Top 20 Questions to Ask a Wedding Venue
Weddings come in all shapes, sizes and styles these days, but selecting a venue that checks all of the boxes for the bride and groom ranks high on the wedding priority list. While you may have a specific type of wedding venue in mind—ballroom, hotel, outdoor space—it’s important to find out what to ask wedding venues in terms of amenities, fees and payment options
As you narrow down your search, it’s critical to visit each space, meet with the staff and run through a detailed list of questions to ask a wedding venue. What should you ask?
Start by asking YOURSELF four wedding venue questions first
No. 1: What requirements do you have regarding the physical location of the venue? This should be the top item on your wedding venue questions checklist. For example, how close would you like the venue to be to the church, airport and hotels? Does the venue offer amenities and ambiance that fit your style (or can it be decorated as such)?
No. 2: Would you like to hold the ceremony and reception in the same place? If so, would you prefer booking a venue with separate spaces for the wedding and reception, or is it OK to use one space for both?
No. 3: What is your gut feeling about the venue and its staff? First impressions matter! Does the venue meet your standards for cleanliness? Is the staff friendly, organized, knowledgeable and attentive during your initial interactions with them? If so, you’re more likely to experience the same treatment leading up to and during your event.
No. 4: What do other people have to say about the venue? Ask to speak with other people who have hosted a wedding or special event at the venue to get their feedback. Reputable venues are happy to provide references. Recommendations from real, live people tend to be more reliable than online reviews.
Next, here are the questions to ask a wedding venue
No. 5: Can we bring in our own vendors, and if so, are there any fees to do so? This is one of the first questions to ask a reception venue. At DFW Celebrations we allow clients to bring in their own vendors—caterers, servers, bakers, florists, entertainment, photographers, etc.—at no additional cost. However, this isn’t the case with some venues that hope to sell you a package for these services.
For example, many venues charge upwards of $500 to bring in outside food catering and beverage or cocktail service and may charge extra fees or have restrictions for additional vendors. Vendor costs can really add up, so this is an important question to ask.
No. 6: Can I bring in my own wedding planner OR do you have an event coordinator to help plan my event? If you are already working with a wedding planner (WP), this is one of the most important questions to ask a wedding venue. You’ll want to find out what policies the venue has in place to work with WPs. Some venues have their own WPs on staff and may prefer you work with them to coordinate your event.
Others will assign an event coordinator to help you and/or your WP to execute your celebration. If you do have a wedding planner, it’s usually best to bring them with you on venue tours. In fact, we find the best WPs will take the lead and arrange these visits for you.
No. 7: Are there any types of celebrations you won’t allow at your venue? Some venues won’t allow same-sex marriages or celebrations and may exclude other types of religious and cultural events. DFW Celebrations welcomes just about any type of celebration. You’ll also want to make sure the wedding officiant you choose would be willing to perform your ceremony.
No. 8: What forms of payment do you take, and how do you structure your payment schedules? Does the venue take cash, check, credit card and/or debit card payments? It’s much more convenient to pay installments electronically than delivering a cash or check payment in person, but some venues require you to do so.
For payment schedules, we find most clients prefer a monthly schedule, which makes it easier to budget consistently for an event. You should also ask when the final installment will be due. Most venues expect the final payment 30 days prior to the event.
No. 9: Is there any flexibility to the payment schedule? Life happens, so find out up front if the venue will be flexible should you need to delay a payment, set up an alternative payment schedule or cancel the contract if you can’t pay.
No. 10: What is your cancellation policy?
When reviewing questions to ask a wedding venue, discussing a venue’s cancellation policy should be included in your checklist. Most venues follow a non-refundable cancellation policy, which means if you cancel your event, you would be out any money you paid upfront. The venue may allow you to reschedule to a later date and may or may not charge a fee.
In addition, many venues are willing to work with clients when unavoidable events arise that force a cancellation. For example, we had some clients who had to cancel events and couldn’t reschedule due to COVID-19, so we refunded their money.
No. 11: How many parking spaces are available to guests, and do you charge any fees for parking or valet? You don’t want your guests walking 15 minutes to get to your venue, which may be the case if parking is limited. For example, a strip center venue may only allocate 30 parking spots for guests. Unless they offer a valet service, 30 spots won’t cut it if you plan to host 400 guests. We offer ample parking for guests at our spacious Dallas banquet halls in Irving.
No. 12: Do you have dressing rooms available onsite? If you need a private space to get ready and change dresses during your wedding, having a dressing room is key. At DFW Celebrations we provide spacious dressing rooms on-site for the bride and groom, so the bride doesn’t end up dressing or freshening up in the ladies’ room. We also host many quinceañeras at our Dallas banquet halls—which usually include multiple wardrobe changes—so we can easily accommodate our clients’ space and privacy needs.
No. 13: What type of photo settings are available at your venue? If you plan to marry and hold your reception in the same location, be sure to book a venue with beautiful spaces to take photos. DFW Celebrations provides an opulent atmosphere with crystal chandeliers, two romantic fountains and stunning décor inspired by the locales of San Antonio, Mexico, Italy and Spain.
No. 14: Will you provide security for my event, and if so, what type? Many venues don’t provide security, and those that do may not use actual police officers. If security is important to you, it’s essential to hire police officers who know how to handle unruly guests because most people won’t respect an inexperienced security guard with a generic badge.
No. 15: How do your bartenders handle overserving? If you’re going to provide alcohol at your event in Texas, either you or the venue will need to hire a TABC-licensed bartender to serve guests. Experienced bartenders know how to handle guests who have had too much to drink, and reputable venues understand this.
No. 16: What amenities are and are not included in the venue rental fee? You may be surprised to hear that many venues don’t offer an ice maker on-site, which means you’ll need to bring your own ice. Depending on the venue (and your caterer), you may also need to rent chairs, tables, linens, serving ware and more.
It’s also important to find out what type of kitchen set-up is available for your caterer to use because different caterers have different needs. (Get our tips on how to find the perfect caterer here.)
Other amenities (some noted above) and associated fees to inquire about include:
- Dressing rooms.
- Chairs (we offer Chiavari chairs), tables, linens, serving ware, etc.
- Sound system and stage for entertainment.
- Projectors and video screens.
- Photobooth (we offer one onsite, so you won’t pay an hourly fee).
- Parking and valet service if needed.
- Commercial prep kitchen.
- Wet bar and commercial ice maker.
- Coffee urns, beverage servers and margarita makers.
- Floral arrangements and décor.
- Fruit and dessert tables (unlike some venues that require using a caterer for fruit and desserts, we can arrange
forthese for you).
- Cleaning service (will cleaning up at 2 a.m. be up to you or can the venue handle this for you?).
- Vendor support (will you be on your own choosing vendors or can the venue help?).
Learn more about DFW Celebrations event services and amenities here.
Looking for a full-service, worry-free wedding venue in Dallas-Fort Worth?
Contact us to speak with one of our friendly event coordinators and schedule a tour of our venue and Dallas banquet halls. We know planning a wedding can be stressful, and our team would be honored to serve you as you prepare for your special day.