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Finding Your Perfect Venue

Your venue sets the tone for your wedding. With so many amazing options in New Brunswick and beyond, here are the major things you should keep in mind when choosing a venue:

  • Does the venue align with your vision/aesthetic of your wedding? For example: winery, hotel, or art gallery all have different vibes. If you want an intimate wedding make sure the venue isn’t too big for your guest list and vice versa.
  • What is included in the venues package? Some venues don’t offer food or bar which means you have to find other vendors for that. 
  • What venue fits within your budget? 
  • Is the location easily accessible for everyone? Do you need extra transportation?

When booking a venue you should typically look at locking it down 12-18 months in advance, especially if it is a popular spot. Keep in mind venues that accommodate both the ceremony and reception are usually the most cost-efficient locations, however be prepared to drop some money because those venue packages are going to include a lot of features to complete your day. Just make sure the package you are offered financially makes sense.


So you fell in love with a spot, now what? Here is a list of detailed questions to go over with your venue to make sure that you are getting the best bang for your buck.


Basic Questions

  • Is there availability in the month of your choice?
  • How many people can the venue accommodate?
  • What is the rental fee and what is included with that?
  • How many hours does the rental include? What’s the curfew and is there an extra fee if a couple wants to party longer?
  • How much is the deposit? When is it due? Is it refundable?
  • What is the payment plan for the entire bill?
  • Does the venue have space for the ceremony? Is that at an extra cost? For example, if you are having it at a hotel and you want a ceremony outside, is that at an extra cost?
  • Are there accommodations for the bridal party to change or get ready?
  • Can we have a rehearsal dinner at the venue too? Is there an additional cost for that? Time allocated for rehearsal? For example: you may be permitted to have a quick run through of the ceremony but you may have to have the actual dinner at a near-by restaurant.
  • What is the cancellation policy? For example: if you need to cancel and it’s far enough in advance that the venue can rent it to someone else you should be able to receive some of the deposit back.
  • Is there a back up weather plan for outdoor ceremonies?
  • Is there liability insurance? 

Food & Drink Questions 

  • Is there a caterer provided with the package? Or do you have a list of preferred vendors?
  • If there is a catering service provided, is it still ok to use our own?
  • If we do hire an outside caterer, is there a kitchen available with fridge and stove?
  • Is there a food and beverage minimum?
  • Ask about a tax and service charge. Are they included with the price/package of the venue? 
  • Can we do a food testing prior?
  • Do you accommodate dietary restrictions?
  • Are tables, chairs, linens, silverware, glassware, napkins, etc. provided or do we need to bring them in?
  • Are you licensed to provide alcohol? If not, can we bring any? BYOB?
  • Is there a corkage fee?
  • Is there a cake cutting fee?
  • How does the bar work? Is there a minimum or maximum spend?
  • Are there any additional bar fees for staff?
  • Is the water potable or do we need to bring in our own drinking water? (This is normally only something to consider at barns and other rustic venues)


  • Can we move things around or do things have to stay put?
  • Does the venue have any of its own inventory? (Lights, vases, etc.)
  • Are there any hard lines when it comes to bringing things onto the property? For example: sparklers, fireworks, animals, food trucks, and any extra fun you may want to include.
  • Is there any signage that can direct guests or do we have to provide our own?
  • Can we hire out our own vendors and coordinators?
  • Can the venue accommodate a DJ or band?
  • Do you provide a coat check service?
  • What time can our vendors start setting up on the day of?


  • Is there a separate space for cocktail hour?
  • Is there a sound system and microphones for speeches? Or a projector for a slideshow?
  • Do you have any noise restrictions?
  • Is there parking on site for everyone? Is it complimentary?
  • Are cabs/Ubers easily accessible from the venue?
  • If we use a shuttle service, does this establishment work with a preferred company?
  • How many restrooms are on site?
  • Do you have any overnight accommodations? Do you provide a discount for booking a block of rooms or for the newlyweds?
  • Is the venue accessible for people with disabilities?

Make sure there is always a back-up plan. Whether the venue itself has an emergency or Mother Nature decides to throw you a curveball, having another plan will also keep your mind at ease as you lay awake at 3 AM checking off worst case scenarios. 


The bottom line here for picking that perfect venue is simple (even though it doesn’t seem like it and you and your fiancé(e) may drink several bottles of wine searching for one). If it feels right, then it's more than likely THE SPOT. Trust your instincts, ask your questions, and make sure everything aligns with your vision, budget, and guests.


Get someone to go over the venue contract with you, and cross all your t’s and dot all your i’s. EVERYTHING IS FINE and now the biggest step is done!