As a multi-award-winning wedding planner, I know that looking for your dream wedding venue is one of the most fun aspects of planning your wedding. However, it’s very easy to get wrapped up in the romance of a venue and forgetting the common questions and details can happen easily!
So here are just a few questions to ask your wedding venue before you sign on the dotted line!
Wedding Venue Questions
Firstly, have you decided on the main aspects of the venue? What would your dream venue look like? Outdoors or indoors? Open spaces, remote locations, informal or formal?
Before you start looking at potential venues, write a list of what you are looking for. Then you can start asking the nitty-gritty questions.
Onto the questions…
Wedding venue question 1 – Can the wedding venue accommodate the number of guests you require?
You want to make sure the venue can fit all your guests, but at the same time, the venue isn’t too big, which could risk too many empty spaces. Find out the maximum number of guests you are allowed. This will also help when setting your budget.
Does the venue require Wedding Insurance?
Some venues will require this, so it’s essential to ask this upfront to ensure you have the right coverage for your big day!
Does the venue offer accommodation?
Most likely, you will have family and guests who have had to travel, which means they will require overnight accommodation. Can the venue accommodate this? Is there a discount for multiple room bookings? Do they allow room blocks?
Can you use your own suppliers, or is it in-house suppliers only?
If you have your heart set on a specific caterer, it’s essential to check that the venue allows caterers + suppliers outside their preferred list. You will also want to ask if there is an additional cost to use your own suppliers and find out when suppliers can gain access to the venue and when they need to be cleared out.
In-house catering – What is their catering policy? Do they offer menu tastings? Is there a food and beverage minimum?
All fundamental questions to ask! Especially if the venue only allows in-house catering.
Is there a separate bar package?
Is alcohol included in the price? What is the cost per head? Is an open bar a possibility? Knowing their specific bar/alcohol requirements is very important. It helps you plan for alcohol expenses and lets your guests know if it’s a cash or open bar.
Are rentals included, or is that extra?
What specific rentals are included and come with the venue? Chairs/tables? For the caterer, linens, crockery and cutlery? Always ask for any hidden fees that can push up the price. For example, there may be an additional cost if you wish to use a fancier crockery range.
Are there any decorations restrictions?
This often relates to open flame candles, confetti, sparklers. Much of this will relate to health and safety + environmental laws, so it’s always important to check. It may mean you need to compromise LED candles and biodegradable confetti.
What does parking look like?
Is there parking at the venue? It is limited to those who are staying overnight? Is there any parking local to the venue?
Are there any other fees we may not have covered?
Don’t forget to directly ask the venue if there are any fees you may not have covered. They will always be open and honest.
Does the venue have outdoor music rules?
If the venue has neighbours, it will most likely have a noise restriction and cut off time. So it’s always worth checking. In addition, the venue may have the option to add a late license for an additional cost.
Is there a rain backup plan in place?
If the venue is outdoors, is there a contingency plan if it rains? Of course, we don’t want to jinx it, but English weather is unpredictable after all!
Finally, finances. How much is the deposit? When is the deposit and balance due? What is the cancellation policy? Is it refundable? But also, are there different rates for different days of the week?
Some of these questions will seem basic and obvious, but others not so much. It may also prompt your thought process, with other questions coming to mind. So do some brainstorming and make sure to write everything down! Each venue will have different rules and requirements, but you needn’t feel like you need to settle. At the end of the day, you are the one investing a lot into your special day! Happy Hunting!
As an award-winning wedding planner, I plan amazing weddings across London and the East of England, including Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridge and Essex. As a truly independent wedding planner, I am not tied to using particular venues or suppliers, which means you get to pick from the best of the best! I don’t accept commission or referral fees from wedding venues or suppliers either, so you can always be sure that my recommendations are made with your very best interests at heart.
If you’re thinking of hiring a wedding planner and would like to chat through the ideas and plans for your big day, why not get in touch to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation? I‘d love to hear from you!