Choosing your wedding venue is often the first big step in the planning process. Without a place in mind (and a wedding dress!), it's hard to visualize what your big day will look like or even to come up with a guest list if you don't know how many you'll be able to hold. Here are 13 questions to ask when touring potential venues--you'll need the answers to make your final venue decision, and so you won't have any surprises along the way.
1. Can you bring in your own vendors?
2. What is the maximum number of guests the venue can hold?
3. What is the earliest your florist and other vendors can start setting up, and when must everything be taken down?
4. Is the site handicapped-accessible?
5. How many bathrooms are there?
6. Can the provide electricity for your band or DJ? Remember to get the specific voltage they provide--your musicians will need to know. Also, check to see what the price is for using the venue's electricity.
7. Will there be any renovations or landscaping around the time of the wedding? If there are flowers planted at your ceremony site, will they be the same color at your wedding?
8. How many other weddings may take place on my wedding day?
9. What do the basic linens, tables, chairs, and china look like, and what are my upgrade options?
10. How is alcohol priced, and am I allowed to bring my own in to serve?
11. What is the overtime policy?
12. Are there any additional charges I should know about? Valet, cake cutting fees, etc...
13. What are the sound ordinances? For instance, in Orlando, FL, outdoor receptions must end at 10pm because of city sound ordinances.