What to Ask When Booking a Wedding Venue (& Questions to Ask Other Wedding Vendors)

Congratulations - you're getting married! You have found your person and now you are ready to start planning the wedding of your dreams! But wait - there's is so much to do, so many questions to ask and you are already feeling a little overwhelmed.


When we were planning our wedding, one of the most frustrating things was having to go between 15 websites to find the questions we should be asking in consultations and planning meetings. Well, we've gathered all those questions and put them here for you - in one spot!



There's basic questions you should be asking every vendor:

  1. Is our date available?

  2. What is your most popular package?

  3. What is the cost?

  4. How many hours are included?

  5. Can we book additional hours? cost?

  6. Do you offer military/teacher discount?

...but once you get into the nitty gritty of every vendor - there are specific things you should be asking, we've listed a few per vendor below.



 


Wedding Venue

Choosing the perfect wedding venue is the first step in creating the day of your dreams - you can't set a date or send save the dates until the wedding venue is picked!

  • Are chairs/tables/linens included?

  • Is setup/breakdown time included in hours?

  • Can we hold both the ceremony & reception here?

  • Can we bring in our own vendors?

  • Do you have a preferred or vendor recommendation list?

  • What alcohol can we have on-site?

  • Are we the only group onsite on the day of our wedding?



Catering

You can't have a great party without great food! The possibilities are endless but ask some important questions based on what you are looking for to get the most out of your catering company

  • What are your specific needs to be able to cater at our venue?

  • How many events do you cater in a single day?

  • Will you help us with flip and/or setting of tables?

  • What happens if you run out of ice?

  • Do you offer, plated, buffet, stations, passed, etc. to match our goals?

  • Do you offer vegetarian or other dietary options?

  • Do you charge differently for children?


Photography & Videography

Photographers & videographers don't necessarily need to do this as their fulltime job - They DO need to have a decent number of weddings under their belt - photographing or filming a wedding is completely different than studio or commercials because you can't just stop the day and get a do-over.

  • Do you shoot weddings that are our style often? Do we fit your aesthetic?

  • How many photographers/videographers do you have on your team?

  • Do you retouch, color adjust, or offer corrective services?

  • How would you describe your energy while shooting weddings?

  • Do you/are you willing to work from a shot list?

  • Will you use our images/video for advertising?

  • Will you submit our wedding for publication? Where?

  • How long will our final video be/how many images do we receive?

  • How long will it take until we get our film/images back?

  • Will you work with our coordinator and media team to build the perfect timeline?


Planning & Coordination

If you want to actually enjoy your day with peace of mind then YES! you at least need a coordinator. If you love the little details, then a coordinator is for you - if you just want to enjoy the party and don't really have an organizational skill set then a planner is for you! But make sure to ask pertinent questions when choosing the best one!



  • How many weddings does your company do in a specific weekend, month, year?

  • What does your team look like on wedding day? Will you be here on wedding day or will you have a different lead?

  • Do we work with the lead planner/coordinator in the planning process?

  • What can we delegate to you?

  • Do you attend vendor meetings with us?

  • What is a typical rain plan?

  • Did you hire someone to help with your wedding day?

  • How involved in the process are you?

  • We really want to do "x,y,z" what do you think?



Floral

Utilizing in-season greenery can give you an abundant look on a lower budget. Use wooden or silk flowers to reduce costs & keep your flowers forever. We love when couples recycle their flowers! Donate them to a nursing home or preserve them as home décor.

  • Where do you get your flowers from?

  • Are your flowers organic, pesticide-free or sustainably grown?

  • If we give you a picture of inspiration photos can you recreate them?

  • Do you provide vases, centerpieces, and any additional décor? What is the cost?

  • What recommendations can you give us to maximize our budget?

  • Do you assist with moving floral from ceremony to reception?

  • Will you come back to the venue at the end of the night to get your flowers/vases/other things?



Entertainment

The entertainment you choose for your wedding is going to set the tone for the party. Know what type of party you want to have and ask questions accordingly to find the best fit.

  • Do you perform at multiple events per day?

  • Will you personally be playing at our wedding?

  • Is ceremony, cocktail hour & reception included in our package?

  • What happens when our guests are eating dinner?

  • Do you have microphones for the ceremony & for toasts?

  • We have a unique, very special version of this song we want for our first dance - can you play that?

  • Do you include lighting or any other specialty things we can add-on? What is the cost?



Hair & Makeup

This special day deserves all the pampering! splurge on

yourself and get that professional hair and makeup done! HMU artists are booking quick and early - make sure to make this a priority in your booking process to get the team you want on wedding day.


  • Do you offer both hair & makeup?

  • Do you offer airbrush/false lashes?

  • Can you cover blemishes/tattoos?

  • How many stylists are on your team?

  • Can you accommodate our size party?

  • How long do you need on wedding day?

  • Do you travel onsite to us? What is the fee for this?

  • I have sensitive skin do you use special products for this?

  • Will you stay through our first look or ceremony to touch up prior to photos? Is there an additional fee?


Dessert

Make sure to consider the weather & who you are as a couple before deciding on your dessert! You don't want your cake or ice cream melting in the summer sun because it wasn't cared for properly! Finding the perfect baker can help you with those situations.

  • Can you work within our budget for our guest count?

  • What is your specialty dessert?

  • What kind of ingredients do you use?

  • Do you offer organic, vegan, gluten free options?

  • Will you do a tasting consultation with us? Is there a tasting fee?

  • What is the delivery process?

  • What do you do if the dessert is damaged in transit?

  • Will you provide a box for us to save leftovers as well as the top tier?




Officiant

You want a friend or family member to perform your ceremony? Cool & super sweet! Make sure to check your local and state laws to make sure it is actually legal!


  • How long have you been ordained & why did you become ordained?

  • How many weddings have you officiated before?

  • How would you describe your ceremony structure or style?

  • Will you perform the type of ceremony we want? For example, non-religious, interfaith, Christian, Jewish, etc.

  • Can you support our marriage?

  • Do you personalize your scripts?

  • How much time do you spend with couples prior to their marriage ceremony?

  • Do you attend our rehearsal?


Dress

Choosing your wedding gown is such a fun process - but unfortunately it can be very overwhelming as well! Prior to shopping, take a look at styles you like and don't like. Make sure to have an open mind when shopping & once you find the dress - stop looking!


Questions ask when dress shopping

  • Is there an appointment fee or try-on fee that I need to be aware of?

  • Can I take photos of dresses while tryin them on in store?

  • How many people can I bring with me to try on dresses?

  • Do you sell samples off the rack?

  • What sizes do you carry?

  • Do you offer on-site alterations?

Questions to ask before a dress fitting

  • Can you do what I want you to do?

  • How long will alterations take?

  • How many fittings should I plan for?

  • What is the coverage if my dress is damaged during this process?



Hotels

Hotel block are helpful because it allows guests to stay in the same hotel you are, or around the same area of the wedding, typically at a group rate. This makes your guests happier and makes planning extra activities or transportation a little easier.


  • Do you offer a courtesy room block? How many rooms are in that? Is there an attrition clause?

  • If we fill the initial complimentary block can we add more rooms if available?

  • Will reservations be accepted after the cutoff date at our discounted rate?

  • Can you block out guests rooms next or closer to each other, like on the same floor?

  • Can we deliver welcome bags for you to hand out at check in?

  • Do you offer a complimentary hotel shuttle?


Rentals & Décor

Rentals are a great way to jazz up a space and really boost the essence of your theme or vibe. Ask your venue and coordinator/planner if they have any décor that you can use also!

  • What products do you offer?

  • What styles do you specialize in?

  • Do you provide diagramming or floorplans in accordance with the venue and our coordinator?

  • How many events do you book per weekend/day?

  • What are the pieces you suggest we include based on our vision?



Stationery

There are so many different types of wedding stationery - The two staples are invitation cards and letting guests know where they sit - but honestly the list goes on. Finding a custom stationer can help you decide what you are looking for.


  • What is the cost of a rush order?

  • How long have you been doing stationery? How did you get in it?

  • Will you help us with wording?

  • Do we have a word limit?

  • Is there an additional fee for adding photos to our pieces?

  • Do you do your own printing or do you outsource it?

  • Can you address, and send all our pieces?


Transportation

Deciding to provide transportation for your guests can really elevate the guest experience, and allow your

guests a safe ride home at the end of the party. & you know - a getaway car is a fun way to make that grand exit!


  • Do you have a minimal rental time?

  • Do you offer car rentals without chauffers?

  • Are food and beverage allowed in the transportation type?

  • Are your driver's professionally trained?

  • What special restrictions or considerations do we need to think about with your vehicles?

  • Who is responsible for gas/mileage? How does is that calculated?





And to wrap it up - don't forget to ask these five important questions:

  1. Can you send me a formal proposal quote based on what we discussed today via email?

  2. Can you walk us through payment procedures & timelines?

  3. Is gratuity included?

  4. What is your cancellation or date change policy?

  5. What are next steps?


First - to limit overwhelm, make a list of all the vendor types you think you might need for wedding day; as well as the wedding leading up to your wedding! The most important thing is take it one step at a time and choose vendors you really love.


Interested in getting the full question list for FREE with other tips on contract signing, budgeting, & building your perfect timeline?


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