Wedding Reception Forum

Going for the final viewing of the venue tomorrow- What should we be asking?

Hi everyone!

Tomorrow we are going to check out the venue we have fallen in love with. What kind of things should we be asking? I am totally ignorant to the wedding planning 'stuff' lol

Ceremony and reception will be in the same place, cost of the venue includes use of the place Friday through Sunday (how awesome is that??), that is all that we know so far. So any advice would be fantastic as to what we should be asking before we sign away...

OH! The cost includes a wedding coordinator, I am sure that we will be finding out exactly what her role in it is, but can anyone shed some light for me? I have no clue what she would be doing lol

Thank you!!!!

Re: Going for the final viewing of the venue tomorrow- What should we be asking?

  • I would price out every single thing you plan on purchasing.  Go through it and make sure there is not a single penny unaccounted for.  I did this with 3 venues.  At 2 of them, there were tons of small, hidden charges (and I'm not talking taxes and service fees that I had already accounted for).  I felt like it these little costs were coming out of the wood work that early in the process, I would be nervous about what would come later!  The venue we went with had no hidden costs and there never were hidden costs.

    Walk through the venue and ask about different options about how things could be set up and how the day could flow.  I threw out a lot of ideas and I was happily surprised that with our venue we never heard "no" or even a hesitation- they were willing to accommodate anything. 

    Our coordinator knew every aspect of our wedding and every one of our vendors.  She was completely in charge of the day of and set everything up to our exact specifications, coordinated the vendors, or organized everything so that the day ran perfectly smoothly.  She was even in charge of coordinating our wedding party and ran a short rehearsal.  I can't imagine a DOC would have done anything more than what the coordinator at the venue did.  I would ask what their coordinators do.

  • Thank you! I appreciate the response :) 

    I have a big long list of questions that we will be asking her, bringing a note pad with to jot things down (along w/my camera). 

    Good suggestion about the hidden fees, we will be sure to ask about that.

    Thanks again!
  • I agree with pp's points- ask about every single charge.  I don't know what your venue includes, but for instance, if you bring in your own cake is there a cutting fee? Things like that sneak in and can add up quickly.  

    Do they have vendors you must work with or can you choose your own? Some venues require your vendors to have proof of liability insurance (in case the DJ blows out their electrical system for instance), see what the requirements are for your venue before you book vendors and then make sure any vendors you book can provide that proof.

    Check about your own liability.  Check about cancellation policies and fees- no one plans on having to cancel a wedding but things happen and you may need that information in writing down the line.  

    When can you or your vendors get in to set up and is there an additional fee for that time or if it needs to be done earlier? What is the fee if your event doesn't end on time?  Make sure the contract lists the specific start and end time so there are no surprises there.  Be sure to find out when your items must be removed from the venue- my cousin spent the day after her wedding boxing up her wedding things at her venue when she hadn't planned on it because she thought the venue would box the stuff up and hold it for her for later pickup.

    At venues I made sure to ask how many guests would be seated at each table (this may not be an issue if you're renting just the venue- you would work that part out with table rentals and a caterer), and I took a peek in the restrooms.  If they can't keep a restroom clean knowing you're visiting, don't expect it to look much better for your guests.

    To make a list for my venue, I basically envisioned the day from start to finish and that helped me come up with a list of questions I didn't have answers to already. I imagined arriving for the ceremony (where would we and our wedding party be before the ceremony- is there a room or bridal suite to hang out in so guests don't see us ahead of time? Can we take pictures on the property before the ceremony start time in our contract?).  Then I imagined the flow of the reception and that gave me some other thoughts.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Oh, I forgot to add- ask what the maximum number of guests you're allowed to have is (for a seated dinner if that applies) and get that in writing.  Venue maximums are pretty serious and you don't want to plan a guest list of 200 only to find out that for a seated dinner, fire codes say you can only have 100.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Not sure where your reception is, but I know in LA, parking is a huge deal, and something easy to forget to ask about :) (ie how much, where do guests park, is there valet, etc.)

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