Questions you should ask when selecting a wedding venue
Last updated: January 1
When you consider all the elements involved in wedding planning, your venue selection is one of the biggest decisions to make. Preparing a list of questions to ask potential venues can help you find the right fit for your vision. Here are some questions to consider asking as you compare venues to host your big day.
What's included in the rental fee?
When seeking out a venue, setting a budget is a good place to start. Then, ask venues what's included in their rental fee, says Brides.com. Some items, such as tables and chairs, linens or the use of a sound system, may not be included in a base fee. Or, if elements like these are included, keep in mind they may consist of basic colors or styles, and you may need to pay an extra fee to upgrade the items, says Brides.com. Additionally, ask if the venue has a caterer that you're required to use, and if any food or beverage costs are included in the rental fee. Remember that if they do have an exclusive caterer, you may be subject to a minimum spend, adds Brides.com.
How many guests can the venue accommodate?
An event venue can look large and spacious when it's empty, says The Knot. Think about how the space will accommodate your guests, and if it may still feel roomy and comfortable when your wedding is underway. Brides.com suggests having a general idea of your guest list count in advance, so you can determine if the minimum or maximum guest capacity works for your needs.
What can I expect on my special day?
One way to get a feel for how a potential venue would work for your wedding is to tour it. Doing so can help you get a feel of the venue's layout and theme, and if it suits your vision and needs. You should also address the venue's parking and accessibility, says Brides.com — for example, is there a large parking lot to accommodate all your guests? If it's an outdoor venue, is there restroom access for guests? You may also want to inquire about whether the space is private or open to the public, or if it's a shared venue space (which means that more than one wedding can occur on the same night), so you know what to expect.
MarthaStewart.com also recommends asking about some of the more intangible aspects of the day. Are there time restrictions on setup, or does the wedding need to end by a certain time? Be sure to find out if there any local noise ordinances in place, as well.
What happens in the event of an unforeseen circumstance?
Even well-planned events can unexpectedly go awry, whether due to family emergency or severe weather. Plan to ask each venue what their policy is when it comes to moving or canceling a wedding date, or what their "Plan B" option is, recommends The Knot. For example, if you plan an outdoor reception, but the weather does not cooperate, what happens?
You may also want to look into special event insurance to help protect your wedding investment. Event insurance may help reimburse you for lost deposits and other fees if you're forced to unexpectedly cancel or postpone your wedding.
Is a wedding coordinator provided by the venue?
Ask potential venues if they provide a coordinator or point person to help you before or on the day of your wedding, recommends Brides.com. If they do, it may be a good idea to confirm exactly what the coordinator helps with. Do they assist you with wedding details along the way, such as coordinating vendor meetings or helping you find the right linens? Or do they only help on the day of the wedding? It's also important to ask whether you can expect assistance from the coordinator when it comes to setting up and tearing down your decor and rental items.
Preparing a list of questions to ask potential wedding venues may help make your decision easier. Take time to consider your needs and what's important to you, so you can choose a venue that helps make your big day exactly what you've dreamed of.