The Ultimate Wedding Checklist!
Posted in Wedding Planning on January 24, 2015
When you are someone who wants to make sure that your wedding goes perfectly, one of the first things that you need to handle is your venue. The sooner you figure out your venue, the sooner you will be able to work on getting everything else handled. This may be the biggest decision you make during the planning stages, so use our all-inclusive super checklist to make sure that you are getting everything handled.
For your own records, make sure that you note what venue you are looking at. The last thing you want is to start checking your notes only to get one venue confused with another.
Name of the Venue:
These are the bare bone questions that must get answered regarding your wedding venue. If these questions are not answered to your satisfaction, move on right away. It is really not worth staying to negotiate the minor details of these major factors are not addressed they way that they need to be.
Is the venue available on the date that you need it?
Who am I sharing the site with?
Will this venue fit the number of guess I want to invite?
Is it accessible for people in wheelchairs or who have mobility issues?
How long can we say at the venue?
Whether you are getting married in a church, a library, a museum, a ship or villa, make sure that you know what the venue has to offer you. These questions are very important when you are trying to make sure that you can use a venue the way that you need to.
What rooms do I have access to during the wedding?
Who is my coordinator for the wedding itself and the days leading up to the wedding?
Are you doing any changes or renovations to the venue on my wedding day?
Can I release animals during the ceremony?
Can my guests throw rice/glitter/confetti during the exit processional?
Can my guests blow bubbles?
How many bathrooms do you have available?
Are the bathrooms wheel-chair accessible?
If the wedding is being held outdoors, what is the backup plan in case of rain?
Are there tents that can be rented if not?
Is flooring available for an outdoor even, especially if dancing is involved?
Are there elevators available?
The money is one of the most important things for you to consider. Wedding venues tend offer low package deals, and then when you read the fine print, you will see hat there are many other charges that can get attached to it. Make sure that your bill for the venue will match the budget that you have set.
How much will the package I want cost?
Is there a payment schedule?
What is the cancellation policy?
What is the deposit required for saving the date?
Is this deposit refundable if the date is canceled or changed?
Are there different rates for different days?
Are there any hidden costs?
Is there a required gratuity?
Do I pay overtime for the event staff?
Is there a cleaning fee?
Is there a date after which I cannot change my package?
What is the cost for any changes I want to make?
Do I have to make any payments on the day of the wedding or directly after?
Are there any package deals available depending on how many people come?
What wedding packages do you currently have available?
When you have guests coming in from out of town or you are from out of town yourself, you will quickly realize that everyone needs a place to stay for at least one night or more. This is especially important for destination weddings.
Are there accommodations at the venue for the wedding party or guests coming in out of town?
Is there a wedding rate for these accommodations?
How far in advance do these accommodations have to be booked?
What hotels are in this area?
What popular food and entertainment options are in this area?
Are there any discounts associated with booking at this venue?
What are the transportation options in this area?
-Are there any reliable cab companies for you to recommend?
-Do you have a policy for guests who are too drunk to drive?
If most of the people at your wedding will be driving to the venue, make sure that there are places for them to put their cars. Parking can be a nightmare at some venues, so get a good picture of the parking situation before you select your venue. These are especially important for small wedding venues and unusual wedding venues.
What parking is available for the venue?
Could I get a written policy regarding local street parking if you do not have a private lot?
Are there any charges for the parking?
How far from the event is the parking going to be?
Is there a shuttle service from the hotel to the venue?
Food and Drink
What's a wedding without great food and drinks available? Some venues are very selective about the food that they allow to be offered, and some allow outside caterers while others do not. Make sure that you know what is going on before you accept.
Do you include tables and chairs?
Do you include tablecloths?
Do you include napkins, cutlery, and plates?
Are there extra charges for these items?
Are you going to provide food and beverage for my wedding?
Can I hire my own caterer?
What kitchen facilities do you offer?
-Can cooking occur at the site?
-Do you have refrigeration available?
-Is there going to be a safe place for the wedding cake during the day?
Is there a good place to do the cake cutting?
Are you willing to work with me on the menu?
Can you handle gluten-free items?
Can you handle vegetarian items?
Can you handle vegan items?
Do you have a liquor license?
Can we bring our own alcohol?
Is there a fee if we bring our own alcohol?
Do you have a wine cellar?
What are my costs for wine and champagne? Are there upgrades available?
Is there a charge for not consuming as much alcohol as predicted?
Will you provide a bar for my wedding?
What is the price to the guests for a cash bar?
Is there an extra charge for wait staff and bar staff?
Part of what makes a wedding so special is the decorations. The decorations may be very simple or they may be extremely elegant. Some venues choose to decorate the space themselves, while others allow you to decorate it on your own. Make sure that you know what is acceptable before you commit.
Can I do my own decorating?
How soon can I get in to do my own decorating?
Are there any limits that I should know about?
Can I bring in centerpieces?
Will you work with my florist?
Do I need to be aware of any limits regarding the flowers I choose?
Are here any limitations on what I can use to decorate?
Are open flames (candles, etc) allowed in the venue?
Can my centerpieces include water/soil/sand/small toys?
Will you decorate the venue for me?
-What colors are possible?
-What decorations would you use?
-What is the decoration charge?
How will my decorations get cleaned up?
-Will I need to tear down the decorations myself?
Can I put up signs and marquees around the venue and outside the venue?
Do these signs and marquees have to be approved before I can place them?
Do you provide signs?
There are a number of ways to entertain your guests during a wedding, but before you can book the entertainer that you prefer, make sure that you ask the venue if it is appropriate first. Some venues wan to clear the entertainment choice before they okay it.
Do you provide a house band?
Can I hire my own entertainment?
What is your sound system like?
Is the space big enough for the entertainment I have planned?
Is my entertainment permitted by the venue?
When can my entertainment get set up?
Do they need to be set up before or after a certain point?
Is there a loading area for bands?
Can my DJ come early to make sure that the equipment is compatible with what they have in mind?
Do you have a reliable wedding band that you can recommend?
-What are their fees?
A wedding isn't like any other big event. The spouses to be and the wedding party will need a place to get dressed before the wedding, and in many cases, they will need a place to dress down after the ceremony as well. Make sure that the dressing facilities are up to your needs, especially if you have a large wedding party.
Will there be areas for the bride and groom to change before and after the wedding?
Is there a good prep area for the bridal attendants and groomsmen?
Are there secure locations for our things while the ceremony is going on?
Are there mirrors that we can use to get dressed?
Is there a good spot to do make-up?
Is the lighting good enough to get a good view of everything?
The main event is the most important feature of the wedding day, and it is important to make sure that it is going to go well. Most ceremonies are fairly standardized for venues that cater to weddings, so ask some questions.
What kind of seating will you have?
Does the seating cost extra?
Is there going to be a dais for the ceremony itself?
Do you provide a runner for the processional?
Is this room licensed for the ceremony?
Will the ceremony take place in the same room as the reception?
Do you have a plan for changing the set up from ceremony to reception?
Is the area for the ceremony hooked up to the sound system?
Can I see pictures from previous ceremonies?
Can you walk me through how the processional and ceremony are typically set up?
This is typically not an issue as the more casual venues, but you will find that larger venues often have rules regarding photography on the premises, whether it is because they are often hired for photo shoots or because there are items that cannot take being subjected to flash photography. It is always best to ask first.
Do you provide a photographer?
Can I bring in my own photographer?
Are there any limits on the photographer's use of the flash?
Are there any limits on where the photographer can shoot?
Can we come to the venue earlier on the day of the wedding for pictures?
Is there the space for a receiving line?
Are there microphones for any speeches or toasts that might be given?
What time do the guests have to leave the venue?
Is there space to set up a slide show?
Do you have a projector and screen?
What will the table setup look like?
Do you have a dedicated children's area?
Is there enough room for dancing?
Are there noise restrictions due to the venue's location?
If so, what are those restrictions?
Are there local quiet hours that must be respected?
Is there a safe place to store the wedding gifts?
Is there a good place for guests to drop off the wedding gifts?
Do you have a coat check service for the guess?
Is there a safe place for guests to leave their coats and cold-weather gear during the service?
Do you have a lost and found area?
The Wedding Coordinator
Most venues that are large enough to hold weddings regularly will assign you a contact person who acts as your coordinator. They are the person that you need to speak to if you need something during the big day, and they are the person that you are going to be talking to during the planning and preparation stages.
Who will be my wedding coordinator for this venue?
Can I meet them?
What hours are they available?
Will they be able to represent the venue in all things?
When you want to be prepared for your wedding, look over this list and consider what you need for your wedding venue hire. Some of the things on this list are not a worry for you, but many of these questions need answers!