1. Save the Date
Most importantly, is the venue available on your special day?
How far in advance is reservations required? (if at all of course)
What kind of experience does your staff have with my particular event and size?
Ask for additional discounts if you book during off-season? (Yes, this may require you to change your date if you are flexible to the idea.)
Are their other reviews and ratings from previous events held at the venue?
What are the ballroom/conference room options based on your guest count? (If dealing with a venue with multiple rooms to rent.)
Are there multiple events the same day in the same space? (This could put you on a rushed timeline for set up/breakdown and the event itself.)
What are the do’s/dont’s for your decorations/set up? (Do they detour from your vision of the decor.)
Are outside caterers/liquor permitted? (If not what are the options to use in-house caterers and will this include your cake as well, most importantly will this fit in your budget.)
Will they provide the linens, tables, seat covers?
Is there ample parking for your quests and/or limo/special transportation services? (If not where is parking located and is there a charge for guests )
Is there a point of contact or in-house coordinator present for the event?
Where is the Bridal party suite located and will you have exclusive use? (You want to make sure there is a space for you and your party to freshen up/ change/ or even have a breather away if needed.)
It is important to make sure your payments are addressed and paid prior to event if possible. (Making sure all payments are secure before your event will help ensure you will not be bothered by vendors looking for payment or missing balances due. If you get a chance let your event planner or a trusted family member handle all vendor payments so you are able to relax and toast the night away.)
If having to use in-house vendors what are the food costs and what are the options for your menu? (If trying to be budget friendly ask for buffet options as well.)
Can you purchase additional hours of time for set up/breakdown or even if you want to extend your party to the wee hours of the night?
Are their payment plan options and/or what is required upfront to reserve the venue?(make sure to always get receipts of any payments made to venue )
Decide if you want a open-bar (which will require you to pay a decided amount for your guests to drink freely until the decided limit is reached) or a cash bar, where the guest will pay for their own drinks as they visit the bar. ***If doing a cash bar please make sure your guests are aware that there is a fee to purchase beverages at the event, that way your quests are well aware and not caught off guard***
4. Unexpected Emergency
Worst case scenario if your plans need to change what are the costs to update/change your contract.
If doing a tropical/outdoor venue where is the backup location to have your event or have guests waiting?
Needing to cancel due to a family emergency what part of the balance will not be refunded?
Of course we would NEVER want this to happen, BUT just like insurance you want to make sure your special day is covered in every aspect.
Picking the perfect venue is a huge part of your special day whether it is a wedding , birthday, or corporate event. Be sure to take your time when researching venues and make sure to visit all venues in person as the web can be useful, but pictures can only say so much!