The truth is there are no shortage of resource guides you can download on the net containing worksheets that could prove helpful when choosing a wedding venue. The truth also is most people don’t remember to use these intense worksheets when finalizing their wedding venues. (Truthfully, I didn’t.) They are typically intimidating and can make one feel as though they’re not prepared to book the best venue for their nuptials if they didn’t attend law school. So here’s a cheat sheet to keep handy when securing your venue. Don’t be afraid to ask any of the below questions. And if a potential venue’s rep makes you feel uncomfortable because you’re seeking this information, it could be a sign that you need to walk away…fast.
- Is our preferred date available?
- How many other weddings or events will be booked that day?
- What is the site fee, deposit and payment schedule?
- Do costs vary by day or time (Saturday, Sunday, afternoon, evening)?
- Are there any hidden costs such as cleaning fees, overtime rates or cake cutting?
- What is the cancellation policy? Is the deposit refundable?
- What exactly is included in my package? (Be sure to get clarity on everything from parking, security, adequate power supply — especially if you’re hoping to include a slideshow, lighting, bridal/groom suites, tables and chairs, coat check, linens and tableware.)
- Who on staff will be our point person throughout the wedding?
- Does the venue have insurance?
- What time can our vendors begin setting up? What time do they have to leave?
- Can we use an outside caterer? Do you have a “preferred” caterer list?
- Do you have a liquor license? If not can we bring our own booze? Is there a corkage fee?
- Can we alter the existing decor at all?
- Are candles, sparklers and/or confetti permitted?
- Do we need any permits? *This is an important question to ask if you’re considering an outdoor public space like a garden.
And last but certainly not least, get everything in writing and remember to save all your emails, receipts, contracts and corresponding documents. Oh and feel free to revisit this must-read post on booking a wedding photographer.
What was your experience like booking your wedding venue? An easy-breezy dream or horrible nightmare? Share in the comments.
[Image courtesy of Style Perfect Weddings & Events.]