If the wedding is to have an outdoor component does the venue have a proper rain plan?
Maybe they have a large tent on hand that can be set up day of when making the call, or maybe they have a facility inside that can hold everyone. Make sure you like the back up plan as much as the plan for indoors or else you can be very disappointed on your big day when if it happens.
How many people can the venue hold seated/standing?
Seated will always be less than standing but make sure they don’t tell you their floor rating capacity you need to know how many people can sit down to a meal in the venue.
What is the fee for renting the space and what does it come with?
What does the fee include, room rental only or venue assistance linens staffing etc. The more the venue comes with the more it may cost but the more it might also be worth. Some times even your meal is included in this cost. There might also be separate fees if you want to have the ceremony in the space so make sure you check! Check to see how many hours the fee comes with and also see what kind of discounts you can get, member of your parents country club and having it there discount, member of the military possible discount! It doesn’t hurt to ask!
What is excluded from the fee?
Along with what is included in the fee ask what may be excluded.
How much is additional time?
You may want to extend the time of your party, I know I did to make sure that our reception hit midnight since it was on New Years Eve. Make sure you check the additional time costs and on top of venue charges this might also rack up additional charges for staffing so make sure to check!
How much is the deposit/balance and when is it required?
Usually as soon as you reserve it the deposit is require but check any way and make sure they can take your form of payment. Balance can be due before or the night of the wedding, check now and make sure you have it ready to go. If your balance can have additional charges on it night of based on alcohol make sure you’re prepared to make adjustments to your budget.
What service charges and taxes will be added to our bill?
State and cities might add taxes on to your event do your research onto all the added fees the venue can tack on to their fee like cleaning fee, insurance fee waiver, etc.
Are there food and beverage minimums?
If you’re paying a flat fee for food you should be fine but they might require a lowest head count for food orders. If you’re doing a cash bar they may also require you to pay a minimum fee if it isn’t met.
What is your cancelation policy?
This may be a few days before the big day or a month, you never want to think about this but it’s a good idea to ask
Does the venue come with a coordinator and what does that entail?
Normally a venue coordinator will handle the venue staff and can work with you vendors day of but they are not a personal wedding coordinator be clear on what the differences are and what the on site coordinator will and won’t do.
Does the venue 0r juristidction have any restrictions?
The town might have a sound curfew of 10pm to make sure loud noises outside are stopped. The venue might have rules about candles or hanging things from the ceilings. Make note of what all of these are early so as not to break them later!
How many parking spaces are available for guests?
If it’s a small number you might want to consider renting a bus to transport your guests to and from their hotel venue or possibly the ceremony location. The venue may also have a free shuttle, my venue told me that they’d worked out a deal with one hotel to shuttle guests to their facilities before and that turned out to be untrue so double check this fact. This is also a good time to ask if they have valet parking. It might be an expense you don’t want to pay but if you do it’s a good time to ask.
Can you use your own vendors or do you need to go off of a preferred vendors list?
The pros for preferred vendors is that they tend to know the space and the crew and how to work best within in. The cons are that you can’t always get the best price or maybe even exactly what you want. The pros for preferred vendors is that they tend to know the space and the crew and how to work best within in. The cons are that you can’t always get the best price or maybe even exactly what you want.
When can we begin setting up and who does the set up and tear down?
Can you have access to the venue just that day, the day before? I was able to come into my venue the day before and start decorating. While the venue set the tables and linens and chairs I was able to handle everything else the day before and then have my rehearsal there. For tear down I was able to come back the next day to pick everything up but I packed everything up myself that night with some help of the crew at the venue. Not the easiest task to do in a wedding dress, if you’re hiring a coordinator they will most likely handle this for you. This also goes for when your vendors can have access to the venue to set up. A band or DJ will need early access as will outside caterors.
If the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception are all in the same location how will that transition work, what time is required and how will it be handled?
This is important, you don’t want your guests to be sitting around watching as the on site crew are moving chairs and tables. For my wedding the location came with three different rooms that we shuffled amongst as they changed the venue over between the different stages of the event.
Are there any photography or videography restrictions?
Some venues might not want outside crew going into the best location to get a shot, they might not want your photographer to stand on a ladder to get that great shot. You may be restricted from using flash. You never know!
Do we need permits or insurance?
You may need to get your own permits if you’re say getting a tent over 20×20 due to county regulations. The venue may handle this or they may not. You may need to get your own alcohol permit or the venue may cover it. The venue may require that you get wedding insurance to make sure if something goes wrong they still get paid
How many weddings will be booked on my day?
This usually only occurs in larger venues such as hotels but it is important to know since staffing could be limited party guests could mingle or come across each others paths etc.
Is there a bridal/grooms suite?
Where will you get ready? Is there room in the venue do you need to get ready in the hotel room and be transported if it’s a different venue?
Does this venue meet your personal tastes and preferences?
This is a question to ask yourself more than the venue. Look over all of the answers to these questions tour the venue in person and see for yourself if this the the right spot for your special day!