12 Questions to Ask Potential Wedding Venues

You want to be sure that you choose the best wedding venue for your wedding, but how do you do that when there are so many options? Going in with a list of the important questions to ask is key to making sure you get all the answers you need to decide which of those “wedding venues near me” results is truly the right one for you. The following is a list of our top 12 questions that you should ask every wedding venue or event center you tour.

1. What is included in the rental price?

This is a loaded question that you should get an extensive answer to. Be sure to ask if there are specific things you’re looking for, because they may not mention everything that’s included on your initial tour.

Here’s a list of things that will or could be included with wedding venues:

  • Rental Times
  • Indoor/Outdoor Facilities
  • Ceremony & Reception Spaces
  • Kitchen for Caterers
  • Tables, Chairs & Linen
  • Centerpieces/Decor
  • A/V Equipment
  • Event Staff
  • Overnight Parking
  • Photo Settings
  • Access to the Property for Engagement Photos
  • Scheduled Rehearsal Time
  • Bridal Lounge (for getting ready)

2. What dates are available?

Your venue should ask for your preferred date before you take the tour, but if that doesn’t come up be sure to ask. It’s also good to ask while touring if there are other couples potentially interested in your preferred date. The last thing you want is to find the perfect venue, only to be too late to book the date you’ve chosen.

3. How are the payments broken down, and are there any additional fees?

Venues are a big portion of your wedding budget, and most venue owners realize that couples won’t want to pay the whole amount all at once. Find out what the deposit amount is, how the rest of the payments are broken down and when they’re due by.

It’s also good to ask if there are any additional fees (optional or required) that are not included in the rental price. There could be required costs like providing a police officer for events with alcohol (uncommon, but possible) and optional add-ons like the use of a fireplace or outdoor fire ring.

4. What is the cancellation or reschedule policy?

As a lot of couples experienced during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, things come up and you might not be able to have your wedding as planned. Find out if they are willing to work with you on rescheduling, if necessary, and what their cancellation policy and fee would be should something come up.

5. Are there on-site catering and bar options?

Some wedding and event venues may offer their own catering services, and they may also require the food to come from their catering service. Having a catering service on site is a great way to make sure the food is served fresh and hot at your reception, but if you already have wedding catering in mind you’ll need to be sure the venue doesn’t have restrictions on outside catering.

6. Do you have preferred vendors, or vendors that you don’t work with?

Although not common, some wedding venues have experienced issues with vendors in the past and may ask couples to steer clear of them (for everyone’s benefit). If you already know some of the vendors you plan to use, give those names to the venue before you choose to avoid any issues after solidifying your plans.

7. Is the building accessible?

Most Cedar Rapids wedding venues have handicap accessible seating and walkways, but it’s especially good to check if you plan on inviting elderly guests or other guests that may need accommodations.

8. Is there a backup plan for bad weather? (for outdoor weddings)

If you are looking for an outdoor wedding venue for your ceremony or reception, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan in mind. Some outdoor wedding venues may also have indoor spaces that you can use if unexpected weather occurs. You may want to ask if those are included in the total cost, and if they have any procedures in place for an indoor backup plan (staff to quickly move decor, a pre-decorated space, etc).

9. Are there any decorations or activities not allowed?

Every venue has different restrictions. Most commonly, things like open flame candles, fake flower petals, tossed glitter and tape/mounting material are on the list of restricted items.

Less common things can also be on the list of restrictions. For example, say your venue has an open outdoor fire pit on the patio, and you want to have a s’mores station and allow your guests to toast their own marshmallows. Marshmallows have a tendency to cause sticky messes that are hard to clean up, and your venue may not allow specific things (like toasted marshmallows) that aren’t included in their initial list.

If you have something specific in mind, always ask your vendor about it ahead of time to avoid disappointment later.

10. Will staff be available throughout the day of your wedding?

In most cases, venues will keep some staff on site for the duration of your time there. That doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be staff near you at all times. Some important things to know are how many staff members will be around, what they’ll be available to help with and how you can reach them.

11. Is there an option to add on additional time?

Usually, wedding venues will only include the day-of in the rental price. If you’re looking for time the day before or after for things like a rehearsal dinner or a gift opening brunch, ask if you can add time for those things. Renting that extra time may end up costing the same as the entire day, but you may also find that some venues will rent the space at an hourly or reduced price if the day is not fully booked when your wedding day is close.

12. Are there any specific things to keep in mind when planning for decorations?

The people leading your wedding venue tours have likely helped a lot of other couples have their dream weddings in their particular spaces. It could be helpful to share any specific decor ideas you have in mind to get tips on any potentially unexpected or overlooked things that might come up. For example, you might be planning to hang lights on exposed rafters, but you might not think about the size of ladder you’ll need to reach those rafters.

When it comes to wedding venues, Cedar Rapids has a lot of options. Whether or not Rosedale Park Event Center (formerly A Touch of Class) is on your list of Cedar Rapids wedding venues to tour or not, asking these questions should help you gather the information you need to choose the best option for your wedding. If you have any other questions you’d like us to answer, you can ask us through our online contact form or by phone at (319) 261-0345.

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