Wedding venue checklist

June 6, 2006. Written by

Make sure you get your venue that’s right for your celebration with this comprehensive list of questions to ask…

Booking the venue is one of the first and most important items on your to do list.

The most popular are often booked up more than a year in advance for Friday nights and Saturdays and, if you are not on the ball, you might be offered a Wednesday in January when you have set your heart on a summer bash.

Venues will often be able to offer you a range of services such as food, drink and music. Many will take a lot of the organisation out of your hands. 

  • Does the venue suit your theme?
  • Is it big enough to accommodate all your guests?
  • Do they have an in‐house wedding co‐ordinator?
  • Do they have equipment you can use or will you have to hire tables, chairs, linens, plates, glassware, etc?
  • Do they have in‐house catering or must you hire your own?
  • If you are bringing a caterer in, will they have access to a kitchen, power, running water, etc?
  • Will you be having finger food, a buffet or a sit down meal?
  • Will there be food for both the reception and the evening reception?
  • If they’ll be supplying the food, are they flexible with their menu choices? Can you make suggestions?
  • Is there a vegetarian alternative? Can they accommodate special dietary requirements?
  • Do they have a license to consume alcohol?
  • Can you supply your own alcohol? Is there a corkage fee?
  • Will you have a free bar or will guests pay for their own beverages?
  • Determine which drinks you would like served when. Until what time the bar will be open?
  • Enquire about staff. How will they be dressed? How many will be required?
  • Can you meet the manager beforehand to go over details?
  • Is entertainment permitted? Is there a sufficient power supply for any entertainment/sound systems you may require?
  • Does the venue have a public address system available for speeches?
  • Are there noise level restrictions that must be adhered to?
  • Visit your venue at the time of day your reception will take place. Is the lighting suitable?
  • Are the tables/chairs/linens appropriate?
  • Discuss where you would like flowers and other decorations placed.
  • Is there a safe place for guests to store coats and personal belongings?
  • Is there a safe place for gifts?
  • If you are having outside staff or decorators in, what is the earliest they can have access?
  • Does the venue have disabled access?
  • Are there adequate parking facilities?
  • Is there on‐site accommodation? If so, is there a discount available for your guests?
  • Does the venue have public liability insurance?
  • How far in advance are bookings required?
  • What is the cancellation/postponement policy?
  • How much is the deposit to secure the date and when is it due?
  • How soon after the event is the balance due?
  • Is VAT included in the final price?
  • Confirm dates, times and details with a written contract.
  • Get insurance.

You can find a wide selection of wedding and reception venues in our extensive directory of venues across the UK and abroad.

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