Congratulations on your engagement!

The question has been popped, as well as the champagne, and now the planning has started! It’s important to make sure your vendors can make your dreams come true. Here are some important questions to make sure you ask your venue!

Is your preferred date available?

Obviously an important question, but it should be your first one, especially before you fall head-over-heels for your venue. If the date is not available, is there a waitlist or will you be willing to change your date?

Are there any other events booked that day?

Sometimes venues are big enough to host multiple events. If there is another event, will there be a “common ground” that’s shared between events? Will there be enough parking to accommodate both events?

Is there on-site parking?

Venues might not even offer on-site parking. If not, ask if they provide the transportation to and from the venue. Also, is there an extra cost for that?

How many hours will be the venue be available to you?

Make sure to ask about both the ceremony and reception time.

How many guests can comfortably fit?

Don’t ask about max capacity. Just because you CAN fit 800 people, doesn’t always mean you should!

How many people can comfortably sit for a meal?

Once again, max capacity is not always the answer. Some venues allow for a lot of room to dance, but not so much for sitting down. Make sure your guests will be comfortable doing both!

Is there a guest minimum?

For the micro-weddings, check with the venue to make sure you aren’t required to have a guest minimum. If so, sometimes venues will have smaller rooms available - and often cheaper!

Is there a backup plan in case of rain?

For the beautiful outdoor venues, is there another option in case of a storm? Summer time is less of a concern - but better to be prepared!

Will a bridal suite be available?

Where will you be getting ready? It’s so nice to have everything at one location! Ask if they have a bridal suite for you to get ready in and if they do, is it included or will it be extra?

Who does the setup and tear-down?

So, so important! If you only have the venue for 10 hours but you are also required to do the setup and tear-down, you’ll need to budget your time.

Do they have a preferred vendors list?

Venues are one of the first steps in planning a wedding. A lot of times, they will have preferred vendors that they have worked with in the past that could make planning a lot easier. If you have a different vendor, great! Just make sure the venue allows for that!

Are there any restrictions on decor?

Make sure that not only is the venue everything you want, but that the decor matches your dream style as well! Some venues will have decorations already in place, if you don’t love them, make sure to ask if they can be switched out.

Is catering included?

You’ll want to eat and so will your guests - make sure food is taken care of! Some venues will include catering, some will add it for an extra fee, and some will require you to obtain your own vendor.

What is the alcohol policy?

You’d be surprised at the limitations some venues have for alcohol consumption. If you want alcohol at your wedding, make sure the venue has everything they need to accommodate that!

Can you bring your own alcohol?

Maybe there is a cute little keg truck you want to rent - make sure the venue allows that. Sometimes there is a “corking fee” for bringing your own alcohol - be sure to ask about that too!

Do you need to hire a separate bar staff?

Ask if the bar staff will be included in the catering staff - if not, do they have a preferred company to hire? Or do they offer some of their employees for an additional fee?

Can they accommodate a band?

Or will you need to hire a DJ? Some venues have mic and speaker setups to make having a DJ super easy - do they offer that?

Are there any noise restrictions?

Especially if your venue is located in a residential area, check to see if there is a “quiet time” or if there are noise restrictions in place.

What is the payment schedule?

I know, no one likes talking about money, but its important! Most venues will allow for payment plans after making a deposit. Ask what their preferred schedule is and if there can be adjustments if it doesn’t fit with your timeline.

What is the cancellation policy?

Unfortunately, things happen and sometimes we have to reschedule or cancel events. Ask about their policy for unexpected cancellations. Ask if you’ll get your deposit back as well!

At the end of the day, as long as you are happy with your venue and the basics are covered - you really can make anything work for you. And as the old saying goes,

“If you never ask, the answer will always be no.”