30 Questions to Ask Wedding Venues During a Tour

This list of questions to ask a wedding venue during the tour will help you learn more about what to expect, especially from all-inclusive wedding venues

You’ve gotten engaged, and now it’s time to pick a venue! Nervous energy, excitement, and the overwhelming nature of picking a venue can make it easy for brides-to-be to freeze up and not know what questions to ask the wedding venue during the tour. Have no fear, we’ve put together a list of wedding venue tour questions so you can be fully informed before making your decision.

The 11 Basics

1. Is the Venue Available on Our Wedding Date?

First and foremost, if you’ve got a particular date in time, you have to find out if that venue has space available for you! If they’re already booked up, there’s no sense in spending any more time with that venue as it’s unavailable to you. Having a flexible date can help open up more options, but either way, knowing if the venue is available on your planned wedding date is one of the most important wedding venue questions. If the RedWater Events venue you have your eye on isn’t available for your preferred date, never fear! We have nine venues that we are happy to recommend and can help determine which may be the best fit for your wedding depending on your guest list, budget, and style.

2. How Many People Can Fit in the Venue?

Do you have a large family? Lots of friends? As part of your wedding planning process, you will want to get a rough idea of how many guests you plan to invite because it impacts just about every aspect of your wedding from your budget to venues. While you don’t have to have an exact count, having an idea or estimated size of your wedding can impact what venues are available to you as some may not be able to accommodate your needs. Every indoor venue, even large ones, will have capacity limitations for safety reasons. This makes asking how many people can fit in the venue one of the most critical questions to ask the wedding venue during the tour. If the venue you are considering does not have accommodations for your wedding in the space you are touring, you may be able to see one that better fits your needs. RedWater offers a variety of options from large 400-person capacity, waterfront spaces to intimate, 60 person capacity spaces, and more! Keep in mind as well that you’ll likely have to deal with some no-shows; anecdotal evidence shows that about 80% of guests who RSVP actually attend the event.

3. Can Our Guests Park at the Venue?

If you’ve ever attended a wedding that has little to no parking, you’ll know that it can be a nightmare for your guests. Additionally, limited parking options can present challenges for those who have a hard time getting around, and it may even result in some of your guests being late. While this may not be a dealbreaker for your favorite wedding venue, it is an important question to ask a wedding venue during the tour. If you’re looking at the options from RedWater events, you’ll be pleased to know that almost all of our event spaces have ample and free parking!

4. Can We Host the Ceremony Here, Too?

Not everyone intends to exchange vows in a church or courthouse; some couples like to have the ceremony and reception at the same location or a different space on the same property. When thinking about what questions to ask the wedding venue during the tour, finding out about ceremony spaces is one you don’t want to forget. Newly engaged couples should consider that ceremony spaces often incur an additional charge because they are not always combined with the reception, so finding more information about ceremony options is a must-ask question. At RedWater Events, we provide ceremony options so you can have your ceremony and reception all at one beautiful venue.

5. How Many Bathrooms Are There?

If people are eating and drinking, they’re going to need to use the bathroom at some point. While any venue that offers food will have some sort of restroom, not all spaces are created equal. When asking wedding venue questions, you will want to find out how many bathrooms they have and whether they have any gender-neutral bathrooms that can be used to accommodate your guests.

6. Are There Dressing Rooms the Bridal Party Can Use?

When it comes to the big day, some brides choose to get ready on-site, eliminating the stress and worry of making it to the ceremony on time. There is a ton to think about when it comes to the big day, but this is an important question to ask the venue during the tour. While it might not affect your decision to choose or exclude a venue from being your pick, it will affect your plans for the big day. Some venue spaces have dressing rooms, others have whole rooms for the bride and bridesmaids to get ready. Be sure to ask about the fees associated with dressing rooms, too, as that can impact your total budget. Our Boatwerks and Ravines venues have dressing rooms that will provide the perfect place to relax and prepare before the big event!

7. Do We Need to Bring Our Own Vendors?

Planning your wedding means planning for a lot of moving pieces, and it can result in having to coordinate a lot of different vendors unless your vendor is all-inclusive like RedWater Events. Be sure to find out if your vendor has their own vendors for AV equipment, onsite food, and decor.

8. Is the Venue Accessible?

If you or any of your guests may need accessible-friendly spaces, be sure to ask your vendor if this is something that they have. If a vendor has multiple spaces, find out which ones are more accommodating to accessibility needs as some spaces may be better equipped than others.

9. How Much Does Renting the Venue Cost?

Your budget will dictate pretty much everything you do for your wedding, which makes finding out the cost of your venue (as well as what it includes) one of the most worthwhile wedding venue questions to ask.

10. When Can We Access the Space?

Be sure to find out how far in advance you can access your event space and how long you have to get it cleaned out. Accessing your ceremony and/or reception spaces is important for your vendors to know, especially those that will be delivering and setting up items such as your cake, decor, flowers, and personal items.

11. If the Venue Is Outside, What Do We Do for Rain?

Weddings outside can be a beautiful event, but it’s important to know what happens if Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate with your plans. When thinking of questions to ask the wedding venue during a tour, finding out if there is an alternative option for inclement weather should be a must if your original plan is to have your wedding outdoors.

8 Questions About Food and Drinks

1. Do We Have to Hire an Outside Caterer?

Finding a caterer who can meet your needs can be a hassle, plus there is the extra worry of whether the food will be hot and ready on time. Find out if your event space offers food and beverage packages when determining questions to ask the wedding venue during tour. RedWater Events has a variety of food and beverage options that will make your event one to remember!

2. Is There a Minimum for Food and Drinks?

Speaking of food and drink, inquire whether there are minimums that you must meet so your expectations are clear and so your budget is not impacted by any surprises.

3. Will We Have Access to the Kitchens?

Kitchen access is important for couples hiring caterers, but it shouldn’t be a concern if your venue handles food themselves. The good news is that RedWater makes this a non-issue by handling food in-house.

4. Can We Do a Tasting Before Selecting Our Menu Items?

Food is often a memorable part of a wedding for guests, and when it’s good, they’ll be talking about it for years to come! Find out how good your food will be by having a tasting. Venues that offer food will typically arrange for a tasting for the couple of honor, which eliminates worry and surprises. At RedWater, we offer large group tastings with a variety of appetizers, entrees, sides, and dessert offerings. Group tastings are a great way to try multiple items to make sure every bite is delicious!

5. What Are Our Drink Options?

Knowing your drink options will fill in some missing pieces. For example, at RedWater Events, there are different packages from which to choose, offering options that make everyone happy!

6. Do You Provide Bartenders?

Typically, if an event offers food and beverages, they are staffed with bartenders. However, when developing a list of questions to ask a wedding venue during a tour, you’ll want to confirm this.

7. What Is the Average Cost Per Person for Catering at Your Venue?

The cost per plate will affect the overall cost of your wedding. Find out from your venue or your caterer what they charge per plate or if there are other food packages available to ensure that you are staying within your budget. Food costs are a significant cost, so you’ll want to be prepared. RedWater is happy to provide a free quote based on your personal selections.

8. Are There Any Restrictions on What We Can Serve?

Many venues will not allow outside food and drink if they have a kitchen onsite. While you may be able to have your cake or dessert catered, there may be restrictions. Venues will not allow outside drinks at all if they have a bar onsite for guests to patronize. Check with your venue to be sure. By confirming the restrictions, you won’t violate their policies and subject yourself to additional fines as a result of not asking.

6 Questions About Venue and Staff

1. Will There Be Other Events Happening During Our Wedding?

Everyone wants to be the center of attention, and rest assured, at your wedding, you will be! It is very common for wedding venues to have multiple wedding spaces, which means that unless you book out the entire venue, it’s more than likely that other events will be going on.

2. Does Your Wedding Venue Have an Event Coordinator to Work with Us?

There is a ton to juggle when planning a wedding, which is why many brides seek out an event coordinator or wedding planner. Most wedding venues assign event coordinators to help couples execute the schedule of events without issues. RedWater Events has experienced coordinators to help ensure your big day goes smoothly!

3. Can We Meet Our Event Coordinator Ahead of Time?

Knowing who is helping to coordinate your wedding helps to put a lot of couples at ease. When you’re thinking about questions to ask the wedding venue during a tour, find out if you can meet the coordinator. This can help establish rapport and ease worries.

4. Can the Venue Accept a DJ or Live Band?

Different venues are subject to noise ordinances, which means live bands are not always allowable. If you have a strong preference for a DJ or a band, find out what your wedding venue can accommodate, so there are no surprises after you book your date.

5. Do You Have Preferred Vendors?

Many wedding venues will have preferred vendors, which means that in exchange for offering couples a better rate, they are the vendors that the venue either prefers or requires.  Many places also do this because they have a great relationship with the vendor, and it makes for a better experience for their couples. This can be anything from photography, floral, and decoration services.

6. Do We Need to Rent A/V Equipment Separately?

If you have a DJ, they will often bring equipment, but a lot of times they need to be able to plug in and access certain plugs. Many of RedWater’s venues have AV setups available, which makes it a breeze for all of your audio/visual elements!

5 Questions for Setup & Teardown

1. When Will the Space Be Available for Us to Set Up?

Especially if you plan for a lot of decor, you have to account for setup time. Find out whether you’ll be able to set up the night before or if you’re limited to the morning as this can affect how and when your space is decorated.

2. Can Your Staff Help with Setup?

Having professionals help with setup can take a lot of stress off the big day. At RedWater Events, our staff can help accomplish your decor dreams, plus, they’re familiar with the space which can mean optimizing the space for the best-looking results!

3. What Is Your Policy on Liability Insurance and Damage Deposits?

Most venues require insurance, and often it is wrapped up into your venue contract. Be sure to find out the limitations, what you’re liable for, what’s covered, and what’s restricted when it comes to your event.

4. Are There Any Restrictions on How We Can Decorate?

Each venue space is different, and some may have restrictions regarding hanging decor. This should be one of the questions to ask the wedding venue during the tour as it can affect how you decorate for your big day.

5. When Do We Have to Have Everything Cleaned Up?

One of the questions to ask the wedding venue during the tour should be when you have to have everything cleaned up. At RedWater Events venues, everything must be out the night of.

Book an All-Inclusive Wedding Venue Near You

Are you looking for an all-inclusive wedding venue in Grand Rapids? Look no further than RedWater events. Contact us today to schedule a tour — and ask your list of questions to ask the wedding venue during your tour!

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Reach out for more information on any of our venues!