Thursday, December 8, 2016

32 Questions to Ask an Event Venue Before You Book

Choosing the perfect venue for your special event can be a daunting task. There’s so much to consider and keep track of that it can get very overwhelming.

Whether you’re planning a wedding, gala, fundraiser, or corporate event, it’s important to know exactly what to ask when you visit a venue. That’s why we took the time to create a list of questions you should ask any event venue before you book it for your special day.

The Date

  • Is the space available on your desired date?
  • Is there a discount for booking during a certain time of year or season?
  • Is there a price difference for booking during the busy season vs. the off-season?

Set Up/Logistics

  • How many hours do you have the venue for in total? How many hours early can you get there for set up? How long do you have to clean up after the event? Can you pay for additional hours?
  • Can things be shipped or dropped off at the venue prior to the event?
  • What furniture/equipment comes with the venue?
  • What staff is included in the booking cost?
  • What kind of security is provided with the venue?
  • Who exactly will be managing your event? How much experience do they have?

The Cost

  • How much is the deposit? Is the deposit refundable?
  • What are the policies to book? Be sure you fully understand all of the terms and conditions for booking the venue before you make any decisions.
  • Are there hidden costs, such as service charges, gratuity, cleaning fees, or overtime charges?
  • What is the cancellation policy?
  • Do they offer certain packages?
  • What is included in the price? Is it strictly the venue, or are security, set up, etc included?
  • What forms of payment are acceptable and is there a payment schedule?


  • Is the venue big enough to accommodate your number of guests?
  • Are there spaces for all of the activities you have planned? For example, if you’re interested in having a separate cocktail hour, a stage, or space for dancing, it’s important to be sure the venue can accommodate.
  • Is the venue located in a convenient location for all attending?
  • Is there enough parking for guests?
  • Is public transportation near the venue or easy to access?
  • Will the decor of the venue match with your desired event decor and design?
  • Does the event space have the right acoustics and is it wired for AV equipment? Are there volume restrictions?
  • Are there any restrictions? Such as decorations, outside vendors, alcohol minimums, etc.
  • If your event is a wedding, are there other rooms available for the bride and groom to get ready in prior to the event?
  • Is there a coat check?
  • Is the space wheelchair accessible?

Food & Drink

  • Do they allow you to use your own vendors, or must you use theirs? Is there an additional charge if you use outside vendors?
  • Do they have a liquor license?
  • Can you bring your own alcohol? If so, is there a charge to do this?
  • Are there food and drink minimums? What are they?
  • Is there a cake cutting fee?

The Murphy is a Chicago wedding venue that offers a historic setting, plenty of space, and gorgeous architecture. We’ve served as the setting for a number of weddings, nonprofit events, and corporate events over the years, and are dedicated to helping you create an event you and your guests will never forget.

For booking information and to learn more about our Chicago event space, contact The Murphy today!

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