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Guest Blog: Important Questions to Ask Your Wedding Venue

Picking out your wedding venue is one of the most important things to do when considering your dream wedding.  Sometimes it is easy to get lost in the moment and forget to ask questions that are extremely important (especially when on a wedding budget).  Here is a list of important questions to consider when speaking with potential venues for your upcoming wedding.  Keep in mind that many of these questions are questions you may ask if you do not have a specific wedding planner helping you with your event.  These questions can also be tailored more to fit your needs and are just the beginning of countless questions you could be asking the vendors!

General Questions:

  1. Is there availability on the day you would like your wedding to take place?  If not, what days are available during the month you would like your wedding to take place?
  2. Will you have exclusive use of the venue or will other events be taking place on the same day?
  3. Do you offer wedding packages?  If so, what is included in these packages?
  4. What is the maximum capacity?  This question can be used not only for the actual wedding but also if you are interested in having the entire wedding event at the venue how many can be accommodated for a cocktail party or sit down dinner after the wedding.
  5. What is the total cost at this venue?  Do you offer a payment plan?  How does the bill breakdown?
  6. What time must guest leave your venue?
  7. What is the cancellation policy?
  8. How early can I arrive to set up the wedding?
  9. Do you offer onsite coordination/a facility director?
  10. Do you have liability insurance?  NOTE: Surprisingly this does not come to mind for many people.  If the venue does not have liability insurance it is highly recommended to consider getting your own.  If someone is injured during your wedding, you do not want to be held responsible!
  11. Do you offer security services?

Questions About the Ceremony:

  1. Are you licensed for all types of ceremonies?
  2.  Do you allow throwing of rice, confetti, etc. at your venue?
  3. Is there a designated room for ceremonies or can the wedding be outdoors?  If you plan an outdoor wedding what is the contingency plan in case of unplanned bad weather?
  4. Are there restrictions for photography/videography during the ceremony?

Questions About Catering:

  1. Is catering included?  Do you do your own catering or have outside sources cater?  Can we bring our own outside caterer? NOTE: If hiring your own caterer make sure to figure out what their needs are.  If they need a full kitchen to perform your catering needs, make sure that your venue has full access to a kitchen!
  2. Can we easily tailor our menu to fit the needs of our guests?
  3. Do you offer drink packages?  If so, what is included?
  4. If using your own catering, can we schedule a tasting?
  5. Can we use an outside cake decorator?   Is there someone there to cut and serve cake for us?
  6. Can I bring my own beer/wine/alcohol?  If so, is there a corkage fee?  Do you provide your own bar service or do we need to provide bar service?

Questions About Entertainment/Decor:

  1. Do you have a recommendation on DJ services?
  2. Do you have a stage, sound system, and dance floor?
  3. What time can music or a band play until?
  4. Do you allow fireworks, candles, etc.?
  5. Can you recommend any local acts such as magicians, dancers, comedians, etc.?
  6. Can things be moved around to suit my decoration needs or do I need to leave things as is?  IMPORTANT: Consider the venue’s decoration themes when planning your wedding.  It is typical for venues to change their decor/theme as seasons change.  Please be aware of this when picking out decorations!

Questions About Accommodations:

  1. Is there space for the bride and groom to get ready before the wedding?
  2. Do you have accommodations at the venue for overnight guests? If so, is there a discount for wedding guests and yourselves if you choose to stay overnight there?
  3. If they do not have accommodations do they have places that provide discounts to those who use their venue?
  4. Is there enough space for parking for everyone?
  5. Can wedding gifts be stored somewhere safely until the next day?

Last but not least, tips and tricks for searching for the perfect venue:

  • If you have fallen in love with a specific site do not hesitate to request a wedding proposal that has all pricing and information written out to place in your organization place we talked about in an earlier blog post.
  • Photos, photos, photos!  PLEASE take a camera with you to ALL of your viewings.  Capture everything you like and don’t like.  This is a great tip for people who are looking at many different venues and could easily get confused about details from one venue to the next!  Line up all the photos and look at all the pictures to remember which venue spoke out to you the most.
  • Try to visit a venue when a wedding is being or has already been set up.  This will help you truly visualize your wedding before your eyes!  This is also a major reason we have chose to have a Weddings on the Water Showcase! With our help you can see four different weddings come to life right before your eyes!
  • No matter what, GET ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING IN WRITING!  Once you’ve locked down a venue make sure that there is a binding contract.  Make sure that you get every little detail worked out and put into this contract so that there are no surprises thrown at you once it is too late to make changes to your wedding!

Good luck on your venue search, and do not forget to check out our Weddings on the Water Showcase on November 9. 2013.  You can click here to sign up to see what your full wedding service may look like!

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