12 Questions to Ask Before Choosing an Event Venue

Kristin Chalmers Photography | venue selection

When making a venue selection for your next event, there is no better way to gather all the necessary information than by asking the right questions! From location and date to catering options and parking, your guests’ experience at your event will rely heavily on the venue you choose, so it’s important to make your decision with all the knowledge available to you.

Below, we’ve put together some of the most essential questions to ask before choosing an event venue:

12 Questions to Ask Before Making a Venue Selection

1. What dates are available?

Depending on the type of event you’re planning, dates may be set in stone or more flexible. Ask venues what they have available and, if possible, try to stay open to a range of options. This will give you a better chance of securing your ideal event venue and can even have an impact on the overall cost of your event, which brings us to another important question!

2. What does the venue cost?

Whatever your event, you will want to go into choosing a venue with a clear understanding of what the cost will be! Ask about fees, surcharges, or other factors that will go into the total rental price for the venue.

This also goes for any security deposits or special event insurance, both of which are often requirements for larger events like weddings. Determine how much each costs and how they need to be paid so you can work them into your overall budget. 

3. What is the refund and/or cancellation policy?

Though ideally, everything leading up to a big event is seamless and perfect, things inevitably come up from time to time. Talk to your venue about their refund or cancellation policies in place to get a clear understanding of what position you’ll be in should road bumps arise.

4. Is it possible to see a sample contract?

Venue contracts can be tricky and overwhelming, but they’re very important when planning an event. Always be sure to thoroughly read a contract before signing anything. If possible, ask your venue to see a sample contract so you have time to ask any questions that may arise before making your decision.

5. What is the venue’s maximum capacity?

Ask potential venues how many guests they are able to accommodate. This information can help you filter out any venues that may not fit your estimated guest headcount. It can also be useful when it comes to creating your budget, since the more guests you have, the more expensive it will cost to cover factors such as catering and alcohol.

6. How long are event guests allowed on the premises?

Knowing specific venue requirements for an event is vital for planning, particularly when it comes to start and finish times. You’ll want to know when you can arrive to set up for your event and what time guests need to leave the property to ensure you have enough time to successfully pull off your event!

7. Are specific vendors required or can we bring our own?

Regardless of the type of event venue you’re looking for, most work with an exclusive list of vendors that they trust to put on a smoothly-orchestrated affair – this can include bar service, caterers, and rental companies. Ask each venue about any recommended vendors they might have on hand, or whether you’re able to source and bring in your own. 

8. Is there space to get ready for a wedding?

If your venue selection is for a wedding, it’s beneficial to ask about space for attendants to get ready. This can help save you additional planning (not to mention resources – no need for an extra hotel room!) when it comes to day-of wedding prep.

9. Does the venue offer on-site parking?

Parking is a critical part of any event, particularly if you’re hosting a large group like a wedding! Make sure your venue has plenty of parking on-site, or alternatively, shuttle services that you can reserve to help your guests get from their cars to the venue.

10. Are there noise restrictions?

Inquire with venues about any noise restrictions that may be in place. This will help determine what time your event can go until, especially if it’s an outdoor event.

11. Does the venue require an event planner?

Sometimes, a venue will require a professional planner for hosting an event at their property – check to see if this is necessary and, if so, whether they have an in-house planner you can work with or if you’re able to bring in someone yourself. This will help to ensure your event runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible!

12. Who will be the venue’s primary contact person?

Determine who you’ll be working with on the day of your event and who you should contact for other questions you may have leading up to it. Even better if you’re able to meet with them beforehand to get to know them a bit and better understand their skillset!

Contact The 1812 Farm for Your Next Event

At The 1812 Farm, let us host your next big event! Our elegant 18th-century barn attached to a classic white New England farmhouse, located in picturesque Bristol Mills, Maine, is the perfect venue selection for any occasion. For more information about our elegant barn venue and catering options, please contact us today at The 1812 Farm!