10 Not-So-Obvious Questions to Ask Wedding Venues

Finding the one, okay, the second one, is often times a difficult feat. Your wedding venue is truly what your wedding framework is built on and, while some venues have sweeping views, gorgeous decor, blank canvas walls, or an amazing location, there almost always seems to be a con for each pro. When we’re touring venues with our couples we share our insight for the sometimes overlooked details and questions they likely don’t know how to ask. We dive into parking, staffing and hours as well as insurance and load-in and out- times. Sure, these aren’t the most glamorous questions to chat about, but they can make or break the success and flow of your wedding. Shhh…here are our top questions!

1.Do you have alcohol restrictions? Will they let you bring in your own alcohol and bartending service? What flexibility to they allow for? Make sure you have pricing spelled out for in-house alcohol service or pricing for bringing it in yourselves. Furthermore, know what insurance parameters they require with each option.

2. Do you have a contingency plan for inclement weather? What does the plan entail? One venue we know of has a contingency plan, but it’s only if the back-up room isn’t booked by another party. That certainly doesn’t sound fair to a couple, does it? Making sure you know what will happen if it’s rainy, too hot or windy is important. 

3. Will you allow someone to book before, during, or after our event? Many venues break their days into two to three slots: morning/afternoon, mid afternoon, and evening. Be sure you know if someone will be using the space before or after you and how much time your team has to set up and tear down. Know if there are extra hourly fees for overtime.

4. What is the parking situation like for guests? Is there street parking? After hours parking? This can be a big deal in terms of convenience for guests. If your venue has a pay lot or valet parking ask about a discounted rate for your guests.

5. What are your noise restrictions? Many venues won’t offer up the fact that you need to pipe down at 10pm or earlier. Seems like highway robbery, doens’t it? When you spend money on your celebration you certainly don’t want to cut off the momentum before the sun goes down. Know these restrictions prior to booking – some hotels have caps on noise given their guest room layout. Many venues in residential neighborhoods have earlier curfews, too.

Photos: Shannon Lee Images for Valley & Co. of Tower 23 Hotel - a gorgeous venue who is always happy to accommdate our clients.

6. Will you take care of our vendors? As wedding orchestrators, if you will, we always ensure our vendors are well taken care of, as do our clients. However, some venues opt to serve cold and soggy sandwiches – which doesn’t fly with hard working photographers who have been shooting for 7 hours already. Be sure that you know how much hot meals and parking are and spell it out in your contract. Many venues will offer a discounted group of hot vendors meals if you ask. Having a side room for vendors and their gear is important, too!

7. Is there any public access to our ceremony or reception sites? Public beaches and parks, as well as venue common areas, may increase public traffic during your ceremony or reception. Be sure you ask about this and how a venue can help curb someone walking by in a bathing suit during your ceremony. Does the venue provide screening or staff to kindly hold people back?

8. Can we see an estimate for staffing prior to booking? This is incredibly important. There’s nothing worse than a poorly staffed event, which can leave guests standing in extremely long bar lines or plates stacking up on tables…but be sure you know the cost of full staffing {an early estimate is better than nothing} prior to signing on the dotted line.

9. Do you hold any other in-house events that might interfere with our wedding? We’ve heard about hotels staging luaus or craft fairs during a wedding, which makes for traffic and kind of kills the ambiance. Know what’s possible.

10. Please explain the load-in and load-out time frame for my vendors. Do they have restrictions? Do you charge extra if they can’t load out in time?

We hope you find these tips helpful. Don’t be shy when asking as these tips can save you money and a venue headache. Now, do you have your wedding venue booked?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. says

    We def asked some of these, but there are some we didn’t think to ask like the public access question. Even though we had ours at a historical mansion, it has walking grounds around the area that anyone can just stroll up and enjoy. So I never thought to ask that! :)

    • admin says

      When our clients have had weddings at public beaches or parks {pretty frequently, actually}, sometimes there’s not a whole lot you can do, but most venues have it worked out so they can screen or stop guests for a certain period. Thanks for commenting!

  2. says

    It is surprising how many people forget questions like these when it comes to looking for venues. It is always a good idea to grill a venue provider thoroughly when looking for a venue. That way nothing can spoil your big day.

  3. says

    This is some great advice!  Being a wedding vendor (photographer) myself I can attest to how important some of these details can become on your wedding day.  Ask lots of questions of all your vendors ahead of time so that you are prepared…don’t just trust that they’ll “do it all” to take care of you…sometimes they need prompting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>