8 Questions Every Couple Forgets to Ask Wedding Venues

Written by Kim Forrest
Photo: Greybird Galleries

You may have fallen in love with a particular wedding venue – gorgeous scenery, stunning backdrops for portraits, ideal capacity to hold all of your guests, and it’s available on the perfect date – but there are several less obvious issues that you should ask about, as well.

These may not seem like major issues now, but they could make or break your guests’ experience.

What's your Plan B in case of inclement weather?
We know, it’s difficult to think about less-than-ideal on your wedding day, especially when you’re swept away by a beautiful outdoor site. But, Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate, so it’s important to talk to potential venues about their indoor options in case of inclement weather. Make sure you’re comfortable and happy with the Plan B before moving forward.

Are you climate controlled?
If you’re getting married at a time of year that’s prone to extreme hot or cold, you’ll need to discuss climate control options with your venue. You’ll want to make sure your guests are comfortable and not freezing or sweating on your big day!

Can I see the restrooms?
Be sure to take a peek at the restroom facilities. If you’re hosting a huge wedding with hundreds of guests and there’s only one single-person restroom at the venue, it’s a red flag. Your guests want spend the evening celebrating with you, not waiting in line to use the facilities!

How big will the dance floor be?
The rule of thumb is typically three or four square feet of dance floor space per dancing guest. You needn’t worry about having enough dance floor space to accommodate every single guest, since only about half to two-thirds of your guests will be dancing at one time, but work with your venue to make sure there’s enough space for your dancing crew to shake their groove thangs.

Where's the parking?
If many of your guests will be driving to your venue, you’ll need to think about the parking situation. Is there a lot to accommodate everyone or is valet parking available? It’s not only important to think about the parking facilities and their proximity to the venue, also take the cost into account. While you don’t have to pay for your guests’ parking, it indeed a nice gesture – so be sure to consider the costs of parking, whether it’s an expense you or your guests will have to tack on.

How accessible are you to guests with special needs?
Consider your guests who are disabled or have special needs. Will they be able to easily access and enjoy your wedding? Talk to your venue about specific concerns you may have – even if a venue doesn’t have handicapped accessibility as part of their infrastructure, they may be able to bring in wheelchair ramps or other accommodations for your guests.

Can I see a list of your rules and regulations?
From noise ordinances to no-candle, no-hanging-decor and no-camera-flash policies, there may be some less obvious rules that you’ll want to know before signing a contract with a venue. Some of these may be deal-breakers, other may be things you can work around, but it’s good to know up front.

How much time will my vendor team and I have to set up and clean up from my wedding?
Some venues give you a few hours, others will allow you to start setting up the evening before. Either is usually just fine, but it’s good to know in advance. You’ll also want to check on your ceremony venue’s availability for hosting a short rehearsal either the night before (ideal) or day of your wedding.