Booking your wedding venue should be one of the first steps in the wedding planning process. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and uncertain at this stage of planning, and you may not even know what you need from your wedding venue yet. We’ve compiled a list of 10 questions to ask before booking your wedding venue to make sure you find the perfect place for your special day.
1. Is my date available?
Many venues book up months or even years in advance. You may want to have multiple dates to check when you begin looking for venues.
2. What is the cost breakdown?
Most venues require a deposit to book your date and final payment before the day of your wedding. In some cases, you will receive a security deposit back, as long as there is no damage. Be sure to ask if there are any other required or optional fees, as hidden fees can add up quickly.
3. Can I choose all my own vendors?
Some venues require you to use their catering, cake, decorating, or other vendors. Be sure to ask ahead of time if you plan to use your own vendors. (Don’t forget these 5 tips for finding and choosing wedding vendors.)
4. Do you have vendors you recommend?
If your venue allows you to find your own vendors, a great place to start is with their list of recommendations. They see a lot of weddings and have encountered top notch vendors along the way.
5. How many people can the venue hold?
If you are planning a large wedding, be sure the venue will hold enough people. Even if you are planning an intimate gathering, be sure there will be plenty of space for your guests.
6. What happens if it rains?
If you are planning an outdoor wedding, be sure to ask what the venue’s rain plan is. Some venues will move you to an indoor area; others provide tents and additional ground cover.
7. How long will I have access to the venue for setup and teardown?
You don’t want to be scrambling to decorate in the early hours of your wedding day. Make sure there will be plenty of time for setup. And don’t forget about your family and friends who will be tearing down. If they can come the next day to tear down decorations rather than staying up the night of wedding, that can make their lives a lot easier.
8. Do you provide setup/teardown assistance?
Better yet, some venues will actually setup and/or teardown the entire venue for you or provide extra hands if needed.
9. Are any decorations included or available for rent?
Tablecloths, table runners, centerpieces, lighting, seating, backdrops - the list of wedding decorations is long and expensive. Many venues provide some or all decorations for rent. Since you’ll only be using them for one day, this can save you money and headache in the long run.
10. What are the rules about alcohol?
Many wedding venues don’t allow alcohol or will only allow alcohol to be served by their own bartenders. Others require you to purchase alcohol through their bar rather than bringing it in yourself. Be sure you know what the alcohol rules (and costs) are before signing on the line.
If you are looking for the perfect NJ wedding venue, we would love to have you spend your day with us. Learn more about our weddings and contact us to schedule a tour.