Congratulations! You’ve narrowed it down to a few venues that you are interested in. Now you get to do the fun part: the tour. You’ll need to contact the reception venue and set up a time. Make sure that whoever is helping you make big decisions for your event can come with you, whether that be your significant other or your mom.
We have come up with a list of questions to ask while you are touring your potential venue. It’s important to get the most out of your tour by asking about these details. There are so many different little details that will play a role in your big day. You’ll need to figure out how many people fit, what services will be available to you, how long you can have the venue for and many more details!
If you are a little more on the shy side, you might start to feel like you are being obnoxious with all these questions. Trust us, you aren’t! Take turns at asking with the person that you brought along for your tour. Vendors understand that you need to know every detail in order to decide on a location for your big day. At the moment of your tour, they work for you and their purpose is to answer your questions and address your concerns. So, ask away!
These are the questions you will ask at every venue location you visit. It is important to get a good understanding of how this venue will fit in with your budget, your style, and your projected event date.
- How many people does this venue accommodate?
- Is there a ceremony spot on location?
- Is there a “Get Ready” room available for use onsite?
- Do you provide decorating services?
- Do you provide linens?
- Do you provide catering?
- Do you allow outside catering?
- Do you have a liquor license?
- Can we bring in our own liquor?
- Do you provide a waitstaff?
- Do you have a location for a cocktail hour?
- Do you provide cocktail hour hors d’oeuvres?
- Do you have an onsite event coordinator?
- Do you provide onsite entertainment? Or, do you have a DJ/Mariachi recommendation?
- Do you have space for a band to play?
- Do you have onsite rooms to rent out?
- Does this venue have a recommended hotel nearby?
- What is your outdoor space like?
- How many hours will our rental cover?
- Do you allow time to set up/take down before and after the event? (You will need at least two hours of setup time at your venue.)
- Will your staff assist in setting up and clean up?
- How many bathrooms does the venue have?
- What kinds of restrictions do you have?
- How many events do you allow in the same day? (This is very important! You do not want to have your set up time limited because the venue booked another event right before yours.)
- What is your policy on deposits, cancellations and refunds?
- What sets your venue aside from others? Are there any special perks?
If the reception location is outdoors:
These questions are important to ask if you are planning an outdoor event. The last thing you want to worry about on your big day is the weather! Make sure that the venue has the proper backup options so that your event can go off without a hitch!
- Do you have a backup location in case of inclement weather?
- Do you have tents available?
- Do you have a reschedule policy? (Some venues will allow you a two hour reschedule bump for rainy days)
- Do you spray for insects, such as bees and wasps?
These questions are often forgotten or put off until later. However, these details can make a large impact on the comfort of your guests and yourself.
- What’s the distance from my ceremony to this venue location?
- What is the traffic usually like around the time of my event?
- Do you have parking available onsite?
- Do you provide valet services?
- Is public transportation available?
- Are there taxi services available in the area?
- Does your venue provide any shuttle services to nearby hotels?
Odds & Ends:
Our odds and ends questions are just as important as the rest! Without answers, these are the small details that keep us up at night, wondering if it will all work out! Get answers to these questions–they could make or break a venue for you!
- Is there a coat check? (For winter weddings)
- What is your electricity like? (This is important for your DJ and sound system.)
- Is this venue wheelchair accessible?
- Do you provide other services for disabled or elderly guests?
- Do you have decoration limitations?
- Can we have candles or open flames? Sparklers?
- Can we rearrange things?
- Do you have discounted prices for less popular days? (Friday or Sunday)
- Do you have discounted prices for your offseason? (November-March)
Ready to start asking? Use our free Reception Vendor Question Worksheet to keep track of your answers at your tour!