Venue-tour-checklistOne of the first decisions you will make on your wedding planning journey is where you will hold the ceremony and reception. While photographs and virtual tours are helpful, be sure to visit each wedding venue in person, visit with the staff, and ask all the important questions before signing on the dotted line. An open house is a great time to visit venue (ours is this weekend!) and ask many of these questions.

The Basics

First things first, make sure this venue is even an option for you before you spend time touring or falling in love with a location that isn’t available or not in your budget. You may even ask these questions over the phone before you book your tour.

  • Is my date or wedding month available?
  • How many weddings are booked each day?
  • How many people can the venue accommodate?
  • How long can I use the facilities?

Policies and Payment Plans

It may hard to remember the fine print when you are over-the-moon in love with the breathtaking ceremony site that fulfills everyone of your childhood dreams. However, you must know the details of the contract so you can stay within the guidelines and stay within your budget! Make sure you are clear on these questions before you sign on the dotted line.

  • What are the rates or packages available?  Are different days or times of year discounted?
  • Is there a deposit required?
  • Do you have a payment plan?
  • What additional costs are not included? (ie. service charges, gratuity, cleaning fees, or overtime charges)
  • What is the cancellation policy?

The Logistics

Be sure you know what is provided to you so you can begin making the rest of your plans. Don’t assume certain decor or furniture is available for your use. During your tour, certain items may be display only or set up for an upcoming event. Always ask.

  • Is there a ceremony site and a reception site?
  • Where can the bridal party get ready and are there limitations on that space?
  • What is your policy on vendors? Must I choose from your list or book anyone I choose?
  • Can I use non-professional vendors? (ie: can my Aunt Margaret make my cakes?)
  • When can my vendors arrive for setup?
  • Is there enough room for dancing? Full band? DJ?
  • What is provided with the location? (sound equipment, tables, chairs, furniture, etc)
  • Are there any noise restrictions?
  • Are there adequate bathroom facilities?
  • Is there a backup plan for rain or inclement weather?
  • Can we use candles? Are any decorations or furniture provided?
  • Can we hang decorations on the wall or from the ceiling? If so, how must they be attached?
  • Are there restrictions for the photographer or videographer in terms of flash usage? Are there places they can or cannot go? (Note: Some churches do not allow photographers inside the sanctuary or restrict them in how far they can get to the altar.)
  • How much time will my guests have to leave the venue after the event?
  • Who is responsible for setting up and tearing down the decor?
  • Is there a cleaning staff or are we responsible for clean up?
  • Are we allowed time to rehearse on-site? How long will we have to do that?
  • Is there guest room available on-site?
  • Are there hotel accommodations close by?
  • Does the venue carry liability insurance?
  • Is the site handicap accessible?
  • Is there parking? Is it free, valet, etc?

Food & Drinks

  • Is there an in-house caterer and do we have to use that caterer?
  • Is there a kitchen available to an outside caterer?
  • Can we serve alcohol and can we bring our own?
  • Do you have a liquor license or bar tending services available?
  • What is your pricing for alcohol?
  • Is there a food and beverage minimum and does alcohol count towards the minimum?
  • Is there a cake cutting fee? Do you provide utensils to cut and serve the cake?

Staff

  • Do you provide an onsite wedding planner? Will they be our point person on the day of our wedding?
  • Do you provide security?

Come Tour Ashelynn Manor

Ashelynn Manor is one of Houston’s top rated, full service wedding venues. We are centrally located to The Woodlands, Spring, Conroe, Cypress, Tomball, and the Greater Houston area!