Venue / Catering Questions
I'm getting ready to do my first venue tours and meetings. All of the venues I'm looking at either require you use their food or I'm meeting with a caterer who has exclusive rights to a specific venue so need to ask questions for both. Here is the list of questions I've come up with (sorry for the length of this post!) Let me know if you have any comments / if I missed something important.

Vendor Name: _________________________ Proposed Wedding Date(s):_________________
Venue
1. How many people can the venue hold?
2. What is the minimum number of people we must have?
3. Are there multiple events on the same day? At the same time? Any shared spaces?
4. What time(s) can our event start?
5. How long does our event last? Does this include ceremony time?
6. What is the time window for set-up?
7. What time can our vendors arrive? What time do they have to be cleaned up and out?
8. Do you have preferred vendors? Are we required to use them? Is there any discount available fo

Shannon
Married: 08/24/2013
Reviews: 7
Posted On: May 8, 2012 at 10:40 AM • Vendors are allowed • Add to My WatchlistFlag As Inappropriate0 likes

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Shannon
Married: 08/24/2013
Reviews: 7
May 08, 2012 at 10:41 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
8. Do you have preferred vendors? Are we required to use them? Is there any discount available for using vendors on this list?
9. What exactly is included in the price? Can we see a sample quote that spells everything out?
10. What is the site fee?
11. Ceremony fee?
12. How much is tax? What items are taxed?
13. Gratuity (if not already included)?
14. Can we extend the reception? At what cost?
15. Is there an additional charge for linens in our wedding colors?
16. Can we have open flames (candles as part of centerpieces)?
17. Lighting options?
18. Who controls the thermostat?
19. What is the inclimate weather plan?
20. What are your contract and payment terms? Are you able to provide a sample for us to review? (only ask if we know we are still considering)
21. What is cancelation / refund policy?
22. What happens if there is an emergency on your end and we have to reschedule? Who chooses date?

Shannon
Married: 08/24/2013
Reviews: 7
May 08, 2012 at 10:41 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
Services
1. Do you provide a Day of Coordinator (DOC)? Is there an additional charge for this service?
2. Do you set up before? Clean up after?
3. Are you able to help with booking other vendors? Charge for this service?
4. Are we able to use the site for a rehearsal? Rehearsal dinner?
5. Is there a bridal party prep room? Will this area be locked? Does the bridal room have a bathroom?

Shannon
Married: 08/24/2013
Reviews: 7
May 08, 2012 at 10:41 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
Food & Beverages
1. What are your menu options?
2. Is your menu flexible to our tastes and budget?
3. Can we supply any of our own food or beverages?
4. What are the bar options and cost? Can we tailor a custom package to our tastes and budget?
5. Can we do a tasting before selecting our menu? How much do you charge for a tasting? Do we have to sign a contract first?
6. Are there special kids, teen, and vendor prices?
7. Can you accommodate multiple serious allergies? My MOH is allergic to dairy, soy, eggs, legumes, and gluten.
8. Is real china / silver included in price? Linens in color of my choice?
9. How much is gratuity and service charges?
10. What is your staffing ratio?
11. Do you work with fresh or frozen foods?
12. Are you meats hormone and anit-biotic free? Do you use local produce when possible?
13. Is a cake provided? Is there a cutting fee if I provide my own?
14. When is the final headcount due?

General Notes:
**Take pictures at all venues if possible to allow u

Meghan
Married: 08/20/2011
Reviews: 3
May 08, 2012 at 10:45 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
I think you went a tad overboard... Meats hormone and antibiotic free? Local produce? Are you willing to pay more for those things? Many work with restuarant quality suppliers. If you don't ask those questions when you go out to eat, I wouldn't ask your caterer.

Shannon
Married: 08/24/2013
Reviews: 7
May 08, 2012 at 10:51 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
I have food allergies and do for the most part not eat out because of it. I get really bad migraines so to me it does matter where my food comes from. I know most caterers aren't going to be able to provide that level of service but I do need to know they know where there food is coming from / exactly what is in it to be confident in their ability to accommodate my allergies as well as those of other family members and guests.
May 08, 2012 at 10:58 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
I think that you can find a lot of the answers to these questions on their websites. Some don't list the cost, but most tell you how many people can fit for different types of service. When you ask for a vendor list, you don't have to worry about set up time questions, because those vendors will already know what is required.

It is smart to ask as much as you can, but you can eliminate a lot of those questions beforehand.
May 08, 2012 at 10:59 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
Shannon, most caterers should be able to work with your food requirements. They may make your meal separately so you wouldn't have a problem.

Charisa
Married: 06/01/2013
May 08, 2012 at 11:01 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
I like this list. when i go on tours of venues i try to come up with some in depth questions and i think you hit them all. ill be using this list when i go back on my final tours to decide which venues we're going to use. thanks!

Shannon
Married: 08/24/2013
Reviews: 7
May 08, 2012 at 11:07 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
I made the list to be as inclusive as possible and I do already know the answers to many of the questions for some of the places I'll be visiting so I don't necessarily need to ask (will probably fill out what I already know and just verify some of the important info like it their prices will go up for 2013). I just want to make sure at the end of the day I've gathered everything I need to since I live 1,000 miles from where I'm getting married and 2nd visits aren't an option. I'm fully aware that many vendors don't use all local farm products but it's something I'd like to know as that's how I shop whenever possible. Plus the hormone and anitbiotic free products ALWAYS taste better and that's important to me.

@Charisa- I have a word document if you want the list in an easy to edit and print format. pm me with your e-mail if you want me to pass it along.

jessica
Married: Recently Married
May 08, 2012 at 11:45 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
hey shannon would you mind pm me with that list? im meeting with a venue tomorrow and i didnt even think of half of those questions! i would greatly appreciate it if you could!

Married: 06/02/2012
May 08, 2012 at 11:53 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
Shannon my caterer is providing a combination of small farm all natural, organic and responsibly harvested food for my reception. She is even providing me the names of the farms the meat is being sourced from. We eat 95% orga nic at home and I rarely eat meat in restaurants because I don't agree with factory farming, if i can't source it I don't eat it. We wouldn't consider serving anything less at home, so why would we for our wedding? It's a reasonable question n my opinion.

Shannon
Married: 08/24/2013
Reviews: 7
May 08, 2012 at 12:55 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
@ Jessica J- I'd be happy to send you the list but your page is restricted so I can't figure out how to send you a pm. If you want to pm me your e-mail address I'd be happy to send your the word document.

@Sami- Thank You for understanding. I think my favorite venue before actually looking at them will happy source their foods locally.

Shannon
Married: 08/24/2013
Reviews: 7
May 08, 2012 at 2:21 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I sent the questions out to the ladies who asked. If it didn't go through for some reason just let me know and I'll try again. Also if anyone else wants the word doc just send me a pm and I'd be more than happy to pass it along :)

Charisa
Married: 06/01/2013
May 08, 2012 at 2:25 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
thank you
May 08, 2012 at 3:33 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
too much information. Most of these questions will, indeed, be answered on their sites, and some of these questions may not even be important to you.

Keep in mind too, that preferred vendors often pay to be on the list; that's why they are preferred, not because they are good at what they do.

Married: 08/12/2012
May 08, 2012 at 3:41 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Actually, a lot of websites that I went on looking for venues listed next to no information. They wanted you to call them or meet with them. I think your list is good, it's important to have all the answers. Especially for what's important to you.

Married: 10/01/2011
Reviews: 18
May 08, 2012 at 3:54 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I think your list pretty much covers all of the info you need to make a decision, whether you find it on their website or not. While I do not have allergies, if the source of your food is important, & you are willing to spend the money on, it is a great question.

I also don't think any vendor will have a problem answering those questions. I know for our reception in Vermont, one of the things the caterers we talked to used as an advertising point was the food was locally grown & organic.


Shannon
Married: 08/24/2013
Reviews: 7
May 08, 2012 at 3:56 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Carole M- What venue in Vermont? We are looking at some places there.

Married: 10/01/2011
Reviews: 18
May 08, 2012 at 4:00 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
With regard to preferred vendors, yes some can be just friends of the venue, however, in some cases it can be better to hire someone who has a proven track record of providing quality work. They know the layout better.

Despite the florist being an hour away from the church, my daughter chose a florist that was preferred because, while the venue provides her choice of centerpiece, they do not provide any other flowers, including the healthy spread of hydrangea that she would like on her cake. The venue told her she would have to have her florist do it. Cate and her FH visited the florist and their prices were less expensive than the other quotes from florists close to the church. She charged them a minimal fee to do her cake and threw in extra hydrangea and other flowers on different areas throughout her venue. Last, but not least, they are well known for decorating the stair case of the room in which she is having her wedding. The price was quite reasonable.

Married: 10/01/2011
Reviews: 18
May 08, 2012 at 4:07 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
We wanted our caterers to come to our venue: The Doveberry Inn; Laurette Wanko Catering and Catering by Laurette. The Doveberry is owned by two highly rated chefs. We couldn't afford them. lolol The other two were also quite pricey. We found someone else to come into the B&B we were having our wedding at. They were all part of the "Vermont Fresh Network".
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