(Closed) What to ask about the venue?

posted 6 years ago in Venue
Post # 3
5428 posts
Bee Keeper

Ask about decorations, some venues don’t like you to put holes in the walls, like thumbtacks, to hold decorations. Some don’t allow strong scents in the venue, like candles or soap.

Post # 4
1109 posts
Bumble bee

It’s been impressed upon me that I need to make sure we’re going to be the only wedding that day.

Post # 5
3886 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Ask how many bathrooms they have and who looks after them during the event. Over-estimate how many is “enough,” especially for the ladies who will be wearing more “complicated” outfits and will take longer for their turn.

Ask their policy on what your guests can and can’t throw as you leave, if you’re doing that part. Some don’t (and more shouldn’t) allow birdseed or rice as it attracts stuff other than birds. You really don’t want an army of squirrels (or worse) dining on the previous wedding’s birdseed when your guests arrive.

Ask about handicapped access, even if you’ve got got handicapped guests, as weddings and receptions can be very hard on older and younger guests and you don’t want someone tripping up/down the stairs.

I don’t think it’s so important to be the only wedding that day, but I’d ask how many concurrent weddings they can handle and how they manage the space, timing, etc. I once worked in a country inn with a huge wedding business; on a Saturday in May we could have 8-10 weddings in a day, sometimes 4-5 at the same time, depending on the group sizes. We had space for 750 across all our party rooms. We did the catering (no outside caterers allowed) and it ran like a well-oiled machine, even on the day when we had one bride’s minister not show up (the inn’s owner was an eccentric old English fella who had gotten his license to marry people when he bought the inn, “just in case someone needs it,” so we just called him up and kept the guests well-fed till he arrived) AND another couple’s cake (the only thing we didn’t cater) show up smashed on one side (on-the-fly buttercream and a case of fresh strawberries to the rescue). If you’re dealing with professionals, you shouldn’t worry if there’s multiple events on your day.

Post # 6
1093 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

1.What are we/aren’t we allowed to bring in (food, booze, decorations, etc?)

2.What are your rules regard DJ’s and/or bands?

3.What are your rules regarding decor (can we use thumbtacks in the walls? tape? uplighting? fabric draping)?

4.You must see a copy of the contract (even if it’s a blank sample contract) the day you first see it, and you should ask for a day or two to look it over.  You are going to fork over thousands of dollars, let someone else look at the contract too (not a lawyer, necessarily, but just someone you trust).  I found little gems in our venue’s contract (like “prices may be adjusted at any time at the discretion of [the venue] with no prior notice to bride and groom”. Whaaaaaa  now? You mean you can just change the prices on me witout telling me til it’s time to write you a check??? Yeah, that came out).

5.What are your dress code policies (some places, like country clubs, have dress codes).

6.Do you have house music or does our DJ need to be available for cocktail hour?

7.What’s your payment structure?

8.Do you require minimum guest counts? Do you have a max and what is it?

9.When do we need to provide final counts?

10.Do you do a menu the guests can choose the night of or do you need an advance count on entree items?

11.Where are the bathrooms? And if you have handicapped guests, are all aspects of the venue easily accessible? (one venue I looked at was “accessible”, but FI’s godfather, who’s wheelchair-bound, would’ve had to have someone push him a solid half mile around the grounds, regardless of weather, to get from cocktail hour to the reception)

12.What’s your cancellation policy?

13.How many events do you hold in a day (one wedding *at a time* is fine, but do they do one brunch wedding, one afternoon wedding, and one evening wedding, or just one wedding per day?).

14.What’s the parking situation for guests? What does the parking lot look like (valet, or is it self-park? If it’s self-park, tour the lot- in heels.  Ladies will be wearing heels, if there’s potholes and gravel, that’s begging for Great Aunt Millie to take a tumble).

15.Where can we take pictures? How long will we have to take picutres?  Are there any special rules (ie a golf course won’t let you wear heels on the greens).

16.What’s the server/guest ratio for cocktail hour especially? You don’t want people chasing servers down for passed munchies.

17.Where are the smoking areas?

Think about when you go to weddings, what do you notice?  What do you want? Think through the practical stuff.  People need to eat, pee, smoke, and walk.  Can they do all those things comfortably?

Post # 7
4352 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

When are you allowed access to decorate. Some let you decorate that morning, others the night before, and some, will only give you the hour and a half before the reception starts (mine, which is when I’m getting married, which means I have to hire someone to do the actual placing of the decorations).

Post # 8
3968 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@pinkfrog:  I’m curious. Did you go with that vendor and just demanded they take that clause out? I’d be nervous they tried to sneak that in there in the first place! Eep!

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