Here’s how to find the perfect setting for your big day

If you’re planning your big day, then choosing your perfect New Jersey wedding venue is epoch-making. That’s because your wedding venue sets the stage for everything that matters, from swapping your vows to dancing the night away. The right space should reflect your personal style, showcase your wedding theme, and create lasting memories for your guests. 

But before you book a wedding venue and sign on the dotted line, it’s essential to ask the right questions. This way, you can make sure you choose a venue that can make your dreams come true. To help you navigate this huge task, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of 30 key questions to ask before booking a New Jersey wedding venue. Here is what you need to find out before making your final choice.

Essential questions to ask New Jersey wedding venues

1. Exactly what do the rental fees include?

Make sure you understand what you’re paying for—and don’t be afraid to go super granular with this. Get a clear picture of the full cost breakdown, including every service included in the package. Go in deep about the full expense list, including any surprise fees. 

You want to make sure it all fits your budget like a glove, so don’t be shy about asking questions and request to review the contract thoroughly before signing.

2. Are any goodies included with the venue rental?

Let’s talk perks! As well as scanning the contract for any hidden or surprise fees, you also want to find out what extras come with booking the venue. From fancy furniture to mood-setting lighting and rocking sound systems, knowing what’s included helps you plan the ultimate party without any extra fuss or muss.

3. Is a wedding coordinator included in the package?

Feeling overwhelmed with all the wedding details? Don’t worry, some New Jersey venues come with their own superhero wedding planners too. From recommending the best vendors in NJ to helping you plan your menu, find how much help they’ll give you in bringing your dream day to life. Having a pro on your team means less stress and whole lot more fun.

4. What kind of outdoor spaces does the venue offer?

Venues surrounded by beautiful gardens and striking outdoors spaces can make all the difference to your wedding photos, as well as the overall guest experience. So don’t just think about the reception rooms, consider the added value of the surroundings, too.

5. Does the venue hold more than one wedding at a time?

Some venues will juggle more than one wedding at once. But if you want to be the center of attention and full focus on your big celebration (and why wouldn’t you?), then find out if the venue can offer a private wedding.

6. Is there a bridal suite for getting ready?

Time to get glam, but where’s the beauty station? Having a designated space for hair and makeup means you’ll be picture-perfect for your big day. So make sure there’s a spot nearby where you and your bridesmaid gal gang can primp and prep. 

Find out whether the venue offers a dedicated bridal suite or private area where you and your party can get glammed up, have a glass of fizz, and even shoot getting ready wedding photos. Plus you’ll need somewhere for dress changes, like your reception and going away outfits.

7. Are there any restrictions on vendors?

It’s essential to know if the venue has any rules about which vendors you can use. Some places have restrictions on vendors, while others are cool with you bringing in your own dream team. Knowing this upfront helps you plan your perfect New Jersey wedding without any surprises.

8. Is there an in-house catering service—and do they offer menu tastings?

Hungry for wedding cuisine details? Find out if the venue has its own catering service. Also learn how flexible they are with wedding menu choices—do they have a wide selection that you can shape around your theme? And ask if they offer a tasting menu, as that’s your chance to be a food critic and make sure their menu matches your unique preferences. Bon appétit!

9. What are the alcohol policies?

Ready to toast to your love? Before you pop the champagne, ask about the venue’s alcohol policies. Find out if they charge corkage fees, if you can bring your own booze, or if they have a rad in-house bar. Also find out if their bar team is able to whip up signature wedding cocktails that celebrate your theme. Chin-chin.

10. Are there any noise restrictions or curfews?

Planning to dance the night away? Before you crank up the tunes, make sure there aren’t any buzzkill noise restrictions or curfews. You want to boogie without interruption, so double-check to ensure your celebration can go on till the wee hours. Being in the know about noise ordinances ensures your celebration stays rocking without any unexpected interruptions. Let’s keep the party vibes going without any hiccups! 

11. What is the backup plan for bad weather?

While ideally you’d have gorgeous New Jersey sunshine for your big day; realistically, weather can be as unpredictable as your Uncle Joe’s dance moves. So make sure to chat about Plan B in case Mother Nature decides to crash your party. Whether it’s rain or shine, knowing there’s a backup plan will keep your day stress-free and sunny.

12. Is there ample parking available for guests and vendors?

Make sure guests can roll up to your big day hassle-free. Check out the parking situation—you don’t want Aunty Bella circling the block for hours. Ensuring there’s plenty of parking will keep everyone smiling from the moment they arrive.

Don’t forget to make sure your dream team experiences smooth sailing too. Check out the parking setup for your vendors—you want them to unload their gear hassle-free. Making sure they’ve got easy access means your big day will run like a well-oiled machine.

13. Are there any accommodations for guests traveling from out of town?

Gotta show some love to your out-of-town crew, right? See if the venue hooks them up with sweet deals on nearby hotels or offers on-site lodging. Making sure your guests have a cozy place to crash means they’ll party even harder on your big day.

14. Does the venue have liability insurance?

Safety first, right? Make sure the venue’s got your back with some solid liability insurance. It’s like a safety net for any unexpected mishaps during your big day. Knowing you’re covered means you can dance the night away, worry-free.

15. What is the cancellation policy?

Life happens and sometimes, a wrench can be thrown in our big plans. While it might not be something you want to think about, it’s always good to know the deal if you need to delay your wedding. Make sure you’re clear on the cancellation policy in case you need to reschedule your big day. Better safe than sorry!

16. Are there any décor restrictions or guidelines?

Your wedding is a time to let your creativity shine— but first, find out if the venue has any rules about decorations. Whether you’re dreaming of flickering lanterns or floral arches, make sure you’re free to deck the halls your way. After all, it’s your day to your own unique sparkle. And make sure you know about the venue’s clean-up policy for decorations—you want to feel reassured that they’ve got it all in hand.

17. Is it fully accessible for guests with disabilities?

Let’s make sure everyone can join the celebration. Check if the venue’s got ramps, elevators, special bathrooms, and other accommodations for guests with disabilities. Making sure everyone can access the party means spreading the love to all your favorite people.

18. What is the layout of the venue—and how is the seating arranged?

Does the venue reception space match your vision for your wedding floor plan? If you’ve got your heart set on a specific arrangement, make sure that you don’t have to compromise.

19. Is there onsite security provided during the event?

Safety first, party second! Find out if the venue’s got your back with some trusty security guards. Knowing your guests are safe and sound means you can relax and enjoy every moment of your special day.

20. Are there any restrictions on photography or videography?

Say cheese! Before striking a romantic pose, chat with the venue about their rules on snapping pics or filming videos. Make sure there aren’t any sneaky restrictions, so you can capture every treasured moment.

21. Is there a designated space for both the ceremony and reception?

Let’s set the stage for your big day! Find out if the venue has the perfect spots for saying “I do”, enjoying your meal, and then partying the night away. Make sure there is a seamless transition between ceremony and reception, so your day flows effortlessly.

22. Is the venue licensed for civil ceremonies?

Time to make it official. Double-check if the venue is all set to host a fully legal New Jersey wedding ceremony. Making sure they’ve got the green light means you can say “I do” without any worries about the paperwork. Let’s get ready to celebrate love in style! (Check out our ultimate guide to getting a New Jersey wedding license).

23. Are there any restrictions on music or entertainment?

Let’s get this party started! Make sure there aren’t any hiccups when it comes to your dance floor dreams. Checking the rules on music or entertainment ensures you can rock out to your favorite tunes all night long, no interruptions allowed.

24. How experienced is the team? 

How long has the venue been hosting weddings? The more long-standing a venue is, the more likely it is to be able to throw a smooth and seamless celebration. You want a team that knows New Jersey weddings inside-out.

25. Is there a designated smoking area for guests?

Time for a breath of fresh air! Make sure your guests who smoke have a cozy spot to puff away without causing (literal) alarm. Having designated areas for smoking means everyone can enjoy the celebration without certain guests feeling disgruntled. 

26. Are there any restrictions on the use of candles or open flames?

Got your heart set on an atmospheric candlelit wedding reception? Before ordering those romantic white pillar candles, check if the venue has any rules about flickering flames. Chatting about guidelines ensures you can create a cozy atmosphere without any fire safety worries. Time to light up the love!

27. What is the policy on children and pets?

Got little ones or furry friends coming along for your big day? Check the venue’s policy on age restrictions and animals. This ensures everyone—from tiny tots to playful pups—can join in on the fun. After all, if you’ve got your heart set on having your miniature poodle trotting down the aisle at your side, then you want to make sure that cute pooches are welcome. 

28. Does the venue have backup power generators?

You don’t want there to be any interruptions to your big day. So make sure the venue’s got your back with some trusty backup power generators. Being prepared for any power outages means your celebration can shine bright, no matter what.

29. Can the venue accommodate any special cultural or religious requirements?

Want to honor your heritage and traditions? Chat with the venue about any special customs or rituals you want to include in your big day. Make sure they’re on board to make your wedding celebration a beautiful reflection of your background and beliefs.

30. What is the policy on overtime charges?

Ready to keep the party going until that gorgeous New Jersey dawn? Just make sure you’re aware of any extra charges if you decide to extend the fun. Understanding the venue’s policy on overtime ensures there are no surprises when the clock strikes midnight. Let’s keep the celebration going!

Celebrate in your perfect venue

Choose the right wedding venue in New Jersey to ensure that you have the day of your dreams. By asking these 30 essential questions, you can rest assured that your chosen venue aligns with your vision, theme, and budget.

Remember to ask your loved ones for recommendations and trust your instincts when making your final decision. By making a considered choice, you’ll find the ideal setting to create cherished memories that will last a lifetime. And if you’re looking for an established award-winning venue with stunning surroundings and outstanding cuisine, then Il Tulipano ticks all of those boxes. Happy planning!

Ready for your dream New Jersey wedding?

Il Tulipano is a premier New Jersey wedding venue with a chandelier ballroom, Italian gardens, and romantic Tulip Terrace. Our recently revamped space in Cedar Grove has won multiple awards from Wedding Wire, plus has picked up praise from The Knot and New Jersey Bride. Book a tour with us today.

Want more wedding tips? Head over to our blog.