WHAT TO ASK YOUR VENUE WHEN PLANNING YOUR WEDDING
In talking with my previous brides, they’ve come up with a few questions some brides may wish to ask potential ceremony and reception sites. I recommend exploring the venue’s website and social media to complete as many questions as possible on your own. After answering the questions, narrow it down to the top choices (by selecting Love/Like/Not a Match), and then set up a meeting to have the rest of your questions answered with your favorites.
Disclaimer: This is just a set of suggestions and you should cross out any questions that don’t pertain to your needs! I’m not a wedding planner and never profess to be one—this is solely to help out and is not advice, legal or otherwise. Feel free to add your own questions—there is no one right fit for everyone!
There is no right answer to the questions—only what’s right for you and your big day! Happy planning!
How many hours does that cover? (Does this cover set-up and tear down, or are those hours additional?)
What are the overtime costs?
Does that price include chairs for the ceremony?
Does that price include chairs for the reception?
What extras are not included in the cost? (Required coordinator, cleanup/trash removal, set-up and tear down, dance floor)
Are there any discounts? What’s the payment schedule?
Is there a damage deposit? If so, what do we need to do to receive that back?
What is the minimum number of guests?
Do you offer half-price vendor meals? Half-price kids meals? Is there a reduced price for those under the age of 21?
Are tax and gratuities included in the final price?
How many people can that space fit?
Is there a room for the bride and family to get ready?
How many bathrooms are available ?
Are the ceremony and reception site wheelchair accessible?
Can I see the chairs? (Are they suitable or need covered/rented?)
Do you have table linens on site?
If no, where do you rent table linens from?
What are the restrictions? (Candles, loud music, flower petals, Christmas lights, rice/birdseed,alcohol shots, sand, sparklers, the way decorations can be applied to walls?)
Must we use your list of preferred vendors? Or can we bring in our own photographer, DJ, etc?
What about security?
Would you ever “bump” a wedding to a smaller site/cancel the wedding if a bigger party wanted to book?
What is the cancellation policy?
Are there restrictions on photography/music/video? Do you have a preferred list? If so, who is on it and how are they chosen?
Can I have a tasting? Is the tasting group or individual? Is there a fee for this?
What is done with the leftover food and the opened bottles of alcohol?
Can we bring in outside cookies? How much will you charge to tray them?
Can we bring in an outside cake? How much will it cost to cut it?
How many “extra” plates do you make (5% more)?
Who mans the bar? How is alcohol safety handled, such as carding, avoiding over serving, etc?
The Little Things
Do you have any centerpiece items, arch decorations, glassware, or china already on the premises to use?
What about the amount and placement of outlets? Do you have extension cords available?
What about the amount and quality of parking?
Are parking attendants needed? At what cost?
Can the site handle the power needs?
Where could the cocktail hour be held without disturbing my reception tables immediately?
Can the lights be dimmed in the reception area?
Do we need any licenses, permits, or additional insurance to serve alcohol?
In case of an accident or emergency, where is the nearest hospital?
Do you have any construction/remodeling scheduled as of now?
Will air conditioning/heat be turned on during my wedding day and when?
Can you prepare special dishes that are not on the menu, such as family favorites?
How are the servers usually dressed?
When will we have access to the site for decorating?
When will we be able to come back and collect our centerpiece items and alcohol?
Is there another function before or after us or at the same time? (Especially the night before)?
Do you take care of setting up favors, programs, etc? Can we drop them off the night before?
When would my rehearsal be scheduled?
For outdoor ceremony locations, has mud or flooding ever been a problem?
What is the specific backup plan for rain?
If it was muddy, how would you handle it?
What would you do in the case of a power outage? (Are there generators available?)
Are bugs a problem for the outdoor ceremonies/receptions?
Name some of the biggest problems you’ve encountered here and how you’ve dealt with them.
Who would be here during the day in case of a problem? What is their phone number/email address?
Can I meet them or talk to them over the phone?
How many weddings have you had here and for how many years?
Can I have references from three brides and grooms who had their wedding here?
Tell me about the insurance policy the venue carries.
Would you have your reception here (or do many employees have their receptions here)?
What sets your venue apart?