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Deciding on a wedding venue - some important questions to ask

Updated on July 3, 2013

Important questions for your wedding venue sales person

Planning a wedding is an exciting time for any bride and groom. Or bride and bride, groom and groom - let’s not forget the gay community who are now able to wed. Your first task will be to work out your budget. That is going to be tough. As much as you want to have a wonderful event with no expense spared weddings can be really expensive.

Once you have established the amount that you will be able to afford including the contribution from family and friends you can start working on the most important part of the event. Your wedding venue. Between 50 to 75% of your budget will be spent on the venue. You need to make sure it is the perfect space for you.

Here are some good points to keep in mind when deciding on where to have your wedding reception.

Your wedding venue

Select your wedding venue carefully.
Select your wedding venue carefully.

What is the cost and what will it cover?

This will be your first question once you have narrowed down your search to some possible options. What is the cost. But add to this the further question of what this might cover. This is not as straight forward a question as you might think.

Have you thought whether items such as parking, security, bride changing room, kitchen facilities and so much more. The best idea is to walk through the planned wedding to see what might come up and make a list of questions to ask. Invite a friend who has recently been married to help you with it. Nothing beats immediate experience.

Your special day

How many people can the venue hold?

One of the biggest problems you will have while planning your reception is deciding on how many people will actually come. This is particularly difficult if you are booking your wedding venue well in advance. And you probably need to do this. Many very popular venues tend to be booked up a year or so in advance.

You might have a list of people you want to invite, but your future mother-in-law will have her own list and so will your mother. An invitation list can mushroom into a large one very quickly. It is therefore a good idea to consider a venue that will offer you some leeway in terms of numbers and who are willing to be slightly flexible.

In particular wedding events in the more social cultures such as found in Latin America may be more difficult to plan as it is not customary to provide advance notice as to how many will attend. Weddings in Asia also tend to be more flexible in terms of numbers. And replies are not necessarily forthcoming.

Make sure you know how long you have the facility for

If you are planning an afternoon event, what time will the venue want you and your guests to vacate. Many venues need to have their facilities used for more than one event a day, especially over the week-end. Make sure you know how much time is at your disposal.

Also find out whether your venue has any restrictions placed on it. Are you allowed to play music until late or does the venue’s license dictate that all music needs to stop at 11.00pm at night. This could be the exact time that your party finally gets going.

Fabulous wedding venue

Check all the facilities for suitability

This might not be something that is obvious. Are the premises accessible. You might have a disabled person attending. Will the kitchen facilities cope with the food you wish to serve. If you are Jewish you might require a Kosher kitchen. Or perhaps you would like to serve a five course dinner but the kitchen does not have the facilities to keep food warm or chilled for the duration.

Are there any restrictions on music being played loudly. Are children safe in the environment. Are there on-ramps and lifts for people using mobility equipment. Are there any cultural or religious barriers to have your type of celebration. Make sure that whatever special needs you may have are accommodated by the wedding venue.

Hope these are helpful tips

The above tips should provide you with some helpful information on what to ask for when discussing your special day with the wedding venue’s event planning staff. Make sure that you make a note of all of your questions that you might have. In your excitement of finding a gorgeous venue you might end up forgetting to ask these questions. It could be something you might regret later.

Once you have secured your venue make sure that you have all of your requirements noted in your contract and have a trustworthy member of your family or a friend keep the contract in a safe place during the event. Just in case of disputes. You don’t want anything to spoil your special day.

Have any experiences that you think might help other readers? Please leave them below.


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      Kolawole 2 years ago

      Karen Cody - We are interested in geinttg a wedding estimate for a date in October 2013 and what exactly the cost of the site and wedding reception will include (i.e., cake, dinner, open bar, linens, table, appetizers, etc.)Thanks, karen