Finding the perfect wedding venue can be challenging. There are plenty of requirements to meet, from budget to capacity and date availability. But once you find a couple of possible venues, you need to know what to ask during your visit. Perhaps you fall in love with a venue that does not offer what you need or does not allow you to hang the decoration you have in mind. That is why we have the following ten questions for you to be prepared.
- What does the rental rate include?
Each wedding venue is unique, do not take for granted that the beautifully displayed setup is included in the package you are interested in. Ask if your rate includes tables, chairs, china, service fees, lighting, gratuity, catering, and cleaning fees.
Ask how many hours the rental rate includes and your vendors’ time for set up and pick up. Some venues are more flexible and allow you to start setting up even a day before, while others might have a limited time because there is an event before or after your wedding.
- What are your policies regarding vendors?
An important question to ask, especially if you have a particular decoration vendor in mind or a DJ or live band. Some venues only allow their in-house vendors to be part of your event, and they are firm about it. Others will provide a list of preferred vendors they know and have worked with in the past. Both scenarios can come in handy if you have no idea about who to hire.
And if you wish to bring your vendors, you need to find a venue with no policy regarding outside vendors. Many wedding venues only offer space rental without any other service giving you the freedom to choose your favorite catering service, entertainment, and décor team.
- Will we have exclusive use of the venue?
This is particularly important if you are hiring a large venue with other rental spaces near yours. For example, a hotel. Hotels often offer more than one location for your wedding. They might have a small room, the main ball room, and even waterfront or rooftop venues. You need to know if other events will take place on your wedding day because many venues allow this to happen, and you can hear the music from the other party, parking spaces are split, and you run into another bride constantly.
If that is not an issue for you, let it go, but if you want your wedding to be the only one happening in the building, you must find a venue with a policy of one wedding only. Or exclusive use of the entire venue.
- What is your cancelation and rescheduling policy?
Cancelation and rescheduling are two words that no couple wants to hear. But since they became so handy over the past year, it is important that you fully understand their policy. Some venues will retain your deposit if you cancel close from your wedding date. Others will be flexible and allow you to reschedule to the next available date. Have a clear understanding about the last day you can cancel and get a full refund. Once you close your wedding date, mark that day on your calendar.
- How much parking do you have available?
Another important matter for your guests to arrive comfortably at your wedding venue is the parking space. Some wedding venues have a limited number of spots that can only accommodate the wedding party, while others might offer a valet parking service or recommend nearby options. Always ask if parking is covered or your guests will be charged, and make sure the valet parking service is included in your total.
- What is the maximum capacity of the venue?
The maximum capacity is important for safety and comfort reasons. If your venue has a maximum capacity of 100 guests and you are thinking about 120, do not try to fit them there. It is against the law, and it will feel crowded. Keep in mind that from those 120, you must add up your vendors, catering team, entertainment, waiters, and so on.
- Do you have liability insurance?
Wedding insurance can save you from unexpected events that you might be held responsible for. Ask your wedding venue if they have liability insurance or if you must take care of that matter. Liability insurance can cover property damage or injuries that your guests might suffer during the event.
You can also hire extra coverage for other items like your wedding gifts, wedding dress, and tuxedo. You can add extra insurance to cover your vendors and even non-refundable deposits in case of cancellation.
- Who would be the point person on our wedding day?
Most wedding venues designate one staff person to be available during your event for any request or need. You should meet that person the day you visit the wedding venue because sometimes that person does not click with you and has a bad experience. Meeting your point person is as important as meeting the rest of your vendors.
- What are the decoration restrictions?
Wedding venues have different approaches to décor. Some are fully equipped and do not allow you to add or change the existing decoration. While others will let you hang any decoration, you imagine. Most venues have restrictions regarding gluing, stapling, or nailing items to the construction.
You can solve the issue with some DIY. If you want to add drapery to a certain space, the best option is to rent a pipe and drape DIY, which consists of a kit including the fabric, pipe, and easy instructions to set up without gluing or nailing anything. Wedding monogram lighting can help you to personalize the space without hanging or painting any item.
- What are your policies regarding catering and bar?
Most wedding venues offer on-site catering and drinks. They ask you for a minimum of plates to rent the space. Make sure you meet those minimums, and you like the menu options they offer before signing the contract.
If you are not into their catering service, it is best to find a wedding venue that allows you to bring your service. Many wedding venues have a fully equipped kitchen for catering teams or a designated space for set up.
We hope you find the wedding venue of your dreams, and our ten questions prevent any surprises. Make sure you have all your doubts solved before signing the dotted line, and enjoy the process of planning your big day.