What You Need To Ask Before You Book Your Wedding Venue

So the big day is in the planning stages and it’s time to book your wedding reception venues. Before you settle on a venue, though, here are a couple of questions you need to ask the venue coordinator.
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Photo by: Robert Pittman via flickr

Is there a facility director and if so will he or she be there on the big day?

A facility director is basically the person behind the scenes who usually works for the venue and acts as your go-to person should anything go wrong on the day. Get a list of the director’s responsibilities and make sure he will be at your reception before you sign a contract.

Will there be a shuttle to and from the ceremony and reception?

Wedding-day transportation for your guests should be convenient and effortless to ensure the day runs to schedule. If the reception venue doesn’t have a shuttle available, you may need to hire your own.

What time will my guests have to leave the venue?

Most wedding reception venues have a cut-off time for your party. Understanding the timeline of your day will enable you to plan efficiently. Before you sign a contract, find out if there is a surcharge for every hour you and your guests overstay the cut-off time.

Besides the bill, is there a service charge?

There’s usually a service charge for food and drinks. Also find out about tipping at the venue on top of the service charge. Usually if the bar is hosted, bartends will not accept tips but if it’s a cash bar, then tipping comes standard.

Do I have to use the venue’s chosen vendors?

Certain wedding reception venues will expect you to use their florists, caterers, DJs and so on. Sometimes you can avoid this- but at a rather hefty cost. You may be required, for example, to pay a fee to the in-house caterer for not using them and still pay your own caterer.

Will there be consequences for not fulfilling the food and drinks minimum?

If you choose a cash bar, those purchases may well go towards the minimum.

Are alcohol and open flames permitted?

Some venues may have restrictions about what types of alcohol can be served on the premises. Also find out about candles as open flames aren’t always welcome in wedding reception venues.

Who will set up and tear down décor?

Find out if you will need to hire an extra person to construct and then deconstruct your wedding décor.

Is there a dedicated parking area?

There’s likely to be a parking lot but there could be an excess charge for it. The venue may even require you to use a valet service which can be costly.

Do you have backup plans?

Make sure your dream facility has a backup plan for bad weather or other circumstances.

How early can I access the venue to set up?

Reception halls usually allow enough time for setting up, but some wedding reception venues you may need to enquire as to how much time you will be afforded. Some may not allow set up until a certain time of day which could pose a time crunch for you.

Are there any photographer restrictions?

If you’ve booked a public reception venue such as a museum, there may be restrictions regarding flash photography.

Are there any additional costs such as cleaning fees or insurance-fee waivers?

Make sure you get everything in writing and there are no hidden costs or surprises.

How many other weddings will be booked on my big day?

There’s only likely to be more than one event on your day if you’ve booked a massive event venue. But do make sure you’re going to get the time you have been allotted and have paid for before you sign that contract.

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Photo by: Malinda Felts via flickr

Final Word

So for those of you living in the Brisbane area, these are some of the top questions to ask wedding reception venues in Brisbane before you book for your day. Don’t forget to find out whether they have a cash bar, pre-paid or both and if there is a minimum head count requirement.

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