Author — Alyanna Tekulve: Congratulations; you’re engaged! The first questions you’ll probably be asked are, “When is the big day?” and “Where are you getting married?” We’ll tackle how to pick your wedding day in another blog post, but let’s talk about finding a venue for your dream wedding! There are so many factors to consider when choosing the perfect venue, so to help narrow your search, here are the top 7 essential questions you should ask a prospective wedding venue before booking!
Is the venue available on my preferred date?
If you already have a date in mind, the first question to ask your venue is whether or not that date is even available! If your wedding date is flexible, you’ll have more options to choose from if the venue you want has limited availability. We recommend having a few ideal dates in mind when you start searching so you don’t calendar your way out of the perfect wedding venue!
What is the venue capacity?
Another simple but necessary question to ask the venue is “how many people does the space accommodate?” If you already have an estimate on your guest count, this will ensure the venue is a good fit. Make sure to ask about the capacity based on your preferences. For example, a space that can accommodate 200 for a plated dinner, won’t be able to fit the same number of guests for a buffet. Likewise, a space that can seat 200 with a dance floor and a DJ might not be able to accommodate a stage for a live band.
Do they have a list of approved or recommended vendors?
Beyond providing the space to host your event, you will need to know what other services the venue includes to determine what other vendors you’ll need to hire. Do they have in-house catering? Do they have a list of approved and recommended vendors? Similarly, do you have to use their approved vendors, or are there limitations for bringing in outside vendors?
Pro Tip: Many venues have required caterers and bartenders, but allow you to bring in other licensed & professional vendors for other services. Make sure you know what your venue sets those constraints for.
Will we have exclusivity at the venue?
It is important to get a clear answer from the venue about exclusivity on the day of your wedding. Some venues, like hotels, are public places and they may be hosting several events on the same day. You will want to be aware of any other parties present and if there are noise restrictions or any other logistical issues that may arise with the use of a public space.
How many hours does our rental cover?
When you rent a venue, you will need to know the exact hours you have the space reserved for on your wedding day. Ask when venue access begins so vendors know when they can arrive for set up, and what time venue access ends so all vendors and guests are off the premises when they need to be. Keep in mind, some of the gorgeous floral installations or tents you see online will require more setup time. Be prepared to tell your vendors how early they can access the venue to bring your vision to life!
What is the deposit and cancellation policy?
If you want to lock down a date with a venue, you need to be aware of all the payment policies before doing so. You will want to know how much the deposit is in order to reserve the space, how they structure the payment schedule, and what their cancellation policy is to ensure the venue is within your budget and can work with you in the case of an emergency! Keep in mind, most venues require a signed contract and deposit to lock them in. If you’re hoping for a summer wedding date, you’ll need to be ready to pay the deposit as soon as you decide you’d like to work with a venue!
Who is our point of contact at the venue?
You will want to know who it is you will be working with as you plan your wedding! Is there a venue coordinator and can you meet with them? Will they be present on the wedding day? If not, which staff members will be present on the wedding day? Ask about any other staff the venue includes in their package as well. Do they provide security, parking attendants, or a setup team to help with a flip or transition? If not, make sure you know what the cost is to bring in additional staff if you need it.
Need help booking your perfect wedding venue? Get in touch and we can help you find the venue of your dreams!