Checking off the boxes for those initial questions in your wedding venue search can be simple. Questions like: What does the space look like? Is my date available? What is your maximum capacity? What is the rental cost? 

Once you’ve have given the green light on these, it’s time to ask the more in depth questions you maybe haven’t thought of. 

We reached out to our good friend, Billy Dimopoulos, Event Coordinator at Pelee Island Winery at Kings Landing Catering to share his expertise with you.

Here are his top 5 questions to ask when looking for a wedding venue and before committing with a deposit (which will most likely be non-refundable).

1. Is the catering in-house or will I need to bring in an outside caterer? 

Your wedding day meal is one of the top details your guests will remember. Be diligent and be sure to do your research. If you’ve never tried the food from a venue or specific caterer, booking a food tasting is highly recommended. Most caterers will offer a complimentary tasting once a booking has been confirmed with a deposit or offer a tasting before a commitment has been made for a partial charge. 

When the venue doesn’t have an in-house caterer and you have to find your own. That’s another aspect you’ll have to consider in your wedding planning. You definitely don’t want to be left with a secured venue and date but no companies available to cater!

2. Can I bring in my own alcohol with a Special Occasion Permit? What is the charge for this? 

Getting to bring in your own alcohol offers you complete freedom in your alcohol choices (must be purchased following the guidelines of your Special Occasion Permit) and although will require some hands on labour at your local LCBO or Beer Store. It’s a great way to save money and stock your bar to your own tastes and preferences!

SOPs (Special Occasion Permits) range from $50 to $150 and may be obtained through through the AGCO (Alcohol and Gaming Commission Ontario).

3. Can I have my ceremony onsite? What happens if it rains?

A venue that has options for both your reception and ceremony creates a great flow for your wedding day. It’s also super convenient for you and your guests. If you are set on an outdoor ceremony or reception, be sure the venue has an indoor option or some sort of rainy day backup that you’re happy with. 

4. Can I use any vendors I wish or is there a preferred vendor list I have to stick to?

This could be a make or break situation for some couples who may have their hearts set on a specific decorator or DJ. You’ll want to make sure your dream list vendors are allowed into your wedding venue before putting down a deposit. 

5. Is there a Coordinator on staff? Who will be my main point of contact during the wedding planning?

You’ll want to make sure you’re comfortable with the venue’s coordinator. You’ll be spending hours working alongside them through emails, calls, texts and in-person over the coming months leading up to and including your wedding day. This person will also be the contact person for your vendors when scheduling set up and take down times. 

If the venue doesn’t have a coordinator on staff it’s best to hire a wedding planner to make the planning and wedding day go as smoothly as possible. 

And there you have it. Thanks Billy and Kings Landing Catering!

Kings Landing Catering is a family owned and operated company offering fully catered and smart serve staffed events. Established in late June of 2017 and although we are a new catering company, we are not new to the game. We have over 50 years of combined restaurant experience and a portfolio of private events. We are driven by our passion in this field to provide extraordinary guest experiences. It was this experience and passion that landed us the position of exclusive caterer to the beautiful Pelee Island Winery’s newest venue, the Banquet Room. 

All wedding photos featured here are courtesy of Nicole Vallance, photographer.

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