10 Important Questions to Ask Your Wedding Venue

Your wedding venue is probably the single most important element of your big day, so there are lots of elements you need to take into consideration. You already know to ask venues if your date is available and how many people they can accommodate, but what about the more in depth inquiries? For that, Groovin’ has got you covered. Whether you’ve already chosen your wedding venue, have a few you’re considering, or are just starting your search, here are some important questions you need to ask that go beyond the basics:

1. Can I do a rehearsal on site the day before?

Because rehearsals are typically held the night before, it’s easy to assume that your venue will be available for that. However, popular venues may have another wedding the day before yours, or some other kind of event going on at that time that could prevent you from having it. Be sure to ask your venue when they’re available so that you can be sure your whole (or most) or your wedding party is able to attend.

2. When and where can rentals be picked up and dropped off?

In the sweet chaos of your big day, the last thing you want anyone to have to do is be running around trying to locate your rentals; coordinate with your venue and rental company when and where they should drop everything off, and where they should place the rentals after the party is over. To further reduce possible confusion and take a weight off your shoulders, Groovin’ can even order your rentals, drop them off, and pick them up for you, which many couples choose to do.

3. What is the venue staff responsible for and what is the catering staff responsible for when it comes to set up?

Usually, your catering company is only responsible for setting up food related components, and your venue or rental company is in charge of putting other elements together such as your tables, dance floor, etc. However, be sure to discuss this with all of your vendors in order to be sure that everything is set up and ready to go when you are.

4. What are the rules regarding alcohol? Will I need to obtain a license to serve alcohol?

Some facilities have guidelines regarding what type of alcohol you can serve. For instance, certain venues (particularly ones that are historic) do not allow red wine, and at others, shots are off limits. To serve alcohol, an ABC license is required, and whoever provides the alcohol is responsible for supplying this. Discuss these details with both your venue and caterer to be certain that what you’re serving is allowed, and that you have the proper certificates required to provide it.

5. Who is responsible for taking care of the bathrooms during the event?

It’s never pleasant to have to improvise for toilet paper, especially at a wedding. Normally, the venue is responsible for replenishing the towels, toilet paper, and soap, but in more remote locations you may need to supply and refresh these yourself. For the sake of everyone involved, just be sure to ask.

6. Are there any decorating guidelines or restrictions?

Before you spend money on gorgeous decorations, make sure they’re permitted at your venue. Sometimes things like candles, or hanging votives, are restricted, and the last thing you want to do is buy or rent expensive ornaments and not be able to use them.

7. What is the parking situation like? Will there be enough parking for my guests? Is there handicapped parking?

Parking at your venue has the potential to be convenient or cumbersome. Ask about whether there will be enough parking for all of your guests, if handicapped parking and handicapped entrances are available, and if valet parking is an option. If parking is limited or located a long distance from the venue, consider asking if the venue allows shuttle services to assist with dropping off and picking up guests. Your guests, especially older guests and those in high heels, will be appreciative.

8. Who is responsible for the tear down and clean-up?

Most people remember to ask about setting up for the party, yet neglect to figure out who is going to clean it all up. To prevent inconveniencing any of your family or friends with this large responsibility, ask if your venue or wedding planner is able to do it, and what the cost will be for this service. You may need to hire an outside company for this task, but either way, it is something that needs to be planned ahead of time.

9. Are there tables and chairs provided?

If your venue is able to provide you with tables and chairs to use, that can drastically reduce rental costs. Even if they do not have enough to accommodate all of your guests, you can still save lots of money by only renting the additional tables and chairs needed for your remaining guests. If you choose to order these through Groovin’, we will be sure to make the additional tables and chairs as coordinated as possible to make the set-up look seamless.

10. Is there a kitchen on site available for your caterer?

If you’ve hired a catering company that is located off-site, be sure to ask if there are facilities available for them to use, and if utilizing those facilities comes at a cost. Your caterer needs to know whether or not they’ll need to set up a prep area for logistical purposes, and you clearly need to know so that you can fit this possible expense into your budget. Some venues, especially vineyards, may require your caterer to use a tent.

By asking these questions before your big day, you can avoid unexpected surprises. To further reduce stress, Groovin’ offers day of coordinators who will ensure that your big day is as seamless as possible. The week of the wedding, they will confirm that all of your vendors are prepared and organized, prepare your timeline, direct your rehearsal, and manage many other details to ensure that your day goes as planned. For inquiries, give us a call at 804.868.8900.