Choosing your wedding venue will be one of the most exciting parts of planning your wedding, as this is when you start to feel like it’s really happening! Here are some top tips and questions to ask your potential wedding venues.
Dates and availability
This seems like it would be the obvious one to ask, however, many couples overlook this one and end up totally disappointed when they discover the available dates are not suitable for them. Ask wedding venues what dates they have available before getting your heart set on that one venue.
Price and VAT
Just as important as dates and availability. This is also one of the first things you need to be asking, what is the price of the wedding venue and is the price inclusive of VAT. You also need to be asking if there are any other extra costs to consider such as corkage, extra staff and service costs, cloakroom fee, extra costs for lighting, minimum headcount or charge per person etc. If your using a marquee you also need to ask if there are any extra charges such as generator hire costs.
Is the venue dry hire?
Many wedding venues can be hired on a dry hire basis which means your hiring the room only. All furniture, catering, crockery etc you will hire in yourself. This is perfect for the couple who wish to create a complete unique wedding style as you have a blank canvas to work with. If you want the venue to supply furniture, then be sure to ask them to show you what furniture they will use.
Is the venue exclusive?
Many wedding venues, especially hotels, have other guests using their facilities the same day/time as your wedding. Some hotels may even have other weddings on the same day as yours. If you are looking for a private function away from prying eyes of strangers, or you simply do not want to share your day with another bride, it’s worth asking if they offer exclusive hire. There are some venues such as country manors, that offer exclusive hire only. Although most venues should make it clear to you that they are not exclusive to your wedding, it’s a good idea to ask to be sure.
Reduced room rates
If your having your reception at a hotel its worth asking if they will do discount room rates for your guests. Larger hotels may offer this discount to all guests, smaller hotels may only offer the discount to family members.
Is there a curfew
You should ask how long you have the wedding venue for and if there is a set time ask if you are able to extend it. Many venues will have curfews and loud noise policies they have to follow, be sure to ask.
When can you set up?
Most wedding venues will allow you to set up on the morning of the wedding and some the day before. Make sure you have a set time, you will need to pass this information on to all vendors and suppliers to ensure they all know what time to be there to set up. It would be much easier for you if they set up at the same time, or you (or family member/friend) will be wasting a lot of your precious time meeting with your vendors and suppliers as they arrive at different times to set up.
Many wedding venues have certain restrictions. Art galleries, exhibition buildings etc. may have photography restrictions just like some churches. Some venues may also restrict the use of candles or confetti. Make sure to ask if there are any restrictions you should know about.
If you wish to book a DJ or a band to dance the night away, you will need to ask the wedding venue if they can accommodate this. They will need plenty of electric plugs and output for all the lighting and equipment.
Consider your guests, are there any disabled or elderly who may need special assistance? It’s important to factor this in and ensure there is adequate access and toileting facilities to accommodate guests with special requests.
Will there be a wedding venue coordinator available on the day of the wedding? If so, it’s a good idea to you use them to your full advantage. Ask if its possible to arrange a meeting with them a few days before to go over the fine details such as time schedule, set up times etc. Venue coordinators essentially work for the venue and can are restricted for the amount they can do for you but its always worth asking as some will go that extra mile.
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If you are planning your wedding and would like more tips and advice, sign up to our email marketing list where you will receive a FREE ‘wedding planning guide’. You will also be invited to join our private Facebook group The Juliet Lounge, for couples planning their wedding. Here you can get regular expert advice and share information with others planning their weddings.