I’ve assembled a list of questions I would recommend any couple ask when they visit a wedding venue for a show-round…
Wedding Venue Basics
- Is the wedding venue licensed for civil ceremonies? Who is the local registrar?
- Is the venue available on your chosen date?
- What are the capacities? How does room set-up affect this?
- What is the hire charge and what does that include? Is there a difference in price for a Sunday or midweek wedding?
- Is there a minimum spend or charge per wedding? (This is particularly important if you want an intimate celebration.)
Key Venue Details
- Can you have exclusive use of the wedding venue and, if so, are there restrictions?
- Does the venue host more than one wedding per day and, if so, how will they keep them separate?
- Will you have a dedicated wedding or events coordinator to oversee the running of your wedding day?
- Is there outside space or gardens you can use for the drinks reception, photos etc? If so, what’s the contingency plan for bad weather?
- Can you bring in a marquee and, if so, what are the restrictions?
- Where are the best locations for photos? Is there a good spot for a big group photo?
- Is there parking at the venue? What are the local transport links?
- Are there bedrooms on site and, if so, will you get special rates, or can they offer deals or discounts with nearby hotels?
- Do they have a standard running order and timing for weddings?
- Do they have a PA system for speeches?
- What time will set-up of your wedding commence?
Wedding Food and Drink
- Does the venue provide wedding catering? Can you bring in your own caterers?
- How many members of staff will work on your wedding?
- How many waiters/waitresses will there be per table?
- Can you bring in your own wines (with a corkage fee)?
- How late is the bar licence? Can you pay for an extension?
- What are the dining options, including dietary and special requirements?
- Do they offer kid’s options or packages?
- How flexible are their wedding menus? Can they offer a bespoke package?
- Do they offer a menu tasting and, if so, is it free?
- Do you have to cater for evening guests?
- Can you bring in your own wedding cake?
- Are there any noise restrictions at the venue? What’s the curfew for music?
- Which rooms allow dancing?
- Is there a dance floor and, if not, can you bring one in? Are drinks and/or high heels allowed on the dance floor?
Venue Decoration and Inventory
- Does the venue offer a list of preferred wedding suppliers? Do you have to use these suppliers?
- Are there any restrictions on decoration?
- Are fireworks allowed?
- What furniture and decoration will be included in the room hire? (Sometimes on a show-round venues will go all out and have flowers, candles, crockery and other decorations laid out, but these may not be available on the day.)
- Can they provide crockery, cutlery and glassware, and any special items? For instance, many offer candles and candelabras, cake stands or even a red carpet!
Phew! This might look like an exhaustive list, but knowledge is power!
Guest post by Jodie Martin of ITA* Venues
Image from Anushe Low Photography