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Assembling the right team of vendors can seem daunting, but selecting your dream wedding venue tends to be the most stressful. Getting those initial quotes can dampen your excitement, especially when they are not clear on what exactly comes in those packages. Once you narrow down your venue options, it’s important to ask the right questions before you get to signing that contract.

Date Availability

If you already have your heart set on a particular date, one of the first questions you should ask when inquiring about venues is if they have your date available! You don’t want to waste your time, or the venue manager’s time by asking different accommodation and package questions if your date is non-negotiable. While some brides pick their date early on in their engagement, it’s best to wait to solidify your date until you have both your venue and photographer on the same page when it comes to the calendar.

Photo by Renáta-Adrienn on Unsplash

Who will I be working with?

Often times your vendors will have more than one person on their team and the person you meet first may not be the person you will be working with as you are planning for your big day. It’s important to meet the individual who is going to be your point of contact at the venue and be sure your personalities and styles are in line.

How many weddings do you book in one weekend?

Some venues will have several weddings booked throughout the weekend, and if they have a small team that’s stretched too thin, it could compromise the quality of your day. You want to be sure that the venue of your choosing is focused on bringing your vision to life. Also, ask to see if they schedule tours on wedding days. You, or your wedding day team, don’t want to be slowed down during setup by tours happening around you.

Wedding venue photo of the main pavilion decorated for the wedding.
Beautiful dining space perfect for a wedding or special event at Black Prong Equestrian Village
Package Transparency

Prior to your tour, it’s best to review what the venue offers in its packages. Once you have a good understanding of what’s included, you can tailor your questions to be sure you have all the necessary information for picking your dream venue. For some venues, items like tableware, linens and glassware are not included, meaning additional costs and add-on packages are necessary. Renting these items can cost anywhere from four to ten dollars a person, so make sure to clarify what the packages include with each venue.

How many people can the space accommodate?

While your venue might have a max capacity number that is larger than your number of guests, you will want to be sure they have enough tables and chairs to accommodate everyone and that the space is adequate for your layout vision. Don’t forget to ask if they also offer ceremony seating. You don’t want to be carting chairs from your ceremony over to the reception on your wedding day. Speaking of accommodations, you will want to be sure there are restroom facilities on-site or be prepared to make a plan for restrooms to be brought in.

Preferred Vendors & On-site Catering

If your dream venue doesn’t have all the necessary tables, chairs and tableware needed, check with the venue to see if they have a preferred vendor list! Your venue will most likely have a selection of vendors whom they have previously worked with and recommend. Some of those vendors might even have a discount for that particular venue! Like Black Prong Equestrian Village, your venue might even offer on-site catering, which eliminates the stress of selecting two of your most important vendors.

Weather Plan

If your venue is an outdoor space, before signing that venue contract ask about the weather plan. You don’t want to get to the day before your big day and realize there is a bad storm approaching and your venue doesn’t have a weather plan in place. You also want to be happy with what Plan B will look and feel like.

The stone terrace connects to the veranda of the main pavilion
Getting Ready Space

During your tour, ask the venue if you can view the getting ready area. Most venues will have a designated area for the bridal party to get all dolled up, but if they don’t, you will need to consider where you’ll get ready and how you’ll arrive at the venue.

Set Up and Breakdown

Another important question to ask while on your tours is who will oversee setup and breakdown for your big day. Some venues include that in their packages for you, but if they don’t, you will need to designate a person for that task. You will also want to know what the timeframe looks like for both setup and breakdown. Some venues have a specific timeslot for setting up for your event or require you to have everything packed up the same night, while others may allow access to the venue a day early or let you retrieve your belongings the next day. Knowing the answers to these questions ahead of time can help you plan accordingly and may sway your decision on what venue you pick!

Before you head out on your venue tours, download our Venue Question Checklist to print off and take with you!

Looking for a venue that can help bring your vision for the big day to life?

Check out our Weddings and Special Events page.

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