Shopping for a venue,well any vendor really, is just like shopping for the perfect dress. You may have to try on a few different ones before finding the right one. You have to find one that not only looks good, but it feels good. Not just do you like what you see, but can you picture yourself getting married here? So, what’s the best way to make sure you’ve found the right spot? Ask these top five questions!


How many weddings have you hosted?

If you found your potential venue on Bustld, you won’t have to worry about this question! The reason this is important if you did not find your vendor on Bustld is to ensure you are contracting out a reputable, experienced venue. If your venue is brand new and you are in love, it may be worth the risk to be their guinea pig, but there are bound to be kinks to work out with a new venue so keep that in mind. 


How do you handle catering and bar?

Depending on your priorities for wedding day, if food and alcohol are important, then this is a key question. If they only offer in-house catering, find out how customizable it is. Maybe they have a strict preferred caterer list you have to choose from, or maybe you have the freedom to bring in whatever catereryou want. Same goes for alcohol, are you allowed to bring in your own or do you have to go through them or a licensed caterer? 


What is included in the rental and what is additional?

This is important so that you can understand how many hours are included, if you’ll get any tables and chairs, if there’s parking, etc. Make sure they clarify how the hour breakdown works. If it is an eight hour rental does that include set up and breakdown time? Does the event have to end by a certain time and do vendors have to be packed up by a certain time? Find out if just basic tables are included or if any specialty items like farm tables are available and if so, if there’s a cost. 


What are the location options for ceremony (if applicable), cocktail hour and reception?

Understand the space fully. If you plan to have your ceremony on site, are there three totally different spaces to host the three functions or will you need to flip a space? This will help later down the line when you are talking with other vendors. 


Are there any restrictions?

Are you required to use vendors on their preferred list? Can you pay to use someone else? Also, some venues will have limitations on send offs that are not allowed (sorry sparklers, we’re looking at you) or rules against open flame candles. Make sure you ask about all vendor and décor restrictions. 


BONUS: If you are looking at outdoor space, don’t forget to ask what the rain plan is. We know, it’s not going to rain on your wedding day, but you should always be ready with a backup plan just in case!


Photo Courtesy of Aria at Founder's Hall, Credit: Avonne Photography