Choosing the perfect location for your wedding is a huge part of your special day. Below are a few questions to ask potential venues to help you decide which wedding venue is right for you:
1. What location options are available for the wedding ceremony? Plan to schedule a tour of any facilities you are considering. Outdoor locations can include grassy areas, hillsides, woodsy locales, beachside services and more. When looking at indoor facilities, consider if you want the ceremony separate from the dinner and reception areas, seating configurations, lighting, etc. If you plan to be married in a church, does the venue allow you to have the service off-site?
2. How many guests can the facility accommodate? Whether planning a large or small wedding, it is important that the room you choose can comfortably accommodate the size of your group.
3. What items are included in the base price of the room rental and what other options are available? Base room rental pricing may include tables, chairs, linens, basic décor items, etc. Be sure to specify exactly what you are looking for and then get a list of resources from the facility for the extra items you would like. Additional options can include chair covers, specialty lighting, a dance floor, etc.
4. Do you have an on-site wedding planner? An on-site wedding planner will handle all of the details from the facility point of view. They will work with the various departments within a given venue to insure that everything is set-up and ready when requested.
5. What bad weather alternatives are available? It is critical to insure a bad weather back-up if you are planning an outdoor event. A facility should include the information on what the bad weather back-up will be in their contract. If your event is at a facility that does not have any bad weather back-up, you may have to consider renting a tent.
6. What facilities are available for day-of preparation? Plan to have a separate area that the wedding party can use for dressing, hair, make-up, etc. in preparation for the event.
7. What are the catering/food options? Is catering from an outside company acceptable? The food you will serve will be an important part of the experience you give your guests. Plan a tasting well in advance of the wedding to insure the menu will meet your expectations.
8. What deposits are required and what is the cancellation policy? This information should all be specified in the contract and it is important that you read and understand the conditions prior to signing the contract.
9. How early can we access the facility to decorate/drop things off? You do not want to spend your wedding day running around doing errands and decorating. Plan to get all of this done no later than the day before the wedding.
10. Is clean-up included in the price? If you are responsible for clean-up, find out when the facility has to be clean and all of your stuff removed. If it is the night of the party, you will have to schedule friends and family to help with this. If clean-up is included in the price, you will need to find out where they will store your personal items until you can pick them up.
11. What space is available for dancing? Find out if the facility provides a dance floor and if it is a part of the reception area space. Ask about the size of the dance floor and how many people it will accommodate.
12. Are there any hour limitations/curfews? The majority of facilities will have clearly defined ending times for music, dancing, the bar, etc. Those items should be specified in your contract.
13. Are there alcohol restrictions (can we bring our own)? Each facility will have a set of rules regarding the serving of alcohol. Get these rules in writing so there are no surprises the day of the event.
14. What parking is available for my guests? Close, convenient parking is ideal when deciding on a venue. Also, notice whether the parking area is paved or gravel as this will affect your guests trying to access the facility.