Congratulations! You’re engaged to the love of your life, and it’s time to plan your wedding day. You’re probably feeling a million emotions right now – joyful, excited, and let’s be honest… maybe a little overwhelmed?
Trust me, we get it. There are a lot of moving parts in a wedding ceremony and setting them up can make even the happiest bride feel a tinge of dread. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back!
Let’s consider your wedding venue. Obviously, you’re planning to ask the event manager question after question before you book a space. After all, there are certain things you’re looking for—the right aesthetic, the ideal location, the perfect price point.
However, there’s a lot more to booking a wedding venue than the beautiful views (although those are important too). Before you settle on any venue for your big day, make sure you’ve asked all these questions.
Is Our Wedding Date Available?
Your wedding date was probably one of the first decisions you and your fiancée made. Maybe it’s the most convenient date for your nearest and dearest or maybe it marks a significant day in your relationship.
If you have your heart set on a wedding date, this should be the first question you ask any venue. After all, a wedding venue that’s unavailable is simply a non-starter! This will help you narrow down your options and find the perfect place.
What Does Renting the Venue Include?
Most of us have been imagining our weddings since we were small—which means we’ve had plenty of time to build up our expectations. During the planning process, you’ll determine which of your dreams will become a reality.
Do you want to dance the night away with your new spouse? Find out how much time you’ll reserve when you book your venue. Do you want to get ready on-site with your bridal party? Ask if there’s a suite or other space included.
By asking potential venues exactly what you’ll get when you rent from them, you will be able to make an informed decision and achieve your wedding dreams!
Do You Work With Certain Vendors?
Many wedding venues forge relationships with local vendors, from photographers to caterers. For some couples, this is a wonderful thing (one less thing to worry about), but for others this can be limiting and frustrating.
Do you want your best friend to take your photos? Hoping your cousin will bake your cake? Make sure your venue allows other vendors. If they don’t, go ahead and look for a venue that does.
Can We Meet The Production Staff?
Nearly all venues have someone to guide couples through the wedding process, such as an event planner or day-of coordinator. This can be a godsend—particularly if you establish a friendly rapport with them ahead of time.
If you’re trying to decide between a few venues, ask if you can meet with their event management team. An enjoyable conversation with the potential point-person for your wedding can help determine the best fit for you.
What’s Your Payment Policy?
Your venue will likely take up the largest chunk of your wedding budget, so it’s likely your dream space won’t come cheap. If you’re trying to keep costs under control (and let’s face it, we all are), it’s critical that you and your vendor understand your payment plan.
How much does the venue expect as a deposit? When will they expect you to settle your bill? Will they work with couples to set up payment plans if needed?
Make sure you are clear with the venue about what you can afford. While it can be difficult to talk about money, particularly with strangers, transparency will ultimately help you find the best and most cost-effective solution.
Is The Space Wheelchair Accessible?
A wedding is a gathering of all the important people in your life, from your closest friends to your loving family. And if someone in your family requires special accommodations, it’s up to you to make sure the venue is up to snuff.
This question is especially important if you’re looking at historical venues. Some older buildings may not have accommodations like ramps or elevators, which can keep a guest who uses a wheelchair away from the festivities.
Do You Have a Rainy Day Plan?
Even the most organized couples can’t prepare for an unexpected rainstorm. But do you know who can? A venue with a backup plan! If you’re planning a wedding during a potentially rainy season (or whenever—we’ve all heard of summer storms), make sure to ask your venue for details on their backup plan.
Also, make sure you like the backup plan the venue offers. If you absolutely hate the ballroom they reserve for rainy days, don’t risk having your wedding in it! Look for a venue that will suit your wedding vision, come rain or shine.
How Far Away Are Emergency Services?
Just like you can’t predict the weather, you can’t always predict the bumps and bruises that can happen on your wedding day. Anything can happen, from food allergies to twisted ankles, and the venue should be prepared.
Talk to your venue about their emergency protocol. Do they have a first aid kit on site? Can emergency vehicles get to you quickly if necessary? Is the staff trained in the venue’s policies and ready to get help? There’s a chance you won’t even need emergency services (knock on wood), but it’s always best to make sure everyone is ready.
Can We Make Last-Minute Changes?
Like I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of moving parts during a wedding. And if you’re a perfectionist (when it comes to weddings, most of us are), you may find yourself tinkering with those moving parts—even when you’re moments from walking down the aisle!
Couples that want the freedom to make last-minute adjustments need to communicate this with their venue. Which changes are easy to accommodate? Which ones must be set in stone early on? Exactly how “last-minute” can any changes be? Clear communication here will save everyone from some serious headaches.
How Do (Gulp) Cancellations Work?
Let’s be clear: no one expects to cancel their wedding, but it can happen for any number of reasons. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to know the venue’s policy—more specifically, how much you’ll owe.
If you ask your venue these questions, you’ll gain a more thorough understanding of what they have to offer. Not only will this save you from potential troubles, it will help you and your future spouse find the best place for your special day!