Our GIANT list of important questions to ask wedding venues #Reception Advice#Wedding 101#checklist#wedding venues August 31 2015 | Catherine Clark bijouxandbits Seattle's Urban Light Studios UPDATE: We have a printable version available for download! Download yours here. You have your date, you've narrowed down your venue choices to your favorite haunts, and now you actually have to sit down with them and hash out ALL the details. Le sigh. We know how high the stakes can be, so we created this huge, comprehensive list of all the questions you'll want to have on hand to make your final venue choice. It looks daunting, but it'll be a major load off when you know you're coming prepared to check out wedding venues. New York's FEAST at Round Hill Dates Is our date available? How many other weddings will be booked that day? Is the venue available for exclusive use? Logistics What is the seating arrangement? How many guests does the venue hold? Is there a space for a cocktail hour? What type of tables do you have (shape, size)? How long do we have at the venue? How much are additional hours? Is the site handicap accessible? Is parking and/or valet parking available? How many parking spots are available? Is there an overflow or rental lot available? Is public transportation easily accessible from the venue? Is shuttle service available? How many restrooms are there? If an outdoor venue: Is there a backup plan for rain? Is there a coat check available? Are there restrictions for the photographer in terms of flash usage? Is the venue child friendly? What facilities are available for entertaining children? Is there somewhere secure to store wedding gifts? San Francisco's The Chapel Music and sound Related Post Yes, you can use Spotify as your wedding DJ Before we got married, I read SO MANY posts about how it's just easier to hire a DJ and not worry about ceremony music on... Read more Are there any noise restrictions? Can the venue accommodate a DJ or live band? Are there any restrictions? Where does the band/DJ set up? Where is the dance floor, and how large is it? Do you have a sound system with speakers, or will that need to be rented? Do you have microphones for speeches? Can I hook an iPod or laptop up to your sound system? Jeff and Brandon at Landmark Winery. Photos by Karenscape Photography Vendors, food, and rentals Related Post Wedding venue and catering secrets from a wedding industry insider Okay, I admit it, I'm part of the Wedding Industrial Complex -- I work at wedding venue. I'm also an Offbeat Bride. As an offbeat... Read more Is there a required/preferred vendor list to stick to? Can we use other vendors? Are tables, linens, chairs, plates, silverware, and glassware provided, or will we have to rent them or get them through our caterer? If catering is available, can we do a tasting? Can you accommodate special dietary requirements? If using in-house catering, what is the tax and service charge? If I hire my own caterer, are kitchen facilities available to them? Can I bring in a cake from an outside baker? Is there a cake-cutting fee? Is there an option for a dinner the night before or a brunch the day after? Do you have a liquor license? Can I bring my own booze (and what kind), and is there a corkage fee? Is a champagne toast complimentary? How is alcohol priced, and is there a charge for bar staff? Is there a bar minimum that must be met? What is the average bar tab for my size guest list? When can we get access to the space to decorate/set up? How early can vendor deliveries be made? How long do we have to clean up/tear down? Are there samples of the rentals available to look at? What are the restrictions for decor (including what you can and can't toss, lighting restrictions, what you can hang from the ceiling and on the walls, candles, etc.)? Staffing and coordination Related Post How to deal with a crappy venue-mandated coordinator "I understand that there is the option of not using a venue who has a required coordinator. I also understand that there are many wonderful... Read more Is there an on-site venue coordinator? What services are included with the venue coordinator, and are there additional charges? Will the coordinator serve as day-of coordinator? How much assistance can I get with the set up/decor? Is any set up/tear down service available? How much does it cost? Do you have signage to direct guests to the wedding? Do you provide assistance getting gifts or decor back to a designated place? Shared ceremony/reception spaces Related Post How do you transition from ceremony to reception when they're in the same space? I'm getting married at an art gallery. The ceremony and reception are going to be in the same space. In fact, I'm going to have... Read more Can I hold my ceremony here, too? Is there an additional charge? What is the setup for a shared ceremony/reception space? Do you provide a transition setup for a shared ceremony/reception space? How much time is allocated for the ceremony rehearsal? Accommodations Related Post Why you should ALWAYS ask about other booked events at your wedding venue Did you hear the one about the Offbeat Bride who found out about the Fetish Con being hosted at her wedding venue? Yeah... Add that... Read more Are there any suites or private rooms available to get ready or have alone time? Can the wedding party get ready at the venue? What overnight accommodations do you provide? Do you have any partnerships with nearby hotels? Can you provide a list? Do you offer a discount for booking multiple rooms? Money, payments, and liability Related Post I wish we'd had wedding insurance: Our wedding venue stole our money and ran When I eventually got engaged, I had one venue at the top of my list; Brooklyn's reBar. We immediately put down a deposit and made... Read more What's included in the fees (rentals, catering, lighting, parking, etc.)? Is there a discount for an off-season date or Sunday through Friday? How much is the deposit, and when is it due? When is the balance due? What forms of payment do you accept? What is your cancellation policy? Is the deposit refundable in case of cancellation? What happens if you go out of business? Do we need any insurance or permits? Do you have liability insurance? UPDATE: We have a printable version available for download! Download yours here. Want more advice from an industry insider? Wedding venue and catering secrets from a wedding industry insider Okay, I admit it, I'm part of the Wedding Industrial Complex -- I work at wedding venue. I'm also an Offbeat Bride. As an offbeat member of the wedding industry,… Read More This post features Offbeat Vendors! Check out their vendor listing to see how they cater to Offbeat Brides: The Chapel Urban Light Studios FEAST at Round Hill Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Catherine Clark Catherine Clark is Offbeat Bride's Senior Editor. In her spare time she loiters at her local library, makes art, watches movies en masse, plays video and tabletop games, poorly cooks healthy things, cuddles with her feline fur baby, and blogs at BijouxandBits.com. @enidjcoleslaw @bijouxandbits @bijouxandbits PREVIOUS Pillow forts and welcome bags: 12 ways to entertain kids at your wedding NEXT How to shop for a wedding dress like a software engineer Show/Hide comments [ 11 ] In addition to asking how much time you get for a ceremony rehearsal, I'd ask for more info on the logistics of the rehearsal generally. They may give you an hour, but they may also not let you have the rehearsal on a day where there's another event. If you're having the wedding on the Sunday of a holiday weekend, for example, that might mean that the only day you could have your rehearsal is the Thursday beforehand. If none of your family and bridal party could make it on that day, that's going to put you in a tough position. This definitely isn't a reason NOT to choose a venue, but it's a good thing to know up front! We didn't really think about scheduling the rehearsal until right now — 7 weeks out from our wedding — and it is turning into kind of a shitshow to schedule it because of the restrictions at our venue. Also, sometimes rehearsals cost extra. They'll "give" you an hour, but you have to pay for it. That's a good thing to know so that you can budget for it if need be! 5 agree Reply Perfectly timed, as we've just started scouting venues, thank you so much 🙂 1 agrees Reply What sort of specific questions would you ask a roller skating rink? We are in the process of compiling our list of questions for the venue we want. Reply My sister just got engaged and we are starting the planning process for her wedding. Thank you for this helpful information of things one should know about renting a venue. I especially liked the point that talked about the logistics. Another thing to consider would be how strict things are with decorations. Reply Thank you for providing this information about important questions to ask wedding venues. It would be beneficial to find out about the seating arrangement. To avoid stress, it would be best to have ample seating instead of not enough. Something else to consider is location. It would be best to select a venue that is easy for everyone to access. Reply I was feeling very overwhelmed to see our venues this week and your advice and questions have made me feel a lot more confident going in! Thankyou! Reply I humbly request an easy print button on this page, because it's kind of a mess to print with the images. 4 agree Reply Great idea. I'm on it! 1 agrees Reply Such a useful guide! Getting married in April next year at a venue in the UK called Nailcote Hall (https://www.nailcotehall.co.uk/weddings), and we've used this list to go to our planner at the venue so we know everything is going to be sorted and planned, all in time for the big day! Reply I would like to be able to locate places you can have a cheaply done Garden Wedding? Location: Orange County. . .My daughter lived in Irvine and wants a Garden Wedding/Reception of only 50 people. Can this be done for under $4,000 Reply Very nice and correctly mentioned questions to be asked. The wedding venue choice is a very big and major step in a marriage. This list of questions should be kept in mind when looking for the venue. Once you have all the querries answered its easy to finalize on one venue which will serve as a perfect wedding venue . Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Sign me up for your offbeat awesomeness newsletter! No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.