Post # 1
Hi everyone! I’m not sure if this topic has been discussed before but any feedback would be very much appreciated!!
I just recently got engaged and my first stab at wedding planning is booking a venue. Aside from the usual questions of capacity and price per person (really, those are the only questions I have thought of, can you tell i’m a rookie?), what other important questions should I be asking?
Post # 3
Congrats on the engagement Peony!
Some other things you might want to find out are (these are just off the top of my head…i’m sure there are lots more):
-service charges (how much their servers are, cake cutting charges etc)
-what rentals they supply (or if they charge, how much?)
-are there rules as far as what time the music/party has to end
-do they have in house coordinator for you to use
-can you supply all of your vendors, or do you have to use their preferred vendors
-can you supply your own alcohol and/or food from an outside caterer
Post # 4
Ooh, good question. Off the top of my head…
1. What’s their policy on changing your date after signing a contract? A lot of places won’t charge you as long as you re-book for another event within a year.
2. Are there hidden fees? Extra costs for extra waitstaff, upgrades on silverware/china, hiring extra bartenders, getting permits for alcohol, plating fees for cake?
3. Who’s responsible for cleanup? What are you allowed to bring in to decorate? Tape, tacks, staples? Can people throw things like confetti/rice/petals?
4. What’s their electrical setup? Do they have enough outlets for things like lights, speakers, etc.? Do they charge extra for those?
5. Are there noise restrictions? What time will you have to leave? What’s the charge if you go overtime by an hour or so?
6. Who will your contact be if you have more questions? Will they be working at the venue for the foreseeable future?
7. Can you come in to check details/measure/look at other setups whenver you like?
8. Do they charge for their food tastings? How long before the wedding should you do one?
9. When will they need your deposit? What about the balance?
10. How late can you change the number of people or the menu options? Do they accommodate extra guests?
11. Can you store things like table decor prior to the event? Who will set it up for you? How long do you have before you have to come take it back after the event?
Post # 5
Some questions to ask that I can think of off the top of my head, read your contract VERY carefully before signing.
What is the cancellation policy?
Is there a bridal/groom dressing room?
If it’s outside, is there a Plan B for incremental weather?
Are you allowed to bring your own caterer or must you use theirs?
Can you bring your own alcohol?
What sort of rental services do they provide? ie.dance floor
Is there a constriction on how loud and how long you can play music?
Are there restroom facilities?
What kind of decorations are allowed/not allowed?
Do they offer set-up/take down of the reception?
Post # 6
congrats! here’s a start: if you need liability insurance, if they have any required vendors (caterers, florists?), if they have any restrictions in decor (candles, hanging things from the ceiling), what the responsibilities of their coordinator are (ie, will they function as a DOC?), if they have any tables and chairs already (and if so, how many and what do they look like), if any other weddings will be held at the same time, what the parking situation is like (and if you need parking attendants), how long you have the venue for, when can you get in there to start setting up…
i’m sure i’m missing some!
Post # 7
You want to know what the facility fee is (this will generally be a flat rate, not dependent on number of guests), how many guests the facility can accomodate, and whether you get the whole facility or whether there will be other events there the same day or even at the same time. Also what your access to the facility is that day – what time you get to come in for any set-up, and what time you have to be out at the end of the day.
You want to know what services are provided (catering, set-up, event coordination) and what equipment is provided (tables, chairs, tent for outdoor activities, glasses, china, flatware, linens, dance floor, sound system).
You want to know for the services and equipment that are provided, what is the cost per guest, and whether the facility fee (or some portion of that fee) is waived if you spend a certain amount on services and equipment.
You want a list of preferred vendors, if any. You may not use those vendors, but there is a big advantage to having vendors who have some experience with your facility.
If you are going to need special provisions for children (kids’ room with TV, movies, toys), or if you need a lounge area, whether they can set that up or have separate rooms available.
There’s actually lots more, but that should get you started… A good event or banquet coordinator (for the facility) should sit down with you with an extensive list of questions about your needs, and that will actually teach you a lot about the process.
Post # 8
What are the Food and Beverage minimums?
Is it ++ (plus tax and plus gratuity) or are those charges included in the per person charge?
Is the cake included? If not, is there a cake cutting charge? Usually this is a pp charge.
What decor is included? linens, candles, etc…
How large are the dining tables? What do the chairs look like?
How early on the day of can you, your vendors, etc, arrive to begin setting up?
I see someone already mentioned liabilty insurance….
Post # 9
A few helpful Knot articles:
The most important thing I can think of is to have a rough guest list. If you don’t know how many people you’re inviting, you won’t know if the venue’s space and policies will work for you.
Post # 10
The one thing that has really helped me with the whole "what questions do i ask?" thing is The Knot’s book of wedding lists. It has sooo many questions, even some I wouldn’t have thought of!! I took them and typed them up so I can take the sheet with me to each vendor.
Post # 11
Ooops, for some reason it the questions won’t show up when i copy and paste them!!! well, if you would like to see them, I can email them to you on here, just let me know. good luck!