Unsure if a wedding venue is right for your ceremony or reception? I've created a list of 10 essential questions to ask the wedding venue before booking your dates. Bring this helpful checklist along with you to your wedding venue walkthrough and get all the details you need to make a confident and informed decision.

1. What Are the Basic Details?

There are some basic details that you'll definitely want ironed out before you get anywhere close to your wedding day. What dates are available to be booked during the month you plan on marrying? How many people can be accommodated?

Of course, you'll also need to know the rental fee and how many hours exactly are included in that fee. You can also take this opportunity to ask about their cancellation policy and if you can have your rehearsal dinner at the venue!

2. Can We Bring Our Own Decorations?

This question will vary depending on the venue. Some already have their own decorations up, while others have none at all. Be sure to ask if you can bring your own, rent decorations from them, or alter or remove the ones they already have up.

You should also ask about any restrictions they may have on what sort of celebratory decorations you're allowed to have in the venue. Some places, for example, don't allow things like fireworks, confetti, and sparklers.

3. Do You Have Umbrellas or Heaters?

If the venue is entirely or even partly outdoors, it's wise to ask about umbrellas and heaters. Weather can be unpredictable, so it's good to know if the venue has potential solutions for you and your guests. If not, you may want to purchase some umbrellas or ask guests to bring one just in case.

4. Do We Need Insurance?

What if something goes wrong? it's essential to know about the insurance policy is if there's damage or injury. Any venue worth booking will have all the info you need to make a plan.

5. What Services and Vendors Are Included?

Does the venue have its own vendors, or will you have to hire your own? Do they have any specifications about which vendors they will or won't allow you to hire? Do they have a preferred vendor list? Do they offer security or a coat check? This is also a good time to ask about what time your vendors can start setting up.

6. Do You Have a Caterer?

One of the first questions you should ask any venue is whether or not they have an in-house caterer. If so, is the service included in the rental fee? Can you purchase liquor, or will you have to buy liquor elsewhere? If they don't have an in-house caterer, ask if you can hire your own or if you have to pick from an approved list of options.

Washington, DC Caterer "Get Plated" mini quesadillas

7. How Many Restrooms Are There?

The last thing you or your guests should be worrying about on your wedding day is a lack of restrooms. Please note, it's recommended that you have AT LEAST three restrooms for every 100 guests.

8. Do You Have Indoor Areas in Case of Rain?

It's good to know that the venue you're booking has backup plans for you. If the venue is outdoors, ask if they have covered areas like canopies or tents in case it rains. It's also worth asking if they have a generator in case there's a power outage.

9. How Accessible Is the Venue?

Every great wedding has sufficient parking that's nice and close to the venue. If the venue doesn't have on-site parking, ask where the nearest place is that your guests can park. You should also ask if guests can access a shuttle service or cabs from the venue.

10. Who Is Our Point Person?

There's typically one person from the venue that you'll be communicating with regularly. Ask who that person will be, whether or not they'll be there on your wedding day, and if you can meet them soon.

With these questions ready, you can ensure that your wedding venue is prepared to meet the needs of you and your guests.

I'm Chris and my mission is to capture bold, modern, and distinctive photos for unconventional couples. I want to make you look epic, awesome, amazing, beautiful, and dapper – all the things you like and none of the things you don’t. Most importantly, I want to capture what makes you you.

If this sounds like you and your partner, I’d love to chat! Please reach out to me regarding availably and pricing. You can also e-mail me at chris@chrisferenzi.com.