Your wedding venue is one of the first (and most important!) decisions you will make as a newly engaged couple. Exploring all the gorgeous spaces out there can be fun, but overwhelming. Narrow down your search by starting with these three necessary questions:
- Is our date available?
- Can this space accommodate our number of guests?
- Does this venue fit within our budget?
If the venue meets these three early requirements—thumbs up! Go ahead and book your tour, visit the venue, and see if it has that special feel you’re looking for. When you do get in touch with your favorite venues, don’t forget to bring a checklist of questions that will help you know what to expect and will make everything run smoothly on your big day.
- Will the space be exclusively ours, or will other events be going on simultaneously? If there are other events, where can we expect overlap (i.e. restroom use, kitchen use, etc.)?
- Is there a bridal suite/groom’s suite available? What time can we expect access to those?
- Are ample restroom facilities conveniently (but discreetly) located?
- Are you able to accommodate a band/DJ (power outlets, extension cords, speakers, noise restrictions, etc.)
- What is the parking situation? Will a hired parking attendant be necessary?
- Is there anything about the space that will be affected by inclement weather?
- Do you have a secure place to store any gifts guests might bring?
- Where do you recommend a send-off? Is there a convenient place for guests to stand, and for the getaway car to drive up?
- Are you expecting to undergo any changes to the venue prior to our date? (i.e., reconstruction, remodeling, paint color, lighting changes).
- What is your cancellation policy?
- Is there a venue director? Will he/she be present on our wedding day? Which duties is he/she responsible for? Can we meet him/her today?
- Do you require particular vendors at your venue? If so, may we have a copy of that list?
- Do you have a list of recommended vendors you trust that we can look at?
- Are there any restrictions for our other vendors? (i.e. photographers, wedding/event coordinators, etc.)
- Are there any restrictions on décor items (candles, etc.)?
- Will any furniture or décor be provided to us by the venue (tables, chairs, linens, etc.)?
- May we move any existing furniture/décor, or does it need to stay as is?
- Do you have any restrictions on furniture that we bring in?
- When can we expect to bring our décor to the venue? Is there somewhere we can store it before setup?
- Do we have the freedom to bring in our out vendors?
- How does the cleanup process work?
- Do you have a liquor license?
- Will you allow us to bring our own liquor? If so, is there a corkage fee?
- Do you provide a bartending service, or is that up to us? Do you have any stipulations on the bartender we bring in?
- When can my vendors arrive to set up? Will there be a point of contact when they arrive, or do we need to arrange for someone to be here to direct them?
- Are there any sendoff restrictions (i.e. no sparklers, etc.)
- How long are my guests welcome to stay? Is there an hourly fee for going overtime?
Lastly, be sure to ask what you can do to acknowledge your venue’s service if all goes well. Recommending your venue to other brides, or rating them online can be a much-appreciated gesture to thank your venue for their assistance.
Your venue will likely appreciate your thoughtfulness in covering all your bases before booking—asking these questions can prevent plenty of mishaps leading up to and on your special day! Being prepared on your venue tours can help narrow down your favorite places based on practical needs.
We at The Ridge always urge our tours to have fun exploring for their special venue, it will be the home to your wedding day so make sure it’s a place that truly feels like home to you both!