10 things to check before you say yes! to the venue

January 16, 2023Lauren Windle

Let’s say you’ve been shopping for a venue for your upcoming reception.

  • You’ve narrowed down the choices to several options you like.
  • What should you keep in mind before you say yes to your favorite?

You love the rustic barn, but it’s awfully far from the church. You like the downtown venue, but it’s a little out of your price range. The vineyard is calling your name – but you have to use their caterer.

Before you are tempted to make a decision without knowing all the details, take a moment to think through these 10 important questions to ask from the experienced catering staff at Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering. (Trust us, we know what to ask!)

You don’t want to find out that the venue won’t allow you to bring your own wedding cake, or hear that your music must down at 10 PM just as the party is at full throttle, or nix your fiancee’s dog as his best man. So here’s what to ask about before you sign on the dotted line:

  1. Is your event the ONLY one booked for this day? You’ll want that, because if there is another wedding scheduled before or after yours, their timing will affect yours – and not in a good way.
  2. Get all fees in writing before you sign. Ask about what’s included. The rental fee is just the beginning -- there may also be a deposit, cleaning fees, set up fees, linen fees, even parking fees. Ask about tax and gratuities, too.
  3. Get the details: How many hours do we have at the venue? What charge is there for “overtime”?
  4. Is a ceremony rehearsal the evening before included in the overall rental cost? If there is a bridal suite available, is it included with the venue fee?
  5. Is the venue ceremony-only or can you host the reception too?
  6. What is their cancellation policy? Stuff happens (as Covid taught us.) Be sure to ask what is required (in writing) to get your deposit back.
  7. How many guests will the venue comfortably accommodate? (Just because you can fit 100 people in a space doesn’t mean they will be able to eat, drink and dance with elbow room.) Is there a maximum number of guests allowed? Are pets allowed at the venue? Is the venue handicap accessible?
  8. Will there be separate rooms for the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception? If not, can you “flip” the ceremony space? Make sure that the venue has a standard procedure for “flips”, and there are no hidden fees for the service.
  9. If it’s an outdoor venue, is there a backup plan for rain or bad weather? Is there parking on-site? If so, how many parking spots are there? If not, where will my guests park? Is parking complimentary? Is valet parking available and how is that handled?
  10. Are there any restrictions on decor? Candles, confetti, fireworks… can you move décor you don’t like?

At Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering, we want your special day to be free from confrontation. A good way to do that is to make sure that EVERYTHING YOU DISCUSS is provided in writing. Each of the venue staff may have different ideas about what is and isn’t possible. Trust us: verbal agreements aren’t enough.

Talk to us about what you are looking for, and we’ll be pleased to offer suggestions to help you find the right venue.


© 2024 Jacquie's Gourmet Catering. All Rights Reserved.
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