If you read our recent blog post that outlines 6 Things to Do Once You Get Engaged, you know that one of the most important steps to start the wedding planning process is to select your wedding venue. Once you narrow down your list of potential venues, typically the next step is to schedule a wedding venue tour to see the venue in person (or virtually!) and decide which venue is the best fit.
We’ve previously put together a wedding venue checklist featuring the 5 most important questions to ask a wedding venue. But there are many important questions to ask before you decide which venue is right for your wedding! From date availability and guest capacity to bathrooms and parking, we’re sharing our list of what questions to ask a wedding venue before and during a tour.
Questions To Ask A Wedding Venue Before You Tour
While we know you can’t wait to visit potential venues with your fiancé, there are a few important questions to ask before even stepping foot on site. After all, you don’t want to fall in love with a venue that doesn’t fit your vision or budget for the day!
While it’s common for wedding venues to have basic information on their website, make sure you answer these essential questions about your potential venues before you do a site visit:
1. Is my preferred wedding date available?
Do you have a specific date or time frame in mind for your wedding? Are you flexible with the day of the week? Wedding venues often book up several years in advance for popular dates–especially now, with many wedding postponements in the wake of COVID-19. You may even be able to take advantage of special discounted rates if you are flexible with your date! Try to get an idea of your wedding date options before you visit each venue.
2. What is the wedding venue capacity?
Before you start visiting wedding venues, it’s important to have a rough idea of how many guests will be invited to the wedding. While you don’t have to know an exact number, you wouldn’t want to arrive at a venue and discover that it is far too small or too large for the guest count that you have in mind.
Some wedding venues also have multiple spaces to choose from, each with different capacities. Having a ballpark idea will help your wedding venue tour guide narrow down which options will work well for you, and help share ideas for how you can best utilize the spaces.
In the wake of COVID-19, many wedding venues reduced their maximum capacity to follow health and safety guidelines. You may want to ask additional questions about social distancing procedures and how they relate to your preferred venues’ capacities.
Tip: Our St. Augustine wedding venue can host intimate wedding ceremonies and receptions for as few as 40 people, or extravagant seated banquets for up to 200 guests.
3. What is the approximate price (or price range) for the venue, and what does that include?
Your wedding venue will likely be one of the biggest–if not the biggest–parts of your wedding budget. When comparing venue options, you’ll probably realize that pricing can vary wildly from one venue to another. Some wedding venues have all-inclusive wedding packages, while others charge a venue rental fee that allows you to customize your vendors. Pricing can also vary based on the dates that you are considering.
Tip: The Treasury on the Plaza offers special rates for short-term bookings, on weekdays, and during off-peak months. We offer both a Custom Wedding Package that allows you to customize your wedding vendors and an All-Inclusive Intimate Wedding Package.
4. Can we make our wedding vision come to life at this venue?
Are you picturing a grand ballroom wedding indoors, a casual outdoor wedding, or something else entirely? Most venues have photo galleries or videos on their website for you to imagine how your wedding vision might fit within the space. If you have a specific style in mind, you can ask if they have any additional pictures that represent the style, color palette, or theme that you are looking for. You may even want to check out the wedding venue’s Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest accounts for additional photos before seeing the venue in person.
Questions to Ask a Wedding Venue During A Venue Tour
It’s tour time! Get excited! Visiting wedding venues always makes the wedding planning process feel more “real.” You can finally start to picture what your big day is going to look like! It’s also a great opportunity to ask many of the other important wedding venue planning questions. Below is our wedding venue questions checklist!
Wedding Venue Questions About Services & Amenities
- What services and amenities are included with the venue rental?
Tip: Tary Jordan, one of the Wedding & Event Sales Managers at The Treasury on the Plaza, stresses that getting a clear understanding of what’s included is very important when comparing wedding venues. “This will help you understand the value of what you are paying for at each venue, and also helps you get an understanding of what you will need to bring or provide through other wedding vendors.” See our St Augustine wedding packages, to help determine which wedding package best suits your needs!
- How many hours are included in the package or venue rental of the space?
- Are there private suites where we can get ready prior to the wedding?
- When do vendors and the wedding party have access to each of the spaces?
- Do you host multiple events in one day?
- What does a typical wedding day timeline look like?
- Is parking available on-site? Is parking an additional fee?
- What parts of the venue are handicap accessible for elderly or disabled guests?
- Are there noise restrictions?
- How many bathrooms are available?
- For outdoor spaces, what is the backup plan for rain or inclement weather?
- Who is responsible for setting up and cleaning up wedding decor? Is venue cleaning after the wedding included in the cost?
Wedding Venue Questions About Food & Alcohol
- Do you have an in-house caterer? If not, is there a list of approved caterers?
- Is there a food or beverage minimum?
- If using an off-site caterer, is there a kitchen available for them to use?
- Is a wedding cake included in the package? If not, is there a list of preferred bakeries?
- Do you provide alcohol service in-house? If not, is there a list of approved alcohol service providers?
- Do you offer a menu tasting or bar tasting if those services are provided in-house?
Tip: The Treasury on the Plaza has a full liquor license, so all beverage services will be provided by our team. Please see our Bar Packages. We look forward to customizing your selections during your complimentary private bar tasting!
Wedding Venue Questions About Wedding Décor & Rentals
- Is any furniture, decor items, or lighting included with the venue rental? Are any upgrades available?
- Is there a preferred florist, decorator, or rental company?
- Are there any décor restrictions?
- Can existing furniture in the main venue spaces be moved?
- Does the venue have sound equipment, microphones, and/or speakers? What portions of the event can they be used for?
- Is there a recommended place for a band or DJ? Do they need additional electricity or staging?
- Is a dance floor included?
- For any outdoor spaces, are any heaters, fans, or tents included or available to rent?
Wedding Venue Questions About Wedding Vendors & Staffing
- Is there a preferred or required vendor list that you request that couples choose their vendors from?
- Do you require a wedding planner? If so, what are the requirements?
- Who is my contact person at the venue up until the wedding day and on the day of our event? What is their role?
- Is venue security needed?
- What other venue staff is on-site the day of our wedding and what are they responsible for?
Tip: At Treasury on the Plaza, you have a dedicated venue event manager who works with you to seamlessly assist with venue-related planning. You also have support staff on-hand the day of your wedding!
Wedding Venue Questions About Booking the Venue, Pricing, & Payments
- Do you allow wedding date holds? If so, how long is the hold available?
- How much is the initial deposit? Is it refundable?
- How do you structure the payment schedule?
- Are service charges, taxes, and gratuity fees included?
- Is wedding insurance required? If so, what type of insurance is needed?
- What are the cancellation and rescheduling policies?
Wedding Venue Questions About COVID-19 & Wedding Venue Sanitation
COVID-19 has presented many couples with additional questions that are important to ask during your wedding venue tour.
- What did you do for your couples as far as reschedules and cancellations throughout the COVID pandemic?
Tip: Lexi Hernandez, one of the Wedding & Event Sales Managers at The Treasury on the Plaza, suggested asking a venue about what they did in response to COVID-19 to learn about their level of service. “This can tell you a lot about a venue and their relationship with their clients. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a learning experience for the wedding industry as a whole. But it was just as much a challenge for those couples who had to reschedule or cancel their special day. So if the going gets tough, you should be able to feel confident knowing your venue will act with your best interests at heart! Knowing what they did in unprecedented times gives you a very authentic look at who they are as a company and what you may be able to expect from them throughout your planning process!”
- Will there be any cleaning and sanitation prior to or during the event?
- Are you able to live stream our wedding if some guests are not able to attend in person?
- Do you have a mask requirement for your guests and employees?
Tip: Currenty, all staff and vendors at Treasury on the Plaza are required to wear masks during events, and during any other customer interactions, which include meetings and tours.
- Do you have hand sanitizing stations or mobile hand-washing stations?
Tip: At the Treasury on the Plaza, your safety is our priority. Click here to access our health and safety measures.
We would love for you to consider The Treasury on the Plaza, one of St. Augustine’s most unique venues, for your upcoming wedding. Contact us here to schedule a wedding venue site visit. Don’t forget to follow our Instagram for more behind-the-scenes, wedding planning tips, and inspiration from our luxury wedding venue!