Choosing your wedding venue is one of the most important “vendor” decisions that you are going to make for your wedding day. This is a place where you will spend the most time with your guests and you obviously want to love where you will be celebrating your special day. Here are some important questions to ask your wedding venue before putting down the deposit to secure your wedding day.
What is the maximum capacity for your room? You don’t want to end up switching your room last minute because your guest list doubled and you thought that everyone was going to fit. Another important question to ask is what is the minimum capacity for your room? You don’t want your room to look empty on your wedding day either.
What is the cancellation policy? You might not be thinking about it right now, but you never know what can happen down the road…
If you are booking an outdoor space, what is your weather contingency plan? This is crucial because you don’t want to be coming up with a Plan B last minute.
Can you hold the ceremony at the venue? If yes, is there an additional charge? No one wants to be hit with additional fee for a ceremony, therefore know your additional costs before you sign the contract.
What is included in your contract? Will your venue provide linens? If yes, do they have colors that you can choose from? If you are using outside caterer, is there an additional fee to use your venue’s kitchen? Will the venue provide coat check and valet parking or is that something additional that you have to pay for? Will there be a bathroom attendant? How about security? Will the gratuity for the staff on your wedding day be included on your final bill or is that something you have to take care of on your own?
Does the venue allow candles? If you plan to have votive candles as part of your wedding décor, make sure that the venue allows it first. Some venues only allow electronic candles, which will look a little different from the natural candle light, so make sure you know what your venue allows beforehand.
Fog Machines. Same story here, if you are set on having a fog machine for your wedding day, you have to make sure fire alarms are not going to go off from the smoke.
Is there a wedding before or during your ceremony/reception? If there is, you want to make sure that yours guests are not going to be confused where to go and hopefully you will not be seeing the other bride on your wedding day. If the venue has beautiful grounds and you planned to take pictures outdoors, you need to make sure that the other bride is not planning her photo session at the same time as you are.
How much time do your vendors have to set up before your event? This is important because each vendor needs to have access to the room beforehand to make sure that the sound is tested and all of the tables are properly set up with your planned décor, etc.
Do you have a bridal suite that you can use to get ready? You need to know where you will be getting ready and if your bridesmaids plan to get ready with you beforehand. This way your venue can tell you ahead of time if all of your bridal party can fit in the same room with you, if only you and your mom/grandmother can stay in the room or if they don’t even provide a bridal suite to begin with. Another good question to ask your wedding venue is where can the guys hang out before the ceremony/reception?
Can you use outside vendors? Most of the wedding venues will provide you with their preferred vendor list, but just in case you already have your mind set on a particular photographer or bakery that you would like to make your wedding cake, you need to make sure that outside vendors are allowed.