“Is this wedding venue available on our preferred wedding day?”
Seems like an obvious first question, doesn't it? However, you can’t get anywhere in the planning process without finding a venue that works for your chosen date. There is no point in visiting a potential wedding venue, falling in love with the idea of getting married there, and then not being able to make your dreams come true because another bride and groom booked your date first.
If you've already chosen your special date, then we suggest you get in touch with your potential wedding venue early to let them know your preferred date. If they’re already booked on that date, decide whether your date is flexible, or get back to searching for your perfect wedding venue.
“How many guests can your venue accommodate?”
This is crucial, as you don't want to book a wedding venue that has a large seating area for 250 guests if you're only inviting 60 guests, and you don’t want to be packing 400 guests into a hall that only fits 200.
You want to ensure that your guests can sit comfortably without being crammed into a small venue, or being shoved in at the back without seeing the head table. Once you have a rough idea of how many wedding guests you’re planning to invite, you need to make sure your wedding venue can accommodate your guest count.
“Is it possible to also have our wedding ceremony at the wedding venue?”
Some couples prefer to have a small, intimate wedding ceremony on-site before a large reception in the evening. If this is your plan, ask your wedding venue if they have space for you to have an on-site wedding ceremony. Most wedding venues have either already designated areas for ceremonies, or halls that can be transformed into beautiful ceremony spaces. Just make sure that the wedding ceremony space is right for you.
“What time can we access the wedding venue? What about our vendors?”
"Exclusively yours for the entire day!"... says their website. But what does that mean exactly? Each wedding venue has their own rules for when you’re allowed to come by. Check with your wedding venue what time you’ll be able to start your event, and what time your DJ, decorator and wedding planner can come by the wedding hall to set up.
You don’t want you, your guests, or even your vendors to be stuck outside the venue’s doors because the hall isn’t ready yet.
“Is there a bridal suite, and can we use it for the entire evening?”
Having a designated area that is privately yours relieves some of your wedding day stress. Planning on doing an outfit change? – use your bridal suite. Need a moment of peace and quiet before the reception? – use your bridal suite. Need somewhere to store your belongings while you’re enjoying being newlyweds on your big day? – use your bridal suite. Make sure the wedding venues you’re considering have an area exclusively for you to use when you need a space away from your guests, and confirm how long you have access to it.
“Do you have in-house catering, or do we bring our own?”
In-house caterers are not only already familiar with the wedding venue’s kitchen, but also the venue’s layout, ensuring smooth dinner service This means that it’s always a good idea to go with your wedding venue’s catering team. However, if you’re looking for some sort of specific cuisine that your wedding hall doesn’t offer, ask them if they allow outside catering. Whatever you choose, you’re in for a delicious meal!
“What if it rains?”
It won't rain on your wedding day, right? While some say that rain on your wedding day is good luck, it has the potential to derail your plans. If the sun lets you down on your big day, you need a back-up plan. If you’re planning to add an outdoor element to your ceremony or reception, check with your wedding venue about what can be done if it rains.
“Are there accommodations available at the wedding venue or a nearby hotel?”
Maybe you’re hoping to book a honeymoon suite, or maybe your guests are coming to your wedding from out of town, and will need a place to stay. Either way, you should definitely check with your wedding venue if they have their own accommodations, or if they have a deal with a hotel nearby.
Wedding venues often partner with hotels in the area to give you lower pricing for wedding group bookings or honeymoon suites. If this is something you’re interested in, remember to book early.
“Will there be any other weddings taking place at the venue the same night as ours?”
Are you worried about bumping into another bride on your big day? While most venues who book multiple weddings at once take precautions to avoid event crossovers, this is still something you should mention. Ask yourself if you mind seeing another wedding at your venue on the same night, and then ask the wedding venue what their policy is.
Some wedding venues avoid booking double weddings, or don’t have the space to do so, but either way, figure out your comfort level and check with the hall.
“What time does the bar close and what time do we have to leave?”
This might even be the most important question: how late can we party? No one wants to be kicked out of the venue as soon as the clock strikes midnight, or to have the bar close three hours before the guests leave. Check with the wedding venue about last call at the bar, and when the DJ or band is expected to stop playing. Guests naturally make their way out when bars close or music stops.
If you want a huge send-off at the end of the night, run this by your wedding venue and DJ so that everyone is prepared. Your guests would love to congratulate the new Mr. and Mrs. with a huge farewell!
“When can we have a tour?”
Once you’ve found a wedding venue that seems to meet all your requirements, make sure to book a time to see the space! Booking a tour is the best way to discuss all the important details of the wedding with the hall manager so that you know exactly what to expect on your big day. Walk through the hall, visualize the dinner, the first dance, the party, and start planning!