You’ve gotten engaged (Congratulations!) and you’re contemplating venues, but haven’t quite decided. There are some important questions you should ask any potential venue so that there are no surprises on your wedding day, well no bad surprises at least!
Here’s a list of 10 things to discuss with the manager or event planner at your venue:
1) How many people can you accommodate? This will be important to know BEFORE you even your save-the-dates or even set a date for that matter. Find out how many people fit comfortably as well as the max and minimum number of guest you can accommodate. Depending on what your guest list is, certain venues may not be able to hold that many people OR the space might look empty if it’s too big for a more intimate celebration.
2) What is/isn’t included in the rental fee? You want to be sure there are no hidden costs. Read any contracts thoroughly before signing and don’t be afraid to ask this question directly. Do you need to provide your own tables and chairs? Hire a caterer? Rent linens, plates, decor, etc.? Make sure to get a contract and address any concerns before signing so there are no surprises.
3) How long/How many hours can we rent the venue for? Do your family and friends like to party? Find out how strict are the venue is about lingering guests and if their end time is set in stone. Knowing this information will also help you plan out your day as far as when the ideal time for a ceremony will be.
4) When is the payment due? Is there a deposit, payment plan and final payment required or just one lump sum? If so, find out when they are due and also in the unlikely case of a cancellation, what is their refund/rescheduling policy?
5) Do you have liability insurance? This is extremely important for any event involving people of all ages, dancing, alcohol etc. It is NOT recommended to rent a venue if they don’t have liability insurance but if for some reason they don’t, you should look into getting it yourself just to be on the safe side. This is especially important if you are hosting your wedding at a private residence.
6) Does the venue provide food, alcohol, cake etc.? If they do, find out the costs and/or if it’s included in the initial fee. If not, discuss the option of hiring your own caterer, baker, bartending service, etc. Are there restrictions around different vendors you are allowed to bring in? You can even ask your venue if they have preferred vendors they like to work with!
7) Does the venue provide all necessary tables, chairs, linens, dinnerware, silver etc.? Similar to #6 and #2, find out the costs and whether you should we rent these yourself. It’s good to check out their options before booking as well to make sure they fit well with the aesthetic of your other decor.
8) Can we decorate and if so, when are we allowed to do this? If you have a color theme, or family heirlooms you want included, check with the venue first to make sure they allow this. Many venues host weddings every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If you aren’t able to set up the day before or even the morning of your wedding. You’ll want to know that well in advance so you can make plans on how you’re going to get the space ready.
9) Is there a dance floor? If you want to get your party on, a dance floor is crucial! Make sure the dance floor has enough room for the amount of quests you are expecting. If you are having a band they take up a little more room than a DJ so keep that in mind.
10) Can we hire a DJ or Band to play at the venue? Along with #9, this is important for the entertainment minded wedding couple! Some venues may have a preferred vendor list they require you to stick to. This is very important to know, especially if you already have someone in mind.