Finding the Perfect Venue and the Questions to Ask!
Updated: Nov 6
The Joule Hotel, Dallas
Choosing your wedding venue is one of the first big decisions you’ll make when planning your wedding. We recommend visiting venues 12 to 18 months before your wedding to help inspire your other wedding details.
Be sure to consider your budget, style, and personality as you tour wedding venues to make your wedding planning much easier. Keeping this list of questions handy will help you cross off essential items on your to do list in no time. It’s always a good idea to ask about the cost of the venue right away––this will avoid any surprises when you receive your final bill and help you stay within your budget. Don’t forget to ask the venue about their insurance and cancellation policies.
Alden Castle, Boston
Here are some of the first questions to ask on your tour—everything from the venue’s availability to its capacity. These questions will let you know if the venue is right for you from the start. We even suggest asking these before you book a tour to save you some time.
What’s the availability around my ideal date?How many guests can the venue accommodate?
How many hours are included in the rental?What wedding packages do you have, and what’s included in them?
Do you host more than one event on the same day? If so, how many other events will be booked for the same day as my wedding?How far in advance can we reserve a date?
Is there an outdoor space?
What’s the total cost of the venue, and what’s included in that fee?
How much is the deposit?
When is the deposit due?
Is the deposit refundable?
What’s your cancellation policy?
Are there payment plans available?
What are the insurance requirements for me and my vendors?
Do you have liability insurance?
Will I need event insurance?
Do you have different rates for different seasons?
Can I see a sample contract?
What’s not included in your contract that couples typically need to book or pay for on their own?
Marie Gabrielle, Dallas
To ensure that the beginning and end of your wedding day run smoothly, ask these questions about the setup and breakdown of the space. Generally, if you book an all-inclusive venue, they are in charge of setting up and breaking down the event. However, if you will be bringing in any outside vendors these are definitely questions you’ll want to ask.
How long do we get for set-up and breakdown?
What does a typical layout for a wedding look like?
Do you have any photographs of past weddings you can show me?
Who will be our main contact at the venue on the day of?
What time can my vendors begin setting up?iI
Is there a cleaning fee?
Don Cesar in St Petersburg, Florida
Decorations and details, including floral, centerpieces, and lounge furniture play a large part in personalizing you’re wedding’s style. Some venues have restrictions on the types of decorations you can use—for instance; some locations won’t allow you to hang things from the wall or ceiling. While you’re on your tour, ask some of these questions about the venue’s decoration policies.
How early can we start decorating?
Can we go in the day before the wedding to decorate or store items?
Are there any restrictions on reception decorations that we should know about?
Can we use candles in our decorations?
Can we throw confetti or use sparklers?
Do we need to provide our own place cards, table numbers, or seating chart?
Do you have decorations available to rent?Will you provide signs to direct guests to our reception?
Do you have any décor, such as vases and candleholders, that we can borrow for our reception?
Are the facilities decorated, or can we customize their decor as well?
Chateau du Doux, Bordeaux, France
Before you start looking for florists, caterers, and designers, here are some of the questions you’ll want to ask the venue about vendors and staffing.
Do you have a list of preferred vendors?
Can we work with other vendors, or will we need to stick to your recommended list?
Do you provide a coat check service?
What type of security service do you offer?
Is there a service charge for the staff, and what’s your tipping policy?
Are there any restrictions for the photographer—are there any places they’re not allowed to photograph, and are they allowed to use flash?
Do you offer valet?
Is the bar staffed, or do we need to hire a bartender?
The Plaza Hotel, New York City
Whether you’re thinking of hiring a DJ or a live band, here are some questions to ask your potential venues about your entertainment.
Can we bring in a band or DJ? What’s your sound system like?
How many people can the dance floor accommodate?
Is there a time that we have to stop playing music/Are there any noise restrictions?
What time can the DJ or band start setting up?
Is there a designated area for entertainment, or can we place them as we see fit?
What’s the typical sound setup at your venue?
The Drake Hotel, Chicago
It’s always important to ask the venue about logistical considerations, including parking and the accessibility of the space. These questions will help ensure that your wedding goes off without a hitch.
How much parking is available at the venue, and will I need to pay for my guests parking?
Is the space handicap accessible?
Are there outdoor restrictions at the venue?
How many restrooms do you have?
Are there separate spaces for the cocktail hour, ceremony, and reception?
If the wedding is outdoors, what’s the backup plan if it rains?
Is there a special room for the bride to change?
Are there plenty of outlets for vendors to use?
Is there a secure space to keep our gifts?
Are rideshares/cabs easy to access from the venue?
Is the venue accessible for public transportation Such as Lyft or Uber?
What are the nearest hotels to the venue?
Camp Lucy, Dripping Springs, Texas
Asking these questions will help you find the wedding venue of your dreams. Once you’ve selected the perfect location, you can start planning the details like choosing your florals, booking your photographer, and the caterer.
Part of Two Girls in Pearls Events “Full Wedding Planning” services are touring venues with our brides and we gladly assist with asking these questions and going over your contracts before you sign them.
Every brides next big choice after the venue is finding the perfect dress! Ballgowns to mermaid, elegant and formal, or maybe fun and whimsical. Whatever your style is we will talk about trends and classic styles next week in our “Wedding Wednesday” blog.
Kimberley & Beth
Two Girls in Pearls Events