Wedding Venue Cheat Sheet
Finding the perfect wedding venue can be daunting. However, with the help of online search engines, wedding Websites and magazines, along with referrals (word of mouth) things are much easier nowadays. Sites like WeddingWire, The Knot, and Style Me Pretty offer pictures and lists of local venues that come highly recommended. Who doesn’t like to drool over gorgeous pictures of dreamy and whimsical weddings all while venue scouting?
Photo by Tom Nicol
Once you narrow down your list from online shopping and magazine scouting, it’s nice to visit these top locations in person to get a better idea. When you do visit these locations in person, please be prepared. The following questions are meant to be a guide for newly engaged couples:
- How does the place charge—per person, by the hour, or flat fee? What is the payment plan?
- Does the location provide everything we’ll need (tables, chairs, dinnerware, linens, stage for DJ or band, dance floor, tent, additional lighting, etc.)? Are there up charges for these items?
- How many people does it seat?
- Does the style of the space match the look we’re going for?
- Does the decor coordinate with our color scheme?
- Do we like the view and the surrounding area? Are their windows?
- Where does the band/entertainment set up?
- Is there an echo in the room? This will affect how the band/DJ will sound.
- Can we see sample floor plans and/or visit when the room is set up for a wedding, so we can see what everything looks like when it’s set up?
- Is in-house catering available? Can we bring in our own caterer?
- Does the site have a liquor license? Can we bring in our own alcohol? If so, what types of alcohol will be served, and is there any cap or limit?
- Is ours the only reception scheduled that day? If not, will there be another one during our reception?
- Will we be sharing cocktail hour space or bathrooms with the other guests? Will we be able to hear their music during our reception?
- Will the manager be present for our reception?
- What are the cancellation policies? Is the deposit refundable?
- What’s the staff to guest ratio?
- How many hours is the site available? Are there charges if the reception runs over?
- Is there free parking? If there is valet parking, what are the rates and expected gratuities?
- Is parking free for vendors?
- What is the charge for vendor meals?
- Will there be coatroom and restroom attendants? Servers? Bartenders? What are the charges for each?
Happy venue shopping! Make sure to ask plenty of questions, and to get everything in writing in your contract when you are ready to book the perfect site.