One of the most important tasks in hand when you start planning your wedding is - looking at potential wedding venues. There are two ways of going about it - one is when you have stumbled upon your dream wedding venue already, it is of emotional value and is already shortlisted even before the wedding planning starts and the other is shortlisting the most relevant venue options once you have decided your wedding budget.
In both cases, the process of finding or finalising the right wedding venue depends on asking the right set of questions. If you have already set your eyes on some venues, you need to prepare a set of questions to ask the venue manager, to ensure that the venue can be finalised for your wedding day. If your venue searching journey has just begun, find the hotels/banquet halls or wedding lawns and farmhouses that fit into your wedding theme and have the venue capacity you need. The next step after shortlisting the venues you like as a couple, is getting all the answers you will need before you finalise the wedding venue.
Wondering what you must ask about the venue before you book them for your functions? Worry no more because we have curated a listicle of all the possible questions that you must ask the probable wedding venue before finalising it. Bookmark this article, jot down a few pointers and get going!
This article has -
- Questions on Availability & Venue Capacity
- Questions on Venue Pricing & Payment Policies
- Questions on Vendor Team
- Questions on Logistics & Other Regulations
- Questions on Food & Beverages
- Questions on Venue Management on the D-day
Questions on Availability & Venue Capacity
Image Credits - Feather Tree Photography/ Decor - To the Aisle
Booked that appointment with the venue manager? Here are the questions you must ask once you have shortlisted a wedding venue -
- Is this wedding venue available on the wedding date we have finalised?
- If not, is the venue available on any other saaya dates as per the wedding calendar of the same month? (Couples who don’t want a Saaya date specifically, can check venue’s availability on weekends, or other holiday dates for their wedding)
- How many hours are included in the rental amount?
- How far in advance can we book and reserve this venue?
If the venue is available on your preferred dates, it’s time to dive deeper into this questionnaire -
- How many guests can this venue accommodate?
- In case of an intimate wedding, do you rent out this space for a smaller guest size?
- What kind of spaces does this venue offer for pre-wedding or post wedding functions?
- In case of a bigger venue, how many weddings are you hosting in the venue on my shortlisted wedding date?
- Do you offer rooms for guest accommodation? If yes, could you share the per room tariff? If no, is there any accommodation available nearby?
- In case of a destination wedding, can we pre-book the common areas for smaller functions?
- Do you allow the bride/groom family to bring pets to the venue? If yes, are the pets allowed to stay in the rooms?
Tip: If you have pets who you plan to include on your wedding day, you must speak to the venue in advance and notify them so that there are no last-minute confusion with your adorable buds.
Questions on Venue Pricing & Payment Policies
Image Courtesy: Fourfold Pictures
The 3 most important factors to keep in mind before you finalise your venue - Pricing, pricing, and pricing! Does the price of your venue match your wedding venue budget? And if it does, what are the payment policies followed by the venues? Here’s a list of all the right questions you must ask your wedding venue -
- How much is the venue rental if we do not take catering services?
- How much is the booking deposit?
- Do you have different rates for saaya dates and weekends? What is the pricing chart for these shortlisted dates?
- Do you have a payment schedule for before and after payments?
- Which services are included in the total payment?
- What is the cancellation policy?
- What is the last date when you are open to accepting any change requests in our booking?
Questions on Vendor Team
Image Courtesy: Jess Withey Photography
Asking for vendor recommendations from the venue can help you find trusted wedding vendors for your wedding services. Wedding venues usually suggest vendors they have ample experience working with - which means good coordination between the venue and the vendors, which is a must-have for your wedding day. Make sure you take that list of ‘favourite vendors’ from the venues you talk to.
Here’s what to ask -
- Do you provide in-house vendors for catering, decoration, wedding music and wedding DJ services for the event?
- Is it mandatory to book the same vendors? Would you allow other vendors from outside if we book your venue?
- Do you have a list of vendors you can recommend for our wedding celebrations?
- What time can our vendors access the space depending on our booked slot?
- Are there any noise restrictions/ fixed timelines that my vendors need to follow at the venue?
- (In case you don’t hire a DJ from outside)- Does the venue have its own sound equipment and speakers?
Questions on Logistics & Other Regulations
Venue Decor Credits - ROE Events
While most wedding farmhouses and hotels offer guest accommodation especially because destination wedding planning is such a hit, wedding venues like banquet halls do not offer space for guest accommodation. Other factors like parking facilities, valet and guests pick and drop can also make a difference in planning your whole wedding.
Ask these questions for clarity -
- What are your policies on room management and guest count?
- Is the site handicap accessible? Are the washrooms easy to use for differently-abled?
- What are the parking facilities at the venue?
- What is the parking capacity of the venue? Will the guests be charged a rental fee?
- What’s the back up plan if we are planning an outdoor wedding and the weather takes an unpredictable turn?
- Do you provide additional generator sets, coolers, heaters etc and at what extra costs?
Tip: If your venue is near a place with any restrictions, like by a hospital, government buildings, even residential areas or even a military cantonment - you might need to ask your venue if hosting a wedding there requires any external permit or documents. You might also need to confirm if there are any limitations when it comes to playing music.
Questions on Food & Beverages
Image Courtesy: The Inn at Laguna Beach
Unless you are planning to throw a wedding party at a family farmhouse or a small intimate space, most wedding venues like hotels, banquet halls and marriage gardens have their own catering services. If you are planning to book the venue’s in house caterers, here’s everything you need to ask -
- What’s the total package including the venue space and catering charges? (ask them to add guest accommodation prices also, if you need them)
- Can we hire other caterers or we have to book the in house caterers only?
- Do you have a minimum or maximum limit for food and beverage orders? What happens if we don’t meet it or exceed it?
- Is alcohol allowed at your venue? If yes, can the venue team purchase liquor for us or should we source from outside?
- If alcohol is allowed, can you arrange an open bar? How will the prices vary in this case?
Questions on Venue Management on the D-day
Now that we have tick-marked all the necessary questions that can help you choose the right wedding venue for your D-day, you must try to explore how the venue plans to appoint staff on your wedding day. This helps in overall guest management if you don’t have a wedding planning team on your wedding day.
- Will you appoint one venue coordinator/ Point of Contact (POC) for all our wedding queries and conversations?
- Who will be the point of contact on our wedding day?
- Will the same person also have a team for generic guest management?
- Can we visit a wedding at the venue to understand their functioning and arrangements?
To avoid confusions, we suggest you carry a print out of this blog and ensure you don’t miss any of these questions. Once you get satisfactory answers, get them added to your venue booking contract.
The venue is usually the biggest expenditure during a wedding, which is why finalising the same requires extra efforts. But once you're done, you can start with the more fun elements of your wedding planning without extra stress. Happy planning!
We hope you found these pointers helpful. Have more questions about Venue booking or wedding planning? You can either drop them in the comments section below or head to our Community page to start a new discussion with couples who have planned their weddings recently and the WeddingWire India community experts.
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- Additional Words from Anwesha Das