questions to ask wedding venue: Elegant wedding reception table arrangement with pink and white floral centerpieces

It’s time to start thinking about your wedding venue. How exciting! We love this part of the journey, as the perfect venue helps you tie everything together and put on a wonderful celebration. To help you make the most of your planning process, we’ve listed the most important questions to ask wedding venues. With these questions at the ready, you’re sure to secure the perfect vendors to create the wedding of your dreams.

Wedding Date

Before you can jump into planning your wedding day, you need to verify that your preferred date is still available to book. If not, it’s time to look at alternatives. Here are the best questions to ask a wedding venue when it comes to your wedding date. 

  1. Is my preferred wedding date available?
  2. Do you have any alternative dates that could work?
  3. What hours will we have use of the venue? 
  4. How far in advance should I reserve my date? 
  5. How do I book my chosen date with you? 
  6. What’s your policy around date changes or cancellations? 

Pricing and Payment

Wedding venues are usually pretty pricey, so you’ll want to confirm everything suits your wedding budget before you sign on the dotted line. Here are some questions to ask a wedding venue so you can proceed with confidence. 

  1. Which day of the week is the most affordable? 
  2. How much will my dream wedding cost with all the various elements? 
  3. What’s your venue rental fee cost?
  4. Does this rental fee include other charges, such as service charges, liability insurance, or exclusivity? Do we need to pay separately for any licenses or other additional charges?
  5. How much do I need to pay as a deposit?
  6. What does your payment schedule for the balance look like?
  7. Do you offer payment plans?
  8. Can multiple people contribute to paying the balance? 

Facilities and Logistics

You might find a venue you love the look of, but wonder if the practical side will work for your wedding reception ideas. Here are the questions to ask wedding venues about logistics and facilities.

  1. Does your venue have a strict dress code? 
  2. Is it possible to hold our wedding ceremony at this venue or only the reception? 
  3. How many guests can you accommodate? 
  4. Do you have several room layouts we can view? What are your layout and seating chart recommendations for our guest count? 
  5. Will we have exclusive use of the venue? If not, what do you offer?
  6. Do you have any on-site overnight accommodations we can book? 
  7. Do you have outdoor spaces where our guests can walk around, relax, or mingle? 
  8. Which facilities are available for us and our guests to use?
  9. Is everything located on one floor?
  10. Are there elevators to all floors in use? 
  11. How many restrooms do you have available? 
  12. Do you offer family-friendly changing or feeding areas?
  13. Is there a separate bar or lounge area for cocktail hour? 
  14. Are there suites where we and our wedding party can get ready? 
  15. Do we need to be aware of any noise restrictions? 
  16. Is your venue ADA compliant for those with wheelchairs and such? 
  17. What support do you offer for guests with additional needs?
  18. Do you have someone to greet and direct guests on arrival? 
  19. How far in advance do you need our final guest list? 
  20. Is there a coat and bag check for guests? 
  21. Is there a safe place for wedding gifts to be stored during the event? 
  22. Will the areas we use be signposted for guests? 
  23. Can you recommend some directions we can include with our digital invitations?
  24. Is there parking on-site for us, our guests, and our vendors? If so, is it free, and where can it be found? 
  25. Can you recommend a cab company or shuttle bus firm? 
  26. Is there a backup plan in case of inclement weather? 

Food and Drink

Your guests are going to need to eat and drink on your big day. These questions to ask wedding venues about food and drink will help you confirm all the details and plan something fantastic for your guests. 

  1. Are we required to use your in-house caterers? 
  2. Will outside caterers have access to kitchen facilities?
  3. Are glassware, dinnerware, and cutlery included in the fee? 
  4. Do you have a set menu? 
  5. What’s the difference in cost between a sit-down meal and a buffet-style meal? 
  6. Can we book a tasting to sample your menu before we make our selections? Is this included or an extra cost? 
  7. Is it possible to host a rehearsal dinner here? 
  8. What are your menu options for vegans, vegetarians, and those with dietary requirements?
  9. How do you label your menu for allergens? 
  10. Do you offer a kids menu? 
  11. Is there a cake-cutting fee? 
  12. Is there a food and beverage minimum? 
  13. What is the cost per person for your menu options? 
  14. Do you have a liquor license? 
  15. What are your options for hosted bars, cash bars, and drinks service?
  16. Can you share your drinks menu and pricing? 
  17. Can we bring our own alcohol?
  18. Is there a corkage fee? 
  19. What is your policy on reducing waste and recycling? 
  20. What’s your stance on confetti? Should we use an eco-friendly alternative? 

Entertainment

What’s a wedding reception, if not a giant party? Any party needs entertainment, so here are the questions to ask a wedding venue when it comes to music and entertainment. 

  1. What size is your dance floor — i.e., how many people can it accommodate?
  2. What equipment is included for entertainment purposes — e.g. sound system, lights, and speakers? 
  3. Do you have an in-house DJ or can we bring our own? 
  4. Is there space for a live band to perform? 
  5. Can you recommend a list of entertainers and musicians? 
  6. Can we host karaoke?
  7. Are there any restrictions on the type of entertainers we can have — e.g. circus performers? 
  8. Do you have any recommendations for children’s entertainers such as face painters or magicians? 
  9. Do we need to get our entertainers approved by you ahead of the big day? 

Vendors and Staffing

A wedding has hundreds of moving parts and lots of people that go into making it happen. Here are the questions to ask wedding venues about vendors and staffing, so you can plan your perfect celebration without a hitch. 

  1. Do you have event stylists we can use?
  2. Are we restricted to using your preferred vendors? 
  3. Can you recommend any vendors that you love working with? 
  4. What insurance should our outside vendors have? 
  5. What decor or styling is included with our rental fee — e.g. table linen or centerpieces? Do you have packages we can choose from? 
  6. Are there any restrictions on the decor we can use? 
  7. Where are the best spots at the venue for our wedding photographs? 
  8. When will our vendors be able to get access to set up and take down everything? 
  9. What level of staffing is included with our package? 
  10. Is there security staff on-site? 
  11. How many bar staff and servers will be working at our event? 
  12. Will our wedding coordinator be available during set up, throughout the event, and afterward?
  13. Can we pay extra for a larger team of staff to be available to support us? 
  14. Can we bring in our own staff, such as security, bar staff, or wedding planners? 

Specialist Questions

Every wedding is different, so there’s bound to be some more personalized requests or questions you might have. Here are a few examples to get you thinking about your own requirements. 

  1. Can you help us recreate a festival on-site? 
  2. Does your venue welcome well-behaved dogs? 
  3. Can you recommend the best place to set off fireworks on the grounds? 
  4. Where’s the nearest beach, forest, or mountain area for us to explore?
  5. Can we decorate areas within the grounds — e.g. add string lighting between trees? 
  6. Can we transform your field into a boutique camping site for our wedding guests? 

Covid-Specific Wedding Venue Questions

The coronavirus pandemic has brought new challenges for couples planning their wedding. Here are some questions to ask wedding venues to put your mind at ease. 

  1. Can you share with us the latest guidance for weddings and events
  2. Would we be covered by our wedding insurance if safety guidelines change? 
  3. Can we move our booking to another date in the future pending Covid updates? 
  4. What’s your cancellation policy should we need to postpone due to the pandemic? 
  5. What’s your policy or approach to staying safe during the coronavirus pandemic?
  6. Is there a limitation on the vendors we can use now? 
  7. Can you help us plan a socially distanced wedding? 
  8. Can we work with you to create a lovely minimony instead? 

Plan Your Dream Wedding Reception With Confidence

There’s so much to think about when it comes to wedding planning. We hope this list of questions to ask wedding venues has helped you simplify the process of finding your dream wedding venue. 

Note down the questions that are relevant to you or print off this list and take it with you to your appointments. That way, you can get all the answers and plan your dream reception with confidence. With your venue chosen, you can move onto other exciting parts of wedding planning — like creating your wedding invitation wording, sending your wedding invitations, and writing your vows.