Post # 1
My fiance and I are going to look at venues tomorrow/ this weekend. What questions do we need to ask? What should we look for? What kinds of things are ‘red flags’?
Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!!!
Post # 3
We only looked at 2 venues. We did a ton of internet research, emailing venues, and reading reviews before we went looking. We narrowed it down to two that were in our price range, offered good packages and looked pretty in pictures. When we actually went there, both venues gave us a tour of the location and an information packet that had detailed information regarding packages and pricing. We asked questions like min/max guests allowed, if the date was available, questions about how things would be set up (typically where do you hold the ceremony, where does the dance floor go, buffet, bar, etc). Then we just asked what we saw. At one place there was a weird building and we asked to see pictures of the venue from an angle that had the building in the background to see how ugly it would really look. We also asked about upgrades to the packages and if we were allowed to use outside vendors that weren’t on their recommended vendor list. We took lots of pictures and came up with a lot more questions after we left the venues, so we just sent the places emails with whatever else we thought to ask.
Post # 4
As redhead46 mentioned, DEFINITELY ask if you are allowed to use vendors that aren’t on their preferred vendor list. If you’re in a city, inquire about parking rates as well. It’s also always good to just get general package rates to see what is included and what is extra. If you plan to use an outside caterer, check and make sure that’s allowed as well!
Post # 5
Thank you!!! Any other things I need to remember to check or ask about? I’m just worried we’re going to see a beautiful reception space, book it, then find out that there are no bathrooms in the building, or there aren’t enough outlets for a DJ, or something along those lines that we could completely forget.
Post # 6
We forgot to ask what their policy was on outside food and beverage- this can change the cost of a venue DRMATICALLY! I would also ask how many weddings the venue does annually to get an idea of how well the venue/staff will be prepared for your big day- the more weddis they do, the more THEY will know to be ready for.
Also, if the venue has a wedding/event coordinator I don’t think its a bad idea to ask for the contact information of one or two previous brides that you can touch base with.
I hope the search goes well- keep us updated!:)
Post # 7
Definitely parking was something I wanted to make sure was available.
I am allergic to smoke so one of my HUGE concerns was how much access the public would have to my wedding and whether smoking was allowed.
- bridal room for me to get ready on site
- extra fees – security costs (like do they require me to hire security – some do), security deposits, service fees, cake cutting costs, etc.
- Am I allowed to bring in my own vendors (caterer, baker, wedding planner, officiant, etc)
- Am I given any time to set-up or do I need to include that time in with the cost of renting the place (my reception venue only allowed us to be in the room 15 minutes prior to the start of our rental time, so I had to build in more rental time to allow for us to set up)
- Do they include things like chairs, tables, linens, etc or are those things you’ll have to rent/buy? (my reception location provided tables and chairs but no linens or table settings, BUT my wedding planner provided those. My ceremony location provided all decorations AND didn’t allow those to be moved/changed – which was fine for me but might not be for others)
- Are there any other weddings that will be taking place and if so, will mine be affected by less parking spots, loud music, shared bathroom, etc.
Probably a lot more, but those are the things I can think of.
Post # 8
Everything everyone said above. And you’re on the right track with thinking about the bathroom situation, outlets, etc. I would also think about the overall layout. Check out the flow of the room and make sure people are going to be able to move freely around the dance floor, tables, buffet, bars. Bottlenecks and crowding are big buzzkill at parties.
That was all I could think of to add:)
Post # 9
Ask about extra fees that might not be included in the packages or any info you’re given, I’ve noticed there are some places I’ve looked at that don’t list all fees upfront and if you don’t ask, or don’t know to ask, they’ll tack it on to the final bill. So, make sure to ask if all bartenders and wait staff are included in the room rental fee, any SOCAN fees for DJs or bands, set up/clean up, third party vendors, corkage fees, cake cutting fees.. If I think of anything else I’ll post again but those are some of the ones I’ve found out about. Also, some places add on tax and gratuities but don’t have it listed in packages so maybe ask about that too.
Post # 10
I recommend taking a list of questions, it will get confusing if you are looking at more than one venue and you may forget to ask something. Take photos of all of the spaces. They will probably send you some information or have something on their website that you can look at before hand.
I compiled a detailed list of questions, use what is relavent to your venues.
- Who will the venue’s representative be?
- What services do they provide?
- Do you have exclusive vendors?
- Do you have recommended vendors? Is there any discount for using them?
- What is the facility rental fee?
- Does the rental fee include sales tax?
- Are there less expensive days of the week? times of day? times of the year?
- What is the cancellation or change of date policy?
- What is the deposit? When is it due?
- When is the balance due?
- What forms of payment are accepted?
- How many hours will we have the ceremony/ reception space?
- Does that include the set up and break down time?
- When can vendors start delivering?
- Is a rehearsal included?
- How many events will be occuring at the same time?
- How many events will be occuring the same weekend?
- Is there a storage space?
- Is there a bride’s dressing room? When can we arrive?
- What restroom facilities are available to us? When are those cleaned?
- What kitchen is available to us?
- Is there a coat closet? Is that an additional fee?
- What is the rain plan?
- Does the facility have any construction planned?
- What does the location look like in fall/ winter?
- Do you have a floor plan of the space? When can I measure the space?
- What decorations are not allowed inside/ outside?
- Is the thermostat adjustable?
- What is the electrical set up?
- Do you provide a sound system?
- Do you provide a dance floor?
- What tables are available? How many? How much per table?
- What chairs are available? How many? How much per chair?
- What linens are available? How many? How much per?
- What accessories are available? How many? How much per?
- Does the venue do the set up?
- Do you provide security? Is that included?
- Is there exterior lighting at night?
- Do you provide signs?
- What parking is available? Is that an additional fee?
- Do you require that the renter have insurance?
There are more things to take care of if your venue will also be catering.
Post # 11
Zusie and dodgercpkl and everyone else, thank you so much! I am definitely going to print these lists and bring them with me. Everywhere we’re looking does their own catering, and we are having the ceremony on-site. Anything else we should ask?
Again, thank you all so much- I really appreciate it!
Post # 12
@MissBananaBread: If they are providing catering (I’m half asleep atm so forgive me if I’m reading that wrong) then will they allow you to do a taste test prior to signing the contract? If so is there a fee?
Are you having a seperate site for the ceremony then the reception? If not, do they provide a way to easily transition from ceremony to reception? If it’s being held outside, do they provide a plan B in case Mother Nature decides to bring some unexpected weather?