Choosing your wedding venue is possibly the most exciting part of wedding planning as a couple but it is also probably the most important, so it is essential that you ask all of the right questions before making your final decision.
For those who are planning a wedding for the first time, there are many questions that you possibly wouldn’t think of which can cause issues further down the line.
That’s why we have pulled together 10 essential questions to ask all of the wedding venues you visit before making your booking.
Photo Credit - Adam Lowndes Photography
1. How many guests can the venue hold?
Wedding venues come in all different shapes and sizes meaning they all have different guest capacities. It is a good idea to make a rough guest list for both the day and night of your wedding and ensure that the venues you are looking at can accommodate these numbers.
2. Can I hold my civil ceremony at the venue?
Whilst many people opt for a traditional church ceremony, civil ceremonies are becoming more and more popular, especially with people who wish to remain at the same venue for the duration of the day. If this is something you would like to do, ensure that your chosen wedding venue is licensed to offer this and also take a look at the space where you will say ‘I do’ to ensure it is as magical as you hope.
3. Can we dress the venue ourselves?
In recent years couples have become more and more keen on putting their own stamp on their big day by decorating the venue to their own taste and even hand-making much of the décor. However, you will need to run this by your chosen venue as some do have restrictive rules around this and you may be limited to the venues own décor and venue dressing services.
4. What are the catering options?
Every venue has different options and rules around catering. Some have in-house caterers which you must use, some have a selection of catering options and some allow external caterers. Before booking your venue it is important to look into each venue’s options and also browse the available menus and prices so that there are no nasty surprises later down the line.
5. Is there a room for the bridal party to get ready in the morning?
Whilst it is traditional for the bride to get ready at her family home and travel to the venue with her father, mother or bridesmaids, this isn’t always the ideal situation. Homes can be a cramped and chaotic place for a full bridal party to get ready and traffic concerns can add unwanted stress. Ask your potential venues if they have an area where you can get ready on the morning of your wedding and ensure that it provides the space and calming environment you need.
6. Will somebody be on hand to ensure the day runs smoothly?
A lot of planning goes into every wedding and it would be a shame for those plans to go to pot on your big day. However, you don’t want the stress of organising and time keeping on your big day so it is always beneficial to ensure that there will be somebody at your chosen venue to keep the day running smoothly and according to plan.
7. Can we have live entertainment?
If you are hoping to hire a band or DJ for your evening wedding reception, ensure that the venue has a suitable area for them to set up and perform along with all of the power sockets and equipment which may be required. You also need to ensure that the venue has all of the required licences for entertainment. Sound and timing restrictions are handy to enquire about too, to ensure that your entertainment and venue are compatible.
8. What are the bar prices like?
Weddings are notorious for high bar prices and something that guests have come to expect and accept, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could give your guests a pleasant surprise by opting for a venue which doesn’t charge excessively for beverages.
9. What time does the day come to an end?
Whilst the average wedding reception comes to an end at around midnight, some venues may close a little earlier or stay open a little later depending on licencing. If this is something that is important to you then ensure that you find out the answer to this question before booking.
10. What is the deposit amount and when is the final balance due?
Finally, when you think you have found the venue which ticks all of your boxes it is essential to ask how much deposit you are required to put down to secure your date, when this is due and also when the final balance will be due. Ensure that this fits in with your budgeting and make a sound plan for saving to ensure that this is manageable.