Planning a wedding is very exciting, but it’s advisable to work out a budget before you begin. By doing so you can prevent sleepless nights over money worries and you’ll be able to enjoy the lead up to your big day. Here are a few key points to consider when it comes to wedding venue costs…

Venue Hire Cost

Make sure the first thing you do when choosing your wedding venue is ask what the hire cost is and what’s included. This will allow you to plan and budget the remainder of your wedding day expenses. Ask the venue to break down the cost so that you can see exactly what you’re getting for your money.

This is particularly important if you’re having a marquee wedding as they require many additional extras e.g. toilets, generators, heating, dance-floor, drapes, lighting, bar and staff. Ask your venue to itemise everything that is included and get it in writing.

Some wedding venues offer wedding packages that can include additional extras such as overnight accommodation, floral arrangements, wedding stationery and many other wedding day details.

Trafalgar Park Wedding Venue

Civil Ceremonies

Some venues may include facilities for your civil wedding or partnership ceremony. These facilities are usually chairs for all your guests and a table for the registrar to use throughout the service. Check whether the wedding venue costs include these things, and registrar fees are usually extra so this is another cost to consider.

Chair Covers

You’d be wrong to assume all venues provide chair covers, because not all do. You may decide not to have chairs covers, but if you do make sure you account for this in your budget. Before hiring chair covers check if the venue has a recommended supplier, and remember that sometimes a venue’s chairs are specially made so ordinary chair covers may not fit.

Wedding Breakfast Furniture

Tables and chairs are not always included in the wedding venue costs. If this is the case, shop around for suppliers that can source these items at competitive rates, or ask your venue if they can recommend a reasonably priced supplier. Make sure you discuss any restrictions of hiring tables and chairs with the wedding co-ordinator, such as dimensions, room size, style and shape.


Some venues have approved wedding caterers and ask that you use them. If this is the case, make sure you meet the caterers to discuss what their packages include.

Possible hidden costs:

  • Waiting staff
  • Additional extras such as canap√©s
  • Drinks (arrival, wedding breakfast, reception and speech toasts)
  • Cutlery, crockery, linen, napkins, glassware

Other questions you might want to ask are whether you can sample the food before choosing a menu, and whether you can give your guests a piece of your wedding cake instead of dessert (if that’s what you’re planning).

If the venue allows you to bring in outside caterers ask if there’s an additional venue charge or kitchen fee.


Ask your venue about drinks packages and what they include. Some venues allow you to bring your own alcohol so check if a corkage fee is applicable.

Make sure you ask about drinks for your evening reception too. Can you provide evening drinks or will the venue run a cash bar so your guests can buy their own? If a cash bar is in place and you would like to contribute to some of your guests’ evening drinks, ask the venue for their bar prices so you can prepare your budget.

Event Co-ordination

Check with your venue in advance if they will set up and decorate your tables on the day of your wedding or whether you will need to organise this yourself. If they do not offer this service invite family and friends to lend a helping hand.

Top Tips

  • Never assume you can do something – if you’re thinking it, ask it!
  • Always check if the¬†wedding venue costs include VAT
  • Always ask if there are any ‘hidden costs’ that may crop up later on

Guest post by Tania Barnes of Country House Wedding Venues

Image from Paul Roland WIlliams

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