Your date is chosen and you’ve narrowed down wedding venues to your favorites. Now it’s time to sit down and narrow them down to the perfect fit!
We know this can be difficult to do so we put together this huge comprehensive list of questions to ask wedding venues to help you make your final choice. We know this list may seem a little overwhelming, but we promise it will make you feel more prepared when checking out wedding venues!
- Is the venue available on my date? If not, what other dates are available?
- How many weddings or events do you have per day?
- Is the venue available for exclusive use?
- How many guests can the venue accommodate?
- How many hours do you have access to the venue?
- What time do guests and vendors have to be out of the venue?
- Can the venue accommodate both the ceremony and reception?
- Is there a space for cocktail hour?
- Having your ceremony and wedding reception in different locations, consider how far it is from one location to the other?
- Are the ceremony and reception held in the same room or separate rooms?
- If same room, does the venue staff handle the flip or do you need to hire staff?
- How long will the flip take?
- Does the venue provide the seating for the ceremony?
- Is there a space for you and your partner to get ready?
- Are you able to have a rehearsal at the venue and a rehearsal dinner?
- Is there a specific time for rehearsal?
- Where do guests park or does the venue require valet?
- How many parking spaces are available?
- Is there a cost to park?
- What else is going on that night that may make it difficult for guests to park?
- How close is the parking to the ceremony and reception rooms?
- Is the venue convenient to public transportation?
- Do they have adequate bathroom facilities, or do they need to be rented?
- Is the wedding and reception venue wheelchair accessible?
- Is there a coat check?
- Are there any elevators?
- Is there a designated smoking area?
- Is there a secure area to store the wedding gifts?
- Do they have a generator for power outages?
- Have your heart set on an outdoor ceremony and/or reception, does the venue have any backup plans for rain or other inclement weather? If not, is there a place a tent can be put up?
- If a tent is needed for Plan B, does the venue provide one or are you responsible for renting one.
- If venue provides the tent, are there any additional costs? If so how much?
- Does the venue offer overnight accommodations, or do they partner with local hotels?
- What are the room rates?
- If the venue is at a hotel, when can room blocks be reserved for guests?
- Is there a wedding discount for blocks of rooms?
- Is there an Attrition Rate? If so, what is it? Attrition rate refers to the percentage of rooms that must be filled in order to avoid paying a penalty.
- Does the hotel offer shuttle service?
- Can Welcome Bags be given to my guests at check-in? Is there an additional cost for this service?
Staffing and Coordination
- Will there be a venue person on site the day of my wedding?
- Who is the main venue contact for day of wedding? If it’s not the person you are doing the venue tour with, ask when you would be able to meet the person who will be your contact the day of.
- Does the venue require a wedding planner or day of coordinator?
- What type of security is available for our event?
Cost & Payments
- What are their wedding packages and what is included?
- Do costs vary depending on the season, day of the week, or time of day?
- Is there an additional cost to have both ceremony and reception at the venue?
- Is there a deposit required and is it refundable or applied to the total cost?
- What is the venues cancellation or postponement policy?
- Do they offer payment plans?
- What type of payment can they take – cash, check, credit card?
- What are the insurance requirements for you and your vendors?
- Does the venue have its own insurance coverage?
- Are there any photography or video restrictions?
- What suggestions do they have for locations to photograph?
- Are you able to have your engagement photos taken at the venue? If so, is there an additional cost?
Vendors, Food and Drink
- Does the venue have a preferred or exclusive vendor list you are required to use, or can you choose your own vendors?
- Are there any limitations on working with outside vendors?
- Does the venue have a catering kitchen or area for the caterer to work?
- Does the venue provide catering and are you required to use it? If so, can you do a tasting before booking the venue. Although in-house catering can be easier and cheaper, if you don’t like the food, it doesn’t really matter how beautiful the room is.
- Is there a charge for the menu tasting?
- Can you accommodate special dietary needs?
- What are the different ways the venue serves food? Buffet, family style, individual plates?
- Is there a price difference between a buffet and a sit-down dinner?
- What is the per-person cost for food and beverage?
- What does the venue provide for drinks with the meal?
- How many choices can the venue offer your guests for meals?
- How many wait staff will be provided?
- Will the venue allow you to bring in your own liquor?
- Are there any restrictions on the type or quantity of alcohol to be served?
- Does the venue provide the bartenders or are your responsible for hiring them? If the venue provides the bartenders is there an additional cost?
- Does the venue have a liquor license to serve alcohol?
- Do they provide a cash bar or an open bar?
- What is the venue’s pricing for alcohol?
- What drinks are included in the pricing?
- Do they charge for unopened bottles after the reception?
- Is there a corkage fee?
- Can wine be given as a party favor?
- Are you able to bring in your own wedding cake?
- Do they provide a place for the cake?
- Do they provide a cutting knife?
- Is there a cake-cutting fee?
Music and Sound
- Is there room for a DJ/band and/or dancing?
- When can they set up?
- When can they do their sound check?
- Does the venue own a sound system, or will that need to be rented?
- How many people does the dance floor accommodate?
- What time do they allow the music to play until?
Set Up & Décor
- What’s the décor like? Does it fit your style and wedding colors? Will you need to have extra décor brought in like draping to make it beautiful?
- Does the venue have pictures of recent weddings held in the same space?
- Can you come back and see it set up for another wedding?
- Who is responsible for setting up and taking down the décor? If the venue takes care of setup and tear down, when will it be completed?
- Are there limitations on decorations? Such as candles or other open flames?
- Does the venue provide any decorations?
- What is included in the rental fee (lighting, tables, linens, chairs, plates, silverware and glassware)?
- May we supply our own items such as centerpieces, a candy bar, favors? When can we drop items off?
- When can we start decorating?
- If they provide the tables, linens and china, what do those items look like?
- How many people can sit at one table?
- Are there booster seats or highchairs available for children?
- Can rose petals be strewn?
- What type of send-off is allowed? If you have your heart set on a sparkler send off, make sure the venue allows it.
Photo Credit: Wilde Company