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Prospecting Wedding Venues ? Questions To Ask

Hey Gang, When prospecting wedding venues here are some questions to ask. Don't be shy as this is one of the most important decisions you'll be making. A good venue manager should be well educated ,enthusiastic and proud of the property they represent. If you're not feeling the love , move on to the next as we'll be working with them throughout the entire wedding planning process!

Let’s get this party started!!

  1. What dates are available in the month I'm considering?
  2. How many people can this location accommodate?
  3. What is the rental fee and what is included in that price? Is there a discount for booking an off-season date or Sunday through Friday?
  4. How much is the deposit, when is it due, and is it refundable? What's the payment plan for the entire bill?
  5. Can I hold my ceremony here, too? Is there an additional charge? Is the ceremony site close to the reception site? Are there changing areas for the bride and groom? How much time is allocated for the rehearsal?
  6. Is the site handicap accessible? (To be asked if you have guests with mobility issues.)
  7. What's the cancellation policy? NOTE: Some places will refund most of your deposit if you cancel far enough in advance, since there's still a chance they can rent the space. After a certain date, though, you may not be able to get a refund—at least not a full one.
  8. What's your weather contingency plan for outdoor spaces?
  9. How long will I have use of the event space(s) I reserve? Is there an overtime fee if I stay longer? Is there a minimum or maximum rental time?
  10. Can I move things around and decorate to suit my purposes, or do I have to leave everything as is? Are there decoration guidelines/restrictions? Can I use real candles? TIP: Keep the existing décor in mind when planning your own decorations so that they won't clash. If your event is in December, ask what the venue's holiday décor will be.
  11. What time can my vendors start setting up on the day of the wedding? Is it possible to start the setup the day before? How early can deliveries be made? How much time will I have for décor setup? Does the venue provide assistance getting gifts or décor back to a designated car, hotel room, etc. after the event has concluded?
  12. Do you provide a coat check service (especially important for winter weddings)? If not, is there an area that can be used and staffed for that purpose?
  13. Is there an outdoor space where my guests can mingle, and can it be heated and/or protected from the elements if necessary? Is there a separate indoor "socializing" space?
  14. Do you have an in-house caterer or a list of "preferred" caterers, or do I need to provide my own? Even if there is an in-house caterer, do I have the option of using an outside caterer instead?
  15. If I hire my own caterer, are kitchen facilities available for them? NOTE: Caterers charge extra if they have to haul in refrigerators and stoves.
  16. Are tables, linens, chairs, plates, silverware and glassware provided, or will I have to rent them myself or get them through my caterer?
  17. What is the food & beverage cost on a per-person basis? What is the tax and service charge?
  18. Can we do a food tasting prior to finalizing our menu selection? If so, is there an additional charge?
  19. Can I bring in a cake from an outside cake maker or must I use a cake made on the premises? Is there a cake-cutting fee? If I use a cake made on site is the fee waived? Do you provide special cake-cutting utensils?
  20. Can I bring my own wine, beer or champagne, and is there a corkage fee if I do? Can I bring in other alcohol?
  21. Are you licensed to provide alcohol service? If so, is alcohol priced per person? By consumption? Are there additional charges for bar staff? Is there a bar minimum that must be met before the conclusion of the event? What is the average bar tab for the number of people attending my event?
  22. Are there restrictions on what kind of music I can play, or a time by which the music must end? Can the venue accommodate a DJ or live band?  Is there parking on site? If so, is it complimentary? Do you offer valet parking, and what is the charge? If there is no parking on site, where will my guests park? Are cabs easily accessible from the venue? If a shuttle service is needed, can you assist with setting it up.How many restrooms are there?
  23. What security services do you offer? Do I need to hire my own security guards, or does the site hire them or have them on staff?
  24. Does the venue have liability insurance? NOTE: If someone gets injured during the party, you don't want to be held responsible—if the site doesn't have insurance, you'll need to get your own. For info on insurance, check out WedSafe or Markell  Wedding Insurance.
  25. Can I hire my own vendors (caterer, coordinator, DJ, etc.), or must I select from a preferred vendor list? If I can bring my own, do you have a list of recommended vendors?
  26. Do you have signage or other aids to direct guests to my event?
  27. Do you have a recycling policy?

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