Questions to Ask a Wedding Venue Before Booking

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Choosing a wedding venue is often one of the first things a couple does when they begin to plan their wedding. The venue sets the tone for the celebration and often inspires much of the decor elements that are later incorporated. If you choose our Full Planning Package, we will be with you every step of the way and will weigh the pros and cons of the venues you are drawn to. For those who may feel as though Full Planning is not for them, we decided to make a list of questions that should be reviewed and answered before you make your venue decision. Most of these questions are often answered in informational packets and during site visits so please do not feel as though you need to ask each and every one. Also, all questions may not pertain to the venues you are pursuing, some are just for outdoor venues. In any case, below are a list of questions (more than 85!) that will help you obtain all information needed during your venue search:

Availability and Fees:

What is the rental fee? What does the rental fee include (chairs, tables, etc.)?

Can we have our ceremony here, too? Is there an additional fee?

Do you offer different peak season and an off-season rates?

Is your rental fee different for Friday or Sunday weddings?

Are there any other fees?

How many hours does the rental fee include? Can we extend and if so, what is the fee?

What dates are available?

Can I place a hold on one or more dates?

Do you book more than one wedding a day? If so, are there other weddings/events booked on the day that we would like? Is the venue available for exclusive use?

How much is the deposit and what is the remaining payment schedule?

How do you accept payment? Is there an additional credit card transactions fee?

What is the cancellation policy?

Capacity and Logistics:

Is there a separate space for ceremony, cocktail hour, and/or reception or do you flip spaces?

What is the capacity, seated and standing, of each of your spaces?

Does each space have heating and air conditioning?

What are the options if there is rain or inclement weather?

Do you have a bridal suite? If so, how soon can we access it and what is the capacity?

Where is the wedding party held before the ceremony?

Where are the entrances?

Is the site handicap accessible?

Is the venue child friendly?

Where are the restrooms?

Is there parking and/or valet parking available?

How far is the parking lot from the venue? Is it well-lit at night?

Do you offer security?

How far is the closest public transportation (subway/metro)?

Do you offer a coat check?

Are there permits required?

Do you have insurance?

Are we required to obtain insurance?

Accommodation:

Do you offer accommodations for bridal party and/or wedding guests?

Can we book a block of rooms for our guests? What are the requirements?

Do you have partnerships with nearby hotels?

Staff and Wedding Coordination:

Do you require a wedding planner?

Do you have a staff member devoted solely to wedding coordination?  Who is that point person?  When would we begin working with him or her?

How much assistance is given in regards to setup and tear-down?

Catering & Alcohol:

Is there an in-house caterer? If so, what is the food and beverage minimum? Do you offer tastings? If so, is there an additional fee?

Can you accommodate special dietary requirements?

What is the tax and service charge?

If there is in-house catering, what are our options if we would like to bring in an outside caterer?

Is there a space provided for caterers to setup? Do we need to rent a tent?

Can I bring in cake, cookies, or other desserts from an outside bakery?  If so, will someone cut the cake and plate the desserts?  Is there an additional fee for this?

Do you have a liquor license?

What are your bar packages?

What is the process if we want to serve something that isn’t currently offered in your packages?

Can we create our own signature drinks?

Can we bring in our own alcohol? If so, what is the corkage fee?

How many bartenders are provided?

Are there bars in-house? If so, how many?

Do you offer a champagne toast? If so, what is the cost?

Do you offer rehearsal dinners or brunch the day after?

Vendors, Rentals, and Decor:

Do you have a list of preferred vendors? if so, what if I would like to use a vendor that is not included on the list?

When can vendors access the venue for setup?

Am I allowed to drop off personal items the day before?

How soon after the wedding does the venue clean-up need to be completed?

Can things be left at the venue overnight to be picked up the next day?

Do you have restrictions on décor (open flame, hanging items, etc.)?

Do you have restrictions on using fire, sparklers, or confetti outside?

Lighting, Music, and Sound:

What is the lighting like in the space? Is it dimmable?

Do you offer additional lighting?

Do you have a sound system or offer any sound equipment?

Where do you typically setup a DJ and/or band and the dance floor?

What size band will fit in the space?

What size dance floor will fit in the space?

Where is access to electricity?

Are there noise restrictions?

I hope this is helpful as you search for wedding venues. As always, if you are looking for assistance with planning your wedding, please reach out!