Before you go to any venue it is best to be prepared with a list of questions. I hope to give you a detailed list of questions to ask to help in your venue search. Asking the right questions before you decide on a particular venue can prevent any surprise costs during the planning process!
1. How much is the facility rental fee? Is there a food and beverage minimum or guest minimum I must have for certain days/times?
2. What if anything is included in the facility rental fee? If the venue provides tables and chairs make sure to ask how many of each and the sizes of the tables. If you may use more than the allotted number of tables and chairs make sure to ask if there would there be additional costs of renting chairs and/or tables. (As a side note 60” round tables will seat 10 people and 72” rounds will seat 12 people).
3. Is there a separate ceremony fee? What is included? (Chairs, audio visual?) Is there a back-up plan for the ceremony? If there is make sure you will not be too disappointed if you have to use it!
4. How many people can you fit comfortably for seated dinner? What is your maximum capacity without chairs? Make sure to use the word “comfortably”. Many venues can fit more people in the reception room than would be comfortable for your guests.
5. How many hours are included in the room fee? Does that include setup and breakdown? Who handles the setup and breakdown? Try to look for a venue that handles all setup and breakdown of the tables and chairs.
6. Will there be a facility coordinator? Will someone be there to coordinate vendors and ceremony on the day of and coordinate the rehearsal the day before? If the venue does not provide one you may want to look at hiring a wedding coordinator to at least run the day of. This helps lessen the stress on you and your family on the wedding day. (I will have another blog on wedding planners later!)
7. Do they have a preferred vendors list? If you use those vendors do you receive any perks for using their preferred vendor? Are you allowed to bring in outside vendors?
8. Can you bring in an outside caterer? If not, will there be a menu tasting? If the facility has an on-site chef make sure they provide the dinnerware, flatware and all serving utensils.
9. What type of bars do you offer? Many times you are not allowed to bring in outside alcohol. If a venue provides the alcohol they will handle all of the permits and liability. Make sure they provide the bartenders and ask if there are additional charges for the number of bartenders. Also make sure there are no hidden fees such as wine corking as well as whether they provide a sparkling cider or champagne toast included in the fees.
10. Do they have adequate parking? This can be a very expensive detail that many brides overlook. Make sure to ask this question! Some venues partner with local hotels so make sure to ask if they provide free shuttles or any discounts.
11. How many weddings can you have on one day?
12. Are there any additional fees? Gratuities, tips, etc I should be aware of?
Lastly make sure to ask each potential venue for a sample contract before leaving. That way you can review the contract and ask any follow up questions if needed.
I hope this helps in your venue search. Make sure to check out www.glendaloughmanor.com if you are still on the search for a venue. It is an all-inclusive facility that would be happy to schedule a tour and answer all of these questions for you! You can click on the pricing tab or the cost calculator to get more detailed information about this beautiful garden venue.
If you know of any questions that helped you in your search please comment and let us know.