Securing the Perfect Venue
Finding the perfect venue for your wedding can be time consuming. I have created a list of questions that will help you navigate through your location search. Use this as a guide while you are talking to the point of contact at the venue location. Be sure to add any questions that relate to your particular wedding and what you are looking for. Make sure all these requests, if approved, are written in your final contract! Good Luck!
What dates are available in the month I'm considering?
How many people can this location accommodate?
What is the rental fee and what is included in that price? Is there a discount for booking an off-season date or Sunday through Friday?
How much is the deposit, when is it due, and is it refundable? What's the payment plan for the entire bill?
Can I hold my ceremony here, too? Is there an additional charge? Is the ceremony site close to the reception site? Is there a bride's changing area? How much time is allocated for the rehearsal?
Is the site handicap accessible? (If necessary)
What's the cancellation policy?
What's your weather contingency plan for outdoor spaces?
How long will I have use of the event space(s) I reserve? Is there an overtime fee if I stay longer? Is there a minimum or maximum rental time?
Can I move things around and decorate to suit my purposes, or do I have to leave everything as is? Are there decoration guidelines/restrictions? Is an open flame allowed?
What time can my vendors start setting up on the day of the wedding? Is it possible to start the setup the day before? How early can deliveries be made? How much time will I have for décor setup? And what about tear-down? Can we store decor overnight? Do we have a hard stop at so-and-so time?
Do you provide a coat check service (especially important for winter weddings)? If not, is there an area that can be used and staffed for that purpose?
Is there an outdoor space where my guests can mingle, and can it be heated and/or protected from the elements if necessary?
Do you have an in-house caterer or a list of “preferred” caterers, or do I need to provide my own? Even if there is an in-house caterer, do I have the option of using an outside caterer instead?
If I hire my own caterer, are kitchen facilities available for them?
Are tables, linens, chairs, plates, silverware and glassware provided, or will I have to rent them myself or get them through my caterer?
What is the food & beverage cost on a per-person basis? What is the tax and service charge?
Can we do a food tasting prior to finalizing our menu selection? If so, is there an additional charge?
Can I bring in a cake from an outside cake maker or must I use a cake made on the premises? Is there a cake-cutting fee? If I use a cake made on site is the fee waived? Do you provide special cake-cutting utensils?
Can I bring my own wine, beer or champagne, and is there a corkage fee if I do? Can I bring in other alcohol?
Are you licensed to provide alcohol service? If so, is alcohol priced per person? By consumption? Are there additional charges for bar staff? Is there a bar minimum that must be met before the conclusion of the event? What is the average bar tab for the number of people attending my event?
Are there restrictions on what kind of music I can play, or a time by which the music must end? Can the venue accommodate a DJ or live band? Where are the outlets, as this will help me determine layout?
Is there parking on site? If so, is it complimentary? Do you offer valet parking, and what is the charge? If there is no parking on site, where will my guests park? Are cabs easily accessible from the venue? If a shuttle service is needed, can you assist with setting it up?
Does the venue have liability insurance?
Can I hire my own vendors (caterer, coordinator, DJ, etc.), or must I select from a preferred vendor list? If I can bring my own, do you have a list of recommended vendors?
What overnight accommodations do you provide? Do you offer a discount for booking multiple rooms? Do you provide a complimentary room or upgrade for the newlyweds? What are the nearest hotels to the venue?
Do you have signage or other aids to direct guests to my event?