Booking a venue is one of the biggest (and most satisfying) checks you can make on your micro wedding to-do list. Because let’s be real, just because you’re having a smaller wedding doesn’t make booking the venue any less important, or stressful for that matter.
Finding the perfect micro wedding venue takes just as much research as finding a traditional wedding venue, if not more. Venues that are appropriate for a micro wedding have specific elements that traditional venues may lack, which means there are unique questions you’ll find yourself wanting to ask as well.
To help out, we’ve compiled a list of 32 essential questions that you should be asking your potential micro wedding venue candidates.
1. Is this venue available for my dates?
Some venues only allow micro wedding to be held on weekdays or Sundays, so if you’re looking for a specific date, especially a Saturday, be sure that this is an option at your chosen venue before going forward.
2. Will mine be the only wedding on this date? Or do you book multiple weddings?
Unfortunately, some venues see micro weddings as an opportunity to book multiple weddings in one day. This is something you want to avoid if possible since it can make your event feel rushed and cause confusion among your guests. If your venue is not willing to make your wedding the only event of the day, considering finding one that will.
3. What experience do you have with micro weddings?
As micro wedding have soared in popularity, many venues have added micro wedding options to their packages. But, this doesn’t mean that they actually have experience hosting a micro wedding. Look for a venue that is well versed in micro weddings (sometimes they’ll refer to it as an ‘intimate wedding’). This type of venue knows the ins and outs of hosting a smaller wedding, and you will absolutely notice the difference in their ability to create a beautiful and intimate event, rather than one that feels like it has been cut down from a traditional wedding.
4. How many people does this venue generally accommodate?
You’re looking for a venue where your micro wedding feels at home. A venue that can accommodate up to 300+ people could make your event feel like it’s being dwarfed by the venue itself. While space is nice, you don’t want too much of it, making you feel like it either needs to be filled or just seems empty.
5. Do you have a space for us to get ready?
Smaller venues don’t always have separate rooms for couples to get ready in, so make sure you inquire about this ahead of time if getting ready at your venue is important to you.
6. Can I hold my ceremony and full reception here?
Another interesting thing we’ve seen with many venues is that they offer ‘micro weddings’ that turn out to be just time for the ceremony and a 30 minute toast reception. Make sure that your venue will accommodate both your ceremony (if you’re so inclined) as well as your FULL reception.
7. Do I get time the day before for rehearsal?
Don’t allow your venue to skimp on these details if you’re holding a micro wedding. If they offer rehearsal time in their traditional wedding packages, then request it for yours as well (if needed).
8. What hours am I allowed to use the facility? Can I add extra time?
One thing that we’ve noticed at many venues is the assumption that a micro wedding only needs 1-2 hours total. Most micro weddings include all of the traditional elements of a wedding, meaning they usually require the standard 6+ hours. Be sure that your venue understands that less people in attendance doesn’t necessarily equate to less time needed.
9. What parking options are available?
Having a micro wedding opens up the options for some seriously unique venues, but be sure that your guests will actually be able to get there and park. Some smaller venues have incredibly limited parking options (especially within a large city), so if you decide to go with those, discuss parking ahead of time and encourage guests to carpool.
10. What is your backup weather plan?
Since many venues have a very specific space designated for micro weddings, make sure they have a backup space ready in case of inclement weather. This is especially true if your ceremony and reception are to be held outside, or even partially outside.
11. Do you have space for a cocktail hour?
Some venues only offer a singular room to be used for their micro wedding packages. Explain to your desired venue that you’d like to have all of the traditional elements of a wedding, including a cocktail hour while you and your spouse take photos. Ensure that they have designated spaces for all parts of your wedding, rather than limiting you to one.
12. How many restrooms are there? Where are they located?
Less people doesn’t negate the need for ample restrooms – don’t let your venue tell you otherwise! If you have elderly guests or those who may be living with a disability, be sure that the available bathrooms are on ground level and easily accessible.
13. Do you have ample outlets available?
Smaller spaces often have less outlets, which can affect both your caterers and DJ/band. Be sure to inquire about how many are available and where they’re placed.
14. When can set up for my event begin?
Be weary of micro wedding packages that only allow for actual event time (these usually allot 2-4 hours total). If you plan to have catering and decor, as many micro weddings do, you’ll be incredibly pressed for time. Instead, look for a venue that allows ample time for set up, ceremony, event time, and breakdown.
15. Is there heat/AC in this venue?
16. What is the cost of renting out this venue?
Some venues offer specific micro wedding packages, while others will give you the option to customize your wedding experience. Because of this, prices can wary widely from what you see on their site, so make sure you ask for prices specific to your wedding.
17. What is the payment schedule and deposit?
18. Are there any additional fees?
Many venues impose tax, service, and gratuity fees that are not outline in their initial pricing, so be sure to ask for specifics, especially if you’re inquiring about a micro wedding package they offer.
19. Is my payment refundable?
We’ve seen all kinds of refund policies, from gracious to incredibly strict, so inquire specifically about your micro wedding since they may have a separate policy for intimate weddings.
20. What do I get with my rental fee?
Some venues have been slower to realize that most micro wedding couples want the full wedding experience, which means that the micro wedding rental fee generally includes the bare minimum. Be sure to express your desire for the complete experience, and see if they’re willing to work to provide that.
21. Do I need to pay for added insurance?
Don’t blow of wedding insurance because you’re having a micro wedding. Unexpected events are just as likely to happen with a smaller crowd as they are with a big one, and it’s best to cover yourself regardless.
22. Do you have packages available?
More and more venues have begun offering micro wedding packages, but these vary wildly between venues in pricing and inclusions. If a package isn’t listed on their website, don’t be afraid to ask personally, since many venues are willing to put together custom packages for their clients.
23. Do you have an all inclusive option?
All inclusive options can be absolutely magical, since they take the majority of the planning and coordinating stress off of your plate. However, be sure to ask for a complete description of what their package includes. We’ve seen ‘all inclusive’ packages that are ceremony time, Champagne for toasting, and a small cake, so the label can be a bit misleading.
24. Do you have a list of required caterers? If so, are these caterers experienced with micro wedding or smaller events?
Many venues have a list of preferred or required caterers, which can be great for planning purposes, but can pose a problem is these caterers are only accustomed to doing large events. Do a little research on the required caterers, and if they don’t seem like a good fit, the venue might not be either.
25.Do you have an onsite kitchen?
If you’ve chosen your own caterer, make sure that your venue provides ample kitchen space for them to prep and serve food. Some smaller or more niche venues don’t have kitchen space, which could make it more difficult for your caterer to prep food onsite.
26. Do you provide the tables, linens, chairs, plates, silverware, and glassware? If not, do you have a preferred equipment vendor?
Many micro wedding couples find it can be cheaper to purchase or borrow dish ware and linens second hand, especially from couples who are selling their own wedding decor and pieces. However, not all venues allow you to bring your own, so check and see if a vendor is required here.
27. Can we bring our own alcohol? If not, do you have a preferred vendor for liquor?
Bringing your own alcohol can be a great way to save money on your micro wedding. It can also be a nice option if you’re only planning to serve a handful of guests, since many beverage companies have minimum spends that would be far beyond what you require for your micro wedding. However, it’s crucial to ask this question beforehand because venues generally have strict policies around liquor, and some don’t allow it to be served at all (or only allow beer and wine).
28. Am I required to hire bar staff?
This will vary between venues, and they should be taking your guest count into consideration. If you’re leaning on the smaller side of a micro wedding (20ish people) then you should only need minimal staffing, if any at all.
29. What kind of aesthetic features does the venue already have?
This can help immensely when it comes to how much decor you do or don’t need. Does the venue have lush greenery? Vintage furniture? Overhead string lights? Take these factors into consideration for both budget and look.
30. Can we bring our own decor?
Hosting a micro wedding in a smaller space gives you the unique opportunity to truly transform the space to fit your vision. However, not all venues are onboard with total transformations, so make sure you okay bringing your own decor ahead of time to avoid any issues.
31. Do you require a wedding coordinator?
While some venues require a day of wedding coordinator for large weddings, they may change this if you’re wedding is below 50 people.
32. Do you have space for a DJ or live band?
Since some venues allot a smaller space (like a veranda, large balcony, or smaller banquet room) for micro weddings, make sure you ask specifically if there’s enough room to host a DJ or live band if that’s something you’re interested in.