Posted in: Wedding Venue

Essential Questions To Ask Your Wedding Venue

21st August 2013

Essential questions to ask your wedding venue. 

With so many wonderful wedding venues to choose from, finding the dream venue is one of the most important things on your to-do list, and the best way to find the perfect place for your wedding is to ask all the right questions. Here's an essential list of questions to ask your wedding venue before you commit to a booking, avoiding any surprises during your special day.

How many guests can it hold?
Size really does matter, you don't want a huge venue with not enough guests to create an atmosphere. Venues will have different numbers for sit down ceremonies, buffets, evening receptions and sit down meals, so if you're planning a wedding with the same amount of guests throughout the whole day, then people size is of utmost importance to you.

Do they have in-house catering, or can you hire your own ?
Feeding your guests will be one of the highest costs of your day, so if you think you've found an affordable wedding venue, only to find out you must use their expensive catering services your budget may get blown away. Ask if you need to hire tables, chairs, linens, plates, glassware, or is all of this provided in the cost of the venue?

Do they have a license to sell alcohol?
Arranging your own bar will be cheaper, but more work. If the venue has it's own bar, ask them for prices of their drinks. If you're looking to save some of your budget, would they allow you to bring your own champagne for toasts? If your chosen wedding venue doesn't have a license, do they charge a corkage fee instead? Also check what time the bar closes, and how the staff will be dressed. If all your guests are in their best clothes, you won't be impressed by a barman in jeans and scruffy t-shirt.

What about the entertainment ?
Resident DJ's may be easy to book, but are they going to provide the best quality entertainment for your special night ? If you have to find your own entertainment, ask about things like sound restrictions, power supplies and sound systems. You can find the best live band for your wedding, but if the venue has a low noise restriction to cut the power when they get too loud, it could ruin the party.

Does the wedding venue have an alternative area for photos if it's raining?
Some wedding venues in Essex have stunning gardens and grounds which make wonderful backdrops for your wedding photos, but what happens if it's pouring with rain ? You don't want to pay a small fortune for wedding venue hire and then find your photos need to be squashed in a corner of the venue because of the weather.

Is the venue used for our wedding exclusively ?
It's a personal choice, but some couples don't want to bump into another bride on the stairs when it's meant to be your special day. You could find yourself being rushed from the ceremony room if another couple have it booked after you.

What is the wedding venue's cancellation / postponement policy?
No one wants to imagine the worst case, but things do go wrong in life, and should a key member of the wedding party be taken ill at short notice, you may want to change the date of the wedding. If this happens, what will happen to your money ? It's also worth making sure you have your own wedding insurance to cover and unforseen problems.

Costs, does it include VAT, what is the deposit, when is the balance due?
Make sure you know what you're paying for, and when it has to be paid, Set up your wedding budget and stick to it, unforseen additional costs can be very upsetting and stressful.

What discounts are available?
Probably the best question to ask, especially if you've found a dream wedding venue whose headline price is just off your budget. Ask the venue if they can offer accomodation discounts, or whether they have lower rates for off-season or midweek wedding ceremonies. It's simple economics that a wedding venue should be cheaper to hire on a Tuesday in the winter compared with a Saturday in the summer. 

Most importantly, if you are planning on viewing more than one wedding venue, then write down all of the answers, and compare like-for-like when you get home. Each venue will offer something different, so it really comes down to personal choices and your wedding budget.