50 Questions to Ask South Florida Venues

After you’ve gotten engaged, created your budget, and have a good idea of how many guests you’d like to invite, you’ll probably start venue shopping. Whether you know the exact Miami wedding venue where you want to host your wedding or are looking around, it’s pretty important that you know where you stand with a venue on a number of important issues. Let’s take a second to discuss the questions you should ask your venue prior to booking. We know it may seem like a lot of things to ask, but trust us it’s better to know upfront than have surprises later on.

General Questions

1. What dates are available? If you’re flexible on your dates, be sure to let the venue know as they might have special pricing available. Summer months almost always come at a discounted rate as it is off-season. Sundays and Fridays can also have lower pricing, depending on the venue.

2. How many people can this venue accommodate? We’ve gone ahead and added this info for you throughout our preferred vendor directory, but, if you need to see if the venue can stretch the number of guests that you can host, you can definitely discuss it with the salesperson. They can make recommendations on what the hard number is if you don’t mind the room feeling a little tighter.

3. What is included in the price? Is there a room fee or rental fee? How many hours does that include?

4. Is there a bridal suite? Do you provide a complimentary suite for our wedding night (provided by hotels only)?

5. Is there an overtime fee?

6. Is there a ceremony fee?

7. How much time can we have for a rehearsal? If not included, how much would it be to do a rehearsal? Can we have our rehearsal dinner on the property?

8. What is the cancellation policy?

9. Do you require liability insurance from outside vendors? Do you have liability insurance?

10. Is there a food and beverage minimum (applies to in-house catering and hotels)? What’s the tax and service charge?


11. Do you have an in-house caterer? If yes, do I have to use them or can I bring in my own? Do you have a list of preferred caterers?

12.Can we have a food trial? If yes, how many people are included? How much would it be for each additional person?

13.Is there a cake-cutting fee? If I bring my own cake vendor, how much will you credit me?

14. Is the kitchen available to my caterer? If no, where would they set-up? Some venues will have this set-up in a visible location. Make sure you are aware of where this will be and are okay with it.

15. Can I bring my own special liquor? If your fiance loves drinking a special scotch, find out if you can bring a bottle just for them or if they can provide it for you and at what cost. Is there a corkage fee?

16. Are there additional charges for bar staff?

17. Can I bring in outside dessert and food vendors? Can we make homemade desserts and display them?

Decor and Vendors

18. Are tables, chairs, linens, flatware, and dinnerware included?

19. What is your open flame policy? If you have your heart set on candles, be sure to ask about this one. Some venues do not allow open flame and you will need to discuss with your florist about using LED powered candles.

20. Do you allow sparklers and confetti? Many outdoor venues do not allow either, but many hotels and indoor venues do.

21. What time can vendors start setting up?

22. What is and isn’t allowed at venue in terms of decor?

23. Can we play music outside? Do outdoor musicians require tenting in case it rains?

24. Do you have any decor or furniture I can borrow?

25. Does everything have to stay where it is or can we move things around?

26. What is your fireworks policy?

27. Do you allow outdoor games and entertainment?

28. Do you provide directional signs?

29. What happens if it’s cold? Do you provide heaters? If yes, is there an additional cost?

30. Can I have a live band? Do they have a specific place they have to perform from? Can they use your electricity? Can they use your sound system?

31. Can I hire any vendor I’d like or do I have to stick to your preferred list?


32. If you’re getting married June- November, one of the most important questions you can ask is the hurricane plan. Does the property refund your money? If yes, at what percent? How about if the airports are still open? When would they actually close the property? Knowing what the hurricane procedure is will help you make the right decisions. Also, if you are getting married at a lush outdoor venue, you might want to ask for a clause about the greenery to be included. Imagine you choose a stunning garden venue, but a hurricane damaged the property and garden. It might not look the same as when you first signed the contract and you might not love it in the same way. Most venues will view this as a non-breach of contract, but you can request a clause like the one below to be added:

“but if any of the above substantially impair the natural beauty or historical significance of [INSERT VENUE], then Client has the option to terminate this Agreement within seven (7) calendar days of the triggering event by written notice to [INSERT VENUE] at which point [INSERT VENUE], will refund to Client, in whole, all amounts previously paid under this Agreement, including any otherwise non-refundable deposits.

In the event of written cancellation by Client to [INSERT VENUE] :
12 or more months prior to [WEDDING DATE] , [INSERT VENUE] will refund the full amount previously paid.
8 or more months prior to [WEDDING DATE], [INSERT VENUE] will refund 70% of the amount previously paid.
6 or more months prior to [WEDDING DATE], [INSERT VENUE] will refund 50% of amount previously paid.
4 or more months prior to [WEDDING DATE], [INSERT VENUE] will refund 10% of the amount previously paid.”

33. Always, always, always know what your rain plan is. If any part of your day takes place outside, be sure to find out what the rain plan is for that venue. Outdoor ceremonies, cocktails, and receptions will need to move indoors. Make sure you know (and like!) the place where they will be moving your event and be sure to ask for those other locations to be included within your contract if you are getting married at a hotel. If your venue is completely outdoor, find out how much a tent would cost and the vendors they allow. You will need to factor this cost into your wedding budget and be okay with the price if it comes to pass. If you don’t need it, great! But if you do and don’t have the budget for it, this will cause a major headache.

34. Do you provide security? If yes, how many? If no, how much would it cost?

35. Do you have payment plans?

36. Do you allow animals onsite?

37. Will I be the only wedding on-site?

38. Do you have any noise restrictions?

39. Is parking complimentary? If not, how much is valet? Where is the closest public parking?

40. How many bathrooms are there? Are there any special amenities provided in the bathrooms?

41. What are the closest hotels?

42. Is this venue wheelchair accessible?

43. Do you allow rideshares on the property? Is there a specific pickup spot?

44. Can you assist with setting up a shuttle for guests?

45. For non-hotel venues, what time does everyone need to leave the property by?

46. Can my vendors leave their items overnight or do they have to pick them up right after the wedding?

47. What is your recycling policy?

48. Are there any special rates I can offer my guests (hotels only)?

49. Can you provide a post-wedding brunch?

50. Are there any additional fees that I should be aware of?

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