Wedding Venue Questions You Should Ask While Touring

January 19, 2024
Wedding Venue Questions You Should Ask While Touring

Planning a wedding is an exciting journey filled with countless nerve-wracking decisions that will shape one of the most memorable days of your life. Among the crucial choices, selecting the perfect wedding venue is one of the most pivotal moments. Chances are you will be touring multiple sites, so it’s important to remember specifics when it comes time to pull the trigger. 

To ensure you make the right choice, it’s essential to ask the right questions during your venue tours. Of course, if you’ve never planned a wedding before (and we’re going to guess that you haven’t), it’s hard to know just what those questions may be. That’s why we’re breaking down the vital ones that will help you feel confident in your decision when the time comes. 

Important Wedding Venue Questions to Ask

Availability and Capacity

Before you dive into the deep end, start with the basics. Ask about the venue’s availability on your desired date and whether they can accommodate your guest list comfortably. Understanding the venue’s capacity is crucial to ensure all your loved ones can be a part of your special day. To save yourself the headache, we highly recommend trying to find this information online or giving them a call. The last thing you want to do is drive down there only to discover that they don’t have your ideal date open. However, for some couples, this may not matter. If you have a dream venue in mind, their availability may be the dictating factor when you tie the knot.

Pricing and Packages

Before you even begin touring venues, sit down with your partner and create a budget. Discuss what your top priorities are when it comes to the wedding–whether it be photographer, florals, or DJ. This will help you break down the percentage of the budget you’re willing to spend on the venue and other priority vendors. Once you’ve got that number in mind, inquire about the venue’s pricing structure, what’s included in the package, and if there are any additional fees. Knowing the full cost upfront will help you make an informed decision and avoid unexpected expenses later. While there’s no way to prevent unexpected costs altogether, this will help ease the not-so-fun surprise.

Venue Layout and Configurations

As you walk through the space, get a detailed understanding of the venue’s layout and the various configurations available. Ask about your options for the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. This will help you envision how the space can be personalized to suit your preferences and accommodate your unique wedding vision.

Catering and Bar Services

Many venues offer in-house catering services or have preferred vendors that you are to use. If you have a specific caterer in mind, this can be a turn-off. Ask about the menu options, dietary restrictions they can accommodate, and if they can provide a tasting session. Additionally, clarify the rules and regulations regarding bringing in an external caterer if you have specific preferences. 

We also suggest asking about the bar services, including the types of beverages offered and any restrictions on bringing in your own alcohol. There are multiple different ways that you can set up your bar–from bringing in your own liquor to signature cocktails to a cash bar to just beer and wine–so knowing what the venue prefers versus what you like can also be a big dealbreaker. 

Vendor Restrictions and Recommendations

Some venues have a list of preferred vendors or exclusive partnerships. Take the time to understand the venue’s policies on bringing in your own vendors and if they have any restrictions or recommendations. Some couples prefer venues that take care of everything to help the ease of wedding planning, while others like being able to pick and choose exactly who is a big part of their day. 

​​Décor and Setup Options

While your venue is important, the way you decorate the space can completely transform even the simplest space. Unfortunately, some venues have limits on decorations, with specific restrictions and available setup options. Some venues may also have decorations you can rent or use (included in the venue pricing). Clarify whether they provide any decor items, such as linens, centerpieces, or lighting. If they don’t provide any, you’ll have to look into a rental company, which adds another expense to your budget.

Logistics and Amenities

This is one of the most important yet least interesting parts. It’s time to dive into the logistical details. Ask about parking facilities, accessibility for any guests with mobility issues, and the proximity of accommodations for out-of-town guests. Touch on the amenities such as dressing rooms for the bridal party, restrooms, and any other facilities that might enhance the overall experience for you and your guests.

Backup Plan for Inclement Weather

Nature can be unpredictable, especially on a day as significant as your wedding. While rain on your wedding day is good luck, we’ll bet you don’t want to be exchanging vows in a torrential downpour. If you’re having an outdoor ceremony or reception, find out if the venue has a backup plan in case of inclement weather. Some may have another space that you can use. If they don’t, or you’re not a big fan of the space they do offer, you can also get a tent. However, these can be costly.

Timeline and Restrictions

Of course, when you first start planning your wedding, you’re most likely not going to have a timeline in your mind. But you may know that you want to stay up late to party into the night with all of your loved ones. That’s why knowing the hours included in your rental, any overtime fees, and any noise restrictions is crucial. 

Cancellation and Refund Policies

Lastly, while it’s not a pleasant topic, discussing the venue’s cancellation and refund policies is crucial. Life can be unpredictable (just look at what happened during the pandemic), and having a clear understanding of the terms in case of unforeseen circumstances will give you peace of mind.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the perfect wedding venue requires careful consideration and thorough questioning. By addressing these ten essential points during your venue tours, you’ll be well-equipped to make an informed decision that aligns with your vision and ensures a seamless and memorable wedding day. Happy planning!