If you're a venue that wants to join in
Viewing wedding venues for the first time is exciting. It’s also a huge undertaking. You want to pick the right one, but how do you determine which venue that is? Once you’ve decided a venue is in the running, it’s time to start asking questions. Basics like availability, cost and capacity need no explanation – it’s the less obvious queries we want to highlight today. Here are 10 questions to ask your wedding venue before you book…
Alice Acton from Midelney Manor says:
‘On the day of your wedding, the last thing anyone wants to be thinking about is place settings and centrepieces! You want to be focusing on getting ready, not who is sitting where! Some venues will only allow access on the day of the wedding itself. At Midelney Manor, we offer access from 9am on the Friday before a Saturday wedding as we feel it gives you a whole day to get the venue looking exactly how you want it without feeling rushed. It can also be good fun getting friends and family involved.’
If you’re planning to get married in a hotel, there may be other weddings or events taking place at the same time. There isn’t much you can do about this, but it’s always better to know in advance.
A venue co-ordinator can be a big help. They’ll usually open the venue for you and your suppliers, oversee set-up of tables and chairs, ensure the space is presentable, and manage the catering timeline. If there isn’t, you’ll need to appoint someone else to make sure the day runs on time.
Some venues have strict rules about things like noise, candles and confetti, so be sure to ask about any restrictions before you commit. If you’re planning something a little different like an outdoor ceremony or a firework display, it’s even more important to double-check they can accommodate your plans.
If you’ll have any elderly or disabled guests attending your wedding, it’s vital you ask your venue whether there’s safe access and appropriate toilets for them to use. The same goes for younger guests in terms of baby changing facilities and highchairs.
It probably goes without saying that you and your guests will need somewhere to stay. Picking a venue with accommodation onsite means nobody need worry about getting home at the end of the night. If accommodation isn’t available, Wedding Co-ordinator Michelle Jetzer suggests asking whether there’s a bridal suite you can use to get ready.
As well as standard catering questions like whether the venue has a list of preferred suppliers or a specific caterer you must use, it’s worth asking about evening food options. Cold buffets were once the norm, but there’s so much more choice these days. Whether you want to fire up a BBQ, book a food truck or serve pizzas cooked in a wood-burning oven, you need to make sure your venue and/or the catering team can accommodate your plans.
It’s such a simple question, but your guests will thank you for the heads-up. And if the bar is cash only, it’s a good idea to locate the nearest cash machine.
Public liability insurance is essential, so make sure your venue is covered. There are many things that could happen that mean your wedding has to be cancelled or rearranged, so you might also want to consider purchasing your own wedding insurance.
When you’re chatting about cost, deposits and payment, double-check what’s included. Are things like tablecloths, chairs, cutlery, and glasses provided? Is there a service charge? And what about VAT?
For more advice, read our post about how to choose your wedding venue.