Below are some questions to ask and consider when beginning the search for a suitable wedding venue.
Dates, Set up, layout and timing
1. What dates are available in the month you are considering?
2. How many can the venue hold and what styles and configurations are on offer?
3. Talk layout – positioning of where things will be located so you can visualise. Is there a space for a dance floor if required?
4. Discuss timings of your day – how the venue runs, what timings work best in their experience?
Pricing, Costs involved, time allocation, contigency
1. 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?
2. How much is the deposit, when is it due, and is it refundable? What’s the payment plan for the entire bill?
3. 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?
4. What’s the cancellation policy?
5. What’s your weather contingency plan for outdoor spaces?
6. 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?
7. Can we conduct a rehearsal at the venue? If so is there are specified time / day preference?
8. Music for ceremony and venue system? Is this provided?
9. Are there decoration guidelines/restrictions?.
10. 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? Does the venue provide assistance getting gifts or décor back to a designated car, hotel room, etc. after the event has concluded?
11. Do you have an in-house caterer or a list of “preferred” caterers, or do I need to provide my own? 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?
12. What is the food & beverage cost on a per-person basis?
13. What wine an menu options are available?
Can we do a food tasting prior to finalizing our menu selection? If so, is there an additional charge?
14. Is there a cake-cutting fee?
15. Can I bring my own wine, beer or champagne, and is there a corkage fee if I do? Can I bring in other alcohol?
16. 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?
17. Parking and transportation.
What the venue will ask of you…
2. Sit down or walk and fork.
3. Buffet / Set menu / Canapes – mixture?
4. Menu selection.
5. Wine selection.
7. Special requirements for guest regarding menu – vegetarian, gluten free, guests with allergies?
8. When will the ceremony and photos take place – what timings are they working towards regarding food service?
9. Special inclusions, toast, drinks to be served on arrival etc.
10. Venue to do set up?
11. Venue to control music for ceremony?
12. Sound System required?
13. Special Requests for set up of both ceremony and reception?
14. Whether any AV equipment needs to be set up.
15. What to do with regards to bar tabs?
16. When vendors will be arriving and what vendors will be coming to the premises.