Choosing a wedding venue can be tricky. Like every other part of your big day, you want all the details covered to be sure you’re getting everything you’ve asked for. Iron out any kinks now and ask wedding venues these seven questions.
1. What’s Your Fee Schedule?
You don’t want to leave yourself hung out to dry only to discover the venue’s payment schedule doesn’t fit your budget. Clarify the deposit amount and due date, and verify their cancellation policy. The venue may require periodic payments up until the wedding, which you’ll need to factor in as you pay other booking parties.
Many venues have additional fees that need to be spelled out in detail early in the process. Ask for a detailed quote spelling out every cost. You’ll be less shocked to find out early on that sound equipment is an additional fee, then to discover this fact two days before the wedding.
2. Do You Provide Staff?
If the venue doesn’t provide staff, you’ll likely be searching for a caterer who does. If it is part of the package, make sure you see it on the quote. Find out what staff duties include, such as set up and tear down, or if they’re simply there as servers throughout the dinner. Don’t scramble last minute. Ask early on if the venue provides staff as part of their services.
3. How Available Are You?
It’s easy to eliminate venues when they aren’t available for the time you want. Whether you have a month in mind or a specific date, inquire right away about availability. Booking in advance is important if you’re set on a certain location, especially since in-demand venues can book at least a year in advance.
Be sure to confirm whether the venue holds multiple weddings or events on the same day. You want to guarantee you have enough time to get ready and decorate the space, and other functions in the same venue affect your stay and prep time.
4. What’s Unique about Your Venue?
The venue you choose fits into the overall ambience of your wedding. Get the most of the location by embracing what makes it special. Perhaps it has a cool story behind it or special features for photography. Knowing these things beforehand can inspire decorations and set the mood, from where tables are placed to how big the dance floor should be. Extra features even open up the spot’s availability, such as use of an outdoor terrace in addition to a seated hall.
5. What’s Your Maximum Capacity?
The guest list goes hand-in-hand with the venue’s maximum capacity, and you’ll find yourself cutting the list down or picking a new location entirely. A dance floor in the same space could limit available seating, as furniture is rearranged to include both dining and dancing.
Confirm with the venue ahead of time what the absolute cutoff is for guests, along with how many can fit comfortably, seated and standing, so you can make necessary adjustments.
6. Is It BYOB?
Knowing what their protocol is for serving alcohol also plays into the budget. If you are allowed to supply your own drinks, you’ll save a ton of money, paying a small price for the corkage fee. However, not all venues allow a bring-your-own-booze policy, so you’ll definitely want to ask first.
Be sure to inquire if alcohol is priced with a minimum requirement, whether a champagne toast is included, and what their bar rail includes for your guests. Ask for a detailed list of the bar offerings and levels of packages, so you know what you are getting. Last but not least, confirm they are indeed licensed to avoid further complications.
7. Do You Have an In-House or Preferred List?
Some venues work with parties in house and some have a list of trusted vendors they recommend. Others even allow you to use your own sources, while some only allow you to pull vendors from their list. Always confirm the vendor list with the venue beforehand so you know you can bring in outside booking parties, which the venue can accommodate. And be aware of any Landmark fees that may apply to outside catering.