If you are wondering where to get married in Indianapolis your wedding venue can make all the change in the world. When it comes to your wedding day your venue will set the tone. Imagine a rustic barn wedding for a second. What is the weather, what music is playing, what kind of food is served, what do the centerpieces look like?
Now imagine a rooftop wedding reception overlooking downtown Indianapolis. What’s the weather, what music is playing, what kind of food is served, what do the centerpieces look like?
Two totally different weddings where the only thing that changed was the venue. Suddenly you see the importance.
With so many available options here in Indiana (you can even have a beach wedding!) how do you choose a venue that you like, you can afford, and is not already booked?
The first thing you need to do before even start looking for a wedding venue in Indianapolis is create a wedding budget. There is no denying that wedding venues are pricey. Having a budget even if it's rough will give you a clear idea of what range of wedding venues to be looking at.
Next step, figure out what you want to use your venue for.
Do you plan to have your ceremony and reception at the same venue? You will want to make sure your venue has spaces convenient for getting ready. Do you want to have a late ceremony and dance all night under the stars? You will need a venue that doesn’t close at 10 pm.
Write down 4 or 5 must haves for your wedding so when you book a venue you're not blindsided with restrictions.
When doing initial venue research you may find a lot of venues websites have insignificant amount info. If you like the style reach out anyhow. They should have an info packet they can send you that will answer a lot of questions. Questions like how much the wedding venue costs to rent
Luckily all around Indianapolis has an amazing variety of wedding venues! These lists might help narrow down your you search.
Once you have narrowed down your search from 700 to 12 to then 3 or 4 you need to call and set up a venue walk through. Here you will have the chance to see the venue in person and ask any questions you may have about the wedding venue.
Here is a list of questions you need to ask to make sure you pick the right wedding venue.
PS: You can download this list at the bottom of the page to print out and bring with you to your venue walkthrough!
1: Is the venue available for your wedding date?
This may seem like a silly question but there is an average of 126 weddings every day in Indiana. From the time you email the venue to set up a site visit and the time you show up for the visit, they could book your wedding date. If you don’t have a determinate date the venue will be able to tell you their availability for you to choose from. (If you are willing to be flexible changing your wedding date just 1 day can save you a ton of money)
2: How many hours are included in the rental? When can you get access to set up and tear down? Also is there an overtime fee?
If you are having your ceremony and reception at the same location this is an especially valuable question. You will need much more time than you would for just the reception. Some venues have packages with various lengths of time to rent which could cut into your all night partying. And even if your venue will put together the tables, chairs, and decorations for your reception you will still need access to set up and take down any specialty pieces like a photo wall. Your caterer, DJ, florist, ect will also need early access.
3: Is a ceremony rehearsal included?
The ceremony rehearsal lets everyone in the ceremony know where they need to be during the ceremony and when. Who walks down with who, when to sit or stand, ect. Ask how far in advance you need to book the time and how long you have for the rehearsal.
4: What sorts of lighting does the venue have?
Your DJ or live band will bring some sort of party lighting but find out if the venues light dim or is it just fluorescent on or off. Having the lights off is a safety risk for older guests and those who have enjoyed a few drinks. Soft dim light is sufficient to see where people are going and gives the venue a sentimental feel.
5: Are there alcohol restrictions?
If you plan on having alcohol, this is an essential question. Some venues will let you bring in your own alcohol and others will require you to purchase it through them or hire a bartending service. Also ask if there is a cut off time of if guests can still be served until the end.
6: Are there decor restrictions?
Barn venues typically do not allow candles or open flames. Others will not let you throw small items like confetti and if you’re having a New Years eve wedding that can be a problem. If you plan to do a sparkler exit this is when you would ask if the venue allows for it. Don’t buy 300 long burn sparklers only find out 10 mins before your exit that your venue won’t allow it. I’ve seen it happen.
7: Do you host more than one event on the same day.
Some wedding venues around Indianapolis offer multiple spaces at the same location. They could hold a garden wedding and a manor wedding at the same time. You will need to think about your guests and make sure they know they go to the right wedding and don't get lost. This may not be a deal breaker for you but for some weddings, it would be.
8: What kind of equipment do you provide?
You may be planning on having a slideshow of photos from throughout your relationship to play during your reception. Ask if your venue has A/V equipment like a projector you can use or if one will need to be secured from someplace different. If they do have equipment for use, ask for a list. You may be surprised to find they have something open to use that you were going to rent.
9: Do you provide Liability insurance?
The last thing you want to worry about is your uncle Bob who loves his White Russians a bit too much to knock something over breaking it and you have to pay for it. If a venue does not include liability insurance there are plenty of companies who do, ask your venue for a recommendation.
10: Do you allow external vendors?
Many vendors will require you to use their in house caterers, cake bakers, even bartenders. If they don’t they may require you to pay an added fee to bring in your favorite caterer.
11: Is parking included?
Parking is a precious commodity in downtown Indianapolis. If you are getting married downtown, be sure to ask about the parking situation. Once you get outside downtown this is a much smaller issue but still useful to ask!
Along with seeing the venue in person, these questions should give you an excellent idea of whether or not it is right for your wedding day. But there are still 2 important aspects to look over before you sign anything!
Ask for a price breakdown.
Some wedding venues have been known to have a low entry fee to avoid sticker shock get you to book and then tack on hidden fees everywhere you turn. From things like moving furniture, corking fees, RESTROOM FEES, Climate control fees (for hot summer weddings of cold winter weddings), external vendor fees, and even possibly a fee if FEWER GUESTS SHOW UP! The venue should give you a total cost break down, and if they don’t that’s a red flag.
Ask to look at a sample contract and its cancellation policy
No one loves reading over a contract with a fine tooth comb. They are lengthy and boring and just all around not fun to read. But a wedding venue is a great expense and you need to make sure the contract protects you in the event of a cancellation. It may be the last thing you want to think about but everything from a death in the family to a natural disaster needs to be in the cancelation policy. And if you have any questions, just ask!
See More: Complete Wedding Planning Guide!
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