No, I’m not getting married, or engaged. BUT since I am now an official event planner, and have worked in the industry for 3 years now, I am going to start posting tips and tricks on Wedding Wednesday.
After visiting a few venues with a some of my clients, I have put together a great list of 15 questions to make sure you ask the director of your venue tour. Don’t let this list limit the number of questions you should ask, there are always others that you should take care of based on your specific event.
1- If your event is being held outdoors, what is the back-up plan in place at this venue if the weather doesn’t cooperate. Most venues won’t have allow you to change areas if it’s raining the day of without an extra added fee. A way to avoid this is to already plan on having a tent either through the venue or an outside source.
2- Are you able to host ceremony and reception at the venue. This may not be a big deal for all brides because of the ceremony being held at a church, other garden, etc. but it is nice to know this information moving forward.
3- Is there a noise restriction past a certain hour? If your wedding is in a hotel or outside, there is most likely a 10 or 11pm noise restriction. If you plan on partying all night long (woohoo!!) make sure you don’t have a certain time to cut off the jams, or just move the party to a nearby bar.
4- Are there other events (weddings or otherwise) being held the day before, day of, and day after my event. This will give you a chance to think about rehearsal dinner scheduling, set-up day of (for your vendors, not you!), where you will be getting ready, timing of your wedding, and brunch the following day. Even if you don’t plan on having any of these at the venue, it is nice to know what you are working with.
5- Is there a space for the bridal party and groomsmen to get ready on site?
6- What is included with the cost of venue? Catering, tenting, chairs, fireworks, etc! When working on your budget it’s easy to know what is going to be a part of each aspect. Having a caterer included in venue has its positives, but also it’s negatives if you plan on hiring someone else.
7- Are outside vendors allowed? Is there an extra charge for outside vendors?
8- What is the payment schedule? Some venues don’t need final payment until a week before the event.
9- When will the venue need the final headcount? If the final headcount is lower than the original estimate, will you be charged for the estimate or final number? Some venues will charge you based on the original headcount and it will not change if the final number is lower.
10- Will there be a provided point of contact day of the wedding? Even with a wedding planner this is important. They will be an aid to the planner in many aspects.
11- Are there alcohol limitations? For example, many parks won’t let you serve alcohol or you need to get a special license for the day of your wedding.
12- Are there set-up fees? If tables, chairs, linens, place settings, etc are provided, is there an extra charge for the venue to set these up?
13- Who is in charge of clean up? Depending on the venue it could be their staff, rental staff or each individual vendor.
14- Is guest parking available? Is it included in the price? Most couples wouldn’t want their guests paying $50 for parking while they attend your wedding, so add this into the contract if you can. If there is no parking, see if there is a recommended shuttle service.
15- Are taxes, fees and gratuities included in the final quote? Don’t let the vendor slip in extra charges once you have signed the contract.
I hope all of the brides reading this find all of these questions helpful! Let me know if you have any venue specific questions to throw my way! If you have any other suggested questions, add them to the comments!