15 Questions to ask your Wedding Venue.
Booking your wedding venue is the most time consuming and budget swallowing part of your wedding planning. So when you are researching your perfect wedding venue you need to know the right questions to ask. Below are 15 questions that you need to ask your wedding venue to make sure you are happy you have found the venue for you before you sign on the dotted line!
1. Does the venue provide an in house coordinator on the wedding day. If not who will be looking after you.
Most venues provide a venue coordinator for your wedding to look after you in the build up and on the day of the wedding but be careful as a lot of venues dont! This means that you could spend months even years dealing with someone in the office who is putting your wedding plans together only to find out that they are not there on the day and have passed your information to another member of staff who you have never met! It is definitely worth checking this and if they dont provide a coordinator it may be worth looking into hiring an independent planner.
2. How many staff are included in the cost of the wedding
You dont want to be caught with 3 staff members serving 150 people and guests having to wait 30 mins for food while everyone else has finished theirs! The venue might not be able to give you an exact number in the early stages but they should be able to let you know that you will get 1 staff member per 10 guests for example.
3. Would it be necessary for you to hire any additional items
Find out if the venue will be basics such as chairs, tables and linens etc and find out if they would be expecting you to provide anything else. I know it sounds like a silly questions but you dont want to assume that the venue will be providing this for you and turn up to no chairs! This is definitely something you want to check if you are booking a dry hire venue!
4. Does the venue have a wet weather plan
There is nothing worse than falling in love with a outdoor space for a ceremony or drink reception than it raining on your wedding day and having no where to go! Ask what the wet weather plan is and if you can see the space at your viewing. Fingers crossed you shouldn't have to use it but you dont want to come to the day and have no where to go and everyone to be stuck out in the rain. This is definitely worth checking in venues that may have other small events on such as hotels as you dont want all the conference rooms to be booked and you have no where.
5. Are you allowed confetti, candles or fireworks.
Definitely worth checking just in case you have your heart set on any of these for decor or entertainment.
6. Does the venue have a preferred supplier list and do you have to use them.
Some venues have lists that require you to use their suppliers, if this is the case you will want to do your research on them and ask for testimonials and photos. No supplier should be on a recommended supplier list for a venue without working there before. If there is no restriction and you can use any suppliers you like..Great! but check if the venue requires any documents from them such as PAT testing or liability insurance.
7. Is there a noise limiter in the room for the reception.
Definitely check this if you are wanting to have a band, there is nothing worse than the limiter cutting out the sound! 90 decibel is the usual for a venue but this is definitely something worth asking.
8. Will the venue be able to provide a cloakroom for guests and a changing room for suppliers?
Again if you are hiring a band they would need a changing room so it would be best to see if they can put another room on for them to use as a green room. Cloakrooms are usually available but it is worth double checking as no one wants to be walking around with the coats or having to drape them over chairs!
9. Are there any hidden charges or additional regulations you need to adhere to.
Definitely something to check! Things like this shouldn't be missed out when you are speaking to the venue coordinator but it is best to ask and find out if there are any hidden charges or rules you need to adhere to at the early stages instead of getting to the final payment and discover that there is a damage deposit and your not allowed to wear high heels (yes I have worked at a venue where this is the case!!)
10. Does the venue have in house catering and if so do you have to use them. If not will the caterer you choose get full access to the kitchen, power, running water etc.
If you have to use the venues catering then this is as standard but if you are going for a dry hire venue find out if your caterers have full run of the kitchen as you want them to be able to work to the best of their ability and not have to bring their own generator or water in order to provide your food. As this could end up being an additional charge to you!
11. Is there any flexibility on the menu, can they cater for special dietary requirements
If your venue is in house catering most chefs are able to easily provide gluten free, vegan, vegetarian etc meals so this shouldn't be a problem but you never want to assume! Also check what your choice options are find out if you can choose a meat,fish and dietary or its one dish for all and a dietary. This is vitally important to find out before you start sending out menu choices!
12. Ask to have a look at the chairs that you would be using on the day.
Your guests are going to be spending most of their time sitting down and the chairs can impact the decor of your wedding day. You want to know if your going to need to hire in your own chairs or going to need to pretty them up a bit. Ask to see the chairs when viewing the venue and think critically about whether their chairs will work for you.
13. Does the venue have an alcohol license and if so what time until.
No license no alcohol!
14. What time does the reception need to finish and is there the option for an extension. If so how much is required.
Most venues require receptions till finish around midnight but if you would like to extend to the early hours of the morning this normally can be done but at a cost.
15. What’s the venues corkage costs if offered.
If you are wanting to bring in your own alcohol find out how much the venue will charge. Sometimes it works out cheaper for the venue to provide the alcohol and you to put a tab behind the bar instead. But be careful some venues can put a charge on just having the bar as a corkage and then you still need to by all the alcohol. Find out the venues corkage options and then do some number crunching.
I hope they help but if you are still trying to find your perfect venue head over to our How to Find Your Perfect Wedding Venue blog post.