I am so excited for this post! When I started emailing venues to scope out what venues I actually wanted to tour I was overwhelmed with the amount of questions I had lol. But this helped me so much, and really prepared us for when we went on our tours to ask even more questions that maybe would be answered better in person. So I am going to outline several questions you should ask via email first and then those more detailed questions that will probably require a conversation so a set of questions you can ask in person/over the phone. So let’s get to them.
- Do you have (insert date) available? –If you do not have a specific date in mind, that is ok, you can skip the question or give them a couple of tentative dates you are thinking about.
- How far in advance can you book a tour for the venue? -If you live out of town or at a distance from the venue this will help you plan ahead of time.
- What time/days of the week do you give tours of the venue? -Take into consideration what important people do you want at the tours? Make sure you can get a couple of time frames that work for everyone.
- Can you provide a guide for your pricing? -This one is huge. There is nothing worse than you touring, falling in love and it is triple the price of your budget. Some venues also have seasonal pricing, so if you really don’t have a date in mind then this may help you make a decision.
- Are you in all-inclusive venue, meaning we have to use your preferred vendors/you provide all the services? -This ties back to the pricing question, maybe that big sticker price includes everything so in reality, it is in your budget. Or if for instance your brother’s company was going to provide a service, well then maybe you may not want to go the all inclusive route. I like to think of the all inclusive places such as hotels and country clubs. Asking this question before you tour will also save you alot of time. I actually toured 2 venues that offered most of the services and then toured 1 where it was simply just the venue. This gave me the opportunity to compare costs and decide what worked best for us.
- What is your capacity? -If you are planning for a guest count of 50 people then maybe a venue that holds 400 people will not be ideal as it can make the event feel empty or vice versa.
- Will other weddings/events be happening on that date? -Some hotels/resorts/CC have multiple spaces to hold an event, so ask yourself if you are OK with that, and what kind of impacts that will have on your day. Will parking be an issue? Will there be random people peeking their head into your event?
- Deposit amount? -CRUCIAL! That way you can lock down the date ASAP.
- When is the deposit due? -Same as above.
- When is the final payment due? -Important to help you start planning your timeline and budget.
- Any additional costs? -Is there a Security Officer charge that is paid separately? Maybe the venue offers breakfast for the bridal party for the morning of? Etc.
- Are there any overtime charges? -Perhaps the original pricing is only for 4 hour rental, what if you want to extend it 2 hours?
- What is your cancellation policy? -Think about weather conditions? Will it be hurricane season in your area? Etc.
- How much time would we have in the space? – Does the rental pricing include set up and clean up time? Or is that separate?
- Do you have a liquor license? -If they do, you will have to serve the alcohol through them.
- Can we provide our own liquor? -Are there any limitations? One venue we toured allowed any liquor except tequila.
- Is there room for a band and/or dance floor? -Maybe you are considering only a DJ, is your guest list a huge dance crowd? If so, think about the dance space as you are seeing it in person.
- Is there a sound system? -Good to know for when you start researching your DJ.
- Are there any sound restrictions? -Also good to know!
- Is there a bridal/groom suite? -If not, do they have similar options? One of the venues we toured did not have suites but they did have “conference rooms” to rent at an additional cost, this was a con for us.
- Where can we take photographs? -The same venue above, would not allow us to take photographs on their golf course, it was safe to say this venue was very restricting and we were not ok with so many things to be careful of, on our big day.
- What kind of parking is available? -Some venues make you hire valet staff, while others have open parking.
- What are the decoration limitations? -For instance our venue does not allow us to hang anything on the walls but other than that everything else was up to us.
- Can we rearrange anything? -Make sure to ask this! The same “restricting venue” let us know that usually by the end of October they put their Christmas decorations, and while I absolutely LOVE Christmas, I wasn’t too pleased with that being the backdrop for our wedding, and not have the option to say “can you put that up for our event”.
- Can we have candles or open flames? -Another decoration question, but if you have a theme in mind that requires candles, then this is great to ask early on.
- How far is the location from the ceremony site? -One of the venues we toured had a chapel separate from the reception area, so it was nice to see the drive was not too far and helped envision if we thought that would be an issue or not.
- If applicable, how will the site be turned from ceremony to reception? -Have them show you where the ceremony area will be, and what they do with the other tables in the mean time. It’s important to start setting yourself in the area and capturing these details now rather than 3 days before the wedding.
- What is the weather contingency plan for outdoor spaces? -If the weather is bad, and you are planning an outdoor ceremony, take into account what that’ll be like instead and make sure both you and your fiance are ok with this.
- Do you provide coat check services? -Is your wedding during a colder month? If so take this into consideration.
- What are the restroom facilities? -Maybe it’s a 1 stall restroom, or maybe there are several restrooms. Or even, if they have a restroom? Will this require you to shell out an extra costs?
- Do you have an in-house caterer or a list of preferred caterers? -Super important. Like I mentioned above, our venue allows us to bring in our own vendors but they did provide us a list of some of the vendors they have worked with previously.
- What kitchen facilities are available for caterers we hire? -Take a look at the kitchen, take photos, ask the venue what kind of kitchen it is. If you are getting an outside caterer, you will want to go with them informed and let them know whether they need to provide additional equipment and what that cost looks like for you.
- Are tables, linens, chairs, plates, silverware, & glassware provided? -Part of the all inclusive question as well, if not this will be an additional vendor/cost for you.
- Are there overnight accommodations for guests? -Maybe there is a nearby hotel, or if you are having the wedding at a hotel, what are their room blocks like?
- When can vendors start setting up? –So important! Once you start booking your vendors, you will need to let them know at what time they can arrive.
- Who is responsible for tear down? –Ask if the venue provides this service or will you be responsible?
- Who is the site’s point person for the wedding day? –Good question to ask so that you know who you will be working with. Also to start creating that relationship early on as you will more than likely be going to this person with alot of your questions.
I know this last list was pretty lengthy and maybe some of these questions you can ask via email after you tour. I hope this helps you make one of the biggest decisions as you start your wedding planning!
I would love to hear, what questions were super important for you to ask before you booked your venue?