If you’re in the midst of wedding planning, it’s probably not news to you that picking out a venue is a big deal! In fact, it’s probably one of the things that you need to do first to ensure that you get the venue you want! It may even be important enough that you’d plan your wedding date around whether or not your desired venue is available. It’s a huge part of the day and sets the tone for your wedding, so it’s worth it to do everything you can to make sure that it’s the perfect fit for you and your guests! If you’re still in the process of picking a venue, or solidifying your plans, here are some important questions that should be asked!
1.What is their maximum capacity?
This is a question that you’d want to ask before you decide on a venue or sign any contracts. Wedding receptions are about celebrating with your family and friends, so it’s important to pick a venue based on the number of people on your guest list versus deciding how many you can have on your guest lists based on the capacity of your venue. Get as close as you can on numbers with your guest list before you solidify your venue. You can also ask the venue manager how they decide on their maximum capacity! Some places have their capacity at a number that’s comfortable for moving around the space, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t some wiggle room. Some capacities are based on the amount of round tables that can fit, but maybe you could squeeze more if you did long tables. Regardless, knowing a venue’s maximum capacity will probably make or break the venue for you so it’s important to know this information right off the bat!
2. What event materials do they provide?
If the venue that you’re looking at is specific to weddings or special events, chances are high that they will have some of the materials that you need! Whether it’s tables, chairs, decorations, sound equipment, plate ware, etc. it’s good to know what they offer. This will help to explain the pricing, and will give you a good idea of what other vendors you’ll need to be looking for. Often if a venue doesn’t have things like tables and chairs in-house, they will have a preferred vendor that they’ll send you to that will hopefully have a discount for the space you’re using. If the venue does provide these materials, it wouldn’t hurt to ask if there would be a reduction in the price if you chose to get those things from someplace else! While it’s more convenient to have things in one place, you may find a better price for things like decorations outside of your venue. It’s worth it to ask questions and do some research for yourself.
3. Do they have a preferred list of caterers or vendors?
Wedding venue managers have the advantage of having worked with almost everyone in the industry! This means that they will have great recommendations for you and may even have a compiled list of people that they think are the best to work with. Keep in mind that it’s important to still be cautious with this list. There’s always a chance they are paying to be “sponsored” by this venue and that’s why they’re being recommended to you. Do your best to find the balance between asking questions of your event manager and doing research for yourself to ensure that they’re a good fit!
4. What staff do they provide?
Another thing that is potentially included in the price that you’re paying for the space is provided staff to assist with the event. Things like setting up, parking, serving food, clearing tables, and general cleanup are all tasks that your venue may have a staff to help with. This is good to know because, again, it lets you know what you’ll have to look elsewhere for. It also helps you understand what you’re paying for. Some of those items are essential to a wedding day and you’ll want to be confident that someone is doing these things on the big day! If it can be their staff, this is incredibly convenient and I think worth the cost!
5. Do they have restrictions on anything?
Hopefully, the answer to this question is no! But some venues have restrictions on alcohol served, noise volume, curfews, etc. Every venue is different so it’s important to figure out some of the policies of the venue you’re working with! I’ve even heard of certain venues having restrictions on flash photography which is something that you would need to be aware of to let your photographer know.
6. What is the curfew for being out of the building?
Every venue will have some type of curfew! Whether it’s the last call on drinks, or you need to be out of the building by a certain time or something else. This is important to be aware of as it will be an important part of your wedding timeline. Along with this, it’s important to ask if you need to have all of your decorations and possessions out of the building at curfew on the night of the wedding or if you’re able to leave them there overnight. It’s obviously incredibly preferred if you’re able to come back the next day rather than having to gather up everything to be out of the building by their cutoff time. Some venues will also offer extra hours for an additional hourly cost, which may be worth it if you know that your crew is going to be one that’s going to want to dance the night away!
7. Will you be able to come in and set up in advance?
It’s important to be able to plan when you’re going to set up your space. Some venues won’t let you in before the day of the wedding and others will let you come days in advance if they don’t have anything on their schedule. Being able to set up in advance makes the day of your wedding much less stressful and allows for you to just show up and have everything ready for you! When you know in advance whether or not this will be an option, you can spend time trying to find friends or family who will be able to set up the space for you so it’s not something you or the wedding party has to be doing on the morning of the wedding!
8. How accessible is the building?
Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life, so of course, you’re going to want to have friends or family members needing handicap accessible accommodations to be able to attend! This means asking questions when you see stairs or high surfaces to see if there are alternatives and how they can have similar access by different means. For example, if there are stairs involved, in getting to your space there should be an elevator as well. You’ll also want to ask this question in advance so that you’re able to let people know if they need to use an alternative route for any reason.
9. Do they have a room for the bridal party to get ready in and/or hang out in before the event?
You may already have plans to get ready someplace else, but some venues have really cool rooms to use for your bridal party to get ready in. Or you could use this space to have a home base to keep everyone’s things or to hide in before the ceremony. A bonus is that often these rooms have really great lighting that your photographer will love! This doesn’t mean that you have to use this room, but if it’s something that’s being included in the price of the venue, you at least will want to know that it’s an option! Even if it’s just a place to put everyone’s phones and wallets for the night, you at least want to know that it’s there.
10. What is their deadline for final numbers?
It’s easy to remember that your caterer needs to know your final numbers before the wedding, but it’s a little harder to remember that your venue also needs that number as well. Especially if they’re setting up the room for you, you’ll need to tell them how many seats are needed. If they don’t tell you upfront when they need that information, make sure to ask them when they’d like to know the final count! This will probably involve reaching out to quite a few people who forgot to RSVP but it’ll be worth it to get that done a few weeks in advance so it’s another thing off your plate.
I’m sure this has been said before, but when it comes to wedding vendors you truly can’t overcommunicate. Chances are that you’re not going to ask them a question that they’ve never been asked before. Make sure that you have all the information that you think is necessary to ensure that the venue lives up to your expectations for your big day!
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