Creating your dream wedding goes beyond just choosing a pretty venue – although, let's admit it, aesthetics do matter! There are vital details to consider before you sign the dotted line. Does the venue restrict you to only chosen expensive caterers that might blow your budget? Are confetti and fireworks allowed? And how close is it to accommodations for your beloved guests? These are just some of the questions that you need to ask them, depending on your preferences and wishes.
Picking the right venue is one of the most important decisions in your wedding planning journey. It can either set your creativity free or pose unexpected challenges, including added costs.
At Aja Weddings, our experienced wedding planners are dedicated to turning your wedding vision into a reality. During our initial conversation, we'll dive into your wishes and find the perfect spot that matches your vision and wishes. We'll handle the location search, ask the below questions, and present you with only the best-fitting options. Contact us today to make your wedding dreams a reality, without the added stress!
Below are the most important questions to ask your wedding venue:
What dates are available in the month I'm considering? TIP: Many wedding venues offer a discount for booking an off-season date or a Sunday through Friday wedding.
What is the venue capacity? TIP: Consider the capacity in case of rain only, because you don't want to have too many guests that cannot fit inside in the case that it rains on your wedding day.
What is the rental fee and what's included in that price?
How many hours does the rental fee include, and is there an overtime fee if I stay longer? We really like to party.
How much is the deposit, when is it due, and is it refundable?
What's the payment plan for the entire bill? What forms of payment do you accept?
Can I have a legal ceremony here, too? Is there an additional cost?
Are there changing areas for the bride, groom, and/or wedding party?
Can we have our rehearsal dinner here? What about a morning-after mimosa brunch?
How much time is allocated for the rehearsal?
What's the cancellation policy? TIP: Some places will refund most of your deposit if you cancel far enough in advance, since there's still a chance they can rent the space. After a certain date, though, you may not be able to get a refund—at least not a full one.
What's your weather contingency (backup) plan for outdoor spaces?
Do you have liability insurance? AW TIP: If drunk cousin gets injured during the dance party, you don't want to be held responsible—if the site doesn't have insurance, you'll need to get your own.
Do you have an in-house caterer or a list of "preferred" caterers, or do I need to provide my own? Even if there is an in-house caterer, do I have the option of using an outside caterer instead?
If I hire my own caterer, is there a kitchen available for them? TIP: Caterers charge extra if they have to haul in refrigerators and stoves.
Is there a food & beverage minimum?
What's the tax and service charge?
Can we do a food tasting before we finalize our menu selection? Does it cost extra? TIP: Be sure to ask if they'll accommodate dietary restrictions and/or food allergies. Usually it's no problem!
Are tables, linens, chairs, plates, silverware, and glassware provided, or will I have to rent them myself or get them through my caterer?
Can I bring in a cake from an outside baker or do I have to use a cake made on site?
Is there a cake-cutting fee? If I use a cake made on site is the fee waived? TIP: Sometimes if you ask if a friend or family member can cut your cake, they'll waive the cake-cutting fee for you.
Can we bring our own wine, beer or champagne? What about hard liquor?
Is there a corkage fee?
Are you licensed to provide alcohol service? TIP: Some venues (like wineries) aren't licensed to serve hard alcohol. You may need to get permission to bring in an outside beverage catering company.
How is alcohol priced, and is there a bar minimum?
Are there additional charges for bar staff?
Are we allowed to bring in our own decorations?
Do you have an inventory of decorations (lighting, candle holders, vases, etc.) we can borrow from?
Can I move things around or do I have to leave everything as is?
Can we use candles/confetti/sparklers/fireworks/animals/lawn games/bounce houses/food trucks/insert your own fun-but- potentially-dangerous liability here?
Do you have signage or other aids to direct guests to my event?
Do you provide heaters and/or umbrellas for the outdoor spaces?
Can I hire my own vendors or is there a preferred vendor list we need to stick to?
Do you offer on-site coordination? What services are included?
Can the venue accommodate a DJ or live band?
What time can my vendors start setting up on the day of the wedding? TIP: Some venues host multiple weddings per weekend. Others just host one! If your venue does the latter, ask if you can start the setup the day before.
Does the venue provide assistance getting gifts and/or décor back to a designated car or hotel room after the wedding?
Is there a separate space for cocktail hour?
Do you have a sound system and/or microphones for speeches? TIP: Check where the outlets are located in your event space, because that will help you figure out where the band can set up and where other vendors can hook up their equipment. You don't want the head table to block the only outlet in the room, right?
Are there any noise restrictions?
Is there parking on site and if so, is it complimentary? If not, where will my guests park?
Are cabs/rideshares (like Uber, Lyft, etc.) easily accessible from the venue?
If a shuttle service is needed, can you assist with setting it up?
How many restrooms are there? TIP: You should have at least 4 restrooms per 100 people. At least.
What overnight accommodations do you provide? Do you offer a discount for booking multiple rooms—or a complimentary room or upgrade for the newlyweds?!
If no accommodations are available, what are the nearest hotels to the venue? TIP: Some venues have partnerships with local hotels that offer a discount if you book a block of rooms.