After you get engaged, choosing a wedding venue is one of the first steps in wedding planning. The venue be one of your larger expenses, and you’ll need to be sure that it is the right one for you and your fiance, your wedding date, your wedding ideas, guests and theme. Before booking a wedding venue, there are many questions to ask the venue to ensure that it’s a perfect match.
To help you come up with this list, we partnered with WedSafe, the wedding insurance specialists. They are a wealth of knowledge for all things related to weddings. And we also asked 4,000 wedding venues and wedding planners for their expert advice. Be sure to use this handy list of questions at each venue that you visit. Once you’ve chosen a venue, make sure you understand all the terms, details and costs in your contract, so there will be no surprises later on.
Choosing a Date
- “Is the site available on your wedding date?” - LaFayne of weddingsbykmich.com
- “How many weddings does your venue typically offer on a weekend, and how many weddings can we expect here at your venue taking place simultaneously with ours?” - Dede Brunetti of Boone Monument Village
- “What kind of special discount do you offer for a mid-week, Friday or Sunday Wedding?” - Madeline Daryadel of http://GetYourWeddingQuickQuote.com
Food & Drink
- “Can you bring in your own caterer, drinks, or dessert?” – Erica Thimsen of Helping Hand Parties & Weddings
- “If you have to use their caterer, are they able to accommodate special dietary needs/requests: gluten-free, kosher, vegan, Indian?”
- Do they provide the bar and, if so, can the venue source specialty items such as favorite micro brews? Are there different beverage package options?” - Patty Speirs of Every Last Detail
About the Facility
- “I recommend asking for a detailed list of what’s included (i.e. the number of hours of the party, number of hours to set up/breakdown, valet, coat check, restroom attendants, tables, chairs, type of bar…)” - Melisa Imberman or https://www.theeventofalifetime.com
- “How many people can the room accommodate with a dance floor, head table, bar, etc.? The maximum capacity often displayed at a venue often does not take any of that into consideration. There’s nothing worse than a room that is too full and tight.” - Jean Neuhart of Weddings From The Heart
- “Do you provide tables and chairs, and does your staff set them up?” - Meredith Events
- “Am I required to use specific vendors?” - http://www.aplaceinthevineyard.com
- “How will the venue coordinator assist me in the planning process and on the wedding day?” - Jamie M Rapavy of Darby House
- “How many service staff will I have the day of our wedding? What is the guest/staff ratio?” - Francesco DiCianni, Owner of Celebrations Wedding Venue, Bucks County, PA.
- “What are we allowed to do to make this venue ours in terms of style, theme, layout? Obviously they need to know what they can bring in for decorations (what they can pin, hang or drape), extra lighting (do they have a flameless policy), size of tables, etc.” - Nancy Curtis of Plan it Perfectly Wedding Coaching
- Ask what kind of decor comes with your rental of the venue. Many venues have items such as signs, barrels, arbors, etc. that could help you save money on decorations.” - Olivia Graham of Olive & Birch
- “What time can my vendors have access to the property for set up?” - Adrienne Albers of Delfosse Vineyards and Winery
- “If the venue is above one floor. Ask what are the “multiple” pathways to evacuate guests in case of fire?” – Lynn Wheatley of www.litulsa.com
- "How much time will I have prior to and after the reception to set up and tear down our personal decor?" - Mimi Heberlein of willowbrookmill.com
- “What accessibility does the venue have for guests who need assistance in walking or need to use a wheelchair?” - Libby Martin of Dragonfly Events OC
- “How long do we have the use of the venue for? Is there a set finish time? Is there an option to extend?” - Charlotte Byrne of Magnolia Park Hotel, Golf & Country Club
- “Can they accommodate all the vehicles of their guests? Will there be an assigned parking attendant?" - Angel Meg
- “Power Supply especially for outdoor wedding -- can all the wedding equipment be covered? Will they provide a generator set in case of power outage?" - Angel Meg
- “Restroom -- how convenient is the restroom? How many cubicles are available? Can they provide free toiletries for the guests?” - Angel Meg
- “Is there an area where the bride can dress and the guys can hang out before the ceremony?” - Patty Speirs of Every Last Detail
- And Angie Crews of THE BARN at Sierra Springs Event Venue had all of these helpful suggestions:
- Consider travel time for you and the majority of your family and friends.
- Research local accommodations if you plan to invite out of town guests.
- Consider holding the rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony, and reception at the same venue, because this is the most cost-efficient option.
- After visiting a venue what was your impression of the venue owner and/or staff? What was your level of comfort when taking the tour? Did you receive good presentation of the venue? Were you provided with detailed information to take with you? Was an offer extended for you to bring other family members to visit? How did the interior and exterior spaces make you and your partner feel?
- Are pets allowed at the ceremony?
- Is there a prep kitchen and trash disposal availability?
- Is there a climate-controlled dressing area for bridal parties?
What if Something Goes Wrong?
- “Ask whether or not security and insurance is included in their rental fee or if they have to provide it.” - Geraldine "Geri" Simpson of gsimpassocs.com
- “Do you require event insurance?” - Gena Stephens, Owner of Carlee Farm, Oxford North Carolina
- “What’s included in the cancellation terms?” - Andrea R Johnson of Dazzle (Events) By Andrea
- “What is the plan B option in the event of wet weather and will it cost me any extra to implement?” - Laura Southgate of frenchweddingcompany.com
- “In case of a natural disaster (i.e. hurricane or earthquake), what is the response of the venue and how is my day covered?” - Peter Calafiore of couturEventsnj.com
- “What if we decide to cancel our date and reschedule?” - Allison Parker of L&L Farm
- “Are you required to provide the venue with a Certificate of Insurance, and if so, for how much?” - Patty Speirs of Every Last Detail
And finally, while you're imagining the perfect day, it might not go off without a hitch. When discussing your event with your bridal party, it’s easy to get wrapped up in how beautiful the flower arrangements are, or how gorgeous your beach front backdrop will be during your ceremony. The harsh truth is, a lot can go wrong that many people might be afraid to discuss. They probably wouldn’t dare worry you by mentioning that there’s a very big chance severe weather could roll in right at the wrong time. Or the fact that your venue, photographer, or any vendor for that matter, could face a problem and be unable to provide their contracted services. Buying a wedding insurance policy on average can cost less than your wedding cake, and may offer protection from those “what-ifs,” so it’s definitely something worth considering! Protect your investment with wedding insurance from WedSafe, so you can have some peace of mind. They have two insurance policies that can help you:
- Cancellation Coverage: If circumstances beyond your control such as severe weather or sudden illness force you to postpone or cancel your wedding, this coverage may provide reimbursement for losses and expenses. You may be covered for more than just cancellation or postponement! It can also help protect against losses caused by vendor bankruptcy, damage to wedding photos, attire, jewelry, gifts and more.
- Liability Coverage: Most wedding facilities require you to get $1,000,000–$2,000,000 in liability coverage. Pay attention to the insurance clauses early in the game to avoid potential catch-up expenses at the last moment. WedSafe offers a quick, easy and affordable way to meet venue requirements. They work with thousands of venues across the country, and proof of insurance is emailed to them directly, immediately upon purchase.
Want to learn more about WedSafe? CLICK HERE