5 Questions To Ask Your Wedding Venue

I think we all can agree venue tours are super exciting! Walking into a blank canvas and envisioning your perfect day! But before you get too distracted by the rustic farm tables and the charming bridal suite—make sure you ask these questions.

What does the rental price include?

You find that perfect exposed brick loft with all the rustic industrial features your Pinterest board is filled with and it’s only a $2,000 rental fee – where do I sign?!

But then you realize that the rental fee doesn’t cover your tables, chairs, linens, ceremony space or that stunning silk draping. And oh, those beloved chandeliers that you are swooning over, yeah those are also an extra fee – cha ching!

All of those extra items can add up quickly so before you sign on the dotted line make sure you have all the facts and know what your venue includes and how much it will cost you for the items it doesn’t include.

Can I see an example of a floor plan for my guest count?

Some spaces say that they can seat all 250 of your guests but what you may not know is that 5 of those tables may be in a different room or everyone may be squeezed into the space like sardines. Have an understanding of how your guest count would fit into the space and an idea of how the room would flow.

Do you work exclusively with any other vendors?

What some people don’t know is that in the wedding industry some vendors work exclusively with each other—meaning a venue may only work with one caterer or a wedding planner may only work with one photographer.

Your venue may work exclusively with other vendors so make sure you ask this question before you book that florist you have had your eye on for years.

How long do I have the space for?

It is really important to nail down exact times! Some spaces have very strict timing and won’t allow you to enter the space before 2pm on the day of and you must be cleaned up and gone no later than midnight.  This can cause some logistical issues for you and your vendors when it comes to set up and clean up.

Other venues can be more broad and say “you have it for the whole weekend” but does that mean I can show up at 5am and start decorating the morning of and leave all my decorations out at the end of the night and clean them up the next day?

Side story: Recently I was told I could come “anytime in the morning” the day of the wedding by a venue and after rounds of questioning I found out that I actually couldn’t enter the space before 10am which means I am already losing many hours of design and decorating time (I would be there at 6am if they let me). So ask the question!

What is your inclement weather back up plan?

You have been dreaming your whole life about your whimsical garden ceremony but then there is a massive rain storm on your wedding day. You have to move the ceremony inside into the reception space and have your guests sit at their tables…but there’s a problem.

Your tables are tight because your guest count is close to maximum capacity, so you can’t make an actual aisle to walk down.  You have to do more of a side shuffle through chairs, and the space is so tight that the alter your dad spent weeks building doesn’t fit and your bridesmaid is practically sitting on your Uncle Al’s lap.

The last thing you need on your wedding day is more stress so have a plan with your venue for weather issues.

 

One item to note is that these questions are not here to make you think venues are out to get you or you need to protect yourself from them. As wedding professionals we sometimes lose sight of the fact that this is most of our clients first time going through the process of planning a wedding and our clients don’t know what is typical or standard, so it can become very easy to leave details out.

Let me hear your thoughts – what questions do you wish you would have asked your venue? What questions did you ask your venue?

Brooke Dumas

Brooke is the owner of Stellaluna Events and a top Michigan wedding planner. She is a lover of celebrations by the water, with extensive experience with Lake Michigan and other lakeside weddings. Brooke believes in tossing away the trends and creating fulfilling experiences for her clients and their guests.

2 Comments

  1. Steph on April 10, 2017 at 1:02 am

    Great post!!!

    • Brooke Depauw on April 12, 2017 at 7:07 pm

      Thanks Steph! Miss you!

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