Happy Thursday friends! As promised, I had a lot of requests for this very important topic! This topic is something I feel every bride needs to know about before she starts touring venues or before she books her wedding venue. Now, if you have hired a wedding planner, you’re taken care! Reason being is, your planner will generally attend your venue tours with you & they will know exactly what to ask and what is important to know about the venue. But if you don’t have a wedding planner, this blog post is for you!
We have broken down the specific questions to ask and topics to cover into categories below. We will explain why each one is important when you're trying to decide whether to book the venue or not.
First off, all the Basics:
What dates do they have available?
What is the venue capacity? Very important because the venue you are looking at could have a maximum capacity of 200 guests. Well, if your guest list is already over 250 people then, this venue will not be the best option for you. Not only do you need to know the venue capacity, but you also need to find out how many guests can be seated in total.
What is the total rental fee & amount of money you will be paying for the venue? This could be a make or break for deciding if this is the venue for you.
Along with the rental fee, it is important to know what exactly is included in the rental fee? You need to find out if tables, chairs, and linens are included in this price. If they aren’t, then that will be additional fees the venue may throw on top of the rental fee. OR the venue may not even have their own tables, chairs, or linens and therefore, you would have to find another vendor for these items.
How many hours are included in your rental package for wedding day? Also, is the day before for your rehearsal included?
If the venue provides tables, chairs, and linens- how many of each do they have?
Are there separate spaces for the ceremony and reception to be held? OR is a venue flip possible? This is a very important question to ask depending on what you envision for your wedding day. If you plan to have an outdoor ceremony and indoor reception, you have to make sure the venue can accommodate this. Or if you want the ceremony and reception to be in the same exact space, you must make sure that the venue can manage a venue flip or will allow it. You must also find out how the venue manages venue flips because it will be important for all your vendors to know what this will entail on wedding day.
Is there a bridal suite & groom suite for getting ready on wedding day?
Does the venue require event liability insurance or liquor liability insurance to be purchased?
What are the typical “Plan B” weather plans if it were to rain on your wedding day? This is important to know up front if you are planning an outdoor ceremony and/or reception. You could end up being unhappy with whatever the “plan B” is- so it is important to know at the beginning what your wedding would look like if it were to rain or snow on your wedding day. (You never know what Alabama weather could be like)
Does the venue have an open vendor policy? Wow! This is a very important thing to know about a venue. An open vendor policy means that the venue allows you to bring in/book whatever vendors you would like. Some venues that do not have this open vendor policy means that you can only use/hire vendors from their own preferred vendor list.
Food + Drink:
Does the venue have in-house catering & bar service?
Can you bring/provide your own alcohol?
Is there a kitchen for the caterer to use? Is there a refrigerator and ice maker? If you are providing your own alcohol for the reception, it is important to know if there is a refrigerator to keep the drinks cold or if there is an ice machine for coolers.
Décor + Rentals:
Are linens provided by the venue? If so, what colors do they have?
Can you have candles, sparklers, or any other kind of open flame type décor items?
Are there specific rules for what kind of décor is allowed or are there rules that the florist needs to know?
All Other Miscellaneous Questions:
Does the venue require you to hire security if alcohol is present at the wedding?
Does the venue have a sound system? This is a great question to ask that most people don’t think about. Make sure the venue has some kind of basic sound system for background music, ceremony music, and a microphone for the ceremony. Some venues have hand-held microphones or a lapel mic for the officiant to use during the ceremony. Trust me, you want your guests to be able to hear the ceremony and your vows.
What is the parking situation at the venue for guests and vendors? Does the venue have a valet service or system for parking on the day of your wedding?
Does the venue have extra tables usable for the guestbook table, gifts tables, cake tables, etc.?
Does the venue have a bar? If so, how many?
Can the venue accommodate a band or DJ for your reception? This might sound like an obvious question, but believe it or not, some venues don’t have a big enough space to host a band. Think about it, say you want a band that is a 6 member band, a dance floor, and you want tables in your reception space. It is important to imagine this or think about if that is actually logistically possible. If it is not, then maybe a DJ is your best bet or the venue isn’t the one for you.
We hope this helps when you are beginning to tour venues & deciding which one is the perfect fit for your wedding day! We want each and every bride to pick the perfect venue that will make all their wedding visions come to life. That is why making sure to ask all the right questions before you book is so crucial in the wedding planning process, especially since the venue is the first vendor you’ll book, most of the time.
Please let us know if you have any questions or want to know more about venue tours & booking the perfect venue for you! You can reach us through our website, email, or Instagram! We can’t wait to hear from you & see which venues you book for your special day!
Lauryn E. Weddings