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60 Important Questions to Ask a Wedding Reception Venue

Questions to Ask Your Wedding Venue

Questions You Need to Ask Your Wedding Venue Before Booking

Choosing the right wedding venue is one of the top priorities for any couple about to get married. Picking the wedding venue is one of the first things that you’ll do so that the rest of the wedding arrangements can be made accordingly.

Considering that a wedding venue forms the base for the rest of the arrangements, it is important to thoroughly consider your options before finally choosing the one you like the best. Know all the questions to ask a wedding venue so that you’ll know exactly what you are getting and there are no unexpected surprises.

Most Important: Questions to Ask the Venue About Availability & Cost

The most important factors to ask a potential wedding venue are availability and cost. If you can’t afford the venue or it’s not available when you need it then there’s no point in continuing to look at it. If you have a specific budget or a specific date in mind you’re going to be able to narrow down your venues a lot. Below are the first questions you should ask your potential wedding venue.

1. Is my preferred wedding date available? If not, what similar dates are available during that time of year?
2. How much does this wedding venue cost?
3. Do you offer different packages? If so, what are they and what are their costs?
4. Do you offer ceremony and reception space? Is it an additional cost to have both?
5. Do the rates vary depending on the season or day of the week (Friday/Saturday/Sunday)?
6. How much is the deposit? When is it due? Is it refundable?
7. What is your cancellation policy?
8. Are there any hidden fees to be aware of, such as service or tax charges? Is gratuity a separate fee?
9. What are the options for a payment plan?
10. Do you have liability insurance? Do you require us to have wedding insurance?

Outdoor Wedding Reception

Questions to Ask About the Venue Details

The details are important when you’re talking about such a big event. Before you start looking at venues you should have some idea of your vision for the wedding. how big of a wedding you want to have, and what your deal breakers are. Ask a ton of questions about the details of the venue so you can find out if they can accommodate the specifics of your wedding.

11. What is the capacity of the wedding venue?
12. When do we need the final head count?
13. When is the last date for any changes?
14. Who will be my main point of contact?
15. Will you have any other weddings or events booked the same day? If so, how will that affect our event, parking, common spaces, etc.
16. Is the venue handicap accessible?
17. Will there be ample on-site parking available? If not, what outside parking or transportation options do you recommend?
18. Are taxis or rideshares (like Uber) easily accessible from the venue?
19. Are there adequate accommodations for restrooms? Will we need to rent any portable restrooms?
20. (For outdoor ceremonies/receptions) What is your weather policy? Is there a backup plan or location if there is bad weather / rain?
21. Is there an on-site area for the bridal party to get ready? Bridal Suite? Groom’s Suite?

    Wedding Venue

    Questions to Ask About the Venue About Vendors

    The type of vendors you hire will be completely dependent on the venue’s policies. Get an idea upfront about which services are offered by the venue and which services you’ll need to hire a vendor for. You’ll also need to find out how strict the venue is about accommodating outside vendors. They may require you to use their in-house services or their preferred vendors.

    22. Do we need to use in-house vendors, such as caterers, DJ, etc.? Or can we hire our own vendors?
    23. Do you have preferred vendors? If so, can you provide a contact list? 
    24. Do you offer a day-of wedding coordinator? If so, is there an additional cost?
    25. What other services are included: Security? Ushers? Coat check? Bridal attendant?
    26. Is there a designated area for dancing and music? Where can the DJ set up?
    27. Do you have accommodations on site or do you have a partnership with a local hotel?

      Wedding Transportation

      Questions to Ask About the Wedding Venue About Timing

      You’ll want to know the schedule for the wedding day so you can start planning accordingly. You may want to have programs or a schedule of events printed so everyone will know where to be and when. It is also necessary to know at what time the wedding venue will become available on the day of the wedding so that you can inform your vendors well in advance and plan your schedule accordingly.

      28. What time can vendors start to arrive on the day-of the wedding? Can we start setting up the evening before?
      29. Do we need to shut down the music at a certain time?
      30. What time do wedding guests need to leave? When does everyone need to be out of the venue at night?
      31. Does everything need to be cleaned up and out immediately after the wedding? Or are we allowed to come back in the morning to finish up?
      32. How many hours will we have access to the venue? How early can we arrive, and how late can we stay?
      33. How long are the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception?

        Bride and Bridesmaid in Bridal Suite

        Food & Drink Questions to Ask the Wedding Venue

        For many couples, the most important parts of a wedding are the food and drinks. The easiest way to provide top notch wedding food is to choose a venue that has in-house catering. If not, you’ll need to find your own caterer. You’ll also want to check with your venue if they have their own bartenders and alcohol supply. Ask them plenty of questions about their food and drink options and make sure you get a taste!

        34. Do we need to find our own bartenders, or do you have bartenders on retainer?
        35. What is your pricing for bartenders/alcohol? 
        36. Are there corkage fees, or can we supply our own alcohol?
        37. Do you have on-site catering? Are food and/or beverages included in the rental package?
        38. If we need to hire outside catering: Do you have a list of vendors to choose from or are we open to find our own?
        39. Is there a minimum charge for food and beverages?
        40. Which food allergies and dietary restrictions can you accommodate?
        41. Can we get a tasting of your food options? If so, when?

          Rustic Wedding Venue

          Questions to Ask the Wedding Venue About Decor & Set Up

          Wedding day setup will have a huge effect on the flow of your wedding. Decor will be really important for creating the aesthetic you want. Make sure you ask about the details of the venue and how they will accommodate your guests and your personal taste.

          42. Do you have a sample floor plan?
          43. How many guests can we fit at each table?
          44. Are there any restrictions on decorations (confetti, candles with open flames, size limits, etc.)?
          45. Do you have any decor from past weddings that we can borrow or rent?
          46. Do you have a separate space for cocktail hour?
          47. Where are the outlets? Will there be enough for our vendors?
          48. Will there be any staff to help us flip the venue space if applicable (ceremony to reception)?
          49. Do you offer any help with the setup, cleanup, and breakdown of the wedding space? Or should we expect to handle that?

            Sweetheart Table for Wedding Reception

            Questions to Ask the Wedding Venue About the Ceremony (If Applicable)

            If you choose a reception venue that can double as your ceremony space you’ll need to ask some questions about the details. Depending on the venue, the logistics of having your ceremony on-site can be super simple or require some effort to change the space. Getting the ceremony details right is one of your top priorities during wedding planning so make sure you’re thorough.

            50. Is there a space for the wedding ceremony?
            51. Are there options for an indoor vs an outdoor ceremony?
            52. Are there different locations on the property to choose from?
            53. Will there be a sound system we can use (microphone, speaker, etc.?
            54. Do you have any officiant contacts or do we provide our own?
            55. Do you offer chairs and other basic ceremony equipment? If so, what?

            Wedding Ceremony Venue

            Oddly Specific Wedding Venue Questions That May be Important to You

            We’ve listed a bunch of questions that everyone should ask their wedding venue but the questions below may be important to your specific vision. Everyone’s wedding is different. You should customize this list with questions about your unique wedding ideas and needs. Ask yourself what’s important to you everyday and how you can incorporate those things into your wedding. Then, make sure you find a venue that can help bring your vision to life.

            56. Do you recycle or have eco-friendly policies?
            57. Do you allow pets to be part of the wedding ceremony?
            58. Do you have a separate room for childcare if we hire a babysitter?
            59. Can we play drinking games?
            60. Can we hire a food truck to serve during cocktail hour or dessert?

              Don’t forget to add your own specific questions for your venue!

              Pet Friendly Wedding Venue

              Wedding Venue Advice: Our Tips for Choosing the Best Option

              While you’re on your search for the perfect venue, check for advice from a few websites and other brides. A few helpful hints can go a long way. Here are some of our best tips for choosing a wedding venue:

              • Try to find a venue that only hosts one wedding at a time.
              • Start searching early. Some venues will be booked up a year or more in advance. This will also give you time to look at a few extra spots in case you don’t find the one you love quickly.
              • Consider an off-season date or a Sunday through Friday wedding if the venue will give you a discount.
              • Keep the existing decor in mind when planning your decorations so that they won't clash.
              • Look for a venue that suits your sense of style and desired wedding aesthetic.
              • You’ll want at least 4 restrooms per 100 people at the wedding, so look for a venue that can accommodate that.
              • Full service venues make your wedding planning a lot easier. You won’t need to hire as many vendors if the venue will take care of the food, hospitality, and security. 
              • Wedding day will be much simpler if you find a venue that can host both your ceremony and your reception.
              • Get creative. Choose a venue that suits you and your partner’s dream whether it’s a church, a castle, a restaurant, or a traditional catering hall.
              • Trust your gut. You will know when you’re in the right place (or the wrong one).

              Wedding Venue Setup

              Choose the Perfect Wedding Venue for Your Wedding

              Use our comprehensive list of questions to ask a wedding venue to find your perfect space. This covers all the major and minor details of a wedding venue. Knowing the best questions to ask venues can help you be prepared to make an informed final decision and also save you a lot of trouble later on. Your perfect venue will suit your style and aesthetic, be trustworthy and reliable, and be passionate about helping you pull off your dream wedding.

              Check out some of the latest trends for weddings to get inspired for your big day.

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              Leave a comment

              Rebecca Gardner
              April 14, 2021 16:05

              I like your suggestion to ask about restrictions for candles or sparklers to avoid surprises. My cousin wants to choose a wedding venue ASAP since she just got engaged to be married and wants to get the most important details sorted out. Using your suggested questions should make it easier for her to find a wedding venue that’ll fit her needs!

              January 04, 2021 10:05

              Thanks for the great info.

              January 04, 2021 09:59

              This gives lots of great info.

              January 04, 2021 09:59

              This gives lots of great info.

              June 21, 2020 06:29

              I didn’t even think of a lot of these questions. Good to know!

              June 18, 2020 12:14

              So many questions that I hadn’t thought of! These were so helpful when touring venues!

              April 21, 2020 22:39

              Such an important read. Don’t forget to negotiate. A lot of these places prices are not set in stone and cannot say YES if you don’t ask!

              April 16, 2020 13:43

              Great list!! I have many of these written down already but a few that I wouldn’t have thought about!

              April 10, 2020 11:27

              So many helpful tips! Thanks!

              Thomas Clarence
              March 31, 2020 22:48

              My sister is planning on getting married in about 3 months, and she is looking for a banquet hall where she can hold her reception about a week later. I like how you mentioned that the majority of wedding venues are flexible. Hopefully, my sister can find the right venue so that she can have a great reception.

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