50 Key Questions to Ask Your Wedding Venueby Miriam Portal
It’s easy to get swept up in the beauty of a potential wedding location. You may fall in love as soon as you step over the threshold, seeing your magical day unfold before your eyes. But the perfect wedding is both beautiful and organized. You want everything to go smoothly. So, let’s come down from that wedding high (just for a moment!) and talk about those the pesky logistical details.
Before you sign the dotted line, we’ve pulled together 50 key questions to ask your wedding venue. We recommend asking each of your potential wedding venues the same set of questions. That way, you’re comparing apples to apples. To stay organized, you may want to keep all the information in an online wedding tool (or a simple notebook if you’re low-tech).
Let’s start with a list of potential deal-breakers. In other words, questions that could quickly eliminate a wedding venue from the running. You may want to see if you can answer these questions online (or by phone), so you don’t spend time traveling to a venue that just won’t work for your needs. Here are common deal-breakers:
- Is your venue available on your preferred date(s)?
- What is the exact block of time we have access to the venue?
- Is there a back-up plan in case of bad weather? (And can you live with that, if it happens?)
- How far is your venue from the ceremony location?
- Can you have the ceremony there?
- What’s your venue’s capacity?
- Is this venue accessible for elderly or disabled guests?
- Does the venue allow a DJ or live band? Do you have space for dancing?
- Do you have a liquor license?
- How much is the initial deposit?
Every wedding venue is different when it comes to catering. Some have their own caterers, while others partner with local, trusted vendors. In some cases, they may require that you use their preferred caterers. It’s important to understand any restrictions so you’re not surprised later. If the wedding venue does provide their own catering services, be sure to ask these questions:
- Do you have catering packages? What is included in each package?
- Is there a food or beverage minimum?
- How is the food served to guests? (Buffet, family style, individual plates)
- Do you have set menus or can we work with you to determine the main courses and side dishes?
- Do you offer appetizers?
- Can you accommodate special diets?
- What non-alcoholic drinks do you serve with meals?
- Do you provide a wedding cake? Is there a fee for cutting?
- Do you provide tastings? Is there a fee?
- How many wait staff will there be?
Many wedding venues offer their own catering services or they partner with preferred vendors. Make sure the pricing is itemized so you can compare with other venues that don’t offer catering.
If you want to serve alcohol at your reception, knowing whether the venue has a liquor license is your first question. And depending on the answer, it could be a deal-breaker. If they do, here are some questions to ask about serving alcohol to guests:
- Do you offer bartending packages, either as part of the catering service or separately?
- Can we bring our own alcohol?
- Do you provide a cash bar or open bar?
- Are there restrictions on what kind of alcohol you can serve?
- Can my guests order shots?
- Will the bartenders expect tips?
- Can the bar accept credit cards?
While some venues require very little work due to their existing decor, others might be an empty space ready for your special touch. Or, you may want to add a few small details. Here are some questions to ask your wedding venue about the decorations and set-up:
- What are your decorating restrictions?
- What decorations do you provide? Are there fees to rent them?
- When can we start decorating?
- Do you provide centerpieces, linens, and/or place cards for the tables?
- What are the options for table settings?
- Do you have different table sizes? How many people can sit at one table?
It’s the little details that make the wedding. Be sure to ask what decorations they provide – and what you can and can’t do, so you’re happy with the final look.
It’s important to choose a wedding venue that’s convenient and comfortable for your guests. These are the little details that make or break your big day! By asking these questions, you can ensure an enjoyable experience for everyone who attends.
- How far are the hotel accommodations from the venue?
- Do you offer shuttle services or can you recommend them?
- What is your parking capacity?
- Do you offer valet services?
- How many bathrooms do you have?
- Is there a convenient smoking area?
- Do you offer a coat check?
To make sure your wedding day flows smoothly, your wedding venue should be prepared (and experienced) working with your vendors. These questions will help you confirm that the venue will collaborate with everyone on your wedding team.
- Will we have a single point of contact on the day of the event?
- (If an external caterer) When can the caterer arrive to set up? Who is their contact?
- Where should we direct any day-of deliveries?
- When can the DJ get in to set up?
- Are there any restrictions on where the photographer can go?
- Do you have any restrictions related to electricity or other hook-ups?
A great wedding venue will be ready for anything! Ask about how they handle unexpected events, whether that’s an accident or inclement weather. These questions are especially critical if you’re planning an outdoor wedding.
- What is your cancelation policy?
- Does your facility have insurance?
- Are there outdoor covered areas such as canopies or tents in case of rain?
- Do you have a generator for power outages?
With these 50 questions to ask your wedding venue, you can feel confident that you’ve covered all your bases and can make the right decision. If you’re looking for a wedding venue in Miami, Grand Salon Reception Halls & Ballrooms is a luxurious destination that your guests will never forget. Contact our event coordinator and tell us all about your dream wedding. We want to bring it to life!