(Closed) Venue Visits – questions to ask, what you wish you'd asked

posted 5 years ago in Venue
Post # 3
Member
95 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Oh commenting on this so I can check back. We are visiting two venues on Saturday and I want to know what to ask!  

Post # 4
Member
923 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

I would want to know exactly what is included with the venue.  Tables and chairs?  Linens?  What about a kitchen area or prep space for your caterer? 

Speaking of the caterer, do they require you to use on-site catering or is there a list of approved caterers?  Could you pay a fee for using a non-approved caterer?  One venue I looked at gave me this option and my caterer told me that they would make the paperwork look low so the fee wouldn’t be so high.   

Do they have other prefered vendors?  Same deal as above.

What time will you have access to the venue?  Are you getting it for the entire day or will another event be held the same day?  What happens if a prior event runs over thier allotted time?  What happens if you run over the allotted time?

What does the parking situation look like?  Will there be enough room for everyone to park or will you need to consider a shuttle service?  Will parking be free? 

 

Post # 6
Member
790 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

If you’re inviting kids, ask whether they have any restrictions on children attending (a couple historic houses we looked at didn’t allow children beyond a couple in the wedding party), and if it’s a venue that provides the catering, ask about how they will charge you for children.

Any noise restrictions? One venue we looked at was in a residential zoning area and no amplified live music was allowed. That venue also had a “curfew” of 10 p.m.

Check out the bathrooms. One venue where we were hoping to hold our ceremony had the saddest, dingiest, most neglected looking single bathroom and that was an automatic no for me!

Post # 7
Member
2448 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Do you allow open flames?

(for candles, not because i want to start a bonfire in the bathroom, although knowing my guests and how drunk they’ll be, that’s a possibility)

Post # 8
Member
1022 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

if you have anythigny ou are thinking of doing ask if you can (hot cocoa bar, candy bar) what can you bring in on your own, what do you have to get through them.

 

Luckily here they send you all this via email before your appt so you have a chance to review it. then if you forget anything just shoot them an email and follow up with more questions.

if you are doing open bar, what are the prices, what’s incldued for dinners (drinks, coffe, tea?)

 

Post # 9
Member
551 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

We were surprised to find that their prices included per person for food but are PER Beverage- for soda and other drinks :/  didn’t learn this until later, after deposit paid… but, that’s ok. They do offer $1.50 per person for tea, so we are doing tea. The alcohol was also pricey, $375 domestic keg and $425 premium and mixed drinks are $4-6 per serving (plus service fee and tax & gratuity on top of that). 

A bartender was required at an hourly fee as well (2 if we reach 100 people) which I didnt expect, since we are paying an arm and a leg for booze. 

How long do you have the place, including set-up, who sets up, who takes down. Ours said we’d have it for 7 hours, but we didnt realize that also included set up and take down, so we had to move our timeline a bit.

Also, we were surprised to find that there were additional fees: 21% service charge, 8.9% tax and gratuity expected for food and drinks.

Last, we didn’t realize that there was an additional fee ($3.00 per person) for dinner menus-yikes! it was on the last page of the menu in tiny print. 

so I guess ask what is included and be very specific. Ask if outside food and or drinks and alcohol and cake is allowed (not allowed in our case, other than the cake, so we’ll be having a cash bar, even for soda, bummer and 2 kegs at close to $800 bucks). I have also read here that venues sometimes charge a per person cake serving/cutting fee, but ours luckily, did not.  

I have seen other bees mention that their venues offered a day of coordinator, which sounds like a good deal if it’s in the budget, so you may want to ask about that. 

I have seen some not so great stories about  misunderstandings and or misinterpretations of the contract, so you might ask for a copy in advance, if possible, so you can get to work on reading through their requirements and agreements, etc. 

All of these things are items we can certainly work with, but it can change your plans and timing, etc. 

good luck! 

Post # 10
Member
1274 posts
Bumble bee

Yaay! Take a notebook with you and maybe your phone or a camera and ask if it’s okay if you take photos to look over after with your Fiance while you make your decision. Especially if you are seeing more than one in a day, the details sometimes blur together! 

Are there extra fees for security/coatcheck/parking? May or may not be necessary for your wedding.

Do they have deals with local hotels for blocking a bunch of rooms? 

Is there an extra fee to use the venue’s (if applicable) projector, a/v equipment, microphone, etc ?

What is the cancellation policy? What does your contract look like? Take it from someone who has had to cancel their original wedding, you want to know before you book how far our from your date you can cancel without losing a deposit or being responsible for the whole shebang. It’s good to know this just in case. 

Depending on the venue, they may charge a cake cutting fee, or a corkage fee if you are allowed to bring in your own wine/alcohol. Make sure you ask about any other small fees that may be applicable. 

 

Post # 11
Member
3420 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Gonna look back at this later.

Post # 12
Member
788 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Ask to see the kitchen – this was a must for me. I wanted to see  how clean it was kept when they weren’t expecting someone to ask to see it. I was told that if they refuse to show the kitchen, something is wrong.

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