Typically my brides will do a final walkthrough with their planner a few weeks before the wedding to finalize details, table layout, etc. SO, In short, I’ll say no, I don’t do venue walkthroughs. But that isn’t to say that I will not! If the venue is out far out of town and I’ll be traveling to that city the day before, then I’ll typically tag along to the rehearsal just to check things out because I’m already in town and can see the bride and groom and meet the family before the big day!
People don’t realize how much prep that I do before I show up on their wedding day! To start, if I’ve never heard of the venue before OR never shot there before, I start my research! I google the venue location then I search for weddings that have been taken there. I’ll look through wedding blogs and google images to get a feel for what the venue looks like when it’s set up for a wedding! I’ll also search the location on Instagram and see what pictures people have taken. Sometimes I can find wedding hashtags and look at other peoples weddings… creepy? Nahhh… Sometimes, I even google earth the surrounding streets… do I sound weird yet?! I like to familiarize myself with what I’ll be driving up to! Haha! It also lets me check out what the surrounding area looks like for pictures. So 9 times out of 10 I’ll be able to do my own virtual walkthrough for a location and I don’t have to leave my house or squeeze it into my schedule!
Even if I couldn’t find a picture of the venue at all, I’m confident in my abilities to work with any venue! Unless we’re talking about an underground location with no lighting equipment… then I might have a problem with that.
Another “issue” that came up for me one time was that I once had a venue that wanted me to do a walkthrough of their venue before I was “allowed” to shoot there… however, the venue was 3 hours away! I worked it out with the venue to come before the rehearsal the night before the wedding to do the venue walkthrough because I didn’t have time for a 6 hour roundtrip and everything ended up being fine!