Selecting and booking a venue is by far the most difficult and time consuming part of the wedding planning process. So much thought goes into the location, style, catering choices available, staffing, and dates available when booking a venue. Assuming that the venues you are visiting for a walk through have your date available, you should also ask the venue staff these very important questions!
-What is the venue capacity?
-How many spaces come with the package? (Is there space for a cocktail hour, ceremony, and reception?)
-How many hours do we have at the venue? How much time do we get for setting up and tearing down?
-Is the site handicap accessible?
-Is there parking nearby? Valet? How many parking spots?
-Is a shuttle service available from nearby hotels?
-Is there a coat check?
-How many restrooms are available?
-Is there a place for the guest book/wedding gifts?
-Is the venue child friendly?
-Do you have backup accommodations in case of inclement weather?
-Can we bring our own food?
-Can you accommodate dietary restrictions?
-What is the service fee/tax on the catering if offered in-house?
-If we bring in an outside caterer, are kitchen facilities available for them to use?
-Can I bring dessert/cake from an outside baker?
-Is there a cake-cutting fee?
-If not, is there a selected group of caterers for us to choose from?
-Do you provide tables/chairs/linens/table settings? Will we have to rent any of these items or get them through a caterer?
-What shape/size are the tables that you can provide?
-Do you have a liquor license?
-Can I bring my own alcohol? If so, is there a corkage fee?
-Do you offer a complimentary champagne toast?
-How is the alcohol priced?
-Do you have an on-site coordinator?
-What services are included with the on-site coordinator and what are the additional charges?
-Will the venue coordinator also serve as day-of coordinator?
-Can you help set up/tear down? If there is a tear down cost, how much is it?
-Do you have signage to direct guests to the wedding location?
-How early can my vendor’s deliveries be made on the day of the wedding?
-What are the decor restrictions?
-Do you offer a bridal suite or a groom’s room to get ready in?
-Is there a space for the wedding party to get ready at the venue?
-What overnight accommodations do you provide?
-Do you have partnerships with nearby hotels for out of town guests?
-Can you provide a break down of what is included in the fees?
-Do you offer a discount for off-season dates or weekday dates?
-How much is the deposit? When do you require it?
-When is the full balance due? Do you offer payment plans?
-What forms of payment do you accept?
-What is the cancelation policy and is the deposit refundable?
-Do we need insurance?
-Do you have liability insurance?
Leave no stone unturned! It is far better to be prepared with a list of detailed questions to ask than to have surprise fees pop up down the road.