Get in the know by asking the questions that a professional wedding planner asks. Grab a pen and paper because here are my top 80 questions to ask your wedding venue BEFORE you book!
Most engaged couples start out blindly touring wedding venues. As a seasoned Wedding Planner and Designer, I love asking ALL the questions!
When it comes to wedding venues, there are probably a 1000 things you have never thought about. With years of hospitality experience and event insight under my belt, I want to help engaged couples understand the right questions to ask when touring to find their perfect wedding venue match!
- What is the venue’s postponement clause?
- What is the venue’s cancellation clause?
- Has the venue made any updates/changes/improvements to their contract (and venue space) regarding COVID-19?
- If this is an Air Bnb, Peer Space location or private residence is this venue permitted to host events/weddings? And if so, is there a maximum guest count that the permit encompasses?
- Does this venue have onsite parking permitted? And if so, how many spots?
- Is there a weather contingency plan within the contract?
- How many events/weddings can be scheduled per day at this venue?
- If the contracted headcount is not met, does the venue have the right to move the event location within the property?
- For hotel venues, is there a hotel block required for events/weddings?
- Is there a complimentary hotel night stay included at this hotel venue?
Rules, Regulations & Permits:
- Does this venue allow destructive decor items like confetti, glitter, or floral petals to be used at this venue? If so, is there an additional cleaning fee for the use of these items?
- Is there a venue manager and/or venue coordinator onsight throughout the event/wedding?
- Is there a sound ordinance at this venue or in the city that this venue is located in?
- Does this venue require any additional city permitting of any kind?
- I want to incorporate my pet into the event/wedding. Is this permitted at this venue?
- Some cultural/religious events/weddings require large animals such as horses, elephants, donkeys, or camels. Is this permitted at this venue?
- Is this venue a historical or city-run location? If so, are there additional rules/requirements to be made aware of because of this?
- What are the venue’s accessible hours of operation for events/weddings?
- What are the venue’s office hours of operation?
- Does this venue allow wedding rehearsals a day or two before?
- Does the venue allow items to be shipped an received to their venue office during office hours?
- How many hours do the vendors get for load-in and load-out before and after the event/wedding? Are there additional charges if we go over that allotted time?
- Does the contracted number of hours include or not include load-in and load-out time?
Venue Food & Beverage:
- Does this venue allow outside catering? If so, is there an additional kitchen buy out fee for this?
- Does this venue allow food trucks/food carts? If so, is there a specific location that food trucks/food carts are permitted to be used?
- Is there an on-site kitchen at this venue? If not, is there a space for kitchen build-out?
- What equipment is included with the onsite kitchen?
- If the venue does not have a kitchen, is there a dump sink available for the bar and wait staff?
- Can cooktops, open-flame cooking, and or deep fat fryers be used at this venue?
- Is there a space/room/location for a staff meal at this venue?
- If the venue includes on-site catering, can we still bring in our own desserts? If so, is there any additional charge?
- Can the on-site catering menu be customized?
- Does this venue require clients to work an Event Planner/Wedding planner at this venue? If so, do they need to be pre-approved by the venue?
- Is a vendor team walk-through prior to the event/wedding with the venue manager required?
- Does this venue have a preferred vendor list?
- What about a “DO NOT use” vendor list?
- Is there an area for the vendors to store their equipment that is not seen/accessible by guests during the event/wedding?
- Does this venue require all vendors to be licensed professionals and to show proof of insurance?
- Are there separate bathrooms for vendors and staff at this venue?
Venue Logistics & Parking:
- What is the maximum capacity of the venue? (*I encourage you to subtract 25 from this number to ensure your guests have room to groove)
- If there are multiple event/wedding spaces at this venue, how does this affect the logistics of the venue set up?
- Does your venue use floorplan templates/software or is each event/wedding layout customizable?
- Is a parking lot included at this venue?
- Is valet required at this venue? Does the valet company rent the parking lot or are we responsible to do that?
- Is their vendor parking available or would vendors have to valet as well?
- Does this venue require any additional city parking permitting of any kind?
- Are their separate getting ready spaces for the couple at this venue? With or without an adjoining bathroom?
- Does the venue have space for a separate ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception or would it require a room flip?
Venue Security & Accessibility:
- Is there a secure storage space for our extra items during the event/wedding?
- Is this venue ADA compliant? (meaning wheelchair and handicapped accessible throughout)
- Does this venue have a loading dock and or service elevator?
- Does the venue have an accessible location for deliveries that happen during the event/wedding?
- Is additional security required/needed at this venue?
- Are the emergency exits clearly marked?
- Does the venue have security cameras in place?
- Does the venue have a coat/gift check location?
- Is there a guest elevator available?
Venue Power, Lights & Sound:
- Where are the power sources and what is their wattage?
- Does this venue require a fire permit for open flame candles?
- Is there a built-in sound system DJ can plug into?
- Any sound/sub-woofer decibel level to adhere to?
- Any light ordinance levels to adhere to? (*You see this in desert venues often)
- Is there a hard cut off time for events/weddings?
- Does this venue allow strobes, spotlights, or uplighting?
- Does this venue require a generator(s)?
- Any uplighting or string lighting included at this venue?
- What happens in case of a venue power outage?
Venue Restrooms & Trash:
- Are there on-site trash cans included?
- Is there on-site trash disposal included at this venue? Or do you require the client (or caterer) to remove the bagged trash at the end of the night?
- Is there venue cleaning prior to my event/wedding? What about after?
- Do you allow tobacco or marijuana smoking of any kind?
- How many restrooms are on-site?
- If there are not enough restrooms on-site for our guest count are restroom trailers are required? Is there a specific location where they have to be set up on the property?
- If there are on-site restrooms, is there an attendant for cleaning and restocking during my event/wedding?
Venue Furniture & Decor:
- Are tables, chairs, and/or linens included at this venue?
- Does the venue rental come with any lounge furniture? If so, can it be moved or rearranged?
- Does the venue allow rentals and decor load-in the day before the event/wedding? If so, is there any extra charge for this?
- Does the venue allow rentals and decor load-out the day after the event/wedding? Is there any extra charge for this?
- For an outdoor venue, are their sunshades, umbrellas, and or heat lamps included?
- Is the ground even and safe for guests to walk on?
And as always, if you are overwhelmed by remembering to ask a venue ALL these questions, Anything But Gray Events can do it for you. Our Wedding and Design, as well as Wedding Management Packages, are here to help! Contact us today for a complimentary consultation and personalize proposal.