TOP 12 QUESTIONS TO ASK THE VENUE
PHOTO: THE SINGLERS VENUE: THE FULLERTON ARBORETUM
There are so many moving pieces when it comes to your wedding day and so many big decisions to be made, one of which is the venue. Now while you’re likely to be excited to visit the venue space, taking it all in and getting all kinds of info thrown at you may be a little overwhelming. Here’s a quick list of 12 questions you should ask when you visit the venue with a little extra reasoning behind why you should ask (from a wedding planner’s perspective of course). Think of this as a little wedding planner in your pocket while you tour the venue.
1. Do you still have availability for my date? If the date is important to you, it’s best to find out sooner than later if your date is available. You don’t want to tour an entire venue and fall in love with it only to find out it’s no longer available on your desired date! If you folks are flexible on the date, that’s great and will lead to more options; especially if you’re looking to have your wedding soon.
2. What is the cancellation policy? Now that we’ve all lived through and are still living in a pandemic world, it’s good to know the venue’s cancellation policy. A lot of venue’s have added a “Covid Clause” so it’s important to know what your options are if something Covid related comes up. Will you be able to reschedule, how far in advance will you need to reschedule, and will there be any additional fees you should be wary of? Life happens so you just want to know what options you’ll have.
3. How many guests can you accommodate? Depending on how large or small your wedding will be, it’s good to know if there is a minimum and maximum capacity. You’ll want to make sure the venue can comfortably fit all of your guests.
PHOTO: CLASSIC PHOTOGRAPHERS VENUE: SEACLIFF COUNTRY CLUB
4. What does the parking situation look like? Will your guests be from in town and driving to your event? You’ll want to make sure the venue offers adequate parking or at least has a plan for where all your guests can park.
5. Are there multiple locations on property to do the ceremony and reception separately or will we need to turn the space? What does that mean for our guests? Will you be able to do it all in one space or will you need to plan to have your ceremony elsewhere and transport guests between two locations? If there is only one space on the property, will they help you turn the space into the reception or will you need to have your own staff to do that? If you need to turn the space, will there be an area for guests to have a cocktail hour or something to keep them entertained while the space is transformed? These are all points to consider when looking for a venue that fits your needs.
6. Is there a weather contingency plan in case it rains? Hopefully it doesn’t rain on your special day, but in case it does, the venue should have a strong backup plan that meets your expectations. The plan should be something you will genuinely be happy with if it comes to that. Hope for the best, but always plan for the worst.
7. How many hours do we have in the space? Does that include time for setup and breakdown? This will help you plan out the schedule for the day. Sometimes the rental time slot is inclusive of setup and breakdown time, but sometimes it isn’t. This information is important for your wedding planner and vendors to know when they can come in to set up and break down their equipment, decorations, etc. It’s also important to note what time you’ll need to be packed up and fully out of the space because you don’t want to be charged for extra time. Make sure you understand what their policy is for when you need to be off property and plan accordingly.
PHOTO: DANIELLE BENNINK PHOTOGRAPHY VENUE: REDONDO BEACH HISTORIC LIBRARY
8. Are there separate spaces for us to get ready or dressed in with our wedding party? Depending on what your plan is to get ready, you’ll probably want to know if the venue has options for holding you and your partner before the ceremony; especially if you don’t want to see one another.
9. Do you have a preferred vendor list I must work with? Sometimes venues will restrict who you’re allowed to use as vendors so if you have a particular vendor in mind for your food, photography, planning, dessert, etc. that’s something to consider.
10. Are there any restrictions in terms of decor, alcohol, food, desserts, etc. we are allowed to bring in? (hard alcohol, candles, confetti, wedding cake, etc.) Every venue will have their own set of rules that you’ll need to follow so it’s important to note these things and make sure they don’t complicate your wedding vision. Each couple will have different must haves, you and your partner will need to decide what is most important and what “no-no’s” make a venue a deal breaker for you both. Do you need sparklers, confetti, fireworks, hard alcohol, etc. or is the venue more important to you? Remember, a lot of these restrictions will be in place due to liability and safety.
11. How much time are we allowed for rehearsal? You’ll want to make sure you’ll be allotted time to bring in your planner, day of coordinator, wedding party, etc. so everyone knows where to go and what to do on the day of. What days of the week and what time will they allow you to come in so everyone can get on the same page.
12. Are there additional fees, gratuities, taxes, etc.? When are the deposit and final payment due? No one wants to be bamboozled at the end of an already very expensive day, so make sure you know what the venue will charge. Do you need to tip out the staff separately, or is that included in the bill, will there be fees for being on the property too long, damages, excessive clean up fees, etc. Then, if you love the venue, when do you need to pay the deposit to hold your date, is there a payment plan/schedule, when will they need your final payment, are there any late fees, etc.? Be sure to read the contract thoroughly before you sign!
And that’s it folx! We hope these questions help you with your venue search and bring some ease to the wedding planning process. Make sure to pin and save this photo here for your next venue tour; that way you can have all your questions nice, handy and ready to go!
*Clicking on this photo allows you to download a printable copy
Was this list of questions helpful? Have some questions for the venue that you think we should add to this list? Let us know here!