Husband and I were venue experts… we went to 16!
-If its outdoors, be sure to ask what backup plans would be in case of rain.
-Ask if the service charge is the tip for the servers, or is there additional tips on top of what they are charging.
-Will you be able to taste the food before the wedding?
-What are the bar options, is it well, premium etc.?
-Where do you get ready-is there a bridal suite?
-Where are some good places for pictures?
-Check out to see how close hotels are if you will have Out of Town guests
-What are your linen choices?
-What is the flow? Where is the ceremony, cocktail hr. and reception? Will the room have to be converted during cocktail hour
-Do you have to use the vendors that are recommended by the venue?
-Is there a discount for children? What about people under 21 who won’t be drinking? Vendor discount?
-Is your cake included?
-Worst case scenerio-what happens if you have to cancel the wedding? Do you get your deposit back? partial deposit? Do you have to see if another wedding will book for that day?
Its also a good idea to know your approximate guest list.
We made a spreadsheet with all the venues’ costs calculated based on 150 people.
We also made a spreadsheet for our top choices to compare what was included as far as food went. Like one place offered 6 passed hors d’ouvres with 3 stations, and another was 8 passed hors d’ouvres, and no stations
Good Luck and have fun!! When you find the right place, you will know it!!
Edit: The above suggestions are awesome too!! We loved the place we wound up with, but at first it was expensive for amount of food we were getting (other places at the same place offered more food). But we wanted to have a Sunday wedding, so asked if they could do anything because we wanted Sunday. They were able to reduce their price and we were able to add more food! We also took a chance on a new venue. They had just opened up events for the public (it was a private country club) They were in the process of re-vamping their menu and getting more expensive. We got a lot more stuff included because we booked early!!