographer arrives, the bridal suite looks like a tornado went through it. So, having a place to display the bouquets is a major part of your wedding venue blueprints, so that appropriate photos can be taken.
If you don’t have a designated space for this, take a sweep through your venue and see if there are any areas that have a nice white wall with pretty natural light that your photographers can use to take bouquet photos in front of. Let your vendors know ahead of time, “Hey! We have a couple of places in the venue that would be great to take floral/cake photos for your portfolio.”
I consider this one a little more on the luxury side that’s not standard in every venue. I’ve seen a venue where the owner bought an old Coca-Cola cooler off Craigslist to store things for their florists and bakers. That being said, make sure the processes you have in place for vendors to store their items work for your wedding venue blueprints and for you. If a florist begins to store all of her stuff in your eight-foot freezer and it becomes too much, you’ll potentially have to say no.
An accessible kitchen drain is one that is on the floor like you would find in a locker room. Accidents and spills happen and your kitchen should be really easy to clean up so having a drain on the floor that you can just spray out will be a valuable addition to your wedding venue blueprints, and so helpful to your vendors. Even if you have a designated location for where people should dispose of liquid that isn’t water, it makes the cleanup so much easier. Also, if you have a septic system, be sure to keep an eye on it, especially if you are a venue that does 80-100 weddings a year. You want to make sure you’re not overloading things, especially if you have to have your septic system pumped.
I also consider this one more of a luxury item: an ice machine for the caterers and bartenders to share. I will say that I’ve seen some venues start out where they’re simply renting the venue space, but eventually they want to add on a revenue stream like an in-house bar or accommodations. If you don’t have an in-house bar, this is really more of a luxury item. But when you do decide to add in an in-house bartending service, you will need an ice machine included in your wedding venue blueprints.
These aren’t a necessity, but they could be really helpful to incorporate in your wedding venue blueprints. These are the little extra special perks that can make your wedding party really feel like they’ve been taken care of. Some examples of these perks could be a pool table or gaming system for the men or a full wall of mirrors with a raised platform for the women. These are the small little things that will set you apart from your competitors if they don’t have little things like this in their wedding venue blueprints and venue space.
Your photo and video teams will love you for this thoughtful addition to your wedding venue blueprints, and it will maybe cost you $100. You can have a cute little sign drilled into the pavement that says, “Reserved for photo/video team.” Make 2-3 spots because your photographer and videographer are usually the very last ones to arrive at the reception venue after the ceremony. They’re usually booking it really fast, carrying tons of gear to get into the reception so they can capture the bridal party introductions on time. So, if you don’t have designated parking spots for them and they have to park down the road, running with twenty pounds of gear, they’re not going to be in the best mood coming into the reception. I’ve talked to so many photographers and videographers who have said that the number one thing they would love to have included in the wedding venue blueprints is their own parking spot at venues.
This will look different for everyone and will depend on your market and location. These perks could include a patio that overlooks the water, arbors, adequate space down the center aisle, side aisles, or a soundproof “cry room.” Adding these perks into your wedding venue blueprints can be anything that will make your ceremony space a little more special for your guests.
It is such a gift for your vendors for your wedding venue blueprints to include the option of some cover to protect their gear (and them) from sunlight, wind, and rain. This is so helpful when the vendors are trying to look for cues from the wedding planner and the sun isn’t blinding them. It’s also a helpful option to have for bartenders who are serving during cocktail hour because, in the summer months, the sun doesn’t set until later, and it can get really hot outside!
Okay, friends! These are the 13 things to add to your wedding venue blueprints and building process that vendors will love and thank you for. Again, you can get this guide as a download delivered to your inbox right now! As venue owners, our vendors can be an incredible resource to us, so it’s important to take care of them!
Do you want to know more about how to start a wedding venue? I’d love to chat with you! And if you’re building or preparing your wedding venue right now, I’m so excited for you. Check out my free guide to how you can hold a pre-launch for your venue when it’s ready to be seen!