Wedding Venue Questionnaire
When I started looking into wedding venues, I was completely overwhelmed. I had a pretty strong idea of the vibe I wanted, but let's face it, you can't pick a place based on vibes alone. We're talking thousands of dollars here, and I wanted to make sure I chose a place that would give me not only what I wanted, but what I needed as well.
The problem was...I didn't exactly know what I needed. I knew I wanted mainly an outdoor venue with options to escape indoors (in case of inclement weather, since I was getting married in November). I knew I wanted the surroundings to be lush and slightly secluded. And I knew I wanted to stay in Southern California to minimize travel costs for my family. But what were the things that I would need? What logistics, what details, what services would set one venue apart from the rest and make planning my wedding just a tad less stressful?
Clueless, I turned to the internet. I scoured Pinterest and Google for what seemed like hundreds of articles, infographics, and blog posts on choosing the right venue and what to ask before making that decision. I collected what I thought to be quite a thorough list of questions, and included them in the inquiry e-mails I sent to each venue I was interested in. Well, I'd hate for my hours and hours of research to go to waste. Thus I present to you, dear readers, the DarlingDela Wedding Venue Questionnaire. Feel free to use these questions for yourself in your search for the perfect wedding venue! Be sure to remove questions that are not relevant to you or your wedding. Did I miss something important? I would love to hear your suggestions to add to this list! Add a comment below or send us an email.
the darlingdela wedding venue questionnaire
- Dates: I am looking to get married around [enter your preferred dates or time of year here]. What are the cost differences between a weekday and a weekend? Are there different rates for Friday vs Saturday vs Sunday? Is there a major change in cost if the date falls on a holiday?
- Guest Count: My estimated number of guests is [enter your estimated guest count here]. How many guests can your space(s) hold? And is that number seated, standing room, or both? How soon do you need the final guest count? What is the charge per person if I go over my final guest count? Are the bride and groom included in the final guest count?
- Fees: What is the cost of renting your space? What items does that fee include? For example, does it include things like tables/chairs, flatware, dishes, glasses, lighting, etc.?
- Catering: Is catering included? Are we allowed to use our own choice of catering or are we mandated to choose from your preferred caterer(s)?
- Time: How many hours does the base rental fee include? How much do additional hours cost?
- Parking: On or off site? If on-site, how many spots are available for guests? If off-site, do you offer services such as valet or shuttles? Are valet/shuttles an extra charge? Can we rent additional parking spaces if needed? Do you allow overnight parking so my intoxicated guests can pick up their vehicles the next day?
- Accommodations: What are my options for guest accommodations? If you have on-site accommodations, how many guests can stay? If no on-site accommodations are available, are there nearby inns or hotels within convenient distance? Do you offer shuttle services at all to/from the surrounding inns/hotels?
- Vendors: Do I have the options to choose my own vendors for things such as florals, cake, desserts, music/DJ, etc.? Or am I mandated to choose from your list of preferred vendors?
- Bridal Assistance: Do you offer a Day-Of Bridal Assistant to help me while I'm getting ready? If so, is this an extra charge?
- Wedding Coordinator: Do you offer a Day-Of Wedding Coordinator to be in charge of all the set-up, details, and communicating between vendors? If so, is this an extra charge?
- Alcohol: What are my alcohol/bar options? Does your open bar package have a maximum cap amount, after which I am expected to pay additional fees?
- Set-up: When does set-up start on the wedding day? Do you provide set-up and take-down services for all the items you provide? Can I come back the next day to pick up my things, or do we need to make arrangements to take them after the wedding is over?
- Rehearsal: Do you allow time for rehearsal leading up to the wedding day? If so, is there an extra cost to use the space for this time?
- Decor Drop-Off: Am I allowed to drop off non-valuable things like decor, signs, programs, etc. the day before the wedding?
- Kitchen Storage: Do you have kitchen space to accommodate any desserts like cookies, macarons, and cupcakes that I might want to drop off the night before or early morning day-of?
- Ceremony-Reception Transition: If the ceremony and reception are in the same space, is there a plan and extra space to accommodate the transition?
- Getting Ready: Is there a bridal suite and/or groom's suite on-site?
- Weather: Is there a back-up plan in case of inclement weather?
- Restrictions: Are there any restrictions on photography or videography? Are there any noise restrictions?
- Legal: Do I need any permits or insurance for the wedding?
- Payment: How much is the retainer deposit? When is the balance due? What forms of payment do you take?
- Cancellation: What is your cancellation policy?
Whew! I told you it was quite a thorough list. Some things I added as I was typing, because I remembered asking these questions to my venue early in the planning stages. I hope you find this questionnaire helpful, and welcome your suggestions! I will edit this post often to add anything I may have forgotten (with credit given, unless you prefer to remain anonymous).
Thank you for reading and happy wedding planning to you, friends! Remember, take a deep breath and enjoy the process. I know everyone says this, but it's so SO true: it goes by extremely fast, and will be over before you know it. As of the date this blog is posted, our wedding was nearly 2 months ago and I can't believe it! Despite the stressful moments, the seemingly impossible decisions, and the crisis management, I miss it all! The beautiful inspiration photos, the research, the creative ideas, the DIY projects, the magical vendors and creators I had the pleasure of working with, and ultimately marrying my best friend...it all feels like a lovely dream come true and I wouldn't have changed a thing.