When Shopping for Your Wedding Venue, Ask these 5 Essential Questions
Your Wedding

Your wedding day is quickly approaching. You've met the right guy. You have selected the date. Now, you need to choose the location! Here are 5 questions to ask when you venue shop for your wedding.

#1: What is your budget for the venue?

When you are planning on your wedding, you need to set a budget. All the different expenses for flowers, food, and favors will quickly add up. Make sure to set a budget so you can know how much money you are willing to spend. When you begin to shop for the perfect venue for your wedding, you will need to know how much you have allotted to spend on the venue.

Depending on where you want to get married will determine how much the venue is going to cost. Wedding venues in Los Angeles can be more expensive than a country wedding in the Midwest. Make sure to ask yourself (and your future-spouse) how much you would like to spend on the location.

Sometimes, choosing a nicer and more expensive venue can save you money in other areas. If your rental is a beautiful spot, you will not have to worry about too much decor. If your venue has great additions like furniture and access to lighting and AV tech, you will not have to rent those things. These are some thoughts to keep in mind when it comes to the budget for your wedding.

#2: What is included in the venue package?

Every venue rental is different. Some party venues will include furniture, while others will charge extra. Some event spaces will have necessary things like LED screens and sound equipment, while in others the client will have to rent what is desired.

When you shop for a venue for your wedding, you will need to ask what comes with the venue package. Ask these questions BEFORE you sign or give a deposit. You will want to know what is included with the price you are paying.

Here are some items you will want to ask the event venue staff about when you visit the site.

  • In-House Furniture
  • Seating
  • AV Tech
  • Projectors/LED Walls
  • Lighting
  • Tablecloths
  • Vendors
  • Caterers
  • Bar Service

#3: What are the essential factors to consider when venue shopping for your wedding?

Your wedding
Your wedding

When you are planning a wedding, everything will seem important and urgent to you; however, you will have to decide what are the most important things that have to happen. Is the dress the most important thing? Is the photographer the most important thing? What are my 'must-haves'?

When it comes to the venue, there are some essential factors to consider. Most weddings have a ceremony and a reception to follow. Your venue should have a space for both of these events. Some venues will hold both celebrations in the same room. Some rental spaces will have separate rooms. Whatever the case, make sure you plan ahead for both these locations.

You will also need to decide what you are doing for food and drink. Will there be an open bar? Will you be serving dinner or just snacks? Will it be a formal dinner or casual? Make sure the venue of your choosing has a spot for these different things and allows for your vendor of choice. Some event venues only allow their specific caterers to choose. This is not a deal breaker, unless you want to bring your own.

#4: What questions should I ask the venue coordinator during a site visit?

When you are shopping for your wedding venue, make sure to visit the site in person. Pictures and videos can be deceiving. Make sure to visit the site yourself or have a trusted friend visit the venue BEFORE you sign the contract. This will help eliminate any surprises or misunderstandings. You want to love the location where you will be getting married!

When you visit the site, the venue coordinator or someone on the team's staff will walk you through the venue. Ask as many questions as you can! You want to make sure the venue staff knows what you want to do. They are there to help! They are also there to inform you of what you can or can't do at this particular site. Some sites do not allow open flames or confetti. Make sure you know these rules ahead of time.

Here are some questions to ask when on a site visit:

  • What does the parking situation look like for my vendors and guests?
  • How early can we arrive to set up for my wedding?
  • What does the cleanup process look like?
  • Does this venue provide furniture and tablecloths?
  • Am I able to use my own vendors?
  • What celebratory items can be used? (Example: Confetti, sparklers, etc.)
  • What venue staff will be on site on the day of and what is their role?

#5: What should you NOT do while shopping for a wedding venue?

There are so many good questions to ask when you are shopping for the venue for your wedding. However, there are some things you should NOT do as well.

Do NOT fall in love with a venue before you know all the needed information. If a site is outside your budget, you don't want to choose that location. If a site is not the right size for you and your guests, make sure not to dream about it and budge on this item. A venue that is too big will make your party feel awkward. A venue that is too small will cause your event to feel uncomfortable. Either way, it's not good so don't fall in love too early!

Do NOT bypass venue rules. Sometimes people think the rules of the venue are more like suggestions. Most reputable establishments have those 'house rules' for a reason. The coordinator is typically there to uphold these rules. If there are certain things the venue does not allow, you will not be able to do those things on the day of your wedding. If this is a deal breaker for you, choose a different venue that does allow it.

Do NOT skip the site tour! I already mentioned this earlier, but it is extremely important. You could have all the pictures in the world and all the dimensions given to you, but seeing the site in person is extremely important. Don't skip this step. Even a video recorded by your best friend will hide corners. You want to get in the room so you can feel the atmosphere and know this is the right spot for your wedding.

We hope this article helps you shop for your wedding venue! This is such a special day. You are going to find the perfect spot for this life-long memory. Here is another great article to check out as your prepare. Happy Planning.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What if I am planning my wedding last minute?
The earlier you can plan for a wedding, the better. If you plan early, more dates will be available and prices will be lower. However, a wedding can be planned pretty quickly especially if the venue is available. Contact your desired venue for available dates and prices as soon as possible.

Q: What if the venue does not have adequate parking?
Parking can be tricky; however, most people in the city are used to finding their own parking. Venue and Lyft are also good options when going to an event. If there is absolutely no parking at a venue, but you still love it, you can always add that information to the invitation.