The venue you choose for your wedding has a huge impact on your day, and in most cases really sets the tone for your day. Whether it’s a Barn, Manor House or outdoor space you’re looking at, there are some vital questions to ask your wedding venue before making your decision.
1. How many people can your venue facilitate?
This is a major factor in deciding a venue for a lot of people. If you have huge families and lots of friends, and are going to need to invite at least 120-150 people to the day, some venues won’t be able to accommodate all those people. Make sure this is one of the questions you ask when viewing and choosing your wedding venue!
2. Can I hire the venue for exclusive use?
Some larger wedding venues may have more than one wedding on a day, and if this is something you’re not keen on then make sure you ask about exclusivity. Or it may not be another wedding, but if it’s somewhere like a country club or hotel, there may be golfers or guests wandering around near your wedding.
3. Can I use outside caterers?
It might be really important to you that you have free rein over who caters for your wedding. For example, if you met while you were travelling in Thailand, and are wanting to have an evening buffet of Thai street food to revive those memories, some venues may not allow that! So it’s super essential that if choosing your own caterers is something that is important to you that you ask your venue before you book.
4. If I have to use your caterers, can you cater for vegetarians/vegans/food allergies?
It goes without saying, if you have a guests with dietary requirements you still have to feed them! Make sure that if you have to use the in-house caterers, they can do this. This is one of the most important questions to ask your wedding venue, as no-one wants hungry guests!
5. Is there somewhere we can get ready in the morning?
If your whole wedding day is in the same place, ceremony and reception, you may want to get ready there too, to avoid any travelling at all. I did this on my wedding day and it was great, I didn’t have to worry about traffic or cars breaking down. If your ceremony is an early one, say at 12pm, if you got ready at the venue then this will save you precious time in the morning and take some of the stress off you. Wedding mornings are hectic!
6. Do you have insurance?
This is a question you should be asking not only your venue, but all your suppliers. Should there be an issue or an injury caused by one of your suppliers, you want to know that they have insurance that will cover every eventuality. Make sure to ask this! (Ps yes I do have full insurance! 🙂 )
Also a side note on this one, make sure to book your own wedding insurance… I have heard too many stories of couples having the venue cancel on them because they’ve gone bankrupt or something such as that, so the couple have lost all their money. You can purchase wedding insurance from a number of companies, one of which being Wedsafe.
7. What is actually included in the package?
When you go to see venues, or look at photographs, they’re usually all fully set up ready to go for a wedding. Just double check with your venue what’s actually included… will your guests have glasses to drink out of and plates to eat off? In some venues you literally get the building and that’s it unless you pay extra, so make sure you work out what’s included for the price.
8. Can we use confetti?
I LOVE confetti. Like, it’s one of my favourite things ever. If you love it too make sure it’s allowed at your venue! Some are very strict and it’s a point blank no, others only allow certain types of biodegradable, dried petal confetti, and others have no rules. However, if your venue doesn’t allow confetti, don’t despair! I’ve written you a blog post showing you some great alternatives!
Also if you’re wanting sparklers or fireworks, make sure this is something your venue allows. As they are a fire hazard, some venues insurance won’t allow it and there no negotiations on that.
9. Will there be a co-ordinator who looks after us throughout?
It is so reassuring to know that the person you have been planning with and speaking to for months is actually going to be there on the day, making sure its all running smoothly and to plan. So ask your venue, do you have a dedicated coordinator and will that person be there on the day. On a wedding day, time can massively run away with you and having someone there in the know, organising everyone, can make all the difference in having a stress free wedding day!
10. Do we have to do any setting up or do the staff do it all for us? When can we start?
Some venues will do everything for you, from decor to place settings. Others insist you set up yourselves, so if this isn’t something which fits with your plans for your day then it’s something you need to know.
Also, find out when you can start setting up. Can you set up the day before? Or do they run back to back weddings and everything has to be done that morning?
11. Is there parking on site?
Obviously if you have guests travelling a bit of a distance to your wedding, it’s important that there is enough parking at your venue. You don’t want a load of disgruntled guests who are stressed because they couldn’t find somewhere to park!
12. Is there accommodation my guests can book?
As in the above point, people may be travelling a long way to your wedding. If they want to drink and really let their hair down, they may want to stay overnight. If they do, is there somewhere they can stay on site? Or another alternative is, if there isn’t anywhere at the venue, sometimes the venue will have a deal with a local hotel nearby where your guests get a discount. It’s worth asking!
So those are my absolutely essential questions to ask your wedding venue before you book… you don’t want to have paid deposits then find out they can’t or won’t do something you want!