Believe it or not, there are lots of questions to be answered before committing to a venue. Think about it, potentially more than 50% of your wedding budget will go towards your venue. That said, you have to make sure your questions are in order before stepping into the venue of your dreams (or venues).
I’ve laid out the essential questions to ask within multiple categories to make it easier to grasp!
Category 1: General
The most important question and the question you’ll want to start with is: Is the venue available on the preferred date? Picking dates can be the simplest or the most difficult beforehand task. What most do not think about is selecting a handful of date ranges versus specific dates. Some other things that can have a significant impact on the date you chose are the key parties involved, no-go dates, season, year and how long you have to coordinate the wedding. You need to plan to be flexible and go into your venue meetings with an open mind because hey, the venue of your dreams might require you to be!
What about capacity? When it comes to this, you’ll need to know the safety regulations and what you’re comfortable with. This being, how many guests the venue can hold. It’s even worth asking the cut off.
Another thing that is good to know, is whether or not the venue is exclusive to YOU. If not, make sure your guests are super clear on where your ceremony and reception are being held. Also, you’ll need to know what other rooms you have access to on the wedding day. For example, where will the bathroom or coat room be located? These are necessary.
In terms of timing on the day of the wedding, narrow down a time you can arrive and a time you have to shut down for the night.
Category 2: Payment + Insurance
Ah, the fun part. Just kidding! Some questions you’ll want to screenshot / write down here are as follows:
Category 3: Setting Up The Venue
It’s good to start with the simple question, how many visits do you get? You can ask the venue what they will have set-up and if you can drop in to check out the space when it’s occupied to see more of the look/feel. Then ask them, what you’re responsible for setting up.
Do they have an event coordinator on site or will you need to hire a wedding planner? Some venues have one, but they do not always cover the nitty gritty details such as physically setting out decor (signage, table numbers, place cards, favors, candles, menu card placement, welcome table decor, guest book, etc.), behind the scenes assistance for you, your party & your family, overseeing all outside vendors hired for the day, ensuring end of wedding arrangements are made for decor, gifts, guest book, toasting flutes, and more. So, remember to always get clear on this so you aren’t scrummaging at the last minute.
Category 4: Decor
Decor can be intense. Some venues only allow so much time to get everything done.
Category 5: Ceremony
The ceremony is the most intimate part of the day, it needs to be grilled a bit extra. For instance…
Category 6: Catering
In regards to the food provided, you’ll need to ask the following:
Category 7: Parking Specifics and Accommodations
We all know accommodations can be a pain at times, so it’s best to get these questions out of the way in the initial meeting so you aren’t surprised later on when none of your guests have a place to park or a nearby hotel to stay. But first, weigh out your options.
We suggest including both parking and accommodations on your wedding website and invites for reference.
Category 8: Bar + Alcohol Policies
Some questions to consider around alcoholic beverages are:
PRO TIP: It’s worth hiring a transportation service should you have guests staying in a hotel other than the venue for both general guest experience and safety.
Category 9: Music + Entertainment
How can anyone forget … MUSIC. This is absolutely necessary to get the party started. With music, there are normally some restrictions in place. Here are the prompted questions around music and entertainment:
Category 10: Rain Date
And last but not least, rain date. What’s their rate date policies?
That’s a wrap! I hope this not only prepared you for your venue meetings, but helped you narrow down what’s important to you in the process.
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