Your wedding venue is often times the most expensive part of a wedding, therefore it deserves a little extra time, research and consideration. The look and location of your dream venue may be everything you’ve hoped for and more, but before you sign the contract, make sure you are agreeing to a mutually reached upon document. You may think you’ve found the perfect location and ambiance, but there’s more to pay attention to when reviewing spaces. The policies of an event venue can dramatically affect whether or not you’re able to bring your vision to life.
So, what questions should you be asking before booking? You already know to ask venues if your date is available, as well as how many people they can accommodate, but what about the more in-depth inquiries? For that, The White Box has you covered. Whether you’ve already chosen your venue, have a few you are considering, or just starting your search, here are some of the important questions to ask a wedding venue.
- Are there any additional or hidden costs?
All venues have “hidden costs”. Some are costs that venues don’t advertise quite as openly and others aren’t so much as hidden as they are forgotten or not thought of. For example, let’s say your dream venue is at a vineyard in the middle of summer. As beautiful of a scenery as this is, I’m sure you don’t want your guests being the target of mosquito or bug bites all night. To prevent this, you’ll need to buy a lot of citronella candles, and we bet you never thought of this cost! Regardless of the type of wedding venue you choose, there is always going to be a list of associated costs. Don’t let them catch you unaware and eat into your budget. Here are a few helpful aspects to consider dependent of your venue:
- Outdoor wedding: Permits for a public space, renting a dance floor, high-powered set of speakers
- Destination wedding: Making one visiting trip before securing the location, transportation of your wedding decoration and vendors, finding out if you need to be in the location for a certain time period before legally getting married there, exchange rates and taxes.
- Hotel wedding venues: Corkage fee for outside alcohol, overtime fees
- Can we bring in our own vendors?
Some venues will require you to use their own vendors such as floral, caterers, alcohol or photographer, as they have already built a trusted relationship with them. Alternatively, some venues will allow you to bring in any vendor you’d like. In the instance of bringing in your own caterer, make sure you are asking your venue if they’ll be able to use any kitchen facilities. Caterers will charge you an extra fee if they need to wheel in their own refrigerator and stoves. If you are forced to use in-house vendors, we suggest you conduct some research of your own to make sure their styles and services are up to your standard, because they could ultimately increase the cost of your wedding significantly.
- How much time will my vendors and I have to set up and break down?
Centerpieces, the DJ or band, speakers, table settings, aisle décor, photo booths, wall hangings…there are a lot of items and details that need to be set up before your wedding is ready for you to walk down the aisle. Most wedding venues are typically hired for 5-6 hours, so it’s important to know whether or not you are allowed to come in earlier than that, or even the day before to start setting up. If the venue doesn’t have a prior event booked, they’ll most likely allow you to come in early and get started. We also suggest asking if there will be staff members on-site to lending a helping hand.
- What is the contingency plan in case of bad weather?
Although many people say rain on your wedding day brings good luck, a soggy wedding dress and matted hair is never in anyone’s best interest. If the sun lets you down on the most important day of your life, you need a back-up plan. So, whether you love the romantic, casual vibe of a beach wedding or the serene, natural feeling of the great outdoors, be sure to ask the venue if they have a rain plan. Equally as important, you should also be asking where photos are normally taken on rainy days. Indoor pictures are nice, but you picked an outdoor venue for a reason, so your venue should be able to accommodate for that.
- Are there any restrictions for the venue on how I use the space?
When searching for your venue, make sure you do it smartly by asking the right questions so you know what you are limited to:
- Are there noise level restrictions that must be adhered to?
- Do I need to follow a specific type of music to play?
- Are there any restrictions on where the flowers and decorations must be placed?
- Are there restrictions on the type of decorations I bring in? (i.e. candles, etc.)
- Are we limited to specific types of alcohol? (i.e. only beer and wine)
Your venue will appreciate your thoughtfulness in covering your bases prior to booking. These questions to ask a wedding venue can help prevent mishaps leading up to and on your big day! Being prepared on venue tours will help you narrow down your favorite places base on practical needs. If you have any questions or need further help on your quest for finding the perfect venue, email us today!