Visiting Potential Event Venues


Wedding Wonderings header

So, in discussing my wedding planning strategy with the powers that be (i.e. those who are helping finance it), we decided that we really didn’t need to wait two years to get married; instead, we could do it this year.  So Mr. C and I are getting married this November.  Yes, THIS November– as in the one 9 months away.

I couldn’t be happier– I get to marry the man I love a year earlier than I thought I did.  But, it also means that all the things i thought I had plenty of time to decide about have suddenly been thrown into hyper drive.  I gathered the troops for some intense wedding planning over weekend and we had 2 wedding dress appointments and 3 wedding venue viewings set up. (More to come about the dress appointments soon).

In preparing for the venue visits, I have been scouring the internet (particularly Pinterest) to come up with a list of important questions to ask.  After looking at many, many such lists, I wanted to share with you the questions I compiled that seemed to be important.  I only have questions related to using the space for a wedding reception, as we are having the ceremony at a church.  If you are planning to have your ceremony and reception at the same location you will have a separate list of questions related to the actual ceremony.

I divided them into two categories: questions that relate to the physical venue itself (and related policies) and questions that relate to how the venue handles food (all three have in house caterers, so we would not be hiring a separate caterer).  After you visit the venues you will have many, many (many) more questions based on the type of venue each specific one is, their individual policies, and your specific requirements based on your wedding plans and your guest list; but these offer a basic starting place for all venues.

Here they are:

Can we pay with credit card? Is there a surcharge?
Are there other service charges/fees (other than taxes; set up and breakdown fees)?  Is a gratuity included in the contracted amount or is that added above and beyond that amount?
Does the space rental fee have a time limit or is it for the whole evening? Can we add time?  What fees and costs does that incur?
Is there a suite/room for the bridal party to use?
Are linens, place settings, table chairs, etc. included in the rental fee?  Anything we will need to rent separately? Is anything else included in the space rental amount?
Is dance floor included in the price?
Do you have a preferred DJ? Do you have in house sound equipment we can use if we are doing our own music (and is there a fee associated with its use)?
Are photo booths allowed?
Are candles allowed? Do they have to be contained in glass (or can it be something else like a bird cage?)  What other kinds of décor is allowed or not allowed?
Will you set up and take down décor for us?  How early can we deliver it or show up to set it up?  Will you hold decor and presents for us overnight or does it have to be removed from the facility the night of the event?
How far in advance can vendors arrive for the event?
Who cleans up?
Is there guest parking? Valet? Does it cost extra?
Is there a shuttle to transport guests?
Are there photography restrictions (location, etc.)? Or areas we won’t have access to?
Is there a noise curfew?
Any extra permits necessary (liquor license)?
Will there be other events occurring that day?
Day of coordinator?
Can you help with overnight guest accommodations?  Do you have an agreement or relationship with any local hotels?


Is there a children’s rate and/or a vegetarian rate for meal?

Do you provide a discounted rate for food for vendors?

What are the bar options (signature cocktail?)? Can we provide our own alcohol?

Can we bring in outside cookies and sweets for a cookie table?

Photo Credit: Photo is from my friend Ashleigh‘s wedding, J&L Photography

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