It is always so exciting looking at venues. One of my favourite parts of my job is looking around locations with clients. I love it when my couples find the one, get the feels and start to imagine their day there. Sometimes it’s easy to get carried away with this feeling and not ask the important questions, so in this blog post I have covered some practical and important questions to ask your wedding venue:
1. What is the comfortable capacity?
Many venues will have a maximum capacity, but these might actually have guests all packed in and not be particularly comfortable. This also may take into account a set layout, for example round tables, which might not suit your style and what you had in mind. Floor plans are great to show different table layouts and capacities. Your venue may be able to do this for you; if not seek a professional such as myself!
2. Will the wedding venue be exclusive use to me?
It may seem obvious but I recommend always asking if your venue is exclusive use. A lot of venues are, but others may have gardens and parts of the venue open to general public. Some venues might even have other weddings taking place - this is usually the case for larger hotels. Always ask this and if you are okay with having another wedding taking place at your venue then great, but make sure you find out details such as entrances and timings; they need to be separate/ different so there is no confusion for your guests.
3. What is the wet weather option?
If any part of your wedding is taking place outdoors you must ask about a wet weather option, we are in the UK after all! Most venues that offer you to have your ceremony or drinks reception outside should have an alternative indoor or covered space to use.
4. What are the timings and licences?
This is such an important element to discuss with your venue. A lot of venues might only allow you to celebrate until 11pm, but you know your guests are all-night-partying kind of people. They may require live music or alcohol service to stop at different/earlier times too due to licensing, so always check this. It doesn’t have to be a deal breaker though; if you love somewhere perhaps there is another venue near by which you can move the party to, to continue the celebrations. There might also be an option to pay for an extension at your wedding venue too, always worth asking the question.
5. Do you charge corkage?
Also known as a fee for handling your drinks. A venue will typically charge a set amount, for example £2.00 per bottle, for you to bring your own drinks. This covers them to open, handle and get it ready to serve. So, if your venue does charge corkage, ask what this is and make sure it’s included in your overall budget. Also, another note for drinks; some heritage buildings will not allow red wine or dark coloured drinks such as Coca-Cola, so if you are looking at an older heritage venue do ask if there are any restrictions on drinks.
6. Are there any changes or building work going to take place?
Most venues should be up front with you if they are planning to do renovation works or changes to the venue prior to your wedding, but it’s always good to ask. If you have your heart set on a certain room, because the colour suits your wedding theme, you certainly wouldn’t want to turn up on the day and it not be what you expected.
7. Does that include VAT?
Most venues will need to charge VAT, so always ask if the cost they give you includes or excludes this, you don’t want any surprises when it comes to the invoice.
8. Is there disabled access?
I recommend asking about disabled access even if none of your guests are disabled. It’s a good to know factor and having the questions asked will encourage venues to think about accommodating for this if they don’t already. Also, it’s a great option for pushchairs, putting parents minds at ease.
There are so many points to share when it comes to venue visits and questions to ask. If you are planning your wedding and need some advice, I would love to hear from you on 07469942646 or firstname.lastname@example.org x
Photo credit: Ferri Photography