Deciding on a wedding venue represents one of the biggest decisions a newly engaged couple has to make. With so many options available, you’ll need to prepare a list of questions to ask wedding venues to ensure you find the perfect fit for your wedding. Use this guide of general (but important) questions to get started, and keep a checklist of your questions handy when visiting or speaking with different venues.
How many people can the venue accommodate? You need to make sure that the size of the venue matches the size of your potential guest list.
Is the intended date that you are aiming for available? If you do not know the exact date yet, just give a general time frame and see which dates they have available. Many people plan their official date around the venue of their choice and their availability.
What does the rental fee include and how much is it? You need to know what services the venue will provide and which you will need to provide. Some offer catering, reception set-up and clean-up, a photographer, etc. Just make sure that you know what all the fee covers and what it doesn’t. This will greatly help when creating your wedding budget.
When is the deposit due and how much is it? Almost all venues require a deposit to reserve the venue for you. Make sure you know how much this deposit is and the deadline to get it to them in order to hold your reservation.
Are there rooms available for the Bride, Groom, and wedding party to get ready? This is an important question. If there are no areas for the wedding party to get ready (get dressed, hair and make-up, etc) then you will need to arrange a place to do this for everyone prior to meeting at the venue.
Can you hold your rehearsal there? Being able to hold the rehearsal at the venue has great benefits. It gives the wedding party a good feel for exactly how everything will go down. You can decide where everyone will enter, stand, and exit. Photographers typically like to attend the rehearsal as well because they can also get a good feel of where they will need to be during the ceremony to get the best shots, plus they can be prepared for the lighting and what gear they will need to bring.
Do they offer catering? If you are unsure of who you want to cater your wedding, the venue may offer their own catering, or at least be able to provide a list of suggestions. If you do know who you want to use as a caterer, ask if that is allowed.
Is there a kitchen? If using your own caterer, ask the venue if they have a kitchen to use if needed. If they do not, your caterer will need to be prepared to bring everything.
Are they licensed to provide alcohol services/open bar? If your guests will be the type who like to drink and have a good time, you need to make sure that the venue is licensed to provide an open bar, or at the very least, allow you to bring in your own bartenders and alcohol.
Do they provide any decor or should you (and can you) bring your own? Many venues have things on hand that you can use such as candle holders, cases, lighting, etc.). Find out what they can offer and ask if you have permission to bring your own decor.
Are you allowed to rearrange furniture or move things around? The venue probably already has their own usual decor like wall hangings. find out if you will be able to move things around (including tables, furniture, etc.) or if everything must stay in place. This will help when planning out the decorating.
Are things like sprinklers, fireworks, animals, etc. allowed? Basically, ask about anything you plan on having at your wedding that could potentially be a liability.
staff and vendor questions:
What time will my vendors be allowed to arrive and start setting up? Make sure you ask what time that your florist, caterers, photographer, etc. can come set up. Many venues will allow you to begin decorating the night before as long as they aren’t booked that night. If they are, the decorating may need to begin bright and early the day of the wedding.
Are we allowed to have a DJ or live music? Find out if there is room to set up for live music and/or a DJ.
Does the venue provide any assistance with vendors? Ask if the venue has staff on hand to help with any possible setting up, cleaning, or even loading wedding gifts into a vehicle.
What time does everyone need to be out of the venue? This is an important question to ask because your vendors (and yourself) need to know when to start cleaning up to ensure that they finish in a timely manner.
Is the venue handicap accessible? Odds are some of your guests will include elderly or handicap people. Make sure the venue can accommodate all of your guests.
How many restrooms? If you plan on having a large guest list, the venue should have enough restrooms to avoid long lines.
Is there a sound system provided? If you plan on having a DJ, they will likely be able to provide this for you. You will need microphones, speakers, etc. for speeches and toasts.
Is there on-site parking? You need to make sure you know where your guests will need to park if no on-site parking is available. Also, find out how large the parking area is so you can find an additional parking area if needed for extra space.
Are there any noise restrictions? Depending on the location of the venue, there may be noise restrictions. This means there may be a specific time to stop the music based on the area’s noise ordinance laws.
keep this list of questions on hand!
Use this list of questions to ask a wedding venue when deciding on the perfect spot to have your big day. This venue will end up holding a lot of memories for you and your loved ones, so make sure that you make the right choice for YOU!