Questions to ask when visiting a venue

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from VWell. Show VWell's posts

    Questions to ask when visiting a venue

    Hi Everyone,
    I'm visiting two venues on Saturday afternoon and I wanted to tap into everyone's expertise. What types of questions should I be asking? What is the one thing you wished you asked up front? Did you take photos?

    Thanks!
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from trex509. Show trex509's posts

    Re: Questions to ask when visiting a venue

    I had a whole long list of questions that I took with me when we visited the venues.  If you post your email address, I can send it to you when I get home tonight.  Mainly it was questions about what was included in the packages, what their service/admin fees were, what drink options they have (open bar vs consumption bar), what rooms were available, timing, etc.  I guess our visits had 2 goals:  1) see if we like the place in person and 2) figure out exactly what it would cost, so our questions centered around that.  (note: we are in the planning stage, getting married next August!)

    And yes, we brought a camera and took pics. Very helpful if you are looking at a bunch of places as the ballrooms start to run together in my head later!
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Questions to ask when visiting a venue

    ask how many weddings they allow at a time. ask whether they coordinate with vendors directly or if you will be responsible for telling vendors where to be and when. Ask about linens, chairs, tables, china- what's included and what's extra? ask how their staff will be dressed. ask what time the wedding party can arrive. if you have to arrive at the same time as guests, ask if there's a different entrance the wedding party can use(in case you want the big 'reveal' moment). ask about clean-up fees.
    If I can think of anything else, I'll post more.

    thought of one more: ask if they will tell you when your time is up. some places charge if the wedding goes late but don't tell you when you're about to go over.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from FriarGirl03. Show FriarGirl03's posts

    Re: Questions to ask when visiting a venue

    I've said this a lot but NEGOTIATE! Almost every place we looked at waived the room rental charge and dropped the food minimum for us. Ask them if they can put a proposal together with the package you have your eye on. Most will run the numbers while you wait, a few might email them to you later. If you don't like a package, ask them how you can personalize it. Ask if there are any extra fees - cake cutting, servers, etc or if it's all included in the overall service charge. They should explain to you how the room could be set up - where's the entertainment, head table/sweetheart table, dance floor, etc. Make sure you check the outside as well. Is there a place to do outdoor pictures, where does the sun set, can guests see you? Also get a feel for how long they've been in business and how many weddings they do a year.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Questions to ask when visiting a venue

    How many weddings do they do per year?  Do they have a dedicated wedding/function coordinator?  If so, how much experience do they have?
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from HappyFrappy. Show HappyFrappy's posts

    Re: Questions to ask when visiting a venue

    Great suggestions so far. Here are a few other questions that were important to me:

    Do they allow candles/open flames? May you use vendors of your choosing? If you're having an outdoor ceremony/cocktail hour, do you like the backup plan in case of inclement weather?
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from cosmogirl. Show cosmogirl's posts

    Re: Questions to ask when visiting a venue

    Here are some I thought of:
    1.  what time can your florist (or friends) arrive to decorate, or is there someone on staff that will do it:  centerpieces, set up placecards, favor table, etc.
    2.  what time can your DJ or band arrive to set up
    (These times should not count toward your function hours)
    3.  Are you having the ceremony on-site or elsewhere?  If on-site, check it out.  Is there a separate ceremony area, room, etc.
    4.  Where will the cocktail hour be held.  Be careful to check it out.  Sometimes they put it in the foyer outside the reception room, and it can be quite crowded.  Where will the DJ set up, can the music be heard in the cocktail area or will the DJ need 2 set ups?
    5.  Are there private restrooms just for your function or are they open to other simulataneous functions or to the general public?
    6.  Will someone be responsible for safeguarding the wedding gifts and envelopes during the reception or do you need to assign a friend to do it?
    7.  Is there an area where you want to take photos?  If outside, what is the indoor alternative in case of rain?
    8.  Smoking:  where do people go to smoke?  Is it very far from the party or nearby? 
    9.  What steps do they take to prevent guests over-drinking?
    10.  If a consumption bar, how do they keep track?  Example, they should agree that there are 4 or 5 glasses of wine per bottle.  They should charge you per bottles used. 
    11.  Get a clear list and description of ALL fees being charged.....it can really add up and kill your budget.  Example:  if your bring in your own wedding cake, they may charge up to $5 per person for "plating".  Yes, ridiculous, I know.  What does the "service fee" include.  What percent, if any, goes to the wait staff?
    12.  Are there minimum amounts you must spend, including booze?
    13.  How long has the function manager worked there?  Where did he/she work before?
    14.  How many waitstaff will serve dinner, will pass appetizers, will one be assigned exclusively to the bride and groom?
    15.  Ask for a seating chart based on your estimated number of guests.  Many venues will overstate their capacity.  You want to make sure there is ample room between tables for your guests' comfort.

    In this economy, most venues are anxious for your business.  Don't be afraid to negotiate.

    And, finally, never, never, never look at a venue that's over your budget.  You'll never be happy with anything that you CAN afford.

    Let us know where you're looking.  And have fun!!!!!
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from Elmgirl82. Show Elmgirl82's posts

    Re: Questions to ask when visiting a venue

    Cosmogirl, you are an expert! I know who I am coming to for advice when I get engaged!
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from cosmogirl. Show cosmogirl's posts

    Re: Questions to ask when visiting a venue

    you know my motto -- saving the world, one wedding at a time!

    :)

     
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