Finding a wedding venue is one of the first huge steps to take in your wedding planning journey! It becomes difficult to plan any other aspects of your wedding until you have a venue. You won’t be able to send out save the dates, choose an official color combination, or purchase decorations. It is recommended to begin looking for a venue 12-18 months ahead of time so that you can stay ahead of the game!
When searching for a wedding venue, there are many things to consider. Your budget, your theme, and your ideal décor should all be on your mind when looking at a venue. Along with keeping your ideal vision in mind, here are a list of questions that you should ask when seeing if a venue is right for you!
- Is my ideal date available? If not, is there anything available around the same time?
- What is your maximum capacity?
- Do you have a minimum capacity?
- How many hours are included in the rental time?
- What wedding packages do you have?
- Do you host multiple events in one day?
- What does it look like to reserve a wedding date?
- Is there a way to hold a date for a few weeks until a venue decision is made?
- Is the space indoors or outdoors?
- Do you have a backup space in case of bad weather?
Set up/break down:
- Who is in charge of set up, break down, and clean up?
- What is the timing for set up and break down?
- What does a typical layout look like here?
- Is there photographs I can see from past weddings?
- Is there a day of coordinator includes? If not, who is our contact the day of the wedding?
- When can vendors arrive to begin setting up?
- Do you offer help with the set up or clean up?
- Is there a cleaning fee?
Decorations & Rentals:
- What time can we begin decorating?
- Can we bring the decorations the day before for storage?
- What are the restrictions for reception decorations?
- Are candles allowed?
- Are confetti or sparklers allowed?
- Does it matter if the rose petals are real or fake?
- Are place cards, table numbers, or a seating chart included?
- Do you have decorations available to rent?
- Will you provide signs to direct guests to our reception or do we?
- Do you have any décor that we can borrow for our reception?
Vendors & Staff:
- Do you have a preferred vendors list?
- Can we work with other vendors, or will we need to stick to your list?
- Do you provide a coat check service or is there a place for one?
- Is security required?
- Is there a service charge for the staff and what is your tipping policy?
- Are there any restrictions for the photographer or places they aren’t supposed to go?
- Do you offer valet? If not, can we bring in a service?
- Is the bar staffed or do we need to hire a bartender?
- Can we bring in a band or DJ?
- Do you provide a sound system?
- How many people can the dance floor hold?
- Is there a time sound ordinance?
- What time can the DJ or band start setting up?
- Are there any noise restrictions?
- Is there a designated area for entertainment or can we place them where we’d like?
- Do you provide in-house catering? If not, do you have a list of preferred caterers?
- Is there a food tasting before the wedding?
- What’s the per-person cost of food and drinks?
- Is there a different rate for children?
- Can you accommodate special diets and allergies? (Ex: vegetarian, gluten free)
- Will you provide tables, linens, plates, glassware, and flatware?
- Can we choose how the napkins are folded?
- What are the different ways you serve food? (Ex. buffet, family style, plated)
- Do you have a food and beverage minimum?
- Are you licensed to provide alcohol?
- Can we bring in our own alcohol? If so, is there a corkage fee?
- Can we give alcohol as a party favor?
- Is there a cake-cutting fee?
- Can we bring in our dessert?
- What if more people show up than projected?
- What’s the total cost of the venue and what would be included?
- How much is the deposit and when is it due?
- Is the deposit refundable or does it go towards our balance?
- What’s your cancellation policy?
- Are there payment plans available?
- What are the insurance requirements? Are there vendor insurance requirements?
- Do you have liability insurance?
- Are there different rates for different days of the week?
- Do you have different rates for different seasons?
- What’s not included in your contract that couples typically need to book or pay for on their own?
- How much parking is available at the venue?
- Is the space handicap accessible?
- Are children allowed?
- Will we have access to the air conditioning or heating controls if indoors?
- How many restrooms do you have?
- Are there separate spaces for the cocktail hour, ceremony, and reception?
- Do you help host a rehearsal?
- Is there a special room for the bride & groom to change?
- Is there a secure space to keep our gifts?
- Are cabs or lyft/uber easy to access from the venue?
- What are the nearest hotels to the venue?
- Do you have deals with any of the hotels?
There may be more questions that arise based on your location and the venue you are touring but this is definitely a great list to follow. Make sure that all of these questions get answered or things that you were expecting to be done by the venue, may not be done after all.
Happy Wedding Planning!
Friday: Who Says DIY Can’t Be Fabulous!
Tuesday: Wedding Do’s & Don’ts