What to Ask a Long Island Wedding Venue
Your soon-to-be spouse has finally popped the question, and the only thing that’s left before you can celebrate your first anniversary as a married couple is the big day itself. No matter what kinds of flowers or music you want, choosing the wedding venue in Long Island or New York is the single most important decision you’ll have to make. Pick the right one and it’ll help ensure the day is that much closer to perfect, but rush through the process and you could end up throwing money away and regretting where you celebrate. Here’s your guide on the questions you need to be asking when checking out wedding venues.
Category 1: Type of Venue
Some venues, like churches, are obvious in what they do: host weddings and perform mass. But other venues, like reception halls in NYC, may be a bit more ambiguous because they tend to host whatever they’re paid for. When you visit, ask these questions:
- 1. How many events do you host each day? How many will be hosted on my wedding day?
- 2. If you’re at a country club in Long Island — Do I have to be a member in order to host my wedding here?
- 3. Do you have your own décor and vendors that you use for events, or would I have to provide my own?
- 4. Are there any restrictions as to the extra decorations/wedding pieces that your venue doesn’t allow? (e.g. At museums, open flames — such as candles — may not be allowed).
- 5. Who’s in charge of decorating and taking everything down?
Category 2: Size of Venue
If you’re still in the searching for the right Long Island banquet hall, you likely don’t have a firm guest list in place, only an idea of how many people you’re going to invite. And while you don’t yet need an exact figure, you’ll help your cause a lot more if you can estimate it as closely as possible. It’s not just because the venue wants to dictate your guest list, but because they have to abide by fire code regulations.
- 1. How many people are allowed in the space I’m interested in?
- 2. Is there an absolute cut-off to this figure, or do I have a bit of wiggle room?
- 3. What kind of parking allowances do you have? Do you have a spillover parking lot, or a shuttle service?
- 4. Is there room for a coat check service, and do you provide that?
- 5. Is there room to accommodate a live band, or should I look at a DJ?
- 6. Is your venue wheelchair or handicap accessible?
Category 3: Food and Beverage
No wedding is complete without the reception meal, that point in the day when all of your guests can mingle and keep celebrating your wedding. And while you still have plenty of time to decide what exactly you’ll be serving, there are a few things you need to figure out beforehand when narrowing down your list of venues.
- 1. Are you licensed for alcohol? If so, do you provide it or should I bring my own? And if I bring my own, is there a corking fee?
- 2. Is your food and wine tasting complimentary, and how many people are allowed to attend?
- 3. Does the fee include waitstaff and bartenders, or is that extra?
- 4. How do you cater toward special dietary needs or health restrictions?
- 5. Do you provide all the meal extras, like linen tablecloths, utensils, etc., or is that something I’d be responsible for with my own Long Island catering company?
Once you’ve got these three major categories covered, it’s also a really good idea to ask about payment schedules, ancillary fees, nearby accommodations, weather contingency plans, and insurance costs. It may seem like a lot to take on, but venues that specialize in weddings already know what to expect and can help you sort everything out easily.