Now that you have established your wedding date, it is now time to find the ideal wedding venue. Sitting down with each wedding venue will be critical to ensure that there are no surprises on the big day.
Using this list:
- Review all questions and mark those most relevant to your type of wedding
- Print out questions before you meet with the venue
- Make note of the feedback you receive. Especially if you are chatting to more than one wedding venue.
- Is our date available?
- How many other weddings will be booked that day?
- Is the venue available for exclusive use?
- What is the seating arrangement?
- How many guests does the venue hold?
- What type of tables do you have (shape, size)?
- How long do we have at the venue? How much are additional hours?
- Is the site accessible (for wheelchairs, etc)?
- Is parking and/or valet parking available?
- How many parking spots are available?
- Is there an overflow or separate car park available?
- Is public transportation easily accessible from the venue?
- Is a shuttle service available?
- How many bathrooms are there?
- If an outdoor venue: Is there a backup plan for rain?
- Is there a coat check available?
- Are there restrictions for the photographer in terms of flash usage?
- Is the venue child friendly? What facilities are available for entertaining children?
- Is there somewhere secure to store wedding gifts?
Music and sound
- Are there any noise restrictions?
- Can the venue accommodate a DJ or live band? Are there any restrictions?
- Where does the band/DJ set up?
- Where is the dance floor, and how large is it?
- Do you have a sound system with speakers, or will that need to be rented?
- Do you have microphones for speeches?
- Can I hook an iPod or laptop up to your sound system?
Vendors, food, and rentals
- Is there a required/preferred vendor list to stick to? Can we use other vendors?
- Are tables, linens, chairs, plates, silverware, and glassware provided, or will we have to rent them or get them through our caterer?
- If catering is available, can we do a tasting?
- Can you accommodate special dietary requirements?
- If using in-house catering, what is the service charge?
- If I hire my own caterer, are kitchen facilities available to them?
- Can I bring in a cake from an outside baker?
- Is there a cake-cutting fee?
- Is there an option for a dinner the night before or a brunch the day after?
- Do you have a liquor license?
- Can I bring my own booze (and what kind), and is there a corkage fee?
- Is a champagne toast complimentary?
- How is alcohol priced, and is there a charge for bar staff?
- Is there a bar minimum that must be met?
- What is the average bar tab for my size guest list?
- When can we get access to the space to decorate/set up?
- How early can vendor deliveries be made?
- How long do we have to clean up/tear down?
- Are there samples of the rentals available to look at?
- What are the restrictions for decor (including what you can and can’t toss, lighting restrictions, what you can hang from the ceiling and on the walls, candles, etc.)?
Staffing and coordination
- Is there an on-site venue coordinator?
- What services are included with the venue coordinator, and are there additional charges?
- Will the coordinator serve as day-of coordinator?
- How much assistance can I get with the set up/decor?
- Is any set up/tear down service available? How much does it cost?
- Do you have signage to direct guests to the wedding?
- Do you provide assistance getting gifts or decor back to a designated place?
Shared ceremony/reception spaces
- Can I hold my ceremony here, too? Is there an additional charge?
- What is the setup for a shared ceremony/reception space?
- Do you provide a transition setup for a shared ceremony/reception space?
- How much time is allocated for the ceremony rehearsal?
- Are there any suites or private rooms available to get ready or have alone time?
- Can the wedding party get ready at the venue?
- What overnight accommodations do you provide?
- Do you have any partnerships with nearby hotels? Can you provide a list?
- Do you offer a discount for booking multiple rooms?
Money, payments, and liability
- What’s included in the fees (rentals, catering, lighting, parking, etc.)?
- Is there a discount for an off-season date or Sunday through Friday?
- How much is the deposit, and when is it due?
- When is the balance due?
- What forms of payment do you accept?
- What is your cancellation policy?
- Is the deposit refundable in case of cancellation?
- What happens if you go out of business?
- Do we need any insurance or permits?
- Do you have liability insurance?