Wedding venues are where your fairytale wedding is transformed into reality. The moment you start planning your wedding, jotting down those potential wedding venues is the most important task to do. A number of questions arise when you’re on the lookout for that perfect place. First of all, know your budget. After doing so, start getting in touch with the venue coordinators. There are lots of questions to ask a wedding venue before you sign a contract — all to ensure that if it fits in with your budget, overall plan and vision for the big day, as well as to find out what extra costs and considerations including catering, tables, chairs, transportation, etc. Don’t rely on pictures, visit them in person before you put your mind and heart to a particular wedding venue.
So, here’s a complete list of questions that you must ask venue coordinators to help you find those perfect wedding venues for all of your wedding functions:
1. Is My Date Available?
Ask them if they are also covering any other weddings on the same day? Once you’ve almost finalized the wedding venues, make sure to know the details about any other functions happening there. Often, we book that dream venue in our minds, but practically they are already booked!
Know the best dates for 2019 weddings here.
ShaadiWish Tip: Also check if they have separate charges for Day/Night functions.
2. Poolside, lawns or banquets – what kinds of spaces does the venue offer?
Firstly, know what kind of venue you are looking for. Do you want to host a poolside Haldi ceremony, an open-air Mehndi and a banquet hall engagement? Tell your coordinator what exactly you are looking for and if the same is available or not.
3. How many people can this venue accommodate?
Venue size is important, especially if your wedding guest list is more than 50-100 guests. A big fat Indian wedding can mean as many as 450 to 700 guests and you don’t want them stepping over each other’s toes.
Also, read how to filter your wedding guest list here.
4. What are the policies in terms of payments and cancellations?
Ask how much in advance you have to pay and what is the last possible date to cancel the bookings of your selected wedding venues. Take clarity on their refund policy as well so there are no last minute surprises. Also since it’s a huge amount, understand what is the best way to make the payment.
5. Whether outside caterers are allowed or do you provide in-house catering?
In case of in-house catering, do they arrange food tasting before finalizing the food menu or not? Also, if they could provide on-site managers and more details about the deliverables.
In case they do allow outsourced catering, do they offer the cutlery and other logistics for the same? The catering department may include logistics like tables, linens, chairs, plates, silverware, and glassware. Ask them if you will have to rent them yourself or get them through your caterer?
6. Do you have a food and beverage minimum? What are the consequences if we don’t meet it?
Wedding Venues with in-house caterers will often have a food and beverage minimum that you are required to meet as part of the contract. It is generally the minimum amount that you need to spend to make a booking. Find out what upgraded options you might be able to add to your menu to help you meet that minimum.
7. Do we have to purchase liquor through you, or can we get our own liquor?
Many venues offer the option of purchasing liquor directly through them which is super convenient. However, it can cost you a lot. Find out if you can bring your own liquor, which allows you to price-shop.
8. If we can bring our own liquor onto the property, is there a corkage or service fee?
If your venue does allow you to bring your own alcohol, they may charge a fee to serve it which is still much less than the price of ordering straight through the venue.
9. What’s your weather contingency provision for outdoor wedding venues and what accommodation and security services you offer?
Ask them whether they provide any security guards that they have on board or whether you need to hire your own for the wedding. Also, understand what is the backup plan in case of rains. Whether they will be providing tents for accommodation or any indoor hall if such venue spaces existed.
Also, know the tips to plan hassle-free monsoon wedding here.
10. Do you have in-house wedding decorators or do I need to hire them myself? Or are outsourced decorators allowed or not?
First of all, take the price quotations from their in-house decorators. Next, don’t forget to ask them to share their portfolios and different themes you can opt for. If none suits your needs and preferences, then ask them if you can hire your own decorator or not.
11. What time can my vendors start setting up the venue and do you charge extra for table/linen?
Setting up the decor needs more time because vendors will be coming in earlier for the decoration. Ask them if they can set up the previous day and in case there is any extra charge for it? Understand if they will also be helping with the logistics at the venue.
12. Will your staff be involved in setting up and breaking down the décor or not?
Wedding venues like hotels and resorts will usually have staff available to help arrange and set the tables, then help pack up any rented glassware, drapes, lighting and dishes at the end of the night. Confirm exactly what their staff will be doing so you can pass that information on to your other vendors.
13. Are there any limitations in terms of decorations?
It will be a heartbreaking situation if they don’t allow you to use certain decoration items like candles, suspensions for the ceiling, entrance decor etc. Ask them if it is okay that your decor vendors move things around according to your needs or not.
Photo Courtesy: Israni Photography
Also, check out wedding decor tips you should know while planning a wedding here.
14. What is the size of the parking lot and is it complimentary?
It is always important to know the parking situation at the wedding venues. Not all wedding venues have a parking lot. If the guests need to park their vehicles somewhere far away from the venue, you need to inform them beforehand to avoid any embarrassment. Also, appropriate signages need to be put for where the guests can park their vehicles.
15. How will people get there?
Find out if the venue is accessible by public transportation and what your parking options are. If there’s nothing nearby, you might want to consider if it’s within your budget to rent a bus to transport your guests to the venue.
16. Is there a complimentary “Green Room” or changing room for the bride?
All wedding venues provide a complimentary changing room for the bride or the groom. Make sure you clarify the same while booking. Because we are sure you would not want any last minute hassle.
17. How many guests rooms are there?
Get the assured number of rooms they can provide for a day if some guests want to stay there. This is especially important if you have your guests coming from different cities. They would then want to stay over. So make sure you have done the necessary arrangements for the same.
Also, read how to keep your wedding guests happy here.
18. What is your Music/Firecrackers policy?
Don’t forget to ask about the other policies pertaining to music deadlines and firecracker allowance.
Photo Courtesy: Anoop Photography
19. Is the dance floor big enough for all your performances?
If not, you may need to shell out extra cash to set up a stage that would suffice your wedding dance performances.
Also, check out the best songs for mehendi playlist 2019 here.
20. Do they have a sound system that supports live music performances?
If you are planning to hire entertainers and live musicians, you need to ensure that they can be heard by all of your guests. Ask first, instead of being unpleasantly surprised later.
21. What is the time duration of usage of the venue? Is there any minimum or maximum rental time?
The time duration of staying at the wedding venues are never fixed. You might end up taking a couple of hours more or leave the venue before the said time. Ask them if the refund is possible if you leave early and how much extra they charge for overstay.
22. Will they appoint one venue coordinator/ Point of Contact (POC) for all your wedding queries and conversations?
After all, amidst all other wedding chaos, you need someone to take ownership when it comes to wedding venues. Find the POC and establish a clear understanding with them.
Photo Courtesy: Wedding Twinkles
23. Can you visit a wedding at the venue to understand their functioning and decor arrangements?
This trial session is very essential, especially if they don’t allow outside caterers or wedding decorators.
24. In case of a destination wedding, will they let you use the common areas for smaller functions?
This will allow picturesque ideas suited to those common areas or let you know that you would need to make arrangements elsewhere if that’s not allowed.
25. Do they provide additional generator-sets, coolers, heaters etc and at what extra costs?
Generator sets are essential to power your wedding – from lights to the decor installations, food preparation, ventilation and other power requirements. Coolers are essential for summer weddings and heaters for winter weddings.
26. Do you have signage or other aids to direct guests to my event?
Not all wedding venues are located near major landmarks in the city. And so not all the guests will be able to find the venue location. So, it’s necessary to make proper signage to direct your wedding guests to the venue without any hassle.
Congratulations! You said “yes” to your partner and you are now in the early stages of wedding planning. We are sure that you want your wedding day to be perfect. Essential to your special day is finding your perfect venue. It’s important that the venue you choose can accommodate all of your needs. So, once you have shortlisted the venues, schedule appointments with the management and get answers to the above questions before moving towards your final decision. Remember, you must know about these little yet necessary details before booking your wedding venue. Not to miss, get all of the above information on record, whether over email or on a printed document. Keep all these documents, bills and receipts in one folder, which should be handled by the most responsible person in the family. Booking the wedding venues are usually the biggest expenditure during a wedding, which is why the same require extra efforts. But once you are done, you are all free to enjoy your wedding without extra stress. Happy wedding planning!
Wish to host a beach wedding? Read everything you need to know about a beach wedding here.