A Must Have List Of Questions To Ask Your Wedding Venue

Image and Styling Jesse and Jessie Weddings 

Image and Styling Jesse and Jessie Weddings 

One of the biggest wedding planning frustrations I come across is brides and vendors not communicating properly!

It is so important to ensure you and your vendors are 100% on the same page if in doubt,  ask. It pays not to assume anything and get as much as you possibly can in writing!

Eight months into my wedding planning the wedding coordinator at our venue quit without notice. Imagine my shock when I sent a question and got a generic bounce back email saying they were no longer with the company.

I quickly learnt they had passed NOTHING onto the replacement and I was so glad I had Kept an email trail of our agreements as it seemed I had been grossly overpromised, luckily they came to the party and eventually kept to the original agreements. 

This list of questions is comprehensive and covers a fairly formal venue, however, most of it applies no matter where you choose. Use it as a point by point checklist or just refer to it as a starting guide whatever suits you! 

General

  • Are you hiring a room or a whole venue with staff and catering?
  • Is there an in-house wedding coordinator? If there is a coordinator, will they be there for the duration of the reception?
  • Who will actually be there to run everything on the day?
  • Do you have a one wedding per day policy?
  • Is the venue available for exclusive use?
  • If so, is there a minimum amount of guests that have to book accommodation for exclusivity?
  • Are there any changes planned to the building before the wedding (renovations, painting etc)?
  • How many guests can each area accommodate sitting/ standing?
  • What are their wedding packages and what is included?
  • How flexible are your packages?
  • How long are you able to have the room? 
  • What rooms are included? Bathrooms, bridal party rooms, lounge area, cocktail area, and coatroom?
  • Is there a designated smoking area?
  • Is an outdoor area included for a cocktail reception?
  • Is the room accessible for disabled guests?
  • Is there a secure area to store the wedding gifts and bridal party personal items etc?
  • Are their different prices for holidays, weekdays etc?

 

Set-Up

  • Exactly what time do I/ vendors have access?
  • What does a typical layout of the room on the wedding day look like?
  • Do they have photographs to show you of other receptions?
  • Can you come back and see it set up for another wedding?
  • Who is the main venue contact for day of wedding?
  • Is there anything you need to bring in that they do not have?

 

Decorations

  • Exactly what crockery/linen/cutlery is provided as part of the package?
  • What type of tables do you have (shape, size, top table), How many will they seat? Are there different options?
  • Is any décor/stationery provided (menus, centrepieces, red carpet, flowers, cake stand)? Are there alternatives available?
  • Can I move things around and decorate to suit my purposes, or do I have to leave everything as is?
  • If you want to set up and decorate the venue the day before the wedding ask if you can gain access
  • Can we hang things on the wall or from the ceilings?
  • Do we need to bring in a contractor to hang decor or lights?
  • Are there decorating restrictions/ Will the decorating time be charged?
  • Can the centerpieces contain candles?
  • What do they use for table settings?
  • Can you see a copy of the room table layout?
  • Are there booster seats or high chairs available for children?
  • Are you required to return the room to the original layout at the end of the night?
  • Do they have an area to store decorations that you can collect the following day?

 

Food

  • What are the Meal options?
  • Can we bring in our own caterers? Can they use the kitchen facilities?
  • Will the meal be buffet or plated? If so how many courses?
  • Can you choose to have a cocktail reception instead of a sit down dinner?
  • Are there any additional charges for bar staff or waiting staff?
  • Can we specify the meal time?
  • Do you cater for special dietary requirements? Coeliacs? Vegetarians?
  • Is there a late night food option, what time is it served?
  • Who will sere the food, are you expected to provide staff? If so how many?
  • Do they provide in-house catering? If not, do they have a preferred list of caterers?
  • How many choices can you offer your guests for meals?
  • How many days prior to the wedding date do you need to confirm catering numbers?

 

Cake

  • Do they provide a cake table?
  • When Can it be Delivered?
  • Do they provide a cutting knife?
  • Is there a cake-cutting fee?
  • Will the kitchen staff cut the cake and serve it?
  • Can we bring a cake from another baker?
  • Can cake be served in place of dessert? Does this reduce the per head cost?

 

Alcohol

  • Where is the cocktail hour or drinks reception held?
  • Can we serve signature cocktails?
  • Does the venue have a liquor license to serve alcohol?
  • Does the venue provide the alcohol and bar service?
  • What drinks are included in the pricing?
  • Do they provide a cash bar or an open bar?
  • Does the venue hire the bartenders and is there a charge per bartender?
  • Do they charge for unopened bottles after the reception? Can you return them?
  • Are there any restrictions on the type or quantity of alcohol to be served?
  • Can wine be given as a party favour?
  • Can you bring in your own or do they have a wine list?
  • Do they have an area to serve champagne on arrival, can this be arranged?
  • Can a low or non alcoholic option be provided?
  • Is a complimentary menu and wine tasting included? How many people can attend?
  • How much wine/champagne/tea & coffee is included per person?
  • Wine choices – what are the wine choices and what are the upgrade costs?
  • Do you charge a corkage fee?
  • Is the champagne toast complimentary?
  • Is there a late bar? How late will the bar be open?
  • Is there a charge for a bar extension?

 

Music/Dancing

  • What area is available for a dance floor, will furniture need to be moved to accommodate?
  • Can you bring in a band or DJ?
  • When can the band set up?
  • Can I hook an iPod or laptop up to your sound system?
  • What do they have for a sound system? Speakers, microphones, etc.?
  • When can the band or DJ set up?
  • How many people does the dance floor accommodate?
  • What time do they allow the music to play until?
  • Are there sound restrictions outside?

 

Payment

  • What is the total cost and what is required for a deposit?
  • Do they offer payment plans?
  • What type of payment can they take – cash, check, credit card?
  • What it their cancellation policy?
  • Do you provide security?
  • Are there any additional costs we need to be aware of?

 

Insurance

  • What are the insurance requirements for you and your vendors?
  • Does the venue have its own liability insurance coverage?

 

Photography

  • Are there any photograph or video restrictions?
  • What suggestions do they have for locations to photograph?
  • Rain Back-up Plan (for outdoor locations)
  • Do they have outdoor covered areas such as canopies or tents in case of rain?
  • Do they have indoor space available if you need to move people outside to inside?
  • Do they have a generator for power outages?

 

Ceremony

  • Can the venue accommodate the ceremony?
  • Are the ceremony and reception held in the same room or separate rooms?
  • If same room, what can be expected for set up and take down to switch over from the ceremony to the reception?
  • Does the venue provide the seating for the ceremony?
  • What is the cost to have both the ceremony and reception at the venue?
  • Are you able to have a rehearsal at the venue and a rehearsal dinner?
  • Can rose petals / confetti be thrown?

 

Clean Up

  • Will the venue take care of all cleaning before and afterwards?
  • Can they keep decorations to be collected the following day?
  • Will they clean all public areas, bathrooms, gardens etc prior to your event, is this included in the cost?
  • What time are all guests required to leave?
  • What is the policy for breakages or damages?

 

Parking

  • Where do guests park and how many spots are available?
  • Is there valet?
  • Is there a cost to park?
  • What else is going on that night that may make it difficult for guests to park?