Wedding Planning & Tips

Groom dipping bride next to stone bridge with shower of sparks

Questions to Ask a Wedding Venue on Tour

Wondering what questions to ask a wedding venue before booking?  

Save time and frustration by taking this easy to use list of questions on your wedding venue tours.

Bride and Groom at the Pool

Rudy & Marta Photography

Ceremony Questions to Ask Your Wedding Venue

  1. What time does the ceremony start?
  2. How much time is allowed for setup?
  3. What is the weather backup?
  4. Where are the nearest restrooms?
  5. Where does the sun rise and set? 
  6. Are multiple ceremonies hosted each day?
  7. Is the ceremony space private or public?
  8. How many people can be seated in the space?
  9. Can flower petals and ceremony decor be brought in?
  10. Are pets allowed at the ceremony?

Plaza de la Fontana - wedding ceremony with floral archway

Kathy Thomas Photography

Cocktail Hour Questions

  1. Does the timeline include cocktail hour?
  2. Where is cocktail hour held?
  3. Who directs the guests to cocktail hour?
  4. What setup is included for cocktail hour?
  5. What is served during cocktail hour?

Terrace with white chairs and purple draped tables with fire pit wedding venue questions to ask

Victoria Angela Photography

Reception Questions to Ask your Wedding Venue

  1. What time can vendors start set-up in the reception space?
  2. How long do I have the reception space for? 
  3. Is there a charge for extended the time after that?
  4. Does the venue include chairs, tables and linen? What does it look like?
  5. Is the china, glassware and flatware provided? 
  6. Are there any restrictions of any type in this space?
  7. Where are the nearest restrooms?  How many stalls?
  8. What is the policy on setup, breakdown and cleanup? 
  9. Are there noise ordinances to be aware of? 
  10. What is the maximum number of guests that fit in the space comfortably?
  11. Is there a sample layout of the space with my estimated guest count?

All of the Wedding Guests at Same Sex Ballroom Wedding in Orlando

Heather Rice Photography

Questions to Ask about Food and Beverage

  1.  Do you have an in-house caterer?
  2.  Do you allow outside catering?  What is the fee?
  3.  Is there a food and beverage minimum?
  4. What are the current tax and service charge percentages?
  5. Is the culinary team able to accommodate food allergies and dietary restrictions?
  6. Do packages include a menu tasting prior to the wedding? 
  7. Is the bar included in the package?
  8. Is it unlimited or is there a cap set?  
  9. What brands are offered on the bar? Are there upgrade options?
  10. We have a favorite wine not on your menu. May we bring it?

Macaroon with wedding cake for venue tour

DR Photography

Wedding Day Preparation At Your Wedding Venue

  1. Is a ready room provided on wedding day?  What’s included? 
  2. What time is the ready room accessible?
  3. Are ready room menus available?
  4. Where is the nearest parking for guests?
  5. Is signage setup to direct guests from parking to ceremony and reception?

Bride and bridesmaids in leopard print pjs laughing while drinking champagne

J Photography by Jessi Caparella

Wedding Weekend Questions to Ask Your Wedding Venue

  1. Are guest accommodations available?  
  2. If no, where are the nearest hotels?
  3. If yes, is there a discount for booking a certain number of rooms?
  4. Can rehearsal dinner be hosted here?  
  5. What about a breakfast or brunch the following day?
  6. Are there any amenities or activities available to the wedding party or guests?
  7. Is there a place to go after the reception is finished to continue to party?

Two couples in spa robes

Heather Rice Photography

 

Questions about Wedding Vendors

  1. Are preferred vendors required or can we use our own?
  2. Do vendors require insurance?  
  3. Who will we work with throughout the planning process and on our wedding day?
  4. Does the space accommodate a DJ or a Live Band?
  5. Is there a special price for meals for vendors?

Audrey and Brad's elegant wedding reception at Mission Inn

Ashley McCormick Photography

 

Wedding Day Venue Decor Questions 

  1. Can we bring in decorations?
  2. If yes, who puts them out?
  3. Does the venue have decor that we can rent?
  4. Can we use candles, sparklers, confetti, and fireworks?
  5. Does the venue have access to heaters on cooler nights?  
  6. Does the venue allow fog or dry ice machines?

Groom dipping bride next to stone bridge with shower of sparks

William Arthur Photography

Wedding Venue Photo & Video Questions 

  1. Where can we take photos on wedding day?
  2. If photo locations are far apart, how do we get to them?
  3. Will other couples be taking photos in the same spot on my wedding day?
  4. Am I able to get back into my ready room to retouch hair and makeup if necessary?
  5. Can we take engagement photos here?
  6. If yes, is there a charge?
  7. Does the venue allow for drone photography?  
  8. Is there anywhere on property that we cannot go for photos?
  9. What about video, any restrictions?

Bride and groom on outdoor staircase at night with dramatic lighting Questions to Ask Your Wedding Venue

Cricket’s Photography

Questions Before You Book Your Wedding Venue

  1. Is my preferred date and space available? 
  2. What are alternative options?
  3. Are there dates that offer discounts?
  4. What deposit is required to book? 
  5. Is the deposit refundable?
  6. When’s the remaining balance due?  
  7. What’s the cancellation policy? 
  8. Is the timeline and guest count flexible after contract signing?  
  9. Am I guaranteed the space that I was shown today or is my space subject to change? 
  10. Are there any construction projects scheduled that could impact my wedding?
  11. When are my final guest counts due to the venue?
  12. What if my final guest count is much lower or higher than contracted?

Bride and groom kissing on boat at Marina del Rey

Jennifer Werneth Photography

 

Curious how the Mission Inn Wedding Team would answer some of these questions?

Check out our FAQ Page.

Mission Inn Orlando Questions to Ask Your Wedding Venue

Ready to see Mission Inn?

  Click here to easily book a tour online!

 

 

Bridal Party in Hotel Room of Wedding Hotel Room Block

All About a Wedding Hotel Room Block

Hotel Room Block for your wedding?  If you’re confused right now, you’re not alone.  Couples reach out to us almost every day with questions about their wedding hotel room block. This got us thinking, how can we help?  Let’s try to break it down a bit and answer some frequently asked questions.

 

Kristen Weaver Orlando Wedding Photographer Bride with Flower Girl

Wedding Photo by:  Kristen Weaver Photography

What is a hotel room block?

A wedding hotel room block is an agreement with the hotel to secure a certain number of guestrooms for your guests.  Many hotels, including Mission Inn Resort, require that you agree to a minimum of ten rooms on wedding night.

Bride and Groom in a hotel bed on wedding weekend

Wedding Photo by: Heather Rice Photography

Why get a hotel room block?

By creating a hotel room block, you are ensuring that your guests have a place to stay while enjoying one of the most important weekends of your life.  Creating a hotel room block also locks in great rates!  Wedding hotel room blocks cost less than retail price by up to $50 per night.  That’s a huge savings for your friends and family!

Bride and bridesmaids in leopard print pjs laughing while drinking champagne

Wedding Photo by:  J Photography by Jessi Caparella

How many hotel rooms do I block?

There is no simple answer to this question but here are some simple steps to get close:

Step 1 – Total Wedding Guests – This is how many rooms you would need if every guest stayed in their own room.

Step 2- Divide in Half – A large majority of your wedding guests will likely be in pairs.  Assuming that all guests are couples, divide your guest list in half.  You’re getting closer.

Step 3 – Analyzing the Guest List – What guests are coming in from out-of-town?  Who has more than a one hour drive?  These are guests that you’ll want to consider.  Are you having an open bar for most of the night?

Including a guest room column in your guest list tracker can make room block decisions a lot easier.

Here’s an example:

Sample Wedding Room Block Guest Tracker

What does a hotel room block cost me?

When planning for your big day, the last thing that you want is another cost.  With most hotels and depending on the number of guestrooms you are holding, there is no upfront cost.  Your guests can just call in and use their own credit cards to book the rooms that you are holding for them.

Bride and bridesmaids having pillow fight in ready room

What is attrition?

It sounds scarier than it really is but attrition is something you want to understand and pay attention to.  First, remember that every hotel has different attrition policies for wedding room blocks.  Be sure to ask what your hotel’s attrition policy is.

Attrition refers to the percentage of rooms that must be filled by your guests in order to avoid paying a penalty.  Mission Inn Resort Weddings agreements have 80% attrition.  For example, let’s say you make a block of 10 rooms at Mission Inn Resort for your wedding.  However, only 7 rooms are booked by your guests.  You would owe the price of one room.

Bride opening champagne bottle while bridesmaids hold flutes

Wedding Photo by:  Kathy Thomas Photography

What if I don’t get a block or I don’t book enough rooms?

The first bummer about not getting a room block is that you and your guests do not qualify for that great discounted rate.  This means friends and family will be paying premium price for a hotel room for your wedding.  Even if you add a room block later on in the planning process, there is a good chance that the first rate quoted is not available and has gone up.

You also take a huge risk when not booking enough hotel rooms for your guests that the hotel simply will not have any more rooms left.  Hotels only have a limited number of guest rooms, once all of those rooms are booked; there is no way that the hotel can add more.  (At least it’s very unlikely, unless they have a renovation in the works)  No one wants to tell their grandmother that she will have to travel a long distance to the wedding because they did not secure her a hotel room.  Trust us!

Groomsmen in a hotel room block in Orlando

Wedding Photo by:  Rudy & Marta Photography

Your wedding room block can be the start of planning an amazing and fun wedding weekend.  By securing guestrooms for your wedding day, you can ensure that you and your friends and family all have a stress free wedding weekend experience.

KMD Orlando Wedding Photgrapher Bridal Party Celebrating their Wedding Room Block