You just got engaged and are ready to start looking at venues for your wedding. Some couples are so eager to start setting up a plan for the event that they overlook the questions they should ask when picking a venue. Not asking the right questions could mean having your wedding or reception in a location that doesn’t match your vision.
Don’t put down a deposit before making sure your venue is what you want.
Here are the six categories you should use to focus your venue questions during your wedding planning process:
- The Fundamentals (Pricing/Date Availability/Liability)
- Food and Drinks
- Event Specifics
1. What is the price/deposit for this venue?
If you are on a budget, then you need to be mindful of hidden fees and costs. Small sums tucked into a contract can add up quickly. Work with your venue to ensure that the deposit is affordable and there are no surprises in the fine print.
2. How many people can fit in this area?
If your guest list is small (under 20 guests), then the venue size may not be a problem. If your guest list is over 100 people, you need to double verify that the location can safely accommodate your estimated guest count before making a deposit.
3. Can you accommodate all of my wedding festivities? (rehearsal, reception, ceremony, overnight stay/lodging) If so, are there specials for using your in-house staff, vendors, and accommodations all together as a package?
It is essential to review all of the venue’s options to save money and not make unnecessary deposits to multiple companies for catering, vendors, service staff, hotel accommodations, etc.
4. Are you licensed to serve alcohol?
Everyone goes to a wedding to celebrate with the couple, show support, and of course, get free food and drinks. To make sure you and your guests can party and drink, you have to see if the venue provides or allows alcohol on the premises.
5. What time can my vendors arrive, and do you have a staff to help set up for the wedding?
It’s stressful enough to plan the wedding’s details, so you need to know how much time you are allowed to set up or how early the vendors can arrive to ensure a smooth, successful event. It would be terrible to feel rushed and possibly still be in the process of setting up when the guests arrive. Getting the timing correct is significant in preventing your vendors/staff from hurrying to set up minutes before the wedding starts.
6. How many restrooms do you have here?
During a wedding reception, people are usually eating and drinking more than they typically do. Every 10-20 people should have 1-2 public style restrooms with stalls to avoid people waiting and feeling uncomfortable at the wedding.
7. Is the venue handicap accessible?
Wouldn’t you hate to discover on the wedding day that your friends/family members with physical disabilities (i.e., wheelchair) can’t access the venue because there aren’t any ramps for disabled individuals? Make sure that the venue is inclusive to everyone.
8. Can we rearrange the room (tables, chairs, etc.) during set up, and use outside decorations, like confetti, votive candles, or light sparklers?
Some rental venues have strict policies on changing the room around before the wedding, while others are fine with it. If you feel like you would like things to be arranged a certain way, this question is necessary to ask.
Not all venues allow outside decorations and potentially hazardous candles lit in their building or outside the location. Check and make sure they are ok with your plans, and find out if they have liability insurance.
9. What security services do you offer?
Safety is always first. Security services are an excellent way to make sure no conflict interrupts your special occasion. A few too many libations could ruin your evening if you don’t have the right staff in place.
10. What is the cancellation policy? What is your refund policy? What happens in the case of an emergency out of my control?
If an emergency occurs on your wedding day, and you have to make a last-minute cancellation, you need to know the owner’s policy. Ask the owner if there is a cancellation fee if you don’t cancel by a specific date before the wedding.
Now that you know the top 10 questions, you are more prepared to begin your venue search. But, you don’t have to do this alone. We are here to help support your wedding event with fully-vetted venues and vendors.
The Southern Wedding Collective can help you connect with an ethical, well-respected venue in your area.