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You’re engaged, you just set your date, and you have a rough idea of your style and guest list. What comes next? The venue. Where it’s all going down. One of the most important elements you have to think about a year or so in advance of the big day.
You may have had the perfect venue planned since childhood, but whether you’re destined for one location or still shopping around, it’s important to get all your facts before you commit. Here’s a list of the top 14 questions to ask your potential wedding venue:
Number one question, can we get married on our chosen day? If your date is set, this could be a deal breaker. If you’re open to other options, though, make sure you ask if they have any close dates available. Another thing to consider regarding your date, will there be any other events on the same day and how will the venue handle them if there are.
There will be different numbers for different types of events. Different numbers of people can fit in a room for a seated ceremony, a standing cocktail reception or a table dinner reception. Plus, your venue may have a variety of spaces to choose from. Make sure you get a thorough list of capacity. You don’t want to be surprised when your 50 guests are dwarfed by a room that holds 200 or your 200 guests don’t fit in a room that only holds 150.
Another very important question. Is this venue in your budget? Venues are of course important, especially for the ceremony, but you want to get married in a beautiful setting without breaking the bank. If it is a little on the pricier side, however, ask if you can set up a payment plan.
Many times venues will have time restrictions, so make sure to ask how many hours you’re allowed to be there and if you need more time, how much extra will that cost. Some venues will also offer staff, AV equipment, tables, chairs, linens, or maybe some decorations. See what your venue will provide and if they charge extra for their use. It may also be a good idea to ask to see the items beforehand to make sure they are up to par.
And if not, or not enough spaces, where can we find parking? Accessibility is important, too. No matter how much they love you, your 80-year-old grandparents won’t be happy about walking five blocks and climbing a set of stairs to get to your wedding.
Make sure you get a list of their preferred vendors if applicable well in advance. If your venue caters themselves, ask if you can set up a time to do a tasting. They may also have specific rules regarding alcohol.
Or alternatively, will the venue set up and take down what they provide themselves? And when can vendors behind their set up? Does the four-hour rental time include cleaning up? Timing is everything.
Rain on your wedding day might be a good omen, but you won’t feel that way if you and your guests are getting soaked throughout your ceremony. Are there rooms indoors that can be set up just in case? Or perhaps a nice tent?
Meaning, where can we get ready? Many venues offer beautiful rooms specifically for getting dressed on the day of your wedding, but you’ll want to double check. If they don’t have suites, is there anywhere else you can use for that purpose.
Some venues may not let you have open flame candles or hang items from the ceiling. Make sure you get a complete list of their requirements before you start planning the decor.
Like for photography and videography. You want to make sure you’ll be able to get all the shots you want. Or noise restrictions, a time that the music has to be turned down.
If you plan on having any special requirements at your wedding, whatever they may be, make sure you clear it with the venue first.
Many venues don’t need insurance, but some do, so it’s a good thing to know ahead of time.
Worst case scenario, you want to be prepared.
The theme of this list is to be thorough. You have enough to worry about when planning your wedding and even more the day of; you do not want to be caught unawares.
Keep in mind that this is an incomplete list and the top questions to ask any venue. You’ll want to tailor your question list to your specific venue. For example, if you’re getting married at a hotel you’ll want to ask about accommodations and booking rooms for guests.
Come prepared to any meeting with a complete list of questions and ask to see any and everything. You want to make sure you and your guests have the best possible experience.
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