13 Non-Obvious Questions to Ask Before Booking a Wedding Venue

{Fee Questions}

1. Are service charges and tax included?
When they say “inclusive”, then service charges + tax are already included. If they quote “$x ++” then they’re not included. Service charges and tax can add thousands of dollars to the final bill.

2. Are vendor meals included?
You’re expected to cover the meals for all of the vendors that will be there all day. That means: the DJ, decorator, planner, photographer/videographer teams. In the grand scheme of things it’s not a lot of people, but you just don’t wanna be surprised with additional fees.

3. What’s the children’s meal fee?
Children’s meals are discounted – so if you’re having a lot of children make sure you’re not paying full price for them.

4. What are the parking fees? Venues that charge, have varying rates and policies:
a. per car or per person
b. daytime vs. night events
c. event vs. visitor
d. overnight guest rates (hotels only)

5. Is there non-Saturday pricing?
Most venues charge different (lower) rates for events on other days of the week. This excludes holiday weekends.

6. The cake fee is only for cutting it? 
When it comes to the nitty gritty of comparing venues, this is something we see couples often get confused about. Some venues include the cake cutting fee, some charge an additional per person fee. The fee can range from $3-10 per person. An alternative is to order the cake from the venue. They won’t charge an additional cutting fee – but double check the exact policies.

{Policy Questions}

7. Is a day-of coordinator required?
Some venues require a day-of coordinator for which you foot the bill. Day-of coordinators cost anywhere from $1000-$3000. Even venues that don’t require one, recommend it.

8. Do you restrict caterers?
Some (not many) but some, venues restrict which outside caterers can work on property. Why? Because with food, there are several health and liability issues.

9. Is there a cut-off time for events?
Some venues have noise ordinances or charge hefty per hour fees to go over the allotted time block, included in the package.

10. When’s the last call for alcohol?
Most venues cut off alcohol service 30-45 minutes before they turn on the lights.

11. Does the package include a champagne AND cider toast or is it one OR the other?
If it’s one or the other and you’re having a lot of underage/non-drinker guests – you want to make accommodations for both.

{Logistics Questions}

12. Do you have enough tables and chairs for my guest count?
This is SO important. Some venues only keep enough inventory up to a certain # of guests. Even though the venue can seat for example 700, they might only have enough chairs/tables/linens/china etc. for up to 400. In which case you’d have to make accommodations for the remainder – and since you want everything to match everything that can get tricky.

13. Are there any other big booked/pending events at the venue that day?
Large venues can host multiple events on the same day. We’ve even seen venues host two South Asian weddings on the same day. You know some people went to the wrong wedding.

These are the questions that most commonly get overlooked! Email this to yourself! (scroll up, you’ll see the sharing icons). If you liked this article and want to see more guides like this for South Asian weddings please give us a like or send us a note.

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Cover photo: Greycard Photography