You’re going down your list of potential wedding venues and visiting as many as it takes to find The Right One. Like everywhere else – they’ve got their sales program down. They know what to tell you and what not to tell you. But you don’t do this all the time so what do YOU ask? (Well some of you may have done this before ๐
Here’s a quick list of questions to ask potential wedding venues when you visit them. Some of them seem basic but some of them are very important – especially if the answer is something you don’t want/agree with. So maybe you print this out. Maybe you bring it with you. Maybe you hire me to come along and make dumb jokes while you visit your venues. Okay don’t do that last one – but take a look at these.
- What are your available dates? (around your target date)
- What is the total fee for the venue/facility?
- What does that fee include?
- What are the time limits?
- What’s the fee or cost or penalty for going over the allotted time?
- Who is responsible for the clean up after the reception?
- How many spaces are there for parking/what are the parking options?
- Is the parking a paid lot or is it free?
- Do you have a valet option?
- How many restrooms are available?
- Where are the restrooms located?
- What is your cancellation policy and the terms?
- Are any chairs, tables, linens, tableware included?
- Is the dancefloor included?
- Is there an extra fee for rehearsal time?
- Are any other events going on at the same time at the venue?
- Can we use any caterer or do you require us to use a specific caterer?
- Can we supply our own alcohol?
- What is the indoor/rain option? (if it’s primarily an outdoor venue)
- Will there be a staff member present to assist during the wedding?
- What accommodations are available for the elderly and disabled?
- Are children generally safe at the venue? (no obvious dangers)
- What Package Deals are available?
- What are the hotels that are nearby?
- Do you have a preferred vendor list?
- Is the site insured in case of an accident?
- Are additional permits required for items such as amplified music, heaters or alcoholic beverages
Any other questions you can think of? Write those down before you get to the venue.
A few other things you want to pay attention to is how you are treated by the persons that are showing you the venue. The staff. How helpful are they? Do they talk down to you? Do they seem like they’re not making time for you? More importantly - how are they answering your questions? Happily? Complete? Answering with tricky non-answers? Trust your gut with any impressions you feel from your visit – whether from the persons showing you around or the venue itself. I don’t care if the place creeps you out for some weird non-intellectual reason. If one of you is creeped out by the place – don’t book it. Even if it’s cheap. Even if everything else is great. You do not want to get married in a place that creeps you out.
Now. I have absolutely no idea why I went off on that tangent – because it’s not like many people are booking wedding venues that creep them out.
Anyway – print out the list above – cut off the whole part about creepy venues – and go find your place.