So, you feel that you have found the perfect wedding venue. They’re even open for your wedding date! But, now what? Well, before envisioning yourself dancing the night away there, and actually booking your wedding with this venue, we recommend asking these top 10 questions before signing your wedding date away. Trust us, wedding venue regret can be a real thing! We are here to help you avoid that becoming a very real aspect of your wedding day.
1. What exactly does your pricing include, and exclude?
We know this is kinda two questions in one, but as our number one question to ask your wedding venue, it is a must! A lot of venues offer different things included in their packages, and exclude some things that you might assume is included in their pricing. The only way to know for sure if your food, beverages, staffing, equipment, furniture, decor, and more, is included in their pricing, is to ask exactly what is included, and excluded in their packages. Also, be sure to ask how much extra their exclusions are, if you happen to need something that they do not include up front.
2. Are there any minimum requirements for us to use your venue?
Some venues require a minimum number of guests to attend, in order to fulfill their end of the wedding day bargain. These can vary from time of day, number of hours that you’ll be with their venue, even the day of the week or the year! Be sure to ask about these ahead of time, so you’re not surprised with any additional bills later on.
3. Will the venue allow you exclusive use throughout the day, or only a small part of the day? (And, how will that exclusive use be enforced?)
Some venues have space for more that one event to occur at the same time. However, for weddings, this can be a problem, especially at venues with beautiful lobbies or stairways that brides and grooms would like to have photos of. And one thing that can quickly ruin the fun and pictures in these spots, is when other guests from other events are in the way of those spots, because the exclusive use is not enforced by the venue! So, always ask about the usage of their properties and how that exclusive use (that you’re paying for) is enforced.
4. What are the maximum capacities for the different floors or rooms that the venue has?
Depending on these capacities, you will be either limited or have limitless ways to ensure your venue looks exactly how you wish it to. Are you wanting a big dance floor, or cake station? You better make sure you’ll have room for those things, along with room for your guests to sit for dinner too.
5. Will the venue be providing you with a set schedule of the events to come, or are they just going to “wing it”?
You’ll want to be sure that you not only have time to decorate the place, but also, what times they will want to serve dinner and more. Some venues are very strict on time (for example: only 30 minutes for photos to be taken directly after your ceremony.), and others can be lax about it. However, it is up to you to discern how strict you want the venue to be, and when not to use a venue if they are too strict for your needs.
6. Are there any limitations on what you can do with their space?
Remember in question number four, where you asked about the room size and maximum capacity of the room you’re looking into? Well, now we will delve a little deeper into that aspect. You’ll also want to ask if there are any limitations to what exactly you can do in that room. And yes, that will depend on your maximum capacity size for the room too, but you’ll also want to know if you can use things such as: confetti, candles, sparklers, up-lighting and more! If possible, ask for a printed list of what you can and cannot use in their space that you are renting from them.
7. What happens in case of rain, or other weather events? Is the venue weather-proof?
You’ll definitely want to make sure that you have a backup plan in place in case of foul weather. If you’re using an outdoor venue, will they be providing an emergency tent in case of rain? If you’re booking a venue such as a botanical garden, will that be too warm in the summer if it is inside? (Some gardens require high temperatures to keep their plants from other locations alive, which can make for a hot summer afternoon inside of them.) Be sure to know exactly what will happen in case of bad weather. (Rain, snow, sleet, hail, etc.)
8. How convenient is the location for the other festivities happening throughout the day?
Some venues will offer you shuttle buses to help make themselves more convenient to you and your guests throughout your wedding day. Others do not. Some are right next to popular photo locations and ceremony locations, where as some are literally out in the middle of no-where. It is up to you to ask them how their location can be of benefit to you and to your guests, especially if you don’t want a lot of travel time throughout the day to contend with.
9. Does the venue have a preferred vendor list?
Some venues will require that you work only from the vendors they recommend. Other venues will simply give you a list of vendors they recommend, but don’t mind whom you use on your big day. This is very important to know, especially if you have already found and booked some other vendors before your venue.
10. What other policies should we know about?
Last but not least, make sure to ask if there are any other policies you should know about. This can include things like payment deadlines, cancellation fees, and other important booking terms. Before you sign, always know everything you can possibly know about a place, and if you’re still confident with them and their policies, then feel free and confident in signing on the dotted line!
That was our Top 10 Questions You Need to Ask Your Wedding Venue! There are plenty of others, and if we missed some that you feel would be more important to ask, please leave a comment below! Thank you for reading and good luck in your wedding venue search!