You've fallen in love with the third wedding venue you've come across in a Google search but the question remains, "How do you know this venue is right for you?" The answer to this question goes beyond your affinity towards the space because of its physical features. The best wedding venue is simply determined by your clear understanding of the restrictions and how best you can work within those limitations to produce the wedding of your dreams.
You shouldn't book a wedding venue without asking these very important questions which we've broken down into 4 sections:
Read on to see why you should ask these 10 questions before booking your wedding venue!
1. Is there parking available on-site?
You definitely don't want to book a wedding venue without considering how much parking space is available and if the rental fee includes parking. You want your guests to feel taken care of upon arrival so speak with the venue to determine the best parking options - valet parking, shuttle service to off-site parking etc. If parking unfortunately happens to be an additional cost you are unable to cover, you can easily communicate to your guests in advance that there will be paid parking on site so they are adequately prepared.
2. Are there any time and noise restrictions during the reception?
Noise levels are typically enforced as per by-law regulations but you should still inquire if the venue has policies in place to regulate noise levels. Being aware of noise restrictions will inform your decision to hire a live band or DJ and also advise how your guests comport themselves. In the spirit of having fun, your guests might get carried away and party beyond the scheduled end time. If that happens, you don't want your guests to be thrown out! Speak with the wedding venue to incorporate an extended reception time into the contract.
2. Can you celebrate with guests using sparklers, confetti or fireworks?
You can never assume what a venue accommodates - if your venue deems certain activities as a liability, they won't accommodate it! Group activities using long sparklers for example make for the perfect shot but could easily be considered a liability. Throwing confetti believe it or not could also be disallowed. This might all sound ridiculous to you but a no open flame policy actually includes sparklers and some venues don't allow throwing non-environmentally friendly materials.
4. Do we have to use your approved vendors?
Most wedding venues have a preferred vendor's list of industry professionals that have experience working at the venue. You might want to bring in your own vendors to create the wedding style of your dream so before you sign any contract, make sure the venue is aware of your intentions and discuss any guidelines or limitations associated with hiring external vendors.
5. Do you accommodate early drop offs and late pick ups?
A costly mistake some couples make when booking a space is not taking into account the time for vendor delivery, setup and breakdown. Depending on the size and style of your wedding, you might require additional time outside of the rental period that can be mitigated by early drop offs and late pick ups of vendor services which you can work into the contract.
6. Are there any décor restrictions?
You love the space as it is but to suit your wedding aesthetic, you'll probably need to introduce decor that will bring your vision to life. You've also considered rearranging or removing existing decor. Heads up! Not all venues can accommodate such requests so quickly get familiar with any restrictions so you and your designer can plan accordingly.
7. Does your venue have any restrictions on catering services?
Wedding venues typically collaborate with catering companies to exclusively provide meals and/or beverages for all events. What you need to know is if the food and/or beverages are included in the rental fee. Next, consider the venue's policies on hiring external caterers and the possibility of the in-house chef creating a menu catered to your food preferences.
8. Do you have your own sound equipment and speakers?
The quality of sound at a wedding venue can dictate your choice in wedding entertainment and affect your budget. If your venue comes with fully functioning sound equipment and speakers that can accommodate a DJ or a live band, you won't need to rent out additional equipment which saves you money.
9. How many weddings do you have in a day?
This question lets you gauge the risk of setbacks that can result from your venue hosting multiple events on your wedding day. Picture your wedding vendors at the site waiting to drop off furniture only to be delayed by the previous party's breakdown process. Having exclusive access to the venue will prevent chaos so you'll probably want to sit down with your venue to discuss options such as a complete buyout.
10. What is the backup plan for rain or inclement weather?
The weather is one variable we have absolutely no control over but being prepared during such times of uncertainty ultimately falls in our hands. You'll feel completely at ease knowing that your wedding venue can accommodate unexpected changes in the weather.
We hope these questions were helpful and if you are seeking more information on wedding venues, definitely let us know in the comments.
The Style X Events Team