Do you know what questions to ask your wedding venue?
Choosing a wedding venue is one of the most exciting parts of wedding planning – you can actually start to imagine your big day!
Start your search with Bridebook’s state-of-the-art wedding venue search tool to easily search through the UK’s largest wedding venue directory by area, capacity, and style to find the perfect match for you. Once that bit is done, this piece is the perfect companion to take to all your visits to make sure you don’t miss a thing!
Here are the 21 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Venue…
1. Which dates are available on our chosen wedding month?
Weekends and Saturdays during Summer and Spring are the most popular choice for weddings and the dates can be booked up to a year in advance! Make sure you ask your venues as soon as you get in touch if the dates you were thinking of are available. It will avoid a lot of disappointment if you decide to pay them a visit and your dates aren’t free for you!
Send your favourite wedding venues an enquiry through Bridebook to get this question out of the way!
2. How many guests can this venue accommodate?
Your guest list will hugely influence the size of your venue and vice versa. For example, if your venue can accommodate 300 people, it won’t matter so much if a few of your 200 guests bring a plus one. If you are still figuring out your actual number of guests and their plus ones, our guest list tool could give you a hand!
Pro tip: If you search for wedding venues on Bridebook, you can start your search by entering the estimated number of guests you’re inviting, and we will only show you venues that can accommodate that number!
3. Would it be possible to have our wedding ceremony at this venue? Which rooms could we use for this purpose?
Having your ceremony and reception at the same location can be a HUGE money-saver, as you can use the same flowers and decorations and you won’t need transport! Not all venues can offer the option do have your ceremony and party in the same place, but you can find easily find out which ones do by looking into their profile on Bridebook!
For example, The Old Kent Barn, an outdoors barn wedding venue in Kent lets you have your ceremony outside! You just have to look out for the “Ceremony & Reception” option to see what’s included.
4. How long do we have the use of the venue for? Is there a set ending time? Can we extend?
Venues located in densely populated areas will often have a curfew and sound limitations, so you will want to know about this ahead of time in order to make contingency plans! Hotel wedding venues are likely to have restrictions, but if you go with a barn or manor house with exclusive use, you might be able to party until dawn! Just make sure you ask your wedding venue asap!
5. Will you be hosting any other weddings at the same time as ours?
If you are planning on having your wedding in a hotel, it is possible that there might be other weddings happening at the same time. While there isn’t much you can do about this, it is always better knowing ahead of time!
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6. What time would we be able to start setting up for the wedding?
The day before or early in the morning of the same day are the usual options for set-up, but you want to know the exact times so you can communicate these to your other vendors. This is also useful to know in case you have any of your ushers or bridesmaids helping you out with setting up! Make sure you don’t forget anything leading up to this moment by using your handy wedding checklist tool!
7. What are the guidelines for decorations?
Some venues will have limitations on the use of candles and confetti while others, like art galleries or museums, might have restrictions on flash photography. Make sure you’re fully aligned with the venue and your decorations team and you will avoid a lot of trouble! This will definitely help manage any wedding stress and anxiety you maybe have down the line…
8. Are the tablecloths, chairs, cutlery and glasses provided or do we need to rent our own? Can we have a look at the available choices?
A lot of venues will have a decoration and furniture package included in the total price. If you choose to get the tablecloths, napkins, etc that are provided by your venue, make sure to get this in writing, in case they decide to change their colour scheme and the final results clash with your wedding colours! If you’re still wondering how to chose your wedding colours, here’s a handy article!
9. Do you have a list of preferred caterers? Can we see sample menus?
Sometimes a venue will have caterers it recommends, other times a venue will have caterers you must use. Either way, ask to see a list of their favourites, it might be helpful for hiring someone who has worked at the venue before! If you are looking for caterers in the same area as your venue, you can use Bridebook wedding caterers search!
10. Can we bring our own alcohol? If so, what corkage do you charge?
Sometimes the corkage fees can be so much that it is cheaper to buy your venue’s drinks than providing your own. Some venues will also offer a toast of champagne for all your guests, a cup of tea etc. So it’s good to discuss what they offer, and how much it would cost for a corkage fee vs buying your own alcohol! If you don’t know how much alcohol you should buy, explore the secrets of wedding alcohol and save money by knowing what the best option is!
11. Do you have the option of a paid bar? Would there be a specific amount that would have to be reached before the end of the reception?
You may want your guests to pay for their own drinks on your Wedding Day (and why not after all of your generous hospitality?!) If that is the case, make sure you ask the venue whether or not there is a minimum spend. This will save you from unexpected costs at the end of the day!
12. Can this venue accommodate a band or DJ, including all of their equipment? Are there enough electrical outputs for the music and the lighting?
An important enquiry to make if you are planning on having dancing after the wedding breakfast. You certainly don’t want to have booked and paid for a DJ and find out the venue will not accommodate him! Knowing the answer to this will also help your DJ or Live Band prepare for the day, in case they need to bring equipment or set-up outdoors, for instance.
13. Do you have any special facilities for children?
If there is an extra room available for the kids, we definitely advise you to use it! Nothing entertains children more than having a few games or even a Disney movie on in the background, leaving the adults to enjoy the speeches and the dancing. Some venues will offer a special area for this, but in case yours doesn’t, you will have to make arrangements for a tent and children entertainment! Better be prepared!
14. Do you have disabled access?
If anyone from your guest list is disabled, it will be important to ask your venue whether there is access and toilets for them to use.
15. When do we need to pay our holding deposit? Are there any other fees we should know about? (Corkage, taxes, service charge)
Paying your deposit is important as it is often what secures your venue for the wedding date agreed. Make sure you inquire with your venue when this is due, to avoid any disappointment! Here are more hidden wedding costs all couples should know about.
16. Would there be a venue coordinator available on the day?
If there is a venue coordinator available, we strongly advise you enlist their help! They will know how to provide you with a completely stress-free experience and that everything runs smoothly and on time.
17. Is VAT included in the price?
You may have thought you found yourself a bargain and booked your chosen venue immediately. However, your invoice was much higher than expected because VAT was not included in the price you were quoted. To make sure this doesn’t happen, simply ask your venue if the price you are being quoted is VAT inclusive!
18. (If an outdoor wedding) What are the possible options in case of inclement weather?
If the venue has rooms that can be used for your ceremony, make sure to see them and imagine how space could work for you. If the wedding venue isn’t exactly what you need on the inside, getting a marquee will be essential! You ddefinetly don’t want to make your guests do the chicken dance in the rain.
19. Are fireworks allowed?
If you have dreamt about having a firework display at your wedding since you were little and your favourite venue on your shortlist doesn’t permit them, you are going to have a decision to make! If having fireworks are top of your priority list, then this should be the first thing you ask.
20. How would car-parking work on the day?
Will there be enough car parking spaces for all of your guests? Will there be someone to show your guests where to go from the car park? If you have friends and family living all over the country and know that lots of them will drive to your wedding, it is important they will have somewhere to park their car. Ask your venue car-parking questions to prevent Grandma from having to park her car a few miles from your reception!
21. Does your venue have liability insurance?
Of course, you want your Wedding Day to run as smoothly as possible, but accidents happen! Make sure you ask your venue whether or not they cover any (unlikely) accidents that may occur on the day!
Bonus question: Is there a place nearby where my guests could stay overnight? Or can the venue accommodate?
If you have guests coming from all over the country, or even abroad, it will be good to know where they can stay overnight. This is the sort of information you need to know when putting together your wedding information sheet for your guests, so they can make the proper sleeping arrangements!
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