What date is available? | Is my wedding date available?
These may look like identical questions, but they are totally different. The venue typically is the deciding factor when it comes to your wedding date. Some couples choose their wedding date before they book anything because that date is sentimental to them. Either way, venues tend to book out pretty far in advance, so your first question should be about availability.
What are your wedding packages and what is included?
This one is important because most venues and vendors have different packages and one package might work best for you. Asking this question keeps you informed about what you are getting for what you're paying.
Do they provide any other services, or have any references for preferred vendors? | Are those services included in the rental fee?
Some venues will have in-house catering/cake bakers, tables and linens, or even a bar with a bartender. Always be sure to ask if they have any in-house options and if those options are required. If they don't provide any other services, ask if they have a list of vendor referrals.
Is alcohol allowed? | Is there a limit to quantity of alcohol that can be served? | What restrictions or policies do you have pertaining to alcohol consumption?
These are important questions even if you are planning a dry wedding. The last thing you want is a sneaky guest not following the rules and costing you your deposit. Make sure you know where you and your guests are allowed to drink alcohol, what kind of alcohol is acceptable, and if they have a license to serve alcohol.
What does a typical wedding day set up look like in this space?
Seeing the space is great, but it will look completely different once it's filled with flowers, tables, chairs, decorations, lights, etc. Ask for pictures of different set ups. It'll help you visualize.
Who is the contact for the venue day of?
Write down their information and keep it with the venue information. This person is very important because they will let you know when the room needs to be set up and torn down. The venue will also want to know who your day-of coordinator is because that is who they will communicate with during the wedding. If you don't have a wedding coordinator, assign a bridesmaid to be in charge of communicating with the venue representative on your wedding day.
Does the venue have indoor and outdoor options?
You will want to see both options if there are indoor and outdoor options because weather can be unpredictable, especially in the PNW. You should know what the options are as a contingency plan. My sister was planning on having an indoor wedding, but twenty minutes before the ceremony, everything was moved outdoors because it was so sunny outside!
When can decoration and set up begin?
Knowing this information is key to your whole operation! You want to utilize your time wisely in this arena because you may not have as much time as you originally thought. It really depends on the venue and their schedules.
Does the venue have liability insurance?
No one plans for accidents to happen, but it's really important to know that if anything were to happen during your wedding (a dance floor mishap, or a small tumble down the stairs) that you are covered. You are going to want to know what the coverage is in case anything DOES happen.
Does the venue have postponement/cancellation insurance?
Postponement and cancellation insurance is so important! No one knows what the next year is going to be like, so it's definitely worth asking your venue if they have insurance that covers postponements and cancellations AND ask for the details.