The BIG List of Questions to Ask a Potential Venue

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There’s a lot you need to know about a potential venue to make sure it will be the perfect spot for your big day. Most of these questions will be answered in the information provided before or during your venue tour/consultation, but don’t be shy – be sure to ask all the questions you need to, so you don’t end up with an unfortunate surprise after it’s too late.

  1. Is our desired date and time available?
  2. Is there an on-site wedding coordinator? If so, what services/duties are included and is there an extra charge for those services?
  3. If not, who will we work with to coordinate the event?
  4. Will there be other weddings or parties there on the same day and/or time?
  5. What is the fee for the site rental?
  6. Are discounts available for certain days of the week or certain months of the year?
  7. Are any areas of the venue off limits to guests?
  8. How many hours does the site fee include?
  9. How much of that time is setup and cleanup?
  10. What time will we be allowed access to the site? Can we have access the day before or how many hours prior to the event start time?
  11. What time will we have to vacate the site? (What time will the party have to end, and what time will all of our items have to be removed by?)
  12. How do overtime charges work?
  13. What else is included in the site fee? (tables, linens, table settings, decor, setup, etc.) Can we see these items?
  14. If tables, linens, or other items are included, will they be set up by the site staff or will we be responsible for set up?
  15. If tables are provided, how many guests fit at each table? Are there different size/shape tables available?
  16. Are there different choices for the provided items, ie. colors, styles? If so, are they all the same price or do some require a fee upgrade?
  17. How many people can the space comfortably seat for our use, ie. seated tables, cocktail area, lounge, etc.? Does this include space for the cake table, DJ or band setup, dance floor, etc.?
  18. Where will each part of the celebration take place? (ceremony, cocktails, dinner, etc.) Are all areas included in the site fee quoted?
  19. How does the flow work if more than one room/area is used?
  20. If the same space is used for the ceremony and reception, how will the changeover take place, and how long will it take? Where will the guests wait if there is a wait time between?
  21. If outdoors, is the ground flat/smooth enough to set out chairs and tables?
  22. Is this a public space? If so, can anybody wander in and out of our event space?
  23. If outdoors, is there a backup plan for inclement weather?
  24. Is there an on-site caterer?
  25. If yes, what choices are offered for food service? (sit down meal, buffet, passed hors d’oeurves)
  26. If yes, what menu items/packages are available? Is there an additional “service fee”? Is there specific amount of gratuity added? Is there a cake cutting fee? What is the ratio of servers to guests?
  27. If yes, is any outside food or drink allowed (including cake)?
  28. If yes, what drink services are offered and at what cost? (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) Is a bartender included in the cost? Can a “custom signature drink” be created and served?
  29. If no, are there any limitations to who we can use for our food and drink?
  30. If not, what facilities are available for our own caterer to use?
  31. Is there a corkage fee if we bring your own alcohol?
  32. Are there any rules regarding alcohol?
  33. Are there any limitations to any other vendors we may want to use for all aspects of the event (florist, photographer, etc.)
  34. What are the rules regarding decor that may be used, including candles, lights, wall and ceiling decor, etc.
  35. Where would the DJ or band set up? Where would the dance floor be located? Is a dance floor provided? If not, can a rented one be brought in?
  36. Are there any rules dictating style, noise level, or the hours in which music can be played?
  37. Are there electrical outlets in the places we would need them?
  38. Is there control over the room lighting?
  39. Can we visit prior to another event to see the set up and/or are there photos of what the site looks like set up similar to what we are planning in the season we are planning (if outdoors)?
  40. What is the parking capacity, where is the parking area, and is it lit at night?
  41. Is valet parking offered? If so, what is the cost? If not, can we hire our own valet service?
  42. How will guests be directed to our event area?
  43. Is there handicap accessibility if needed?
  44. Where are the bathrooms located? Is there a sufficient number of stalls? Are they clean?
  45. If outdoors, what bathroom facilities are provided and at what cost? If none, are portable restrooms allowed to be brought in?
  46. Is there a coat room? Is there an attendant, and at what cost?
  47. Is there a place to set up a gift table? If so, do you provide the table?
  48. Is throwing birdseed or confetti, lighting sparklers, or blowing bubbles allowed, and where?
  49. Is there a space for changing clothes (bride’s room, groom’s room)? Is it included in the site fee?
  50. Is there a children’s room?
  51. Is there security on-site and in the parking lot?
  52. Do you have liability insurance? What are we responsible for as far as insurance?
  53. Are any permits required? Who obtains them? (mostly applicable to public spaces)
  54. How much deposit is required and when is it due? Is it refundable?
  55. When is the balance due?
  56. What is the cancellation or rescheduling policy?
  57. What forms of payment are accepted?
  58. Can we have a list of references of couples who have recently had weddings here?
  59. Can we see a copy of the contract?

Click HERE to preview some of the most popular wedding venues in the Sacramento, Tahoe, and Napa areas, with photos, reviews, videos, FAQs, and more. You can quickly and easily request information, or click through to their web sites. It’s the best way to venue shop!

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