The very beginning of every wedding planning journey is the wedding venue search. The venue is one of the most important pieces so it’s important you ask the right questions. To help aid you all in your search, here are ten questions you Must ask your wedding venue, and get in writing, before signing on the dotted line.
1. Will we have exclusive use of the facility the day of the wedding?
This is important because you want to know what to expect on your day of. If your wedding venue has multiple banquet rooms you need to know how many and what type of events they host per night. What measures are taken to ensure minimal interruption by the other parties during your event. As well as what common areas are shared by guests and what space you are being granted exclusive use of.
2. What type of deposit is required and what is the schedule of payments?
You need to know what, when and how deposits and payments are to be paid to the venue.
3. What is the maximum capacity of the site?
Make sure your venue has adequate space for all of your invited, not expected, guests.
4. Are we allowed a rehearsal at the venue for no additional charge- if so, when?
A rehearsal might sound like a given but it’s not. You’ll want to verify a rehearsal is allowed and on what day and time of the week. Do not assume your rehearsal is the Friday before your Saturday event and do not assume the rehearsal time is granted free of charge.
5. How early will our other vendors be allowed access to the wedding venue ahead of time for planning and decorating purposes?
It takes time to place escort cards, setup video and audio equipment and arrange centerpieces. Ask the venue how early vendors are allowed so your vendors can prepare as necessary.
6. Is there an on-site event coordinator that we can work with to coordinate the place cards, favors, reserved seating etc.?
I always recommend at the very least hiring a day of wedding coordinator to make sure this is all setup correctly. However, if you choose not to make sure you ask about setup. You need to know what will be left for you to do on the day of.
7.What are the times in which each alcohol will be served (i.e., full bar for the cocktail hour, red and white wine during dinner, champagne for toasts and with dessert). What mixers, non-alcoholic beverages and condiments are included at the bar? What non-alcoholic beverages will be served during dinner, including coffee and tea?
Confirm your bar options. Cash bar, full bar – you need to know when, what and how beverages will be served. What time the bar will open and close, what alcohol is included and how many bartenders and bar stations will be available for guests.
8. What linens, tables, chairs, china, flatware, votives, decor, audio equipment are provided?
Plain and simple – you need to know what is provided so you can plan and budget for rentals if need be.
9. Is there a ceremony fee?
If you plan to host your ceremony at the venue inquire about additional fees for having the ceremony there. Also ask if there are ceremony time limits.
10. Is there enough parking for all guests? Is it free parking?
Find out where you guests can park and if there any rules or fees associated with parking. Let your guests know well in advance what the parking situation is.
These are only ten questions for your venue. I typically ask a lot more questions during a site visit but these are a great start. Remember to get everything in writing and to take your time making your venue decision.
Until next time, happy planning!
1. & 5 Antonio Rocha Photography
2 & 3. Rachel Girouard Photography