Guest Blog by Diana Moore // Hawaii Vista Weddings
Not all wedding venues are the right fit for you. So before you get too involved, it’s important to ask these 10 questions first.
You just got engaged and are overwhelmed with the unknowns. Most people have only been married once and this is all new to them. The last thing you want to do is book a venue and realize that you didn’t ask all the questions that you should of in the beginning.
Question #1 : An important question to ask your wedding venue is What Are the number of people allowed on the property?
- Be sure to find out if the number of people includes the vendors too.
- How flexible is this number? If a photographer or videographer realizes he/she needs an extra person, will you need to reduce your guest count?
- Do they have a space that can hold more people if you need?
- How many people are allowed for a ceremony only versus a ceremony and reception. Sometimes the ceremony area is smaller than the reception area or vice versa.
- Is there a charge if you go over the amount stated in the contract?
Question #2 : What kind of special features does the Wedding venue have?
- Are there facilities that cater to people with physical disabilities?
- Does the venue have a separate area for elderly guests? If an elderly guest is unable to make it to the ceremony site, there may be a location for them so they are still able to see the wedding.
- Does the facility have parking? Parking is a big problem in Hawaii. Neighbors may not be too happy if cars are being parked in front of their house or a lot of traffic is stopped in front of their house. In the city, cost is high to park so be sure to let your guests know of any nearby places that are cheaper.
- Is the venue air-conditioned or heated?
- Is there a kitchen or refrigerator to hold the cake?
- Will we need to rent anything? Some venues come with all the furniture included and some you will need to rent on your own.
- Are all of the photo spots close together to save on time? If the photo spots are far from each other, it will take up a lot of time getting from one place to the next.
- Is there a bridal suite and bathroom.(with or with out air conditioning)
- Are couples allowed to hair and make up done at venue or do they come dressed and ready to go?
- Are rehearsals allowed at the venue?
- Are pets allowed? If so, what are the rules. Make sure you have someone who can cater to your pet while you are getting married.
- Are you allowed to bring in your own vendors or do you have to use theirs? Every venue has different rules so be sure to check on this if you already have a wedding planner, photographer, etc.
Question #3 : Another very important first question to ask your wedding venue is What is the availability?
- If the date is taken, are you flexible with another date? If not, this venue won’t work for you so it’s one of the first question to ask.
- Check to see what time they are available as well. Daytime versus evening.
- Find out the hours allowed for a ceremony or a ceremony and reception.
- Do the hours include setting up and breaking down?
Question #4 : Where is the wedding venue located?
- What island are they on? Some people may not realize that there are different island to choose from.
- Will the location be accessible to you guests? Ideally, it should be 30 to 40 minutes from where your guests are coming from.
- If guests are coming in from out of town, make sure the hotels or AirB&B’s are close to the venue.
- Is there traffic going to the venue? It’s good to check Google Maps periodically to see how long it will take to get there.
Question #5 : What is the size of the wedding venue?
- It should be large enough to accommodate the number of guests. Being packed into a small back yard is uncomfortable for everyone.
- If you are having a reception to follow, is there enough space for everyone to sit comfortably?
- Is there enough parking for all of the cars? You don’t want to block people in who need to leave before you or park really far away and have to walk.
- If the parking is limited do they allow limos and vans?
Question #6 : What is the cancellation policy?
- Does the venue have a force majeure clause? These are things like natural disasters or covid shut downs.
- Are you allowed to postpone? If so, how many times can you postpone and are there fees?
- What is the penalty for canceling?
- All of these things are usually in the contract but it is a good idea to get it in writing via an email. Especially if you want a specific answer.
Question #7 : If it is an outdoor wedding venue, is there a rain option?
- If you go for a site visit, ask to see the rain options. Or ask for pictures if you are not able to see the site first.
- Are you allowed to bring in tents in case of rain? Do they provide tents or would you need to rent them?
- Is there a time needed for rain call in case it needs to be switched to a different location?
Question #8 : For wedding ceremonies, what are the rules?
- Can I change into my dress before or change out of it after?
- Do we need to bring in our own arbor and decorations?
- Do we need to rent chairs.
- Will there be a wedding planner that we can hire to set everything up?
- How much time will we have to set up and break down?
- What CDC Guidelines will be in place?
- Do they have a wedding officiant or other preferred vendors that they use ?
- Are you allowed to bring in your own vendors?
Question #9 : For wedding receptions, what are to rules?
- Is food included or do we need to bring in our own food?
- If you need to bring in your own food, is there a place to set up. If you will have caterers, where will they set up and is there a kitchen?
- Do we need to rent tables and chairs?
- Do we need to bring in our own dinnerware and silverware?
- Is there a wedding planner we can hire to do all of these things for us?
- How much time is allowed for setting up and breaking down?
- How far away is the reception from the ceremony?
- Covid rules: taking off masks, sharing food, social distancing, dancing
Question #10 : What is the cost for the wedding venue?
- Some wedding venues don’t advertise their prices on their website so this is a good question to ask right away.
- Are there extra fees for things like chairs, tables, decorated arbors etc. Find out what is included and what you will need to bring in.
- Are there options for cheaper venue cost. Ie. Half days, off season, weekdays vs weekend
- Is there a price for a ceremony only or ceremony and reception? Or is it just one flat rate?
See them on Instagram:
Wedding Planner: A Perfect Day Hawaii: @aperfectdayhawaii
Officiant: Hawaii Wedding Minister James Chun: @oahuminister
Venue: Hawaii Vista Weddings: @hawaiivistaweddings
Michele C : Photographer: @michelecphoto
Agalia Films: Videographer: @agaliafilms
Face Art Beauty: Hair and Makeup: @faceartbeauty
- A Perfect Day Hawaii | Wedding Planner | Hawaii Wedding Planner | Hawaii Wedding | Wedding Planning | Oahu Wedding
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- Hawaii Vista Weddings, Hawaii Wedding Venue, Elopement, Destination Weddings, Wedding Venue, www.hawaiivistaweddings.com
- Michele C Photo, Hawaii Photographer, Hawaii Wedding Photographer, Wedding Photographer, www.michelecphoto.com
- Agalia Films, Hawaii Videographer, Hawaii Wedding Videographer, Wedding Videographer, www.agaliafilms.com
- Face Art Beauty, Hawaii Makeup Artist, Hawaii Hair and Makeup artist, Hawaii Beauty, Hawaii Stylist, Wedding Makeup, www.faceartbeauty.co