Destination Wedding Venue Checklist: 10 Questions to Ask

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(Photo courtesy of Glenn Carstens Peters)

When it comes to a Tahoe South destination wedding venue, choosing is the hardest part. That’s why we created this super handy destination wedding venue checklist. It includes all the easy-to-overlook questions that’ll help you make your choice quickly so you can get on with the fun part—wedding planning!

10 Questions to ask when choosing a destination wedding venue

Armed with your list of possible venues and the following checklist, you’ll be done picking your time and place and busy picking your colors and cake before you know it.

#1 How experienced are you with Tahoe weddings held in [insert your season of choice]?

Tahoe South destination weddings are specialized based on the season. From sunny and sandy beach ceremonies to snow-lined outdoor winter events, there are all kinds of details that require special handling and experience. Be sure the venue you choose is accustomed to hosting ceremonies and receptions at the time of year you prefer.

interracial couple beach wedding
Beach Retreat & Lodge specializes in, you guessed it, the most amazing Tahoe beach weddings. (Photo courtesy of Beach Retreat & Lodge Lake Tahoe)

#2 What packages do you offer?

You should expect to receive either a printout or directions to a web page featuring available packages with a breakdown of what is included. Such detailed info is necessary if you want realistic cost comparisons (and we’re thinking you probably do!).

#3 Are you flexible with package customizations?

Some venues offer all-inclusive packages with strict parameters. So, if you have a specific professional in mind—a certain planner, florist, photographer, etc.—be sure you’re aware of any customization limitations in advance. Nothing’s worse than getting a couple of months into planning only to realize your favorite DJ is a no-go.

#4 What types of spaces do you offer for the ceremony and reception?

The number of guests you plan to invite, fun customizations you’d like to incorporate, and foods you’re hoping to serve are just a few of the many details that may factor into the types of spaces you’ll need for your ceremony and reception. A venue might have the look of your dreams, but to avoid a dream-turned-disappointment, make sure the venue’s spaces can accommodate your vision. After all, looks can be deceiving!

reception room at hard rock hotel & casino lake tahoe
When it comes to unique indoor spaces, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe takes the cake. (Photo courtesy of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe)

#5 What is the required deposit to reserve my date?

The deposit range among venues is vast. So, this is one question you definitely want answered up front, especially if you have limited funds. Also, if you really love a certain venue but the upfront deposit is a bit out of your range, don’t be afraid to ask if it’s negotiable. Many venues will be more than happy to meet you in the middle with a flexible arrangement.

#6 Do you have an on-site coordinator?

Many venues (even those that aren’t all-inclusive) offer the services of on-site coordinators. If a venue does have one available, and you don’t have a person in mind already, we highly recommend taking advantage of the opportunity. On-site coordinators know all the ins and outs of the venue for which they work, and they usually have lists of all the best local professionals.

just married in the forest
An on-site wedding coordinator can help you find the best local vendors, such as top photographers. (Photo courtesy of Alyssa Poland Photography)

#7 Will the hotel be able to accommodate all my guests?

This question is so important it might seem like a no-brainer. But it’s easier to overlook than you might think. Make sure to find out how busy the venue is expected to be at your desired time and whether the hotel will be able to accommodate your potential guest list (especially if it’s a large list).

#8 Do you have a list of on-site and nearby activities?

One of the absolute best things about Tahoe South destination weddings is the incredible number of things to do once you’re here. Ask potential venues for any information they have regarding nearby and on-site things to do, and find out whether they offer coordination for groups.

snowmobiling at Zephyr Cove Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe has tons for you and your guests to do whatever the season—like snowmobiling at Zephyr Cove Resort. (Photo courtesy of Zephyr Cove Resort)

#9 Does the property offer transportation to and from the airport?

Pretty much all weddings are travel events—even more so destination weddings. Chances are, the majority of your guests will travel long distances, and many will fly into Reno-Tahoe International Airport for your big day. These folks will certainly appreciate airport shuttle service, so be sure to find out whether a venue offers it.

#10 Does the venue fit my lifestyle?

This question is more important than you might think. Tahoe South venues range from glitzy glamorous and rustic romantic to effortlessly elegant and everything in between. And some venues will accommodate all of the above with style. Ultimately, your comfort is king. If you’re hoping for a laid-back good time with the folks, you’ll want to be sure you’re not heading into a black-tie-required situation.

newlyweds exiting in a kayak
Did someone say lifestyle? Weddings at Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel are sure to fit yours, no matter how eclectic. (Photo courtesy of Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel)

Whatever you’ve been imagining in your dreams, a Tahoe South destination wedding will bring that dream to life. Start building your list of venues today!