Picking a wedding venue isn’t easy. There are a lot of details to consider and it’s a lot of money on the line. While it’s easy to get caught up in how a venue looks, there’s definitely some important details and fine print to consider before making a final decision. As you’re deciding on a wedding venue, be sure to ask the following questions before signing on the dotted line.
Is the venue available during the day or month I’m considering?
If your heart is set on a specific date, this should be the first question you ask. There’s no point moving ahead with additional questions or a tour if the wedding venue is already booked on the date/month you want. If you’re flexible with the date, you may want to consider booking an off-season event or a weekday wedding for potentially lower rates.
What is the capacity?
Again, this is another one of those “make it or break it” questions. If the venue can’t accommodate your guest list, it may not be the right fit for your big day.
What is the cost and when are payments due?
You’ll want to discuss pricing early on in the process to be sure the venue fits within your wedding budget. You’ll want to know exactly what is due and when so you can work payments into your planning timeline accordingly.
What’s provided/included with the venue?
Every wedding venue is a little different when it comes to what they offer happy couples. Using what the venue has on hand can save you time and money. Ask about things such as audio/visual equipment, specialty lighting, decor items, tablecloths, napkins, silverware, etc. If they don’t have it, you’ll likely need to buy or rent it. You’ll also want to know whether or not they have staff on hand to help with set up, cleaning, etc.
What are the room specs?
You’ll want to have notes documenting the size of the room, doors, and windows. This will come in handy as you’re planning seating arrangements and purchasing wedding decor items. If there are separate areas for cocktail hours, photos, etc. be sure to note those too.
Are there changing areas for the bride, groom, and member of the wedding party?
Space for changing and primping will be important on the big day. Be sure the venue has enough space to accommodate everyone in the wedding party or make plans to get ready at another location if need be.
Is there adequate parking?
You don’t want to forget about parking. No one likes walking long distances in heels and dresses. Double check that there will be enough parking spaces for your guests. If not, consider working with a shuttle service or note additional parking options on the invitations to eliminate confusion.
- Is there a valet service? That may come in handy for guests.
- Is there a cost for parking?
How many bathrooms are there?
Bathrooms are definitely important. You’ll want to note where they are and whether there are enough to accommodate your wedding guests throughout the event.
Can I host my ceremony here as well?
If you haven’t picked a specific wedding ceremony location, a multi-purpose venue is a great option. There are lots of benefits to hosting your ceremony and reception in the same place. You don’t have to deal with additional transportation costs or stressors (like weather, traffic, and scheduling). Plus, your wedding party and guests are all in one location, making it convenient and safe. Be sure to ask about any additional costs for having the ceremony on site and consider asking about hosting other smaller events in the venue as well, such as your rehearsal dinner, gift opening, or bridal shower.
Are there lodging options nearby for me and my guests?
Consider how close the nearest lodging option is and whether nearby accommodations are important to you. Some venues, like Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel, offer lodging on-site, making it a convenient one-stop wedding venue destination for you and your guests. If the venue does not have lodging options, you’ll have to make additional arrangements and coordinate closely with out of town guests.
What times will I be able to access the space?
You’ll need access to the venue for more than just the reception itself. Be sure to ask about additional time for set up, cleaning, photos, and rehearsals so you can plan and schedule accordingly. You’ll also need to know when vendors can start setting up.
- Are there any additional costs for an extended time?
What is your cancellation policy?
You never know what might happen, especially if you’re booking a venue a year or more out. Whether it’s a simple change in plans or an emergency situation, it’s good to know what the venue’s cancellation policy is to avoid losing your deposit.
What can and can’t we bring?
Even if the venue has some decor, A/V equipment, and tableware available, you may want to bring in some items yourself. Be sure to ask what you’re allowed and not allowed to carry in to avoid any hiccups on the big day. Pay special attention to things like alcohol, fireworks, candles, and sparklers. There may be rules about hanging things or open flames.
What vendors are on-site, preferred, or recommended?
Be sure to ask about vendors. Many venues have on-site caterers and bartenders with food and beverage options included in the costs. If they don’t have catering or other vendors on-site, they’ll likely have suggestions or preferred vendors to help you out. Some wedding venues even require that they approve all vendors you opt to work with. That information can be especially helpful if you’re hosting a destination wedding and aren’t familiar with local options.
What are the rules with alcohol?
Depending on licensing and regulations, wedding venues may have specific rules regarding what drinks can be served, by whom, and at what times. If you plan to have alcoholic beverages at your wedding, it’s important to note the specific rules to avoid any fines.
Who is the point person when planning our wedding?
You’ll likely have a lot of questions, so it’s good to note who your best contact is at the venue and what exactly their role is. Many event coordinators can help with planning and other tasks, while some are simply there to handle payments and logistics.
Wedding venue tour pro tips:
- Be sure to get everything in writing.
- Review all documents carefully before signing.
- Add important dates to your calendar and timelines — such as meetings with the coordinator, when payments are due, etc.
- Take lots of photographs during your tour. It’ll help you remember details about the venue when you’re planning decor, etc.
- Don’t settle! Many items can be negotiated so that you get what you need for your special day.
Plan your dream wedding at Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel
If you’re looking for the perfect wedding venue in South Lake Tahoe, California, look no further. Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel is the perfect location for both wedding ceremonies and receptions, with a convenient location and stunning views of Tahoe. Come see what we’re all about.