Tips and Advice

15 Questions to ask during venue tours

Finding your wedding venue is one of the most important steps in the wedding planning process. And luckily, there are so many amazing places in town to choose from! Our list of venue partners is a great place to start. You probably already have an idea of what type of venue you’re looking for – ballroom, winery, golf club, etc. – so you can narrow down your search right away. When you’re down to a few options, contact the venue to ask about pricing and available dates, so you’ll know right away if your budget and scheduling needs will be met. Once you’re actually on site and touring the grounds either in person (or virtually), here’s what to ask!


Image courtesy of Castaway Portland

  1. How many hours are included in the rental? Are set-up and clean-up time included in that? How much does it cost to add additional hours?
  2. What is included in the rental? Some venues include in-house catering, tables, chairs, linens, A/V, and more. Also ask if they have other things onsite for wedding use, such as an arbor, welcome signs, and menu holders. You might not need to bring them in on your own!
  3. How many guests does the venue accommodate? What is the highest number for guests to fit comfortably?
  4. Are there hotels nearby for guest accommodations? What about public transportation?
  5. Where can guests park?
  6. Does the venue have a preferred vendor list? Is there any extra charge if you choose alternative vendors?
  7. How will the load-in/load out process go for florists, caterers, etc.? Is there a loading dock or special set-up area?
  8. Are there enough restrooms for the guest count?
  9. Is there an elevator and/or ramp for guests who may need it? What about a shuttle service?
  10. Is there WiFi and enough outlets for the DJ?
  11. Ask about alcohol/corkage fees and what types of liquor they allow on site – some venues only allow beer and wine.
  12. Is there a designated space for the couple to get ready onsite?
  13. Is a wedding rehearsal included in the contract fee?
  14. Ask about their restrictions – every place is different and some don’t allow certain things, such as fire for sparklers, confetti and glitter to throw, etc.
  15. Make sure to ask about the deposit, cancellation and refund policies.

And one more for good measure, because it’s Portland – if it’s an outdoor venue, ask if they have a contingency plan for rain!

Featured image is of Castaway Portland.

This Tips & Advice piece was submitted by Dana Barbar, a trusted local wedding professional and talented writer.