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South Asian Weddings

Top Questions to ask Vendors

This weekend, I am going to see one of the first venues on my list. My Mom is very sick at the moment with an infection in her heart wall so she probably won't be coming with my Dad and I. Since we're down a person for the day, I wanted to ask - what are some questions I should not leave without asking about the venue? If anyone could post the list of questions they used, I would greatly appreciate it. I'm virtually clueless and for about six weeks will be doing things without my Mom (as I want her to rest). Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. I see the first venue on Saturday and the next one next week!


Re: Top Questions to ask Vendors

  • The main things to ask venues are 1) what price covers which things; and 2) what is allowed/not allowed.


    These are things that I learned are not always included, or may be separate:

    There may be an additional cost to hold the ceremony in the same venue.  There may also be additional costs attached to the setup of the ceremony, like putting out chairs or securing an aisle runner.

    Tables, chairs, linens, and place settings.  Yes, apparently some people, but not everyone, charge separately for the furniture.  If the venue is doing the linens and place settings, they will charge for that.  Try to see an example (or range of examples) while you are there and get a price range.

    If the hall and caterer are the same, is there still a separate hall rental fee?

    If they're the caterer, what does the price include in the way of the meal (i.e., non-alcoholic drinks, chai, etc.)?

    If you are picky about alcohol, get their list.  Find out about corkage fees and what they allow from outside.  (My venue did not permit outside sake.)  How many bartenders will you need, and what is the cost of keeping the bar open?

    Is setup/cleanup included?

    Can you bring a cake from a different vendor?  How much is cake cutting, and do they charge per plate and fork for cake as well?

    Do they require you to buy permits (my venue required a fire permit for candles) or insurance?

    Is the staff included in the price?  What about overtime? Extra waiters?  Security guards?  Is gratuity included and who does it cover?

    If they put down a dance floor, partition the hall, or set up sound equipment, is it extra?

    Other things to ask about:

    In general, I always gave a loose description of what I was expecting:  number of people, adults v. children, vegetarians and other eating needs, general outline of the evening, etc.  A good coordinator should point out issues if they see any.

    Some venues don't allow children, or have a limit on how many.

    Most venues have a closing time.  Ask how strict it is.  I saw some that had to be really strict due to area noise ordinances, but ours wasn't.

    DJs.  I actually saw a venue that didn't allow amplified music.  Some also had rules about volume or equipment.

    If you are using an outside caterer, find out what you need to do.  I saw quite a few venues that required you to choose from their list of caterers (always more expensive).  I also saw one where the kitchen was too far away to serve a dinner, and some had other restrictions or required additional insurance.

    Ask to see pictures of the hall setup for a wedding.

    Check the chairs so you know whether you would have to rent them (another cost).

    Ask about logistics.  Do they provide a coordinator?  Where is the parking?  If they aren't doing the setup, when can the decorator, cake, etc. arrive?  If they aren't doing the cleanup, how is that coordinated?

    Ask about any decor restrictions.  My church didn't allow aisle runners or pew arrangements and my venue had a restriction on the size of centerpieces.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that the better the hall looks to start with, the less you will have to spend decorating it!

  • Thank you so much! This is amazing. I have already sent this to my family and fiance.

    If anyone has any additional suggestions, I'd appreciate them! :)
  • Tem covered pretty much everything from what i can tell. The only other thing that came as a surprise to me was that some venues required a fire marshall to be present since during the ceremony there technically is an open flame. It was dependent on the city, so it's something to ask.

    (I see that she did cover it now that I scrolled back up - oops!)

    And I definitely agree that if a reception or ceremony hall looks really good even before it's decorated, it helps to ease the hit on the decor budget.
  • PS I hope that your mom gets better soon!

    That actually reminded me of one other tip that a friend gave me that I thought was great - take your digital camera with you and take pictures of the different venues you visit. That way you can keep them straight when you're trying to make final decisions on where to book. Often, the pictures that they provide you are already decorated etc. It's nice to have a "clean slate" to work from to help you decide. And it helps when trying to decide on decor later.
  • Thank you! I will be taking my camera with us so that I can take some snapshots to send to my fiance. I hope this goes well - I am just nervous and excited for everything to start! I'm the first of my friends to get married, so TK boards are basically my best friends right now!
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