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Ask Kate: How do I book and pay for our chosen wedding venue?

April 10, 2013

Kate Thompson has been offering heart-felt advice and sparklingly different wedding inspiration for ten years. She is married with two children, and often features in the national press. With her warm and caring nature and off-beat sense of humour, she'll answer every question with knowledgable insight and understanding to help and inspire or simply restore your peace of mind.


My partner and I have found a venue where can hold our wedding ceremony and reception. When should we book it and how does it usually work for payment?


It’s best to book your chosen venue as soon as possible to ensure you don’t lose out on the date you want. Most venues will let you book a year or so in advance. When making your booking you will be asked to secure the date with a deposit which is often around 10-20% of the full cost, the remainder of the payment to be paid anything between a few weeks and 3 days before the wedding date, depending on th venue’s terms and conditions. Any additional costs over and above the original quote would then be settled after the event.

Here is an example from top London wedding venue The Roof Gardens:

The initial deposit for a wedding is either £2,000.00 or 20% of the total contracted minimum – whichever is the higher amount.

The payment terms below are as stated in our terms & conditions but to make it a bit simpler:
• 1st deposit – £2,000.00 or 20% of the total contracted minimum – whichever is the higher amount.
• 2nd deposit- 50% of the total contracted minimum
• 3rd deposit- 30% of the total contracted minimum
• 3 days prior to the event- all additional charges

The venue will ask you to sign a contract to confirm that you have paid the deposit, that they will secure the date for you and that the rest of the payment is due by a certain date. It’s all very standard and will cover you should anyone else wish to book the same venue on the same date.  Read the full terms and conditions, ensure you get a receipt for the deposit you pay if it is not listed on the contract and always take out wedding insurance – just in case. Hope that helps!

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