Your wedding venue is the backdrop to one of the most special moments in your life. It’s the place where you’ll gather with friends and family to celebrate your big day. This means that finding the right wedding venue is often one of the top considerations for our Joy couples. To do this, you’ll want to have plenty of questions to ask wedding venues you visit.
Once you’ve found the perfect wedding venue, arrange a tour and meeting with their wedding planner. Here you’ll get the chance to fall in love with the space in person and talk about reserving your date.
Not sure what questions to ask on your visit? Here are some of the most popular and useful questions to ask your wedding venue, plus our insider tips on how to help your wedding planning process go smoothly.
Questions to Ask Wedding Venue
You might not have your list of questions ready just yet, so we’ve distilled it down to 63 must-asks. Below you’ll find these important questions (and insider tips) split into categories to help you build your own custom list of questions to ask.
Availability and Payment
If you’ve found your dream venue, the first thing you’ll want to do is check its availability on your chosen date. You also need to know if it’s within your budget, or if you need to make changes elsewhere to make it happen.
- How far in advance do I need to book my wedding?
- Which dates are available?
- How do I reserve a date with you?
Insider tip: If you have your heart set on a venue but it’s booked out most Saturdays, try asking for their Sunday or weekday availability. These days are less popular for weddings but could mean you don’t wait another year before your celebration.
- How many people can the venue hold and cater for?
- How long is a typical day hire?
- Could I hold both the ceremony and reception here?
- What happens if it’s raining? Is there a backup plan for inclement weather?
- Which outdoor spaces and gardens do we have use of?
- Do you have set wedding packages? Are they customizable?
- Is hire of the venue exclusive? Will other events take place there at the same time?
Insider tip: Most couples look for exclusive hire for their wedding day. If the venue doesn’t guarantee this, ask how much it would be to book the entire venue and grounds.
- What’s the rental fee for the venue?
- Do rates differ depending on the day or season?
- Does the rental fee include service charges?
- How much is the deposit?
- When do I need to pay the deposit and balance?
- What’s your date change or cancellation policy?
- Do you have an installment plan available?
Insider tip: Many venues will set up a payment schedule so you can book your wedding date with a deposit, then pay off the balance ahead of your big day. It’s also worth asking if others can pay towards the balance in the event your family or friends want to contribute as a gift.
Vendors and Staff
Navigating preferred vendors and exclusivity clauses can be tricky. Some venues heavily prefer that you use their in-house caterers, while others have a list of suggestions or are happy to arrange whatever takes your fancy.
- Do you have any exclusivity requirements for catering or other vendors?
- Is there a list of preferred vendors?
- What are the liability insurance requirements for vendors?
- Can you recommend any caterers, florists, and other vendors?
Insider tip: If you’re stuck for ideas on the perfect decor vendor, check in with your venue. They’ll be familiar with lots of great providers that have worked on similar weddings to yours, so they can make suggestions.
- Are there security staff available at the venue?
- Will the wedding team be present on the day to assist?
- Does venue hire include staff costs or are those extra?
Insider tip: Most of the time, there’ll be at least one person from the venue’s team onsite to assist you on your wedding day. It’s best to confirm this ahead of time, especially if you’d like the help of a small team.
Facilities and Logistics
You’ll likely get very familiar with the main spaces at your dream venue, but it always helps to know about every amenity you and your guests might need.
- When will we need to supply a full guest count?
- Is the venue ADA compliant and accessible to all?
- How big is the dance floor?
- Are there quiet spaces for guests to rest?
- What support is available for guests with additional needs?
- How many bathrooms are there? Are these easy to find?
Insider tip: Make sure the bathrooms are easy to find. It’s ideal if they’re close to the space you’re using for your reception. If not, ask the venue to use enough signage. There’s almost nothing worse than your guests getting lost trying to find the restroom.
- Are there family-friendly spaces available?
- Do noise restrictions apply at the venue?
- Where should the wedding party and guests park?
- How large is the parking lot? Is this close to the venue or offsite?
- Can a shuttle bus be arranged?
Insider tip: Check with your venue about their suggested parking and travel arrangements. They’ll know the local area best, so they can suggest the best way to get around. Some hotels and venues also have deals that could save you and your guests money.
Wedding venues take longer than you might think to set up and decorate. There’s a lot of prep work that goes into staging a ceremony or reception, so check with your venue about their schedule and availability.
- Can we set up the evening before?
- What time can we arrive on the day-of to set up?
- How is the room usually laid out? Can you recommend a layout?
- What’s provided in the room? What should we bring in?
Insider tip: Some venues provide all the equipment you’ll need for your reception, including sound systems and lighting rigs. With others, you’ll need to work with an external vendor to create the look you want. Before you book a vendor, check that it’s not already included with your room hire.
You’ll have a preferred style and theme for your wedding, so chances are your wedding venue will match this. Or, it can give you the perfect blank canvas to create the experience of your dreams.
- What decor is included with the venue booking?
- Do you offer packages for room staging and theming?
- Can you recommend a decor supplier for our theme or style?
- Do you have any restrictions on decor items?
Insider tip: Double-check with your venue on any restrictions before you book your decor supplier. Some venues will ask that you don’t attach items to ceilings or walls, or request that you avoid certain items like confetti (unless it’s eco-friendly confetti) or open flames.
Food and Drink
Everyone’s coming to your wedding to celebrate your union and enjoy a good time, but one thing that’s always talked about is the food. Whether you opt for a sit-down three-course meal or hire a BBQ truck, food and drink is one area you’ll want to focus on.
- Do you have an in-house kitchen and catering team?
- Can my own caterer use your kitchen facilities? Do they need to bring their own equipment?
Insider tip: If you’re bringing in outside caterers, they’ll need a place to prepare, cook, and serve from. Most venues have a kitchen they can offer. If not, your vendors will need to bring their own equipment with them. Alternatively, look for a solution that doesn’t need a kitchen — like a burger van or food truck.
- What’s the average food and drink cost per person?
- Do you have a set menu? Can it be customized?
- How do you provide for allergies and dietary requests?
- Can we arrange a menu tasting experience?
- Is there a food and beverage minimum?
Insider tip: Catering and bar service is where a lot of venues make most of their income. Because of this, they may have a minimum charge for food and drink. It’s worth knowing if this is the case so you can plan your budget accordingly.
- Do you have a liquor license?
- Do you offer bar service? Can we hire one to bring in?
- Can we bring in our own drinks?
- Do you recommend a cocktail hour?
- Is there an additional charge for glassware or silverware?
- Is there a corkage fee?
- Is there a cake cutting fee?
Insider tip: Your food and beverage plans are likely to be influenced by your personal tastes and wedding theme. If you’re going for a laid back, DIY-style affair, see if you can arrange your own drinks and whether you need to pay extra for bar staff to serve your guests.
Most couples like to book a night away from home after the reception. If you’re thinking about staying at your venue (or somewhere nearby) after the wedding, you’ll want to inquire about rooms for you and your guests.
- Do you offer overnight accommodations?
- Are there discounts or upgrades available for the newlyweds?
- Can we block off multiple rooms for guests?
Insider tip: Don’t be afraid to ask if they’ll throw in any extras for you if you want to stay the night or book lots of rooms. Some venues may also require that you book out the entire venue overnight to ensure exclusivity. Make sure you find out if that’s the case.
- Can you recommend any hotels nearby?
- Do you have partner discounts with any hotels or accommodation providers?
- Can we arrange a shuttle service from the hotel(s) to the venue?
Insider tip: If you know that many of your guests are traveling from far away, they may appreciate knowing the best place to stay. Giving them plenty of information about hotels and travel will make their stay easier.
Create the Wedding You Want
Never be worried about going to a meeting with too many questions to ask wedding venues. They’re there to help you stage a day you’ll remember forever. Plus, they’re used to couples posing every question under the sun.
To ensure you don’t forget any important questions, start writing a list to take with you on your venue visits. (You can also print or bookmark this article.) And if you do forget, don’t panic — you can always call, email, or visit the venue again.
Enjoy your meeting with your chosen venue and know that they’re part of your team. Nothing is too much trouble when it comes to helping you prepare for your special day.