Hello everyone! I’ve been over here trying to nail down a venue for my wedding quite unsuccessfully this summer. I thought I was going to have all kinds of time to plan my wedding while I was on break from school, but it really has not been the case! My fiance and I are trying really hard to get something nailed down ASAP so that this huge piece of our wedding planning is squared away. I wanted to share this post with you all today to help anyone else who may be planning a wedding know the right questions to ask potential wedding venues, because the last thing you want is to sign on the dotted line only to be surprised later! For example, I was dead set on a venue earlier this summer and just thought that no other place would do. I was ready to put down the deposit until I found out via a Yelp review that they don’t allow DJ’s to play past 9:30 pm at this venue. This was a total deal breaker for me, as I am the girl who always dances the night away at other people’s weddings, and I want my reception to be a big party.
I don’t want you to be caught up with a venue that hasn’t disclosed all the information you need, so I compiled a list of questions that you can take with you when you go to meet with potential wedding venues to make sure that you are on the same page and there will be no misunderstandings! While you’re at it, check out this awesome article from WeddingWire that talks all about effective ways to communicate with wedding vendors, including wedding venues!
- Is the venue available during the time I’m interested in?
- What is the rental fee for the site, and what does that include?
- Payment: When is the deposit due, how much is it, are there payment plans available? Is the deposit refundable or no?
- Are there designated areas for the bridal party and groomsmen to get ready?
- What is your cancellation policy?
- If the space is outdoors, is there a backup plan should the weather not cooperate?
- How many hours do I get the space for on the day of?
- Is a rehearsal the day before included?
- How early can vendors arrive to start setting up?
- Do they provide anything in the rental fee? Tables, chairs, linens, silverware, glassware, etc?
- Are there any restrictions as far as decor goes?
- Do they have an in house caterer, and if so, am I required to use them or can I bring in my own catering?
- If the venue offers catering, how much does it cost per person?
- Do they offer a food tasting before the event?
- What sort of alcohol does the venue allow? Some venues only allow beer and wine, so if this is a dealbreaker (as it is for my fiance) make sure you know for certain what you can and can’t serve your guests!
- Is there a cake cutting fee?
- What would the service charges and taxes be?
- Do they require liability insurance for the day, and if so, is that included in their fees?
- Do they require a day-of coordinator? Also ask if this is a service they offer, and if so, the cost.
- If children will be at your wedding, do they require a babysitter to be on the premises?
- Can I hire my own vendors, or am I required to hire people from a preferred caterer list?
- Is there a noise ordinance in the area? What types of music are permitted, such as a live band vs. a DJ.
- Is there on site parking, and if so, is it included? Do they offer valet services and how much does that cost?
If nothing else, when getting a quote from a venue, make sure to ask if there are any other hidden fees that are not outlined in the quote. Do not be afraid to ask all the questions…I always feel intimidated when I meet with vendors and I don’t want to seem annoying or pushy, but the thing is, you need to ask ALL THE QUESTIONS. Also, get things in writing whenever possible. I love corresponding with wedding venues via email because then when I ask questions and get answers, there is a paper trail to prove what has been said should there be any discrepancies down the road.
I hope this post was informative to you all! If you’ve planned a wedding before, I’d love to know if there are any nitty gritty questions I may have missed!
As always, thank you for reading! xo