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Top Questions Should Ask About Food and Drinks at Your Wedding Venue

Updated: Jul 9

Planning a wedding is no small feat, and one of the most critical aspects to consider is the food and drinks. Your choice of venue often dictates much of what you can and cannot do in this area. To help you make an informed decision, we've compiled answers to some of the most common questions couples ask about food and drinks at their wedding venue.

food and drinks for wedding venue

Does the venue offer in-house catering services?

One of the first questions about food and drinks you should ask is whether the venue offers in-house catering. Venues that provide in-house catering often simplify the planning process by offering a range of pre-set menus. This can be a huge time-saver and ensures that professionals familiar with the venue's kitchen will handle your food and drinks.

However, not all venues offer in-house catering. If your venue still needs to, ask if they have a preferred vendor list. This list often includes caterers who have previously worked at the venue and are familiar with its layout and policies. Reviewing this list can save you time and ensure you hire a caterer who knows the ropes.

Does the venue offer a kitchen if we decide to hire an external caterer?

If your venue doesn't provide in-house catering, you'll need to know the facilities available for your chosen caterer. Some venues have a fully equipped kitchen that outside caterers can use, while others may only offer a prep area. Knowing this upfront will help you and your caterer plan efficiently.

A fully-equipped kitchen can significantly impact the quality and timing of the food served. On the other hand, if the kitchen is minimal, your caterer may need to bring additional equipment or prepare some dishes offsite. Always discuss these details with the venue and your caterer to avoid any last-minute surprises.

Another Questions Should Ask About Food and Drinks is Which Meal Choices Are Offered?

Understanding your venue's meal options can make or break your guest experience. Ask about the types of meals available, whether buffets or seated dinners. Some venues may even offer unique options like food stations or family-style dining. Also, inquire about the number of courses included and the variety of desserts and late-night snacks available.

Knowing the price per guest for each option is crucial for budgeting. Ensure you get a detailed cost breakdown, including additional charges for extra courses or premium dishes. This information will help you decide the best meal plan that aligns with your budget and vision for the day.

Can You Cater to Dietary Restrictions?

Today's weddings often must accommodate various dietary restrictions and preferences, from vegan and gluten-free to nut allergies and religious dietary laws. Most professional caterers and venues understand this necessity and offer options to meet these needs. However, it's essential to confirm this well in advance.

Ask the venue how it handles dietary restrictions and if it can provide customized meals for guests with special needs. Ensure it takes these requests seriously and has procedures to avoid cross-contamination. This attention to detail will make all your guests feel included and cared for.

Is It Necessary to Utilize the In-House Vendor for Our Cake?

The wedding cake is often a centerpiece for the reception in terms of look and taste. Some venues have in-house bakeries or preferred cake vendors you may be required to use. These vendors are typically familiar with the venue's setup, which can make things easier on your big day.

However, if you have a favorite bakery or a friend who wants to bake your cake, ask if the venue allows outside vendors. Some venues are flexible, while others are strict. Understanding the policy beforehand can save you from potential disappointment.

Does the Venue Charge a Fee for Cake Cutting?

Many venues charge a cake-cutting fee if you bring an outside cake vendor. This fee covers the staff's time to cut and serve the cake to your guests. Some venues might waive this fee if you cut the cake or use their in-house bakery services.

Ask about the cake-cutting fee and if there are any conditions under which it could be waived. Knowing this in advance helps you budget accordingly and decide whether to have your cake cut and served by professionals or do it yourself.

wedding cake cutting with the newlyweds

Does the Food Tasting come as part of the package?

Food tastings are a great way to ensure you're happy with the menu before the big day. Some venues include a complimentary tasting in their packages, while others may charge an additional fee for this service. Knowing whether a tasting is included can help you plan your budget and menu selections more effectively.

If a food tasting costs extra, ask about the fee and what it includes. Often, you're allowed to taste a selection of dishes to finalize your choices. This step is invaluable in ensuring the food meets your expectations and satisfies your guests.

Is it necessary for us to meet a minimum requirement for food and beverages?

Many venues have a food and beverage minimum that you must meet. This minimum is the least amount you must spend on food and drinks. Understanding this requirement is crucial for budgeting, as failing to meet the minimum could result in additional charges.

Ask about the minimum food and beverage and what it includes. Ensure you understand any additional taxes and service charges that will be added to your bill. This knowledge will help you plan your menu and drinks to meet the minimum without going overboard.

Do You Have an Alcohol License?

Serving alcohol at your wedding can be a significant part of the celebration. Some venues have alcohol licenses, allowing them to provide a full bar service. If your venue has a license, ask about the types of alcohol they offer and the cost.

If the venue doesn't have an alcohol license, you must bring in an outside vendor. Ensure you understand any restrictions or requirements, such as hiring licensed bartenders or securing permits. This information will help you plan your bar service smoothly.

Can a full bar be provided?

A full bar can be a hit at any wedding, offering a variety of drinks to suit everyone's tastes. Ask the venue if they provide a full bar and what types of alcohol are included. Some venues offer packages that cover a wide range of spirits, wines, and beers.

Understanding the cost and what is included in a complete bar package will help you decide if it's the right choice for your wedding. Also, inquire about any limitations or additional charges for premium brands or specialty cocktails.

How much does an Open Bar cost?

An open bar can be a generous offering for your guests but also one of the most significant expenses. Ask the venue about the cost of an open bar and if there's a minimum charge. Understanding these details can help you decide whether to go for an open bar or consider alternatives like a cash bar or drink tickets.

If the venue has a minimum charge for an open bar, ensure you understand what it includes and any additional costs for exceeding the minimum. This information will help you plan your budget and ensure your guests have a great time.

Can We Pre-stock the Bar?

If you have specific preferences for the alcohol served at your wedding, ask if you can pre-stock the bar with your wine, beer, champagne, or hard liquor. Some venues allow this but may charge a corkage fee for each bottle opened.

Understanding the corkage fee and any other associated costs will help you decide whether pre-stocking the bar is cost-effective. This way, you can ensure your favorite drinks are available without breaking the bank.

Are Essential Items Provided by the Venue?

When planning your reception, it's essential to know what the venue provides in terms of tables, chairs, linens, dishware, silverware, and glassware. Some venues include these items in their packages, while others require you to rent them separately.

Understanding what is provided and what you need to arrange will help you avoid last-minute surprises and additional costs. Ensure you clearly understand these details to plan your setup accordingly.

How Many Wait Staff Will Be Present?

The number of wait staff at your wedding can significantly impact the service quality and overall guest experience. Ask the venue how many wait staff will be working for a wedding of your size. Understanding this will help you gauge the level of service to expect.

Adequate staffing ensures that meals are served promptly, drinks are refilled, and any issues are addressed quickly. Ensure you discuss your expectations with the venue to ensure they can meet your needs.

Are There Any Extra Fees?

Finally, it's crucial to ask about any additional food or alcohol-related charges you should be aware of. These could include bar staffing fees, overtime charges, or special setup fees. Understanding these costs upfront will help you plan your budget more accurately.

Ensure you have a detailed breakdown of all potential charges to avoid surprises on your final bill. This way, you can enjoy your wedding day without worrying about unexpected expenses.

Navigating your wedding venue's food and drink options can be complex, but asking the right questions can make the process much smoother. By understanding the venue's policies on catering, alcohol, and additional charges, you can make informed decisions that align with your vision and budget.

Remember, communication with your venue and vendors is indispensable. Don't hesitate to ask for clarification on any points you're unsure about. Your wedding day should be a joyous occasion; being well-prepared will ensure it goes off without a hitch.

For personalized advice and assistance in planning your wedding, consider booking a free consultation with Ever's Wedding and Events, Certified Wedding Planner, Spokane Washington are here to help if you have any questions.

There are 5 more ultimate guide questions should ask wedding venue owner/manager. Please check out the following :

Does food tasting come as part of the package?

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