Booking your venue is one of the most exciting parts of planning a wedding. As you tour potential venues, it’s easy to start visualizing your big day.
It’s also easy to forget the questions you want to ask the wedding venue coordinator.
That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive list of everything you’ll want to ask your wedding venue. With this list on hand, you’ll bring a level of preparedness rivaled only by Jennifer Lopez in The Wedding Planner. Print it out and bring it along on each tour, so you can get all your questions answered!
Questions to ask a wedding venue before booking
There’s a lot to consider when choosing a wedding venue. Pick the right one by asking the right questions upfront. Don’t be shy; ask them everything!
General booking questions
- What dates do you have available during our preferred month? Do you have discounts during off-season months, morning weddings, or Friday or Sunday weddings?
- How far in advance can we reserve a date for our wedding?
- What’s the latest date we can make a change to our reservation?
- Is there a capacity limit? How many guests can we invite?
- Can you host other events besides the reception, such as the ceremony, rehearsal dinner, or day-after festivities?
- If we host our ceremony here, how does the rehearsal work?
- If we book an outdoor space, what’s the contingency plan in case of bad weather?
- Do you have changing rooms for the bride and groom? Can we book additional space for the wedding party?
- Do you have event liability insurance, or do we need to have our own?
- Are there any upgrades or perks available to the newlyweds, such as a massage at a partner hotel?
- How many events do you typically host in one day? How do you handle the crossover, and prevent confusion among the guests?
- Can you share photos of other weddings similar to ours?
- What is included in the base booking fee?
- How many hours does the booking fee include? Is it possible to extend our booking for an additional fee?
- What is the absolute earliest we can arrive, and latest we can leave?
- Is the deposit refundable? How much is it, and when is it due?
- When is the remainder of the booking fee due?
- Can you share the details of your cancellation policy? How early do we have to cancel to receive our deposit back?
- If there’s something in the package we do not want, can we substitute or remove it?
- For venues that host multiple events, can we do a complete buyout of the space?
- What payment methods do you accept?
- Can you share a sample contract with me to review?
Food and drink questions
- Is catering provided in-house? If not, do you have a preferred vendor list we can review?
- If we hire an outside caterer, does the venue provide a kitchen for them?
- What meal options are available? Do you offer buffets or seated dinners? How many courses? What about desserts and late-night snacks? What is the price per guest?
- Are you able to accommodate dietary restrictions?
- Do we have to use the in-house vendor for our cake or can we use an outside vendor?
- Is there a cake-cutting fee? Can it be waived if we cut our own cake?
- Is a food tasting included, or does it cost extra?
- Do we have to meet a food and beverage minimum? What is the tax and service charge?
- Do you have an alcohol license, or do we need to bring our own vendor?
- Can we have a full bar?
- What is the cost for an open bar? Is there a minimum charge?
- Can we pre-stock the bar with our own wine, beer, champagne, or hard liquor? Is there a corkage fee?
- Does the venue provide tables, chairs, linens, dishware, silverware, and glassware? If not, what do we need to rent or ask our caterer to bring?
- How many wait staff will be working for a wedding of our size?
- Are there any additional food or alcohol-related charges we should know about, such as a bar staffing fee?
- What, if any, decorations are included in the booking fee?
- Can we bring in additional decorations, such as string lights or centerpieces? When and where can we drop these off?
- Are there any restrictions on outside decor, such as confetti, sparklers, candles, food trucks, beer donkeys, or lawn games?
- In case of cold weather, are heaters, umbrellas, or covered tents provided for outdoor weddings?
- Do you provide in-house flowers or have a preferred vendor? Can we scatter petals on the floor or ground?
- Does your staff assist with setup or breakdown? To what extent?
- Are there any restrictions on how we can rearrange the space?
- Do we have to work with your in-house or preferred vendors, or can we hire our own? What type of event vendor insurance do you require?
- Is on-site coordination available? If so, what services are included?
- Are there any vendors I’m required to hire, such as an officiant?
- Can we bring an outside DJ or live band?
- Do you have in-house photography or videography services, or should we hire our own?
- Do you offer security services to prevent wedding crashers? Is there an additional cost?
- When can our vendors arrive for setup?
- What does the flow of the event look like, from ceremony to cocktail hour to reception? Will you be moving furniture around during the ceremony?
- Are there any noise restrictions we should know about?
- Is parking included, or can we add it for an additional fee?
- What accommodations are available for guests with disabilities or mobility issues?
- Is there a designated smoking area?
- How many restrooms do you have? If you host multiple events, are any reserved just for our guests? Can we rent portable restrooms?
- For hotel venues, do you offer a discounted group rate for hotels? How many rooms do we have to reserve? Can we arrange for Welcome Bags to be provided upon check-in? Is a room included for the newlyweds?
- For non-hotel venues, do you partner with any hotels where we can get a discount?
- For winter weddings, is a coat check available?
- Do you have an audio/visual system? What about microphones for speakers?
- For adult-only weddings, is childcare available?
Questions to ask wedding venue after booking
You’ve booked your wedding venue. Congratulations! Over the next few months, as you put together your guest list and choose your vendors, make sure everything’s in order by asking your venue these questions.
- Who will be our main point of contact during the planning process? Can we meet them now?
- What information do we need to share with our outside vendors? Will they need to access a service elevator or separate entrance? Will we be charged if they drop-off or pick-up items during the days before or after our wedding?
- Can we visit during another wedding to see what the setup is like and hear the sound system?
- Where will the seating chart be displayed?
- Where will the gift table and cardbox be located? Are any decorations provided?
- How many people can sit at one table? Do we need to provide place cards?
- Can we prepare a specialty drink as the newlyweds?
- How would you recommend guests get to the event? Do you partner with cabs, rideshares, or shuttle services? Are there any traffic tips we can pass on to our guests?
Questions to ask wedding venue at the final meeting
The big day is getting close, and there are only a few more questions to ask. Follow up on the questions below and ask about anything else that’s on your mind.
- Who will be our main point of contact on the day of our wedding? Can we meet them?
- Can we visit a few days before our wedding to show the space to our vendors?
- Will you provide signage to direct guests to our wedding, or do we need to bring our own?
- What else can we do now to avoid surprises on the big day?
- Can you confirm how much money is still owed and when payment is due?
There you have it: all the questions you need to ask your wedding venue to make your wedding everything you’ve dreamt it will be.