What To Ask Your Wedding Venue

Published
October 2021
Planning

A venue is one of the first and one of the biggest choices you will make when planning your wedding. We recommend you visit a few options at least to get a feel for the differences and what each venue has to offer.

There are lots of things to consider when choosing a wedding venue, and each one will handle things a little differently. That's why it's important to get all the information you need about a venue while you are visiting.

Use our list of questions to ensure that it will be the perfect location for your dream day.

Note the venues answers to these questions and follow up with them in an email just to check you are both on the same page. Having it all in writing from the start will help avoid any mishaps further down the line.

Venue Basics

Get a feel for the venue. As you are walking around, try to gauge the vibe of the place and the staff. Take note of your favourite areas where you can hold your wedding and consider if your guests will be comfortable.

Groomsmen asking down aisle to ceremony arch
Diana V Photography
  • What is the venue's capacity?
  • Do they have a wet weather back up plan?
  • Are there different options of where you can hold your ceremony?
  • Do they have a 'one wedding per day' policy?
  • Will your wedding be the only event/patrons at the venue on your wedding day?
  • Will the venue's staff handle or assist with the pack down?

Availability

Before you go falling in love with a venue, make sure they are available around the time you are looking to get married. Ask about your use of the venue on the day as well. You don't want to discover later on that you need to cut the party short and kick your guests out early or scramble to set up one hour before the ceremony.

Florist preparing floral table setting
  • Is your date of choice available? If not, are there any surrounding dates available?
  • How many hours are included in the rental of the space?
  • How flexible are the venue's packages?
  • What’s the cancellation policy?
  • How early can you arrive, and how late can you stay?
  • Can you access the venue a day earlier to set up?
  • When can vendors arrive for setup?

Pricing & Payment

Money can be a big factor in deciding if a venue is right for you. Some venues have several pricing options or add-ons. Drill down on these until you are confident you understand how it all works. It's a good idea at this point to have some rough numbers of how many guests you want to invite.

Bride & Groom walking through a field in autumn
  • What are the rates for different times of the day and different days of the week?
  • Does the venue have seasonal rates?
  • When do you need to pay a deposit and what is the payment schedule?
  • Are there any charges if the numbers on the day are different from the final numbers?
  • Do the discounts/packages depend on a specific number of guests?
  • What is included in the total?
  • Are there any additional fees or charges we need to be aware of?

Food & Drink

Food is where venues can have so many options to choose from (if they offer in-house catering). There are also many ways to serve a meal, such as a buffet, set menu or even a grazing table. If you have guests with allergies, now's your time to ask.

Vegetable salad and other buffet items
  • What are the venue's meal options?
  • What are the venue's beverage options, including BYO?
  • How many drinks are included per person?
  • Does the venue require a minimum purchase of food and beverages?
  • How does the venue cater to food allergies or intolerances?
  • What are the options for guests with dietary preferences, such as vegetarians?
  • What tableware does the venue provide?
  • Does the venue charge a corkage fee?
  • Are there additional charges for bar or wait staff

Venue Resources

Picture your speeches and dancing into the night, ask the venue about their sound system and its capabilities. Once you are happy with the bigger items like this, you can have a look at the decorations they have already. Decorations are usually included in the rental cost so may help you save on your own decorating.

Floral ceremony arch and candles down aisle
  • Does the venue provide any décor like cake stands, table dressings, a ceremony arch?
  • Does the venue allow you to use décor you provide yourself?
  • Do they have sound equipment and speakers?
  • Are there microphones for the speeches?
  • Can you attach a phone to their sound system to play music?
  • What types of tables does the venue provide?
  • Do they provide heaters/umbrellas for outdoor spaces?

Decor & Rentals

It's your wedding and you'll decorate if you want to. Most venues are more than happy to let you dress up the place just to your liking. It's still important to ask about decorating yourself, as they may have a few rules on confetti or wall hangings.

Guests throwing confetti as newlyweds leave ceremony
  • Can you move things around and decorate to your liking?
  • Are there any restrictions on decorations?
  • Can you hang things on the wall or from the ceiling?
  • Are you allowed confetti at your ceremony?
  • Are there any restrictions on what the entertainment can bring/do?
  • Can you have a marquee on the grounds? (good to ask a council-owned venue)

Logistics

This one's about the two of you just as much as your guests. Some venues have a coordinator to help you run the day, it is best to meet this person beforehand so they can get a feel for your wedding. Think about how your guests will get home and what the venue provides for children if you are inviting any.

Flower-girl holding grooms hand and smiling

  • Is there an in-house wedding coordinator and will they be available at the reception?
  • If there is a coordinator, can you meet them before the wedding?
  • When is the last possible date to make changes to your reservation?
  • Is there sufficient accessibility to all areas of the venue?
  • Is it a child-friendly venue?
  • What is available for entertaining and accommodating children?
  • How much parking is available on-site?
  • Will guests be charged for parking?
  • Is transport easily accessible from the venue for guests to get home?