Choosing a venue can be difficult and at times confusing. Your venue is your first choice (and often an expensive one). Also, your venue will play a huge role in your other vendor selections and event styling. You want to be sure you are choosing the right one for your wedding. To help ensure you have all of the information necessary to inform your decision, I recommend asking the following questions to help you truly evaluate which one is the best fit for you.
Am I able to choose my own vendors, or do you have a preferred list of vendors I need to choose from. If you have a preferred list, are there fee's associated with choosing vendors that are NOT on the list? P.S. If you are required to choose from their list of caterers, or if they have an in-house caterer, get catering quotes before you sign the contract for the venue, just so you can see the full picture.
Am I able to bring in my own food or desserts or do I need to use a licensed caterer?
What rentals are included in the rental price? (Chairs, tables, linens, etc)
Are there set up or room flip fee's?
Are there limits to the alcohol we can consume. (Some venue's only allow beer and wine)
Are there music restrictions? (Some noise laws require music to be off at 10)
How many hours is the rental for? Does that include set up and clean up time? How much is it to add on additional hours?
What is the parking situation for guests?
Are there areas for the bridal party to get ready
Do you require clients to provide additional liability insurance?
What is your refund policy should the wedding get cancelled or should you the venue not to be able to hold my wedding?
How can I get the rental price reduced. (always ask the question)
What decor limitations/rules are there? (Can things be hung, taped, etc)
How many guests can this venue COMFORTABLY fit? Is that for a sit down reception or cocktail style reception?
Do you have public wifi access? (this is important for DJ's)
Are there additional fee's for my vendors? Do they pay you a fee for working here?
For those of you who are booking a venue in a state with a sales tax, ask the venue coordinator what services/goods will be taxed. Clarify what the tax rate is.
Ask the venue coordinator what their role is? Do they decorate the space for you?
If this is an outside venue, ask what the rain/bad weather plan is? Does that work for your estimated guest count? What additional charges does that entail.(Cost of tent rentals etc)
What is the most common complaint of your customers? (This is a good question to get some honest insight)
Choosing the venue can take some time, but hopefully these questions can make you feel confident in your choice. If you ever want to sit down and review venue contracts, or talk to us about which venue's we recommend, just give us a call or shoot us an email. We are here to help!
Congratulations on your engagement, and good luck. I hope you find your perfect place to say "I Do!"