Question: Morgan, I have a venue in mind that I want to get married at but have no clue what I am supposed to to or ask! Are there specific questions or points I need to touch on? I want to be sure there are no surprises down the line. Help-Mandy
Answer: Mandy, don’t stress first of all. When I am hired and I begin to contact venues here are the questions and points that I touch on.
- What are the available dates?
- What are the rates? Are off season or Friday/Sunday rates different?
- What is the capacity of the venue?
- Can we bring in outside vendors? If not, what is the list of vendors that must be used?
TIP: If you are allowed to bring in your bar vendor or just hire bartenders and you supply the alcohol, this could save you a few thousand dollars on guest list of 100+. But be sure you or your bar vendor have Wedding Insurance, Liquor License, and a Liability License. (Wedding insurance should offer this)
- Does your venue require wedding insurance?
- Is there a full kitchen for the caterer? If not, where would the caterer stage?
- When can we access the space? How many hours are we allowed for use?
TIP: Make sure to factor in at least 3 hours for set up and 1 hour for breakdown. As a wedding professional, I would prefer more time for setup but it can be done in 3 comfortably.
- Is there a noise ordinance? What time is it enforced?
- Can we use the space as a backup if our ceremony site gets rained out? Is there an additional fee? How far in advance do you need to know?
TIP: As a wedding planner, I like to talk with my couples and make that call early that morning at the latest to ensure that all vendors are aware of the changes, decor can be re-set, guests will be informed and there is no running around last minute. Some will make it the night before if the chance of bad weather is eminent.
- Do we need an appointment to view the site?
- What is the deposit?
- Will you do a courtesy hold? (Only ask if you haven't committed to the venue, it isn't fair to others!)
- What are the stipulations for decor? (Can we hang from the ceiling, felt tips on chairs, etc)
- Is there someone onsite throughout the night?
I hope that helps! Remember, you can always ask questions and there is no question not worth asking!