Wedding costs vary depending on where you live and the type of wedding you want. But Americans, on average, spend about $33,000 dollars!
That’s a lot of money for your big day, so make sure everything’s perfect.
There are so many things to consider when planning a wedding. Picking a venue is only the beginning. But it’s one of the most important things on your list.
Don’t sign on the dotted line until you read through this list of wedding venue questions.
First Things First
You’ll want to book your wedding venue about a year in advance. Don’t announce your wedding date until you’ve booked the venue first.
Choose several dates that work for you and then look at venues. Some popular event spaces book up to two years in advance. But it’s possible to find something 9-10 months out.
If you wait too long to book, you’ll end up with a backyard wedding!
When you’re ready to commit to a venue, get everything in writing.
And consider wedding insurance. If something goes wrong at the last minute, the policy covers lost deposits and more. Some venues also require a liability policy for the event.
Back to Basics
Start making calls to the places you have in mind. Find out first if the dates you want are available. No sense visiting if they’re already booked.
Consider having your wedding in the off-season which differs based on your location. Off-season bookings are usually cheaper.
You’ll need a good idea of how many guests will be at the wedding. Make sure you bring a notebook with you when visiting venues. Pre-print your questionnaire so you can write the answers down for each place you visit.
- How many guests does the venue accommodate?
- Does having the ceremony at the venue cost extra?
- What’s the total fee?
- What’s included in the total fee?
- Are there handicapped accommodations?
- Are there noise restrictions?
- What’s the restroom situation?
- What are the overnight accommodations?
- Is there a strict time limit? Does it cost more if we go over?
- What forms of payment are accepted and can we make payments?
- What percentage is put down for the deposit? Is it refundable?
- Is there a place for the rehearsal dinner?
- What’s the policy regarding cancellations?
- If it’s an outdoor venue, what happens if it rains?
Make sure you go over all these questions and write down your answers for each venue. You will forget the answers and get your venues confused if you skip this step!
Food and drinks are an important element for your reception. Policies vary depending on the venue. Make sure you ask these questions:
- Can I use my own caterer?
- If I can’t, is there a list of preferred caterers or is there an in-house service?
- If I use my own caterer, is there a kitchen available?
- Can I bring my own cake or does it have to be made at the venue?
- Is there a fee for the cake cutting if I bring my own cake?
- Are there food and beverage minimums?
- What are the taxes and service charges?
- Does it cost extra to do a food tasting for our menu selections?
- Can we bring our own alcohol? Do you charge a corkage fee if we do?
- Is the venue licensed for alcohol service?
- What are the costs for a bar and bar staff?
Many venues have their own catering services and won’t let you use an outside caterer. This works well if you like the menu and the food is comparably priced to your caterer.
Event spaces often charge cake-cutting fees if you bring your own cake. Ask them if they’ll waive the fee if you have your own cake cutter. If they will, ask a friend if she’ll cut the cake for you.
Alcohol is tricky. Some venues only serve wine and aren’t licensed for hard alcohol. Other venues can’t serve alcohol at all.
There’ll be different prices for the bar depending on what you want. A full open bar is when you pay for all the booze for the night for your guests.
Some people choose to pay for the first drink and do a cash bar after that. Make sure you get all the details based on your situation.
If you want a DJ, live band, or other outside vendors, make sure you’re allowed. Some venues don’t allow anything but in-house vendors.
Other venues allow outside vendors but they have a list of vendors from which you’ll choose.
If you’re bringing in your own vendors, be clear about what time they can get in to set up on your wedding day.
Most venues offer some sort of on-site coordination and staffing. But make sure. You may need to supply a wait staff if you’re having a sit-down dinner.
If you’re bringing in your own caterer, ask her if any wait staff is provided. If you’re doing a buffet, you won’t need as big a wait staff.
It may seem unwarranted, but it’s nice if your guests feel secure. Find out if security comes with the venue. If your wedding has about 100 guests, two security guards are fine.
Add one security guard for every extra 100 guests.
Rentals and Decor
Ask if you’re allowed to bring your own decorations. Be mindful of the existing decor so your decorations won’t clash.
Some places have an inventory of decor items you can borrow. If you want to hang lights or decorations, make sure that’s okay.
If you want sparklers, candles, or confetti, make sure that’s okay. Some venues restrict these items for safety concerns.
A Comprehensive List of Wedding Venue Questions
Now that you’ve got a detailed list of wedding venue questions, you’re ready to find your event space!
Take your notebook and write down the answers to all the questions so you don’t get venues confused. Consider wedding insurance so you don’t lose a big deposit if something changes.
Don’t forget to get a written contract from your venue and all the vendors! Are you ready for your wedding? Book an exciting venue here.