While some couples planning their wedding have shared a list of preliminary questions to ask the wedding venue prior to booking, others may wait until the venue contract is signed. If you had a question to ask wedding venue options that you didn't ask prior to booking, that's okay! Once your wedding venue is booked, you can rest a little easier since a large piece of your wedding has been secured! However, you'll want to ensure all of your bases are covered and all of your questions answered when it comes to your wedding venue in advance of your wedding day as nothing should be left undecided – or left for the last minute.
Opening photo by Brett Hickman Photographers; Linens by Luxe Linen; From Real Event: Romantic, Vintage-Inspired Outdoor Bridal Shower with Pastel Décor
To help you figure out what to ask your venue leading up to your wedding day, Sandy Hammer, the cofounder of AllSeated – a website that helps you build 3D floor plans, seating charts, guest lists, and a wedding timeline – has shared her tips with us.
Here are the five questions to ask your venue for the wedding day:
Your wedding vendors will need to know the time they are allowed to enter the wedding venue to begin the set-up process for your celebration. Finding out this time frame from your venue in advance will help your vendors build their timelines and coordinate details so that the setup is seamless and on schedule for your wedding. Make sure that once you ask your wedding venue about the entry times to share the feedback with your entire vendor list. If you have multiple wedding venues for your ceremony and reception, share the information with the vendor list that corresponds to each separate event.
Here is something most brides don’t realize: your point of contact at the venue during the wedding planning process may not be your contact on the day of your wedding. Make sure you ask your wedding venue in advance who your day-of contact will be at the venue. If your wedding will be handed off to someone new for the day of the celebration, try to schedule a time to meet with this person to review your details. Also, ensure you have a phone number for this person – not just for you but for your wedding vendors to reference too!
This is one of the more important questions to ask your wedding venues – especially if you're creating or DIY-ing a lot of items on your own without a wedding planner, stylist, or designer. To lighten your stress load on the day of your wedding, you may wish to drop off wedding favors, ceremony and reception items, and other belongings in advance. Ask wedding venues if they can accommodate your needs by providing a safe place for you to store your things in the days leading up to your wedding. If not, you'll need to figure out the best way to get everything from your home to the wedding venue on the day of the celebration.
It’s wise to discuss the payment schedule and structure early on in your wedding-planning process so that you are financially prepared for the day of your wedding. This is a very important question to ask venue for wedding-planning and budgeting purposes. As for guests who don't show up to the wedding venue but you've already paid for the guest count, each venue will have their own policies when it comes to no-shows, so it’s best to knock out these conversations in advance to avoid any surprises leading up to the big day. The same goes for cancellation policies in general – make sure you're very clear on what the cancellation policy is to avoid any headaches down the road.
Knowing if you'll have access to a bridal room at the venue will help you build your day-of timeline. If you do have access to a bridal room, you may choose to get ready (think hair, makeup, dress) at the venue. You may also wish to ask if you will have access to the bridal room throughout the celebration so that you can store personal items or use it as a changing room (if you'll be changing gowns) or even just to take a breather!
Armed with these questions to ask a wedding venue, you’ll be able to better plan your big day and avoid any surprises. Of course, you'll also want to make sure that you ask questions related to more logistical items, such as noise restrictions during the cocktail hour or wedding reception, if a sound system is provided for the wedding reception or if you'll need your DJ, band, or entertainment company to source their own, and so on.
Looking for more questions to ask for wedding-venue related items? For additional wedding venue advice, discover how to choose where to get married, find out what to do if you arrive to a wedding early as a guest, and gather tips for selecting a ceremony site.