The Wedding Venue Checklist: 20 Questions to Ask Your Venue
Planning a wedding can be a logistical balancing act. Between coordinating vendors, creating the guest list and organizing the seating chart so that dueling family members aren’t sharing the reception table, it can be a magical feat to pull off the perfect wedding. Selecting a venue is one of the most important steps in this process. The venue will set the tone for the entire wedding, from the décor to the food and the overall experience. There are important questions to ask wedding venues that will ensure that your big day runs smoothly.
1. Is my date available?
Wedding venues book up quickly, especially in the busy wedding season of May to October. Find out if your preferred date is available and try to be flexible if this is your dream venue.
2. How many people does the venue accommodate?
Are you planning a large wedding? Does the venue have enough seating for your wedding size? Many people start out with a small guest list and watch it balloon as the planning gets underway. You always want to ensure that the venue can accommodate more people than you initially anticipate.
3. What does the rental fee include?
Does the rental fee only include the venue or do you also get catering, coat check, valet parking, and other amenities? It is important to find this out in advance so you don’t go over budget later.
4. How much is the deposit? When is the final payment due? What is the payment schedule?
Go over your contract with a fine-toothed comb. It is important to know exactly what you will be responsible for and when. Missing a payment deadline can mean losing your wedding date, so be sure you are clear on these terms.
5. Is there a weather backup plan? (If the venue is outdoors)
You can’t always predict the weather. Be sure that the venue has adequate indoor spaces in case you have to move the party inside.
Food & Beverage
6. What is your catering policy? Are we allowed to bring in outside caterers?
If you have your heart set on a specific caterer, it is helpful to know whether your venue will allow them to serve your wedding. Some venues require their couples to use their in-house caterers or to choose from a list of their pre-approved companies. This is one of the most important parts of the wedding venue checklist and can make a huge difference in your budget and overall theme.
7. Do you offer food tastings? Is there a charge for this service?
Most couples prefer to sample the venue’s offerings before deciding on a final menu. Find out if the venue will host a tasting for you and members of the bridal party.
8. Can we bring in our own cake or do we order the cake from the venue? Is there a cake cutting fee?
Before you hire a baker to create your dream cake, it helps to find out if your venue allows outside cakes.
9. What are your bar and alcohol policies? Some venues are not licensed to sell hard liquor while others can offer a full bar. Find out your venue’s policies on bartender fees, beverage minimums and corkage fees.
Decor and Rentals
10. Are we allowed to bring our own decorations? Is there a decorator onsite? Are there restrictions?
Ask your venue if you can bring in rose petals, sparklers or confetti. The venue may have rules about whether you can tack items to the wall, use open flame candles or use aisle runners.
11. Do you have items on hand that we can rent?
The venue may loan you candelabras, vases, lights, draping and tripods for your event.
12. Can we rearrange the furniture?
If you have a vision in mind, it helps to know if the venue is on board with helping you to create your perfect look.
Vendors and Staff
13. What is the earliest time that the vendors can arrive?
Your vendors will need time to set up. If your venue is hosting more than one wedding on your date, there may be restrictions on what time your vendors can arrive.
14. Do you offer an on-site coordinator or will we need to hire our own?
Some full-service venues offer on-site coordinators to take care of all of the day-of details. An included on-site coordinator can save a huge chunk of your budget so it’s a great added perk.
15. Will the venue provide security, coat check and valet parking?
These are some of the small details that couples often overlook that make your wedding day run more smoothly.
Facilities and Logistics
16. Is there a separate area for cocktail hour? Does the venue offer fire pits or areas for outside socializing at the reception?
During the wedding reception, some of your guests may enjoy socializing outside with cigars or even roasted marshmallows by the fire. Ask if your venue offers these features. Will there be a separate space for the cocktail hour or do guests have to move between events?
17. Is there parking on-site and an area available for ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft? Is there someone available to assist with shuttle services?
Some of your guests may need additional assistance with getting home after a night of drinking. Find out if the venue will assist with getting everyone to the venue and back home again.
18. Do you provide overnight accommodations for the bride and groom? A block of rooms for the wedding party and guests?
19. Is the site wheelchair accessible? Where are the accessible entrances?
Buildings have to comply with ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) requirements for accessibility, so this question is just a matter of planning where to direct your guests.
20. How many restrooms are there? Are there restroom trailer for outdoor weddings?
Again, your venue needs to be able to accommodate every guest. If there are restroom trailers outside, find out if they will be accessible to your guests who use mobility aids. This is an often overlooked but important part of your wedding venue checklist.
Securing your dream venue will make your wedding day an amazing lifelong memory. By reviewing the questions to ask popular Georgia wedding venues, you can avoid surprises and enjoy the wedding day of your dreams. Need a metro Atlanta catering company that has experience in these matters? Contact A Delightful Bitefull Catering for your special wedding event.
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