When visiting venues, it’s sometimes easy to get caught up in the moment and not know how to wisely choose one. Here are some questions that you will want to ask on your visits.
Do you have a set-up and tear-down crew? You don’t want to find out at the last minute that you and your family (or bridal consultant) will be doing this.
How much parking do you provide and where is it located?
Do you have a dressing room for the bride and her attendants and one for the groom and his? You also want to consider how close these rooms are to the aisle. If the ceremony site is outdoors and the dressing room is a football field away, you’ll need to make arrangements to get to the aisle without your guests and groom seeing you before you get there.
What is your guest limit?
How many weddings are booked on my wedding day? If you are looking at a banquet hall or similar facility with several rooms available for events, be sure that there are no other events on your wedding day that will be close enough to have clashing sounds and music with yours. Also, be sure that the staff that will be serving you that day doesn’t have to be shared with other events.
Do you have room to store gifts?
Will there be a facility director present at my wedding? If you or your wedding planner has any questions about the facility, you need someone to go to.
Do you have restrictions on using outside vendors? If so, who is on your preferred vendors list? Some brides see a preferred vendors list as a pain, because they can’t use whomever they want. However, realize that the list exists because those vendors have proven to be of good quality and professionalism. You have an almost guarantee that they will deliver as they should. However, if they don’t have restrictions on outside vendors, be sure to get good recommendations from others who have used them, or ask your bridal consultant. Never do a blind google search on vendors, because there are several out there who will not give you the quality service you want. Remember, everyone says good things about themselves on their own websites.
Are there any service charges or fees we haven’t discussed that might come up later? It is very common to find out as you sign the contract that there are hidden fees you were not originally aware of. Keep in mind that there will be tax, and probably an extra charge for bussers and other service people. Also ask if they charge for corkage (the venue staff pours alcohol for the toasts).
Do you have an alternative if there is bad weather? If you are planning on having your wedding outdoors, they should never say ‘no’. I don’t care where you live, be prepared for bad weather.
What are your restrictions on throwing rice and confetti? Do you have other recommendations? Most venues will not allow confetti or bird seed because it is so difficult to clean up. It is a myth that rice will make birds explode, but it too is hard to pick up. Some nice alternatives are bubbles, rose petals or a butterfly or dove release
What time must the reception end? The staff will need time to clean up and put things away before going home, so be understanding when they say you can’t have the space all night 🙂
If you have a wedding planner, they can ask all these questions and will probably have more of their own, too. However, if you are planning your own wedding, be sure to go armed with these questions on venue visits.