Must ask questions for wedding venues // Wedding Tip Wednesday // Champagne + Linen // Western Montana Wedding Designers and Planners
One of the first steps of wedding planning (and the most fun) is picking a venue! Lucky for us Montanans, there are many options of all sizes, styles, and locations. It’s easy to get caught up in how beautiful a venue is, but it’s important to take a step back and ask the venue some practical questions. Here are the top questions we ask:
What is your capacity? Follow up with their seating arrangement options. Keep in mind that the weather can affect capacity. For example, maybe they have a beautiful outdoor space but a tent would be required if it rains. Tents are a little pricey, prevent sticker shock and ask ahead of time!
What is your deposit and refund policy? Life happens. Might as well be prepared for everything!
What is include in the rental fee? Hours, tables/chairs, arches, linens, etc. Keep in mind that sometimes rental fees are super low, but they only include the space. A perfect example of this is having a wedding on family property (or a park). This sound great, but not so much when you have to rent all the chairs, tables, linens, restrooms, generators. All. The. Things.
Do I need to use your on-site services (catering) or vendors on your preferred list? Sometimes it’s a lifesaver if you have to have all your vendors through the venue - hello one stop shop. Sometimes it will cost you an arm and a leg. Make sure you get quotes from any required vendors before booking.
What is your alcohol policy? Some venues require your to purchase alcohol through them, some allow you to BYOB, some only beer + wine. Also ask if you will need to purchase liability insurance or hire bartenders.
When will I have access to the venue? The more time for set up the better - and less stressful!
What areas do I have access too? Bridal suites, kitchen, restrooms, river access, gardens. Follow up with what time they’re available at.
What time does music have to be turned off? There is no greater buzzkill than having to have the music be turned off early.
When does the venue need to be cleaned up? The next worse buzzkill is having to be cleaned up at the end of the night - but you can always hire a day of coordinator to take this off your plate ;). And how “cleaned up” does it have to be?
What parking is available? Some venues have very limited parking which then requires transportation to bus people in. Some might not allow overnight parking. Know this before booking!
Is camping allowed? What a Montanan question. There are many venues that allow overnight parking, but there are some who allow access fees. Make sure you know this before offering this option to friends and family!
No answer to these questions is the wrong answer, just some might be better fit for you (and your budget). Don't be scared to ask questions, it is your big day and no one likes surprises!