Wedding Reception Forum

First time visiting venues

My FI and I aren't getting married until 2016, but have heard quite a bit on making it a point to book the venue ASAP since a lot of waterfront/spring/summer venues (can) book up to 2 years in advance. We are going to visit 2 of our prospective venues in a couple weeks over my spring break and wondered if there are any questions anyone can suggest that I may have missed/forgotten...(both of these options are resorts/hotels that offer rehersal dinner,ceremony, reception services)

My list includes:

1) is there an indoor emergency ceremony venue

2) our guests will be approx. <100, does that limit us on what rooms we can use for the reception venue

3) do your caterers offer sit-down as well as buffet style dinners

4) can we choose our own caterer

5) where can our guests park

6) what sort of discount is offered for guests of our wedding if we block rooms, & are we limited to our guests staying here (some guests may not be able to afford prices at resort)

7) do you have DJs on a preferred list, are we able to book our own

8) can you suggest an officiant

9) do you have any restrictions on photographs/locations used for photographs

10) what do you offer for "dressing rooms" for bride and maids, and for groom and groomsmen

11) how flexible is your schedule for the reception, are we able to rearrange certain aspects such as when the first dance occurs (we want to have first dance after dinner to kick off reception)

12) do you have restrictions on children (we have little ones who are in the wedding and would like for them to be included in all events)

13) are you pet friendly (I have bunnies that will need to come along since all those whom I trust to take care of them when I go away will be at the wedding)

.... I think that's all I have for the moment. Any other suggestions are greatly appreciated :)


Re: First time visiting venues

  • Options
    Good questions! I'm doing my first venue visit on Saturday, so I have nothing helpful to add but I love that you are considering your pets while planning your reception! Hope others have more good questions to add :-)
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  • Options
    Ask about other weddings that may be taking place at the venue on the same weekend; how do they handle it? 

    Ask if they have a venue coordinator; what are the extent of that coordinator's services? 

    Ask who handles set up and tear down; are you responsible for clean up? When you can you start set up?

    Ask what's included in the cost pp; linens? Tables? Chairs? Flatware? 

    Can you bring in your own baker? 

    Ask if there are restrictions on time; how long can you have the space? 

    Ask if there are limits on decorations; can you have open flames? Hang things from walls? Confetti? Etc.

    How do they handle bar service? Package? Consumption?

    If you're allowed to bring in your own caterer (be prepared for most venues with their own kitchen to tell you no), does that caterer get access to kitchen facilities?

    And BATHROOMS. Look at the bathrooms. One venue we looked at tried to sell us on a single stall women's bathroom for 150 guests. Nope. 

    Oh and any venue that tries to control your entire reception schedule should be a no. You're allowed to decide when you dance. 
  • Options
    Great additions! Thank you, I will add these to my list.
  • Options
    You should ask what exactly they include in the price per head and what the associated tax and gratuity is.  I would call or email each venue your interested in before you go look at it to make sure it fits your budget before asking any other questions.  Most of the time a price per head can sound cheap but when you tack on the tax and service charges it adds a lot more.  maybe some other questions:
    1. Who is in charge of your wedding the day of?
    2. How many servers, bus boys, bartenders per number of guests?
    3. Do you charge for ceremony space and set-up?
    4. Ask about food tastings.  Can you have a tasting before you book?  What is a tasting like for your wedding? (group, private, etc)
    5. What brand of alcohol do you include?
    6.What is the earliest time that we can arrive before our ceremony to get ready?
    7. Do you serve special request meals?  Can we chose the meal ahead of time?
    8. Do you provide menus, escort cards, direction cards?
    9. Are you obligated to use a room block? 
    10. How far in advance can we give you are pieces for ceremony/reception etc?

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  • Options
    More great additions! Thank you ladies...keep em comin!
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