Booking your wedding venue can be the most stressful part of wedding planning – the wedding venue is the first large choice you will have to make about your big day. As such, nailing down the right location, terms of the contract, budget amount, and more can feel insurmountable for newly engaged couples.
To help ensure you’ve selected the right wedding venue and can book with confidence, we’ve compiled some of our most asked (and most recommended) questions to bring up to your wedding venue.
These are questions you should ask before signing a contract, however, they are critical pieces of information to obtain no matter where you are in your planning process.
So, don’t be shy, make a list, and ask away to your woodbine wedding venue.
Weather Worries: Preparing for Inclement Outdoor Wedding Ceremonies
This is a question our outdoor wedding venue in Maryland gets asked frequently and for good reason – planning an outdoor wedding ceremony can be stressful, especially in unpredictable seasons like Fall and Spring.
Always ask your wedding venue what their back-up plan is if the weather suddenly turns the night before, or on, your big day.
Some outdoor wedding venues offer optional indoor spaces and you want to know how the ceremony, altar, cocktail space, and reception hall will all be affected.
Do You Book Multiple Events On the Same Day?
If you go searching, you will find horror stories of wedding venues that did not disclose they booked multiple events on the same day. Sometimes this is not even two weddings, but weddings and outdoor festivals or other activities.
Always ask if your event has the venue entirely to itself and if not, how the events are separated, if guests will be confused, if there will be noise drifting over, and more.
Does Your Area Have Quiet Hours or Noise Restrictions?
If your wedding venue is also your reception hall, ask about quiet hours, music cut-off times, and how loud your event can be.
Some wedding venues and reception halls may have noise restrictions, limiting the volume of the entire event or its noise level after hours.
Some venues also have a hard cut-off time for noise or music – these can range from evening hours to past midnight, so consider how late you want your party to go and if your wedding venue can accommodate that.
What Time Can Vendors Begin Setting Up?
Always ask how long you have the wedding venue for and what time you can access both your ceremony site and your reception hall.
If you plan on having a wedding ceremony at 4pm, for example, but you can only access the venue at 2pm, does that give or your vendors enough setup time?
Clarify not only how many hours your rental covers but the earliest you can arrive and the latest you can leave.
What Does Pricing for the Venue Include?
Always follow up on what pricing packages are offered and what they include. Some wedding venues and reception halls are all-inclusive while others offer add-on services via an al-a-carte pricing style.
This might include needing to pay for chair set up, additional chair rentals, table clothes, and more. Don’t assume what pricing includes and instead follow up on all the details. This also includes if there is a spending minimum for catering or drink packages.
What is the Venue’s Current Availability?
Wedding venues book up quick – not just outdoor wedding venues in Maryland for Spring and Summer, but all wedding venues regardless of location or season book up a year or two in advance.
If there is a specific date or season you know you want to get married, inquire about this on your wedding venue tour or when setting up the visit. This can help you either weed out an incompatible location or adjust your scheduling expectations.
Can You Hire Any Vendor You Like?
Some couples are not aware that some venues have vendor restrictions or partnerships. Always check with your wedding venue (preferably before signing a contract) about their vendor list or requirements.
Vendor partnerships may limit who you can hire for your catering, DJing, entertainment, or bartending. If there is a specific vendor you know you want to work with or a specific type of food or alcohol you want, be sure to check this list before signing your contract.
Does the Wedding Venue Have an On-Site Coordinator?
Coordinators are not a requirement but they sure are beneficial. You want to check with your wedding venue to see if they offer a day-of or month-of coordinator to help you finalize the last few details.
Regardless, you should know who your point of contact is and what they will and will not handle during the day of. This can include meeting with and instructing vendors, overseeing set-up, and so forth.
What is the Guest Capacity of the Wedding Venue and Reception Hall?
Important for small weddings and big weddings alike, you want to know the capacity of your venue. For example, an outdoor wedding venue in Maryland may have a smaller ceremony capacity than their indoor reception hall capacity, affecting how many guests can be in attendance for each portion of the wedding day.
Ask about the different guest capacity limits and how this affects the use of the space. At Circle D Farm, we make a point to ensure that even though our indoor reception hall in Maryland can fit 250 guests comfortably, it doesn’t feel empty when we host 100 guest weddings. Ask about how your wedding venue makes a space feel lively even when on the smaller guest side.
Are Decorations Allowed and Who Does the Decorating?
In order to fully create your wedding theme, you will want to bring in your own decorations to your wedding venue in Maryland. During your venue tour, ask about decoration limitations, options, and costs.
Some wedding venues will decorate for you and you’ll want to inquire about the additional charge. Some may have a selection of different decorations to choose from, which will also affect your package pricing. Ask if any spaces are off limits for decorations or what decorations may not be allowed – like confetti or candles.
Does the Wedding Venue Have a Reception Hall?
This is not important for every couple but is an important question to ask if you want to limit travel on your wedding day. Ask if your wedding venue has a reception space and if so, request a tour of it as well.
Your wedding venue should be upfront about not only where the ceremony will take place but your options for reception, as well. Sometimes the areas may be the same, in which case they will need to undergo a transformation period during cocktail hour. Always ask how the venue coordinates changeovers in these circumstances.
What Are The Alcohol Limitations?
Not all wedding venues have a liquor license and this can affect how you go about bringing in alcohol for your wedding day.
You want to ask your wedding venue about their liquor license, if they supply alcohol, if you can bring in your own alcohol, if they have bartenders on staff, and what other restrictions they may have.
Due to past circumstances, some wedding venues may also say no shots or place a limit on hard liquor – always inquire about any rules around alcohol for the day of.
Are There Groom and Bridal Suites?
It’s not a given that your wedding venue will have a bridal suite and this can be an additional charge – or challenge – to solve if they don’t.
While not having a bridal suite can certainly be overcome with trailer rentals or nearby lodgings, you want to know ahead of time if this is something you will need to plan for.
Take into consideration how far away your hotel or home is, how many people will be with you when you’re getting ready, if you have a mid-day change planned, and if you’ll need a suite for on-site hair or make-up.
Are All Areas of the Wedding Venue Accessible?
As an outdoor wedding venue in Maryland, we’ve become very familiar with responding to our guests who are worried about accessibility for guests and elderly family members.
While all wedding venues should be ADA compliant, this does not factor in ease of access or comfort for all guests. Consider if any guests use a wheelchair or have difficulty walking long distances when looking at ceremony sites and reception centers. If there are a lot of stairs or an out-of-the-way ramp, will this impact the guests’ comfort?
Ask Before Your Visit, Ask on the Tour, Call With Questions!
Never hesitate to ask your wedding venue any questions you may have. We’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg of what questions couples have asked or what questions you may have.
Your wedding venue should be responsive, transparent, and friendly during all of your exchanges. This will be the location and main hub of your wedding day, so be sure it meets all of your needs, matches with priorities, and makes you feel enthusiastic about the big day to come.
Our Maryland outdoor wedding venue is always excited to meet with guests and ease their concerns. You should be met with compassion and clear answers when inquiring about a wedding venue space in Maryland or any other location. We’ve heard it all here at Circle D Farm and we aim to ease any couple’s apprehensions during wedding planning.
If you’re curious about touring our Woodbine Wedding Venue, contact us today to ask questions or set up an on-site visit.