Wedding Venue Checklist – 15 essential questions to ask before you book.
You need to ask your wedding venue questions before you sign on the dotted line. It’s your wedding. One of the most memorable events in a lifetime. Months of planning, sometimes years. Go into making sure everything is right.
With as much as 50% of your budget going toward your wedding venue alone, you want to make sure it is as dreamy as possible. And avoid costly mistakes.
Here you will find 100 must-know questions to ask your wedding venue. The guide also includes a “pre-visit” list of questions. A sort of “wedding venue guide within the guide.”
1. Check Availability & Time Constraints.
- When is the space available? Is the calendar open on (or around) my target date?
- How long do we have for set up and break down?
- What time can we enter the venue?
- What time must we leave?
- Are extra hours an option?
- If so, is there an extra charge for the additional hours? How much?
- Will we be the only group in the building or will other events be happening, too?
3. Be Clear on Cost and Payments.
- What is included in your quoted total?
- How much is the deposit?
- When is the deposit due?
- How does the payment schedule work?
- Is there an added charge for using my own vendors?
- Are there wedding packages available?
- What do the packages include and how much do they cost?
- Are the prices lower if I choose a date in the off-season or time frame 0ther than a Saturday night?
- Are chairs, tables, tablecloths, and other furnishings & rentals included in the price?
- Are breakdown and cleanup included, or are we required to do that ourselves?
4. Ask About Insurance Requirements.
- What are my insurance requirements?
- What about insurance for any vendors I bring into the venue?
- Do you, the venue managers, have insurance coverage for my event?
5. Parking and Available Rooms.
- What is your capacity?
- Where do guests park?
- Is parking free or included in the contract?
- If not, who pays for parking?
- Is there a valet?
- If so, how are attendants’ tips handled?
- Is your venue accessible via public transportation?
- Is there heating or air conditioning controls we can access?
- If this is a non-traditional wedding venue, are there electric and kitchen facilities?
- What are the accommodations for disabled guests?
- What are the restrooms’ sizes and layout?
- Will the restrooms easily accommodate a large or long bridal gown?
- Are there changing tables for babies?
- What will the room layout look like?
- Where will guests sit?
- Where will the dance floor be relative to seating?
- What rooms are included in the rental?
- Is there a designated smoking area?
- Is there a secure area for wedding gifts?
- Does the venue have a backup generator in case the power goes out?
- How large are the guest tables?
- How many can comfortably be seated at each?
- Are there seating accommodations for the kids (booster seats and high chairs)?
6. Questions to Ask Related to the Wedding Ceremony.
- Can I hold both the ceremony and reception here?
- If so, what is the cost to have both the ceremony and reception at the venue?
- Will the ceremony be held in a separate room?
- Does the contract include seating for the ceremony (if applicable)?
- Can I have a rice or petal toss?
7. Your Wedding Contact/Wedding Coordinator.
- Is there a coordinator on staff?
- Will the coordinator be here during my event?
- Who will be my main contact person?
- What’s the alternate plan if it rains?
- What are your guidelines for setting up and taking down before and after the wedding?
- Do you help or provide full service? Or is it all up to us?
8. Are There Any Photographer or Videographer Limitations?
- Do you have restrictions on where photographs or video are taken?
- Are there any other media guidelines?
- What are the best vantage points for photography?
- Do you have photos of other weddings I can see?
9. Food and Drink.
- Do you have an in-house caterer?
- Can we arrange for a tasting?
- Is there a cost for tastings?
- Can we (or is it required that we) bring in our own caterer?
- What drinks, if any, are provided?
- Do you charge per drink or per person?
- Is there a list of approved vendors?
- Can I use my own preferred vendors?
- What are the different ways food can be served? Buffet? Plates? Family style?
- Do cost procedures differ according to the serving style?
- How many, if any, waiting staff will be provided?
- Do you provide a storage location in the back for the cake?
- Is a cutting knife available?
- Do you charge a cake plating fee?
10. Bar & Alcohol Questions.
- Do you have a liquor license for the venue?
- Can we bring our own alcohol?
- What liquor do you (or can you) include in our package?
- What setups do you provide?
- What bar options are available? Open bar? Cash?
- Do you provide bartenders?
- If so, is the bartender’s wage included in the contract?
- Or is each bartender an extra charge?
- What about the charge for unopened bottles? Will I be charged for those?
- Is there an extra corkage fee, a charge for opening the bottles, if I bring my own wine?
- Can I have any type or amount of alcohol at the reception?
- Are there other alcoholic beverage-related restrictions?
11. Music & Entertainment.
- Can I bring my own DJ, band, or soloist?
- What is your sound system like? Do you provide microphones, speakers, and other equipment?
- How far in advance can musicians set up?
- How large is the dance floor and how many can dance at once?
- When must the music end?
12. Wedding Venue Decoration.
- Are furnishings/decoration rentals available? Or are those included in the contract?
- Do I provide my own place cards?
- Can the centrepieces contain candles?
- Are there any rules against certain décor?
13. Overnight/Guest Accommodation.
- Do you have overnight rooms or partner with local hotels?
- What are the room rates?
- Is there a wedding discount for blocks of rooms?
2. Wedding Venue Contract Procedures.
- Can I read your standard contract?
- What’s your cancellation policy?
- What is the last date we can make changes to the reservation?
- Does gratuity cover everyone?
- Is it customary to tip some staff extra?
15. Always End With.
- The key wedding venue question is “Are there any additional rules or restrictions we haven’t discussed”?
Before you search for your wedding venue.
If you want your venue search and selection to go smoothly, preparation is key.
Something as simple as a questions checklist about your preferences, along with a budget, can help narrow your options. And assure you end up with the place of your dreams without breaking the bank.
Wedding Photography by Bryan.
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