It’s the first decision you make, and arguably one of the most significant – don’t commit to a venue until you’ve asked these all-important questions.
Are there any extra charges?
Don’t assume that the figures you see on your contract are set in stone – some venues can create fees for everything from cake-cutting to cleaning. Be sure to have clarification of these costs in writing before you sign the dotted line.
How many weddings are booked for the same day as me?
While some venues only allow for one booking a day, others allow for many – multiple weddings on the same day as you could mean the venue’s services are stretched. If you’re in doubt, ask to read testimonials from past brides who have been in the same situation.
What’s the cancellation policy?
If, for whatever reason, your big day doesn’t end up taking place when planned, you’ll be glad you knew the consequences well in advance.
Are there any decoration or activity limitations?
Some venues may have restrictions on candle use, while others – such as those in an air space – will not allow you to release helium balloons. Whatever the situation, it pays to be aware well ahead of time so you aren’t disappointed at the last minute.
Are there different rates for different months or different days of the week?
You could save some serious coin by having your wedding on a Thursday instead of a Saturday, or in May instead of March.
Is there an in-house caterer and do I have to use them?
If yes, you’ll want to make sure you like their culinary offerings before agreeing to use the space.
What time will we have to leave by?
Most venues have noise or licensing restrictions, which prevent them from being open or serving alcohol after a certain hour. Running overtime could mean you end up incurring a hefty fee. Also check whether you need to take your decorations and equipment away by a certain time in the morning, or even on the night itself.
Where can guests park?
There will most likely be a parking area, but there could also be a cost for it. Some venues – such as hotels – could require you to use a valet service, which can bump the cost of your wedding for those in attendance.
What’s the plan if the weather is bad?
You can’t control the weather, but you’ll be significantly less uncomfortable with that fact if you’re happy with the back up alternative.