You’ve probably seen those mile-long lists of questions to ask wedding venues. Here’s my take on that: it’s too much.
You don’t really need to ask every venue every question under the sun. You just need to ask the right questions at the right time.
That way, you’ll make the most of your time and get the information you need – rather than waste time getting to know a venue that won’t even make the cut.
Today, I’ll show you how to ask the right questions at the right time – to get the important information fast to help you find the right venue quickly (and easily).
Know What You’re Looking For
Before you start searching for a venue, you gotta know what you’re looking for – this will help you narrow down your options and make your research easier and faster. If it helps, come up with a list of your “must-have” features a list of “nice-to-have” features.
The Strategy: Rounds of Questioning
Ask your questions in the right order – starting with the questions that are most important to you. That’s the strategy! Just prioritize the important stuff – simple, right?
All right – so I’ve included some questions below for you. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of questions to ask your venue – just some ideas to kick things off and get you moving in the right direction. Let’s get started!
Round 1 Questions – Regarding “Must-Have” Items
For starters, ask your potential wedding venues what I like to call “Round 1 Questions.” Structure these questions around your “must-have” items. In general, your must-items will include questions about pricing, availability, capacity, and vendor restrictions. Here are some possible questions to ask wedding venues in Round 1:
- What are the rental fees and how many hours are included in the rental fee?
- Our date is very flexible, we’re shooting for a date in Summer 2020. Would you please send your availability during that time?
- We’d like the reception area to be able to hold 150 guests for a seated dinner and room for a dance floor, DJ, cake table, and gift table – will the reception space be able to accommodate this?
- Do you allow outside catering or are the catering options restricted to in-house/preferred catering?
- If I’d like to move forward with a site tour, are there weekend tours available?
I recommend getting the answers to these questions BEFORE you schedule a meeting/tour of the venue – that way you won’t waste time viewing venues that aren’t right for you. If a venue “passes” the round, then you can book a tour and move on to Round 2.
Round 2 Questions – Regarding “Nice-to-Have” Items
Next, come up with questions that address your “nice-to-have” items. In general, Round 2 questions are in regards to equipment, add-on services, and menu options. Here are some sample questions:
- What equipment (tables, chairs, etc.) is included with the rental fee?
- Do you rent other equipment like linens, dishes, flatware, glassware, etc? If so, would you please send pricing information?
- Does your staff assist with set-up and clean-up? Are there additional fees for this?
- Is there a separate ceremony/patio area available? What’s the capacity and costs?
- What types of menu options are available (appetizers, entrees, desserts, etc.)?
- What types of wines, beers, and/or liquors do you serve?
If the venue “passes” Round 2, you can move on to Round 3 questions – almost there!
Round 3 Questions – Regarding Final Details of the Booking Process
Finally, in Round 3, you’ll ask about the final details and about the booking process. Here are some sample questions:
- Would you please send a sample contract?
- What forms of payment do you accept?
- What are the terms of your refund and cancellation policies?
- Do you have any restrictions regarding alcohol?
- Do you require us to provide event insurance?
Customize your rounds of questioning based on your unique priorities. For example, I included a question about a separate ceremony space in Round 2. But if a separate ceremony space is a top priority for you, then you should include that question in Round 1. Make this strategy work for you!
Why This Works
This strategy saves a lot of time. If the venue can’t meet your prioritized needs, there’s no need to ask them the rest of your questions – just move on, don’t waste your time. And if you’re like me, you don’t have time to waste – so I hope you use this system!