Choosing a wedding venue is one of the first and most important decisions when planning your big day. There are several steps to take when looking at how to choose a wedding venue and one of those is needing to interview a list of potential venues you are considering.
To make sure you select the perfect wedding venue for your wedding day there are many important questions you should ask.
The following list of essential questions to ask wedding venues will cover everything you need to ask in order to make your final decision about where to have your wedding.
- Venue Availability and Pricing
- Wedding Ceremony
- Wedding Reception
- Wedding Vendors
- Wedding Décor/Rental Equipment
- Final Step
Venue Availability and Pricing
As your own wedding planner, the first questions you should ask the venue are related to the other fundamental parts of wedding planning and that is your wedding budget and wedding guestlist.
- Is my preferred date available to book the venue?
- What specific date options are available?
- How far in advance can I reserve my wedding date?
- How much does the venue cost?
- Does the venue cover the wedding ceremony, wedding reception, or both?
- Is the price all-inclusive or what specifically does the venue hire include and exclude?
- Do you have an all-inclusive wedding package?
- What extras do you offer?
- Are food and beverages included in the venue rental fee?
- Is there a cake-cutting fee?
- How is alcohol priced, and is there a bar minimum?
- Do you do alcohol packages?
- Does the price include help with the setup of wedding décor for the ceremony and/or reception?
- Does the venue clean up after the wedding and is this included in the price or is it an additional cost?
- How many hours does the rental fee cover?
- Are there different prices for having the wedding during off-peak days of the week?
- Are there different prices for having the wedding during off-peak wedding seasons?
- Are there any other service charges or additional charges for us to know about?
- Do you have liability insurance or do we need to organize this separately?
- How much is the deposit?
To make your important decision you need to be able to envision your ceremony at the venue and to make sure there is a good plan b in case of bad weather.
- What is the capacity of the wedding ceremony venue?
- If there is an outdoor space for the ceremony, where is the sun in relation to the ceremony?
- Are there nice photo locations?
- Are there suitable spots for family/group photos?
- Does the venue supply a sound system for the ceremony?
- Is there seating available for family and elderly guests?
- Is there a backup plan in case of rain?
- Can the wedding ceremony be live-streamed and is that something the venue would facilitate?
When selecting your dream venue you will want to select a site that will be able to deliver all of the things you want for yourself and your wedding guests. Asking for a venue tour is a great way to not only see if this is the perfect venue for your big day but it will also be another way to ask a lot of these venue questions in person.
- What is the guest count capacity of the wedding reception venue?
- Can the venue accommodate a live band or DJ?
- Is there an indoor space for a dance floor?
- Does the venue provide sound equipment like microphones for wedding speeches?
- How many guests are able to sit at each table?
- Can I have a site visit before I decide to book a date?
Having a wedding coordinator and enough venue staff to help manage the event is worth asking the wedding venue about.
- Is there a wedding venue coordinator who ho will be my main point of contact during the wedding planning process?
- What staffing is available for helping set up the wedding before the ceremony?
- What staff is available for helping tidy and pack up after the wedding?
- Is there a coat check service?
There are many wedding vendors that you will need for your wedding and one of the first things you should do before going out and finding your own vendors is to see if the wedding venue has a comprehensive list of approved or recommended wedding vendors. The types of wedding vendors you will need for your wedding are;
- Wedding photographer
- Wedding celebrant
- Wedding caterers
- Wedding DJ or live band
- Rental equipment provider
- Wedding stationery provider
These are the important things to ask the wedding venue regarding wedding vendors.
- Does the venue have a preferred vendor list we need to use?
- Do you have a list of approved or recommended vendors we should contact?
- Can we use outside vendors that are not already approved by the venue?
- What steps would we need to follow if we wish to get a vendor approved by the venue?
Wedding Décor/Rental Equipment
When talking to a potential wedding venue, knowing what equipment already comes with the event space is really helpful. The less you have to deal with rental companies the less planning you will need to do and also the better your wedding budget will be.
- What equipment and décor are provided by the venue?
- What items will we likely need to hire?
- How much work is there required to decorate the space?
- Can we move things or do we need to leave everything as is?
- Do you have signage or other aids to help direct guests?
- Can we bring and put up our own decorations?
Popular venues can have on-site catering vendors as part of the venue. This can be a quick win on your budget and time if you do not have to find your own caterer.
However, if you do need your own, then you want to ask the venue the right questions before you go looking for one.
- Does the venue provide a caterer or do we need to arrange an outside caterer?
- Does the on-site caterer provide a range of menu options?
- Does the menu cater to the different dietary needs of our guest list?
- Will we need to provide dietary requirements to the caterers ahead of the wedding?
- Do you have a food and beverage minimum?
- If there is not an in-house caterer, do you have a list of approved caterers?
- Can we hire our own caterer?
- If we hire our own caterer, is there a kitchen available for them?
- Are you able to help with cutting the wedding cake?
- What happens to leftovers?
One set of wedding venue questions that can impact the cost of your wedding greatly is related to alcohol.
- Does the venue have a liquor license?
- Can we supply our own alcohol?
- Is there a corkage fee?
- Do I need to organize bar staff?
- Do I need to arrange a duty manager?
- Do I need to hire glasses or will the venue arrange them?
- What happens to half-drunk bottles of wine?
- Is there a cocktail hour?
Getting to the wedding ceremony location and reception for you and your guest list is definitely not something to ignore. You want to make sure you pick a venue that if people are traveling to (especially if it is a destination wedding), will not cause any stress getting to and from the location.
- Is there parking on-site?
- How many parks are available for guests?
- Is there any charge for the parking or is it complimentary?
- What are guests looking at spending on a taxi/Uber from the venue to the center of town?
- If a shuttle service or bus service is needed, is this something you help set up?
- Is the venue wheelchair accessible?
- Does the venue have a bridal suite for the bridal party?
- Are there changing areas for the wedding party?
- After the wedding does the venue help with getting gifts and/or décor to us?
There may be a number of guests that are traveling to the wedding and so knowing that there is adequate accommodation nearby is important when assessing your venue options.
- Do you provide any overnight accommodations?
- Are there any discounts for booking multiple rooms?
- Are there accommodation options nearby?
Different venues have different rules that you need to be aware of and adhere to.
- Does the venue have any noise restrictions?
- Does the venue have any candle restrictions?
- Does the venue have any confetti restrictions?
Before you sign on the dotted line, it is a good idea to know about all the financial policies the venue has.
- When is the deposit due?
- Is the wedding deposit refundable?
- What is your cancellation policy?
- What is your postponement policy?
- What forms of payment do you accept?
- Do you have payment plan options?
- How much time do I have after the wedding until the final payment is required?
Selecting your wedding venue is the biggest decision you will make during your wedding planning process. It is also why there are so many key questions to consider asking before booking one for your big day.
This comprehensive list of questions will help make that decision a lot easier and once you have selected a venue, you can move on to planning the other parts of your dream wedding.