If you’re following our 11 step guide to planning a wedding, then finding out what to ask your wedding venue is a must before ticking off stage two.
It’s vital to consider everything you need to know before visiting your selected venues, it’s easy to get carried away when you fall in love with a Scottish castle or a beautiful quaint barn but there are important points to consider.
Figuring out what to ask your wedding venue helps ensure you have all the information you need from the outset.
We’ve collected a mix of questions with need-to-know answers from the experts themselves.
14 Questions You Must Ask Your Wedding Venue
How Many Guests Can the Wedding Venue Accommodate?
The experts at St Audries Park explained that the happy couple are usually able to compromise on areas of their wedding or a venue can usually offer a solution to any issues that arise.
However, compromising on the guest list isn’t usually an option for the couple and the number of people a venue can accommodate is a deal-breaking question.
Make sure you sit and work out an estimate of how many guests you want to invite to both the reception and evening do, and make it one of the first questions you ask every venue.
Nows a good time to plan your guest list if you haven’t yet started. These guest list planning tips can help!
Does the Cost of the Venue Include Everything?
If you’ve planned out your wedding budget, hidden extras won’t coincide with your plans.
Paul at Saltcote Place advised of common examples of guests forgetting to ask the price of extras, which has meant the venue costs much more than expected.
The charge of bottled water on the table is commonly forgotten about, adding a significant increase to the bill.
You also shouldn’t assume that VAT is included in your bill, be sure to ask before thinking you’ve grabbed yourself a deal.
What Are the Payment Plan Options and Cancellation Policy?
You need to ensure that the payment and cancellation policies are worked into your list of what to ask your wedding venue.
Find out how much the deposit is to secure the location, along with how they accept the following payments.
Although it’s something you’ll never want to do, sometimes cancelling your dream venue can’t be avoided, and that’s why it’s so important to check their procedure.
If you need help with budgeting for your big day these wedding budget tips are perfect for you.
How Many Weddings Does the Venue Accommodate Each Day?
When hosting your wedding at certain locations such as hotels it can be common that more than one wedding a day will be held there.
For some people, this may not be an issue, but as pointed out by the professionals at The Elvetham, it’s a must-ask question on your list of what to ask your wedding venue.
Non-exclusive use can change people’s minds regarding a venue so it’s best to know beforehand.
What Are the Rules Surrounding Alcohol?
You’ve got a lot to consider when it comes to the consumption of alcohol on your big day, so it’s worth asking what your venue does and doesn’t allow.
Check if a prepaid bar is available, or if guests can purchase their own drinks on the premises. If you want to bring your own alcohol, either for the full reception or for toasts, be sure to ask about corkage fees.
These prosecco wedding ideas are a great way to shake up the bar at your wedding!
What Will the Room Layout Be Depending on the Final Number of Guests?
A venue’s layout or room options can change significantly depending on the number of people on your guest list.
Highlighted by The Roseate Reading team, many venues can appear very different once the layout has changed, making it a considerable factor in your search for the perfect wedding venue.
It’s also an aspect you need to confirm before you start planning your seating plan.
Does the Venue Have a Catering Service or Not?
Food plays a big part in your wedding day, and it takes a lot of consideration. That’s why it’s so important to make a note of your catering preferences when considering what to ask your wedding venue.
If the venue is providing food, have you discussed if that will be for both the reception and the evening reception?
It’s also vital you check that they can accommodate any dietary requirements you or your guests may have.
Your venue may have vendors that they recommend, which is always a bonus but if you’re still searching for your own our catering directory is full of brilliant suppliers.
Does the Venue Offer Overnight Accommodation?
When deciding what to ask your wedding venue, it’s important to consider all aspects of the day and night.
A representative from Gosfield Hall suggested asking if overnight accommodation is available, along with the number of people who are able to stay at your chosen venue.
It’s especially important if your venue is set away from other accommodation options, or if guests are travelling from afar.
These beautiful stately homes are gorgeous if you love the idea of getting married in a stately home.
What Are the Venues Guidelines Regarding Decorations and Extras?
There are tonnes of incredible ways to decorate your wedding venue so when you go to see a venue you may instantly have a vision of what you want to do. You’ve dreamt of this day for so long, so we understand that you know how you want it to look!
It is a good idea that you consider if your vision coincides with the venue’s policies.
In terms of table decoration, check with your chosen venue whether or not they supply the chair and table covers, knives and forks and glasses or if you have to hire them.
Special features such as candles and confetti aren’t permitted at every venue, so double check whilst you are there.
Where can we have our Photographs Taken?
“What is a wedding venue without a picturesque spot for your memories to be captured on camera?” ask Wortley Hall.
“After all the time and effort that goes into your wedding day, you have every right to want to get the perfect photos in the right setting – especially if you are paying money for a professional photographer. Scope out the venue and grounds – and make sure any bins or other non-romantic objects are stored out of sight.”
What Entertainment is Available?
You might have already planned out your first dance routine and know for certain that you need a DJ, but have you considered asking your venue about your entertainment plans?
Have a think about what your entertainment choices require, if you’re opting for a DJ is there going to be adequate electrical outputs and space for all of their equipment?
These fun wedding entertainment ideas are a great place to start looking for your entertainment inspiration.
Can we Provisionally Hold the Date? If so for how Long?
It’s wise to keep your options open at first, as plans can easily change, or you could find a venue better to suited to you.
“You don’t want to be tied down to a venue before you are positive it’s right, which is why it can be handy to provisionally hold a date for a venue, before setting it in stone,” says Wortley Hall, in Yorkshire.
“You need to know how long it can be held for and on what terms – you don’t want to end up disappointed because you’ve missed out on your dream venue
Have You Considered the Logistics?
Assuming you’ve followed the rest of this ‘what to ask your wedding venue’ list, then you should have a pretty good idea of how everything works at your chosen venue.
However, there’s a couple of questions that vary for each couple. For example, do you need a venue that is completely disability friendly or one that offers suitable parking for your guests?
What Time does the Wedding need to be Finished by? Are there any Limitations on Sound?
It’s always best to have all the relevant information readily available for yourself and your guests, so you don’t have any nasty surprises on the day. Know what to expect – you don’t want to find you’re getting ushered out of your own wedding unexpectedly at 10pm!
Many venues (especially in residential areas) have rules and restrictions regarding sound, so you need to check beforehand that your venue can accommodate the entertainment you have in mind, for the right number of hours.
Most importantly, remember to take notes of the answers your venue provides you. Ask them to pop them into an email or a letter to confirm the details in writing, ensuring no confusion can occur.
If you feel ready to start looking for your perfect wedding venue, check out these stunning places to get married throughout the UK.