Essential Questions for Every Bride-to-Be: Venue Edition

2014 Sep 28 - by dulhan
a href="" title="You’re Engaged!… Now What?">After saying yes to the love of your life and instagramming strategic pictures of the bling, you realize there’s a ton to do! You might want to stay in la-la land, but your friends and family are probably hounding you on the details: where and when. It’s not their fault. They’re excited for you too and want to look forward to your special day (and set aside their vacation time). Unfortunately, picking a date or venue isn’t the simplest of wedding tasks.

Photo Courtesy Safia and Bob's Pakistani American Beach Wedding

We’re here to make that job easier with a go-to questionnaire for your top venue picks. Set your mind at ease and check out the questions to ask below. We even made it in Essential Questions for Every Bride- Venue Edition so you can print it out and take with it you on your vendor visits! Add any specific questions or concerns you have regarding your events and get EVERYTHING in writing in your final contract! Can you tell I married a lawyer?

Availability: Your partner and you should pick 2-3 dates that work for both of you and check the availability of these dates at your desired venues.

1. Is (the date desired) available?

2. (If not) What dates are available in the month I’m considering?

3. What are the rates for different days or timings within the weekend we’re discussing (Friday, Saturday, Sunday; morning, afternoon or evening)?

4. Can you hold this date for us? (*Hotels should not charge to reserve this wedding date for 1-2 weeks.)

5. How many other weddings are booked that day?


Photo Courtesy Carrie Wildes via Nadia and Adil's Muslim Wedding

1. How many people can this location/hall accommodate?

a. (If needed) are there options for expansion or reduction?

2. Do you offer sites for ceremony here? What is the maximum occupancy of the ceremony site?

3. Is the site close to that of the reception hall?

a. (If far) is there a shuttle or other transportation options available?

b. (If booking a ceremony site at venue) Where can guests congregate/socialize in interim between ceremony and reception? Is there a cocktail hour room?

4. How do you allot parking for guests? Is it complimentary? Are there an adequate number of spots?

5. Do you have a bride’s changing area?

6. Do you set aside a time/date for a wedding rehearsal?

7. Do you have a preferred vendors list? Are we restricted to these vendors or can we hire our own?

8. Is live music/DJ and dancing permitted and feasible in the space? Are there any noise restrictions?

9. Do you offer any sound equipment and speakers we can use for the event? Are they available to rent?

10. Where are the bathrooms located in relation to the hall? Are there an adequate number for our guests?

11. Is there signage available to help direct my guests?

12. Do you have liability insurance in case of any emergencies?

13. (If you have guests with disabilities) is the site handicap accessible?

14. What is the hotel’s plan or policy for rain or inclement weather?

15. (If using your own vendor for décor) are there any restrictions or limitations as far as décor? What is your policy regarding candles?

16. How early can my vendors arrive and setup the venue?

17. Who is responsible for cleaning up (plates, décor takedown, etc.)? Is there a time restriction on clean-up?

18. At what time must my guests leave the facility? Is there a penalty if they leave past this time?

19. Are there any special limitations or restrictions for my photographer? Are there any areas that are not permitted for photography? Are there limitations in terms of flash usage?

20. What’s the cancellation policy?

21. (If you’re having a winter wedding) ask if the venue offers coat check service. (If not) is there an area that can be used and staffed for that purpose?

22. Does your venue offer tables, linens, chairs, plates, silverware and glassware? Are there any fees for these? If I must get these items from an outside vendor, are there any special limitations to consider?


1. What is the venue’s rental fee and what is included in this value? Are there any discounts for off-season dates?

2. Do you offer any payment plans? When are the payment/installments due?

3. What if any are the other associated costs with the rental, like cleaning fees, overtime penalties, and gratuity/service fees?

4. Is our deposit refundable? Is there a penalty/fee for cancellation?

5. What is the final date to make any changes?

6. Is there a fee for using outside vendors?

7. Is there a minimum or maximum rental time required?

8. Is there a corkage fee?

9. Are there any penalties for not meeting any food and beverage minimum?

10. How much is the food and beverage cost per person? Is there an additional service charge?


Photo Courtesy S3 Indian & Fusion Catering

1. Is there an in-house caterer? Do we have to use that caterer?

a. For in-house caterers, does your menu cater to audiences with dietary restrictions?

b. Do you offer options for vegetarians?

c. (If applicable) Would you able to use Kosher or Zabihah meat?

2. If I hire my own caterer, then can they use the kitchen facilities?

3. (If applicable) Do you have a liquor license? What is your pricing for alcohol?

4. (If applicable) Will you allow us to bring our own liquor?

5. Do you allow outside cake vendors or are we required to use a preferred cake vendor? Is there any cake-cutting fee? Do you offer special cake-cutting utensils?


Photo Courtesy Yogini & Deepak's Wedding

1. Does your venue offer any facility point person before and/or during the wedding?

2. Is there a separate fee for on-site coordination? What services are included with our rental?

Helpful Hints:

1. (If you’re booking a hotel), are there any complimentary rooms or a honeymoon suite offered for the newlyweds and/or their parents?

a. Do you offer discounted room blocks that we can reserve for our guests?

b. Is parking complimentary for guests who reside at the hotel?

2. Take pictures of the location, rooms, entrance, etc. so you can recall the details of each venue.

3. If you love the venue, ask your point person to prepare a proposal with details on pricing and policies. Have them include any additional taxes and service fees to get a rough estimate for the venue.


And that’s a wrap folks! Good luck in finding the perfect venue to exchange I do’s and party it up with loved ones. Hopefully, these questions embody all of your concerns from hiring outside catering to limiting unnecessary upcharges. Please do review the list with your venue coordinator prior to finalizing your vendor contract. Here’s a Essential Questions for Every Bride- Vendor Edition ready-to-go.

Happy wedding planning lovelies!