One of the first steps in planning a wedding or party is picking the venue. To pick the venue, though, you need to take some tours and ask the right questions on these tours. We asked one of our top Washington DC wedding and event planners to help us nail down what to ask. Here is JoAnna Bayliss from JoAnna Dee Weddings with five unique questions to ask on a venue tour:
When looking for the ideal venue for a wedding reception or any large party, you want to make sure that you ask the venue expert as many questions as possible. However, when you are on the tour and they ask, "Do you have any more questions?", you become a recluse and remain silent. Your whole list of questions flies out the window and you can't seem to remember anything you wanted to ask. To avoid this problem, make sure you bring a hard copy of a list of questions you want addressed. Add these five unique questions to your list for your next venue tour.
1. Is the catering staff allowed to use the venue's kitchen appliances? (i.e. refrigerators)
If you are looking at reception venues involving off-site caterers, double check to see which appliances the staff would be able to use. Some reception venues might have kitchen restrictions on their appliances, and some caterers will charge extra if they have to bring in their own fridge/heating appliances.
2. Can you point out where your outlets are located?
This question goes for both indoor and outdoor receptions. The location of the outlets can help you determine the best places to put the dj/band and photobooth.
3. (After you have signed with a venue) Could you please send me a few room layout diagram options?
Give your reception contact your estimated guest count and ask for a few layout diagrams that previous brides have used. They will give you a scaled down version of your reception space and then you can try out the different head table options and room layouts.
4. Would we be allowed to pick up any large decorations the next morning?
Some reception venues have a hard rule that everything must be cleaned up by a certain time at the end of your wedding night. However, some reception venues will allow you to pick a few of your straggling decorations the following morning if you place them in a designated area.
5. What’s your weather contingency plan for outdoor spaces? Does that alter the capacity?
Thinking about an outdoor reception? Awesome! But make sure you ask what their Plan B is in case of inclement weather. Sometimes heading indoors might alter how many people the venue can seat for dinner. Make sure you ask so you don't run into a last minute space and time crunch!