Top 10 items to pay attention to when booking your wedding venue

Are you currently looking for the perfect wedding venue? Have you narrowed down your search but now it’s time to review the contract?  Do you feel like a fish out of water when reviewing the contract? What are you looking for?  What things are important to note?  Are there red flags or items that should be included in the contract?


Below are our top 10 items to pay attention to when booking your wedding venue!

  1. Payment due dates.

When are payments due? Is there a penalty for late payments? Is the pay schedule realistic to you?

  1. The Cancellation Policy.

What is the cancellation policy?  Is the deposit non- refundable?  Will you receive any money back if the wedding is called off or is there is an unexpected event like an earthquake or flood.

  1. Wedding Vendor Policy

Can you bring your own vendors?  Do you have to use the venue’s preferred vendors? Are there any fee’s or penalties for using your own vendors?

  1. Security Fee’s

Is there a security fee?  If so is this a standard cost included in booking the space or only applicable when serving alcohol or having a certain size guest list?  Does the cost increase as the guest list grows?

  1. Alcohol and Bar Policy

Can you bring in your own alcohol?  Does the venue provide alcohol?  Is there a corkage fee? This is very important as the alcohol cost can certainly add up in your wedding budget.

  1. The Hours you have access to the space. Including set up and take down.

When can you set up, what are the total event hours and how much time is allocated to break down? Is this realistic for the team you have in place to help you on wedding day. Do you need to consider bring in more help or staff?

  1. Decoration Policy

Can you staple, pin or tack things up on the venue’s property. Do they allow you to decorate?  Are there certain decorations you have to go through them like arch draping or lighting?

  1. Rehearsal Policy

Will you have access to the space for a one hour rehearsal? Many venues cannot guarantee this in advance so it is important to know in advance so you can come up with a reasonable back up plan in advance.

  1. Catering Policy

Does the venue provide the food?  Can you use a caterer of choice? Is it okay if grandma wants to do all the cooking?  Does the catering or food provider need to be fully licensed and insured? Is there a kitchen or food prep area onsite?

  1. And most importantly other than just the cost of the venue can you actually afford all the other wedding cost in addition to the venue expense.

Now that you understand the policies for alcohol and the bar or catering with those items being considered as a part of your budget can you realistically afford to have your wedding at this venue?


Cain Event Planning is a Full Service Wedding Planning company with packages for Wedding Planning, Day of Coordination, and Venue Searches. We maximize your budget and your experience to have a STRESS-FREE and FUN wedding that you’ll always remember!

To schedule your complimentary Wedding Planning Consultation click on the following link to our website or call 916-505-0990.
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About The Author

Rachelle Cain is the Owner of Cain Event Planning. Rachelle and her team plan weddings, wine tours, and corporate events throughout Northern California. Rachelle's favorite part of any event is seeing the client enjoying the moment and not having to be concerned with all the other elements of organizing the event. To get your FREE copy of Cain Event Planning’s 18 Point Reception Planning Checklist or to sign up for a complimentary event consultation visit

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