Not all events are created equal. Some have hundreds of guests while others have a handful. Some require food and decorations and live music, and still others only need tablecloths and a small speaker. The one thing all events have in common is a venue—you can’t host an event without a location!

If you’re thinking of renting a venue for your next event, come prepared with the right questions so you know exactly what you’re signing up for. Below are seven important questions to ask your potential venue. Let us know if you have more to add!

7 Questions to Ask your Event Venue before booking them.

Do you have my date available?

Your first priority when booking a venue is confirming that both your desired date and time are available. With most, if not all vendors, you’ll need to initiate the conversation to check availability. This can be done with a sweet and simple email explaining the type of event you’re looking to plan, and at what date and time.

How many people can your space hold?

While some venues may list their maximum capacity up front, it doesn’t hurt to verify that number. Sometimes that maximum capacity applies to one room, but it’s not the room you’re looking at. In your initial email, include an estimated headcount and ask the venue to confirm they can accommodate in their response.

Do you have different wedding or event packages?

Don’t be afraid to ask if the desired venue is willing to pair offerings for a discounted rate. For example—if I do catering through you too, do I get a free cleanup crew? A discount on 100+ guests? Some venues will already have packages put together, but ask if you don’t see them or they’re not what you’re looking for.

Is catering included?

If you don’t require catering, then skip ahead! If you do require catering and the venue doesn’t offer it, they likely have partnerships with local caterers and can give you a recommendation—and maybe even a discount.

How much parking is available?

Be sure that the venue—both inside and out—can handle the number of guests you plan to invite. Limited parking might not be a deterrent for you, but it is something you’ll want to communicate to your guests well in advance, so it’s good that you know what the space can hold.

How much does each additional hour cost?

As sad as it is, you can’t rage on all night long—at some point you have to call it a night. But what if you just want an extra hour to finish your requested songs, or have the time to clean up or change? Knowing how much wiggle room you have (or don’t have) is going to remove last-minute panic or worry from your special event.

Is there a set up/tear down fee?

Chances are for a larger event, you’re not doing the set-up or take-down yourself. Be sure to ask if they charge a fee for setting up tables, decorations, or food. Certain elements—like decorations—you might opt to do yourself, but knowing precisely what is and isn’t included in the venue package helps you avoid surprises at the end of a day of celebration!

We’ve given you our take on venue questioning, so tell us—how did we do? Were these helpful, and did we miss any? We’d love to hear from you!

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