It’s all too easy to get swept away and fall in love with a venue without considering whether it meets the criteria for your specific wedding. Once you’ve paid what is usually a non refundable deposit, negotiations are much harder, so do your homework before you decide on a venue and avoid any nasty surprises.
If you’ve got certain things in mind such as a live DJ or a helicopter landing, you need to make sure your venue can accommodate your ideas. There will be many questions that you need to ask various venues so you can compare them and choose what’s right for you. Here’s a list of 10 essential questions to get you started.
If you have a particular date in mind, is the venue available for that date?
Does the venue offer any wedding packages which might save you money, but could limit your choices?
Will your wedding be the only one at the venue on the day? If there’s more than one wedding taking place, parking could be and you may be rushed because another wedding is due to use your reception room.
Can you offer a discount on accommodation for out of town guests (if applicable)?
Can you make a room available for the bride to use during the day, to touch up her make up and freshen up or to change for the evening reception?
How many people can be accommodated for the wedding breakfast and/or evening reception and is there a minimum number either for the catering or the venue itself?
Do you have a wedding co-ordinator on your staff to ensure that the day runs smoothly and to serve as a point of contact?
What are the arrangements for catering and alcohol? Do we have to use caterers from a specified list or can we bring our own? Can we bring our own wine and what would be the cost of corkage? Could we have an open bar?
Are there any noise restrictions? For example, can we have a live band?
What is the finishing time and what is the cost if we go past that time. Often venues will stipulate a midnight finish and then will charge heavily for any additional time.
In addition to these essential questions you will want to know how much deposit is required and when the final payment is required, whether there are disabled facilities especially if you have a number of older guests, are candles or fireworks allowed? Once you have asked all of these questions, it will be easier to choose the venue that ticks all or most of the boxes.