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Touring ceremony/reception sites. What should I ask?

Ahhhh! I'm so excited. I just booked two appointments to check out venues this upcoming Sunday. If you couldn't tell by my schoolgirl giddiness, it will be my first time. So, I would like to comprise a list of questions that I should ask them, so I don't leave feeling like I learned nothing. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them. Also, is there anything else I should know before I head in? Thanks in advance!

Re: Touring ceremony/reception sites. What should I ask?

  • JayPlusKay- a fellow Boston Bride here...where are you looking?
  • What does the overall fee include?

                Rental times, what are they and how much are they? How much do extra hours cost?

                Catering (do they provide on site, can you bring in outside-- can you supply them w/ alcohol, can you bring in a cake, etc). If they do provide catering, when are your prices locked (when you sign the contract or when you give final numbers).

                Scheduling (do they have more than one wedding a day, what time can you set up, do you have to have some one 'take down' at the end of the reception or can you do it the next day, what's the standard time e.g. 4hrs/5hrs-- can you add an extra hour--how much?)

                When do they need a final head count?

                Payment issues (how much of a deposit, when's the balance due, what are their rights and your rights regarding cancellation (what kind of notice to they/you need to give/how much of a refund))   Deposits, what is due when? What are the damage deposits and what do we have to do to get them back?

                Ask about all the little extra charges - linens, cake cutting and serving, rental fee, , security, bartenders, and tip.  Are there dance floor surcharges if they have to "build" one?

                Do they provide chairs for the guests, or do you have to rent them yourself? Approximate cost? Is that in addition to whatever fee they are already charging?  How will chairs be set up? Is there a charge for moving them?  What is the max number of chairs that can be set for the ceremony? Do they have chair covers for use/rent? Rentals, what do you have on site we can use (chairs, linens...) is there a charge for the chairs?

    Do they have a Day Of Coordinator or a person who will be onsite? What do they do? Is there an extra charge for a DOC?

    Do you need an aisle runner? Can you use one if you choose? Any restrictions about how to stick to the floor to make sure it doesn't slide?  If you're having a flower girl, are there restrictions about dropping flowers on the aisle?

     What decorations are provided? Canopy/chuppa, pillars, flowers, backdrops, aisle runner, etc. If not provided, is there a preferred or required vendor that they use?

    Will they provide a small table for your unity candle/sand ceremony/whatever?

    Will they provide a trellis or do you have to bring your own (if applicable)?

    Can you bring in extra decorations, such as flowers, tulle, etc? Any restrictions to decorating (such as no tape, pins, etc)?  When can you come in to decorate - day of ceremony, night before?

    What kind of restrictions are there on decor? Any restrictions (candles, Can you use candles if they are under glass? sparklers, confetti, etc also Red Wine (some historic sites won't let you have RW b/c of the staining issues))?

    Do they supply any decorations for free/for a charge? (Some places provide mirror tiles, votive holders, greenery, topiaries, possibly even pillars or candles themselves!
    Is there a place to plug in a sound system or CD player for ceremony music? Is there a place for live musicians to set up and play?  What kind of amp system is available for music and mics? If not using these, is there a spot for musicians?

    Is there a room for the girls to get dressed/ready in? Is there a room for the guys?

    What time can the bridal party access their respective rooms?

    What time can vendors access the ceremony site to begin setting up? Do our rental times include set up and clean up, or do we have to fit that into ___hours?


    What do they do as far as clean up? What are we required to do and what is the caterers required to do?

    Do they require you to go through certain vendors for caterers (if they don't provide it on-site already), djs, photgraphers, etc. This sounds crazy...but some sites do this to boost each others' business!

    Are any other events being held on your date? Do they decorate for you if you give a diagram and the supplies ahead of time? Do they take care of setting up any of our favors, programs...? Can we drop off these things the day before?

    Outside location, separate rooms for cocktail time? Are there some and can we use them?

    What is the capacity? What kind of tables are available if any? (8' round, 10' round, 8'long, 10' long etc.)

    My piece of advice, don't just "settle" because of size/price...shop around, if you really like something see if they will "hold" your date free of charge for 2-4 weeks to give you some decision time! If they REALLY want your business...they'll work with you.
    I suggest sitting down and "number crunching with estimates" if they provide catering for you. This will give you a rough estimate of what the room/catering will cost exactly!


    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
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