We have put together a printable pdf checklist of about 100 questions to ask your wedding venue.
You might be wondering about things like:
- What kind of questions should you ask a wedding venue?
- What should I know before choosing a wedding venue?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Feel free to print out a copy of the pdf checklist and take one to each wedding venue that you visit.
We also included a wedding venue comparison worksheet/template in the free download.
Here is what we cover in this article:
- Pricing and availability questions to ask your wedding before booking
- Questions to ask your venue about guests, food, and drinks
- General things to ask your wedding venue
- Questions to ask a venue about other wedding vendors
- Reception and decor-related questions to ask your venue
- Questions about rehearsals, lodging, and misc.
- More helpful wedding planning tips and resources
Pricing And Availability Questions To Ask Your Wedding Venue Before Booking
Asking questions about venue availability and pricing should be your first priority.
If the venue is not available on a date that you want to get married, or if the venue is not within your budget, there is no reason to ask any other questions.
We recommend getting this information over email or phone.
No need to set up an in-person meeting just to find out that you can’t get married at the venue anyway.
Something to keep in mind when looking over these questions…
You do not need to ask every single question from this list.
Some of these questions might not make sense for your wedding venue.
We recommend going through the list and choosing the questions that make the most sense for your wedding day and venue.
You can print out a free template of these questions down below.
The PDF download includes a blank template where you can fill in your own questions from this list.
First Questions To Ask
Here are some of the questions to ask the wedding venue about pricing and availability:
- Is my wedding date available?
- If my date is not available, what dates are available that are close to my original request?
- What is the total price for my requested date?
- What is included in the price? (Get all of the details)
You want to get all of the details about what the quoted price includes.
We work with venues in our area that include everything in their quote (no surprises), and we work with venues that quote a price that only includes the basics.
So venue number one might quote $7,000 for everything. That is your total price.
Venue number two might quote $4,000 but then you have to add in tables, chairs, clean-up fees, and a bunch of other stuff.
Venue number two ends up costing $8,500 for the same things you were getting in venue number one ($7,000).
Ask for all of the details in the first meeting. You want to leave the venue with all of the information.
- What are the different rates for the other days of the week or other times of the year?
- What packages do you offer?
- How many hours are included with our package?
- How much is the deposit?
- What is the payment schedule?
- When is the final payment due?
- What is the cancellation/refund policy?
- Are service fees, gratuities, cleaning fees, etc. included in the quoted price? If not, what are the details of those costs?
- Is there a fee if we make changes to our contract after we sign the contract?
- Is there any other part of the property that is open to the public on our wedding day?
- Do you host other events on the same day as our wedding? If so, how many other events? Where do those events take place?
Important Questions To Ask Your Wedding Venue About Guests, Food, and Drinks
Some wedding venues require that you purchase all food and alcohol through them and others allow you to bring in your own bar and food.
It’s best to get all of your food/alcohol questions answered before you spend too much time touring the venue grounds.
Here are some important questions to ask your wedding venue regarding catering, alcohol, and guests:
- How many guests can you accommodate?
- Is there onsite parking for guests? If not, how is parking handled?
- Are there special accommodations for disabled guests?
- How many bathrooms are available? Where are they located?
- Do you offer in-house catering?
- Can we bring in our own caterer?
- Do you have a list of preferred caterers?
- If we provide our own caterer, is there a kitchen and/or storage/prep area for them to use?
- If catering is in-house, is there a food/beverage minimum?
- Are tables, chairs, linens, plates, glassware, and silverware included? What is the cost breakdown?
- Do you provide wedding cakes? If so, what is the cost?
- Can we bring in our own cake/desserts?
- Is there a cake-cutting fee? If we buy the cake from you is there still a cutting fee?
- Do you have a liquor license?
- Can we bring in our own alcohol?
- Is hard alcohol allowed?
- If we have to purchase alcohol from you, how is it priced? Is there a minimum?
- If purchasing alcohol from you, is there an extra charge for bar staff?
- If we provide our own alcohol, is there a corkage or service fee?
General Things To Ask Your Wedding Venue Before Booking
Here is a list of questions to ask your wedding venue that might be important to your wedding day plans:
- Can we get ready at the venue?
- Are there getting ready spaces for both parties? Can we see the spaces?
- What time can we arrive on-site?
- Can we have our ceremony and reception at the venue?
- How many different ceremony locations do you have?
- If the ceremony is outdoors, what is the backup plan if it rains?
- Do you have a separate space for cocktail hour?
- If the cocktail hour space is outdoors, what is the backup plan if it rains?
- Will there be a person from the venue on site all day/night?
- Will anyone from the venue help with coordinating the ceremony and/or reception?
- What time do we have to get everything out of the venue after the reception?
- Is there heating/AC in all indoor locations?
- Can pets be included in the ceremony and/or photos?
- Do you supply tables for programs, card tables, cakes, guestbooks, gifts, etc.?
- Are there any noise restrictions?
Questions To Ask A Wedding Venue About Other Vendors
Some wedding venues allow you to bring in other vendors of your choice while other venues require you to hire vendors off of their preferred vendor list.
It’s best to know what you working with before you book.
Here are the best questions to ask your wedding venue regarding other vendors:
- What time are my wedding vendors on-site to set up?
- Do you have a preferred vendor list?
- Are we allowed to use any vendors that we want?
- Does your venue offer day-of-coordination?
- Can your venue accommodate a live band? If so, how much space will the band have?
- What does my band or DJ need to provide themselves (power, tables, etc.)?
- Does the venue provide any lighting or audio/sound services?
- How big is your dance floor?
- Where does the DJ typically set up?
We have worked at multiple venues where the DJ was forced to set upstairs in a loft.
Many guests complained because the DJ was removed from the dance floor action, and guests could not easily request songs.
Something to consider.
Reception And Decor-Related Questions To Ask Your Wedding Venue
Here are the best questions to ask your venue regarding your wedding reception and decor:
- Are there any décor restrictions?
- Does your wedding venue allow real candles?
- Do you have decor that we can use?
- Are we allowed to do a sparkler send-off?
- Do you allow fireworks?
- Does someone from the venue maintain restrooms and garbage cans during the wedding reception?
- Is there a smoking area?
- Does the venue have a generator in case the power goes out?
- Is there a coat check?
- Does the venue have security?
- Does anyone from the venue help with moving decorations to/from the ceremony and reception locations?
Questions To Ask About Rehearsal, Lodging, and Misc.
Here are some great questions to ask your venue about hotels, rehearsal, and a few other random things:
- How do your ceremony rehearsals go (when, how long, etc.)?
- Do you offer a space for the rehearsal dinner? If not, do you have recommendations for nearby restaurants?
- What are the most common transportation methods people use for this venue?
- What hotels do most people use for their guests when using this venue?
- Do you partner with any hotels that might offer discounts or upgrades to your couples?
- Can we see photos that show a wedding at the same time of year as our wedding?
- Is it possible to see the locations that most people use for their wedding day photos?
- Can you walk us through an entire wedding day at your venue (getting ready, ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception)?
- Are there any renovations planned between now and my wedding date?
This last question is an important one.
We have planned and photographed a few different weddings where the couple was blindsided by changes to the venue that they did not know about until the morning of the wedding.
On one occasion, the ceremony site had to be moved because outdoor renovations took longer than expected.
The couple didn’t know about these renovations and would have never booked if they knew this was a possibility.
On another occasion, there was scaffolding up on one side of the venue.
The couple had to change locations for many of their wedding photos because of this.
Again, something that they did not know about until the wedding day.
Download A Free Wedding Questions Checklist PDF (Printable Template and Worksheet)
We have put together a free printable checklist PDF and venue comparison worksheet.
You can download the PDF checklist below: