You’ve dreamed about your wedding day: the perfect person, the perfect date, and the perfect venue. As it is, finding an appropriate wedding venue takes time, attention, and patience. It can be stressful to find a wedding venue that can hold all your guests, serve the purpose you need, and be available for the date of your choice.
When you are hunting down your wedding venue you will be bombarded with different offerings and you might be in for some major information overload, and that would cause you to overlook some things, or favor one item over the other.
To get all the information you need, we have compiled a list of 15 wedding venue questions.
- How many hours are included in the rent?
You want to be sure that you will be able to fit in your makeup and waiting hours, wedding ceremony proceedings, dinner, and partying in your contract. Make sure to find out if there are any overtime fees in case you go over the hours allowed by the venue.
- Is the staff available on-site during the entire event?
Usually, you would expect that the venue you would rent would have the staff to help keep an eye on things and assist with anything you might need. It’s not always the case, and most venues would separately hire their staff such as coat checkers, bathroom and parking attendants, or servers.
- Can the rehearsal dinner be conducted at the venue?
A lot of venues will allow you to do so in order for you to efficiently conduct your rehearsals, however, not all venues would allow it especially if there will be an event during the time you might want to have your rehearsal dinner. If they do provide a rehearsal dinner, make sure to ask if this is included in the contract, or if you need to pay extra.
- Until what time can you play music and party?
There is usually a noise ordinance in most locations where venues are, especially if they are in the heart of the city. The general rule is that most amplified music be finished by 10:00 PM so if you will allocate your time properly, make sure everyone is done partying by 10:00 PM.
- Who is covered by liability insurance?
It’s always best to be prepared when it comes to weddings. Calamities can occur anytime, so you want to make sure you’ve got liability insurance. It’s easy for vendors to procure and is usually required by vendors who are present during the entirety of the event. This would usually cover your coordinator, your photographer, your videographer, and your photo booth as well as your caterers.
- Will You have security at the venue?
Find out if there will be security personnel provided in the area, especially if you will be serving alcohol at your wedding. It’s a good way to keep things in order and make sure that just in case things get out of hand, then you’ve got someone to calm everyone else down. It doesn’t always happen, but it will be in your best interest to ask about this.
- Is there parking available and what is the capacity?
It’s most important for you and your guests to know where the proper loading and unloading zones are as well as ample and proper parking areas. Smaller venues might not have enough parking space, so you will want to find out what the nearest parking area would be for your guests if they intend to drive down for your wedding.
- Access for Disabled Guests
Just in case you have a guest that might be in a walker or a wheelchair, it is important to find out how guests using a walker or a wheelchair would get around the wedding venue. There should be good easy access for the ceremony and reception spaces, and that they are accessible to all guests, and is in close distance to the venue to avoid unnecessary mishaps or accidents along the way.
- Seasonal Concerns
This is probably a question that’s almost applicable anywhere. For instance, in the colder seasons will there be coat checkers to keep an eye on those heavy coats for your guests? Will there be enough space heaters for the venue to keep the guests from getting chilled? For a summer wedding, you might want to find out if there will be paper fans provided to keep the guests cool. Try to find out what the contingency plan is just in case you’re having an outdoor wedding, and it happens to be the rainy season.
- Will there be a place for the Bride and Groom to get ready on-site?
A big benefit to a wedding venue is having an area for the bride and groom, and hopefully, their entourage as well, to get ready right before the ceremony. It ensures that all parties are freshly made up, and will be ready and waiting in for the ceremony to start once they are done in hair and makeup. Most wedding venues do, as part of a feature of their offerings. However, in the event the venue does not offer such an area, make sure you find out what the nearest places or hotels would be for you to rent for the night so that you’re close to your wedding venue when you get ready.
- How's the lighting at night?
This is essential especially if your party starts somewhere towards the afternoon, you are sure to have your wedding end sometime when it’s dark. Lighting is important not only for the photo opportunities your photographers and videographers will be getting but for everyone’s safety as well. It’s important to know if all areas of your event are well lit when night falls.
- Where are the restrooms located, and how many are there?
This is important information to have your guests know. It’s usually also the first place they run to once they arrive at the venue. You want to make sure everyone has a place where they can be able to run to if they need to do their business. Furthermore, just in case you or your partner needs to be in a bathroom, you will want to know what that looks like.
Vendors and Rentals
- Do you have a preferred list of vendors? Is there a corkage fee in case I bring my own vendors?
Not only is this going to save you money if they do have a list of vendors, but it beats having to find your own sources for catering, florists, and wedding venue arrangements as well as the cake. If your venue has a preferred list of vendors, that would mean these vendors have worked with the venue before, and are already familiar with the layout of the place.
If you and your partner have decided to use a different vendor, ask if they charge a corkage fee. The venue manager will let you know first hand if in case you plan on using a different vendor if there is a fee or not, so you can double-check if this information comes up in your contract.
- Are there any alcohol restrictions?
Most venues allow alcohol and have a completely open bar, and some venues might not allow alcohol. Some venues might allow beer and wine only, others might include hard drinks. Find out what your venues’ policy is on alcohol so that you don’t make the mistake of ordering drinks that you won’t be able to serve.
- What decor is provided by the venue, and are there any hanging restrictions?
Decorating the wedding venue can spark all sorts of ideas. Hanging lights, balloons or lanterns would definitely make your event truly beautiful. But before you bring all your wedding decor to your venue, find out beforehand what decoration is already available in the venue, if any, and if they allow hanging decorations, or if you are allowed to light sparklers for the wedding celebration. Find out what the restrictions are as far as wedding props that require lighting, fire, or bubbles. If you have the wedding tradition of releasing doves, find out if your venue will allow it.
Kara has been with Wedding Favors Unlimited for 2 years. She’s been giving wedding and style advice for the past 5 years from bridal magazines to bridal boutiques. Feel free to ask Kara a question below!