13 Questions to Ask When Booking a Wedding Venue

outdoor wedding venue with string lights

You’ve landed the fiancé of your dreams – now, it’s time to snag the perfect venue for the big day. Touring potential venues is your opportunity to get answers to a long list of important questions, so you can make sure that you and the venue are a match made in wedding planning heaven.

We’ve put together a list that covers all of the questions to ask when booking a wedding venue, tackling everything from finances to the fine print.

Wedding Venue Questions to Ask Before Your Tour

Before you spend time taking a tour of a venue, you want to double-check a few non-negotiables:

  • Budget: If the cost of renting a wedding venue (including any food and beverage minimum and other required expenses) doesn’t fit into your budget, you might have to consider moving on. And honestly, we strongly recommend not even looking. There is nothing worse than falling love with a venue you can’t afford!
  • Date: If you’re already set a date – and you can’t or won’t change it – then you need to confirm that the venue has it available.
  • Style: Does the wedding venue fit your desired style? For example, if you want a romantic, rustic vibe, an ultra-modern loft is probably going to get the boot immediately.
  • Size: How many people does the space accommodate? A wedding venue’s capacity directly impacts your guest list (and your budget). If you love a certain space, but it only fits 50 – and your guest list has already hit 200-plus – you have some big decisions to make.

Wedding Venue Questions to Ask During Your Tour

If a potential venue passes the tests above, it can move to the next stage: an onsite tour where you and your future spouse can get all of the nitty-gritty details. Here are some of the key questions to ask during a wedding venue tour.

What services are offered?

Every venue is different when it comes to available services, so you’ll want to know exactly what’s included and/or optional to add on.

Find out if your venue services include the following:

  • Catering
  • A bar
  • Parking
  • Dressing rooms
  • Cocktail hour space
  • Ceremony and reception space
  • A backup plan/space for bad weather
  • ADA-compliant facilities

What kinds of restrictions do you have?

Is there a specific limit on your event’s start/end time? Does the venue have a license that allows alcoholic beverages to be served? Are there certain restrictions on vendors, decor, or music? Check-in on venue restrictions to ensure they don’t clash with your vision for your wedding day.

How many weddings do you allow within a day?

Some venues allow multiple weddings within a day (or even at the same time), which can get tricky. If managed properly, this shouldn’t be an issue, but it’s a good idea to ask so that you know what to expect.

What’s your deposit/cancellation/refund policy?

The venue should provide you with detailed information about all financial aspects, including any required deposit, cancellation fees, and if/how you can get a refund if you have to cancel.

Are there any additional fees we should be aware of?

Hidden fees can make an unexpected dent in your budget, so stay one step ahead by asking outright. Common add-on expenses include automatic gratuities, cake-cutting and corkage fees, and other service charges.

Can we hire outside vendors?

This is a crucial question because many venues have strict rules about which vendors are permitted on the property. The venue might have a list of preferred vendors that you are allowed to work with, while others have specific contract requirements for outside vendors.

wedding venue directional sign
Image Source: MAKSYM CHUB/Shutterstock

Other Things to Consider When Choosing a Venue

While you’re taking a tour of the venue, you’ll also need to do some research into other aspects to determine if it’s the right fit.

For example:

  • Are we allowed to bring our own decorations? If so, what are the rules for set-up?
  • What time can our vendors begin setting up?
  • Are we allowed to rearrange the space?
  • Can the venue accommodate a DJ and/or live band?
  • Are there guest accommodations available near the wedding venue?
  • If the ceremony and reception are taking place at two separate locations, how far apart are they?
  • What is the parking/transportation situation?

Need Help Finding a Wedding Venue? Grand Rapids Bride is Here for You!

Grand Rapids Bride is like a virtual best friend that knows everything there is to know about wedding planning – and we’re here to help you plan the wedding day of your dreams. Grand Rapids Bride is your go-to source for your upcoming nuptials, from wedding planning resources to an online shop with all the wedding goodies you need.

Check out our list of featured wedding venues in Michigan to get started!

Image Source: Erman Erikoglu/Shutterstock



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