1. Are there dates available in the month you wish to get married?
If you have set your heart on getting married in a certain month of the year, this is a very important question to ask. If you can be flexible on dates then that is advisable, to avoid disappointment.
2. Is the venue big enough for your guest list?
It is really important to double-check that your venue is suitable to accommodate all the guests you intend to invite. This is one of the first things you should be asking, probably before you go and view the venue - you don’t want to arrive and fall in love with the place to later realise that there isn’t enough space.
3. Is the Venue Licensed for Civil Ceremonies?
It is a lot more common these days for wedding venues to have a civil ceremony license, meaning you can legally get married there. This allows you to have the ceremony and reception all under one roof. If it doesn’t, you can have a religious or civil ceremony somewhere else and host your reception at the venue, or get legally married beforehand and have a celebrant-led ceremony on the day.
4. How long do you have the use of the venue?
Most wedding venues have a set time that you’re allowed access on your wedding day and a set time you have to leave. These timings are often in place because the wedding venue may have weddings the day before and the day after and they will need time to re-arrange everything. Find out what the timings are before making any commitments.
5. What time will your suppliers be allowed to start setting up?
Suppliers usually arrive before the couple, in order to allow them to set everything up. Find out what time they are allowed access and make sure you convey this information to them prior to the wedding day.
6. Is there nearby accommodation for your guests?
Venue’s usually have a list of hotels in the area that your guests will be able to stay at. If they don’t, it is best to do some research to make sure there is a variety of places for people to stay. If there are establishments with different price points, that is a bonus.
7. Is the venue easily accessible?
You want your guests to be able to easily find the venue because the last thing you need on your wedding day is people ringing you to ask where they need to go. It is also important to consider if the venue is wheelchair friendly for any potential guests who have any disabilities.
8. Is there sufficient parking?
Parking is always important at a wedding venue because many people drive in the morning and leave their car overnight. When checking about parking, it is also good to check what time guests need to remove their car the following day as some venues will have weddings the day after yours and will therefore need a free car park - this type of information is great to include on a details card with the invitation.
9. Are tables, chairs and other essentials provided?
It seems like a silly question for a wedding venue but some places, especially those that specialise in marquee type weddings, do not provide chairs and tables and you would need to hire them at an additional cost. Some places also do not provide table cloths, crockery and cutlery. It is essential that you ask these questions before you make a booking.
10. What is the changeover plan between the ceremony to reception?
In some venues, you get married in the same room as where the reception will take place. If this is the case, ask what will happen in the changeover and how long it will take. Will the staff set up the tables or will you need to plan for your bridesmaids and ushers to do this? Is there somewhere your guests can go whilst this is being done?
11. Would there be a venue coordinator available on the day?
The majority of wedding venues nominate a key person for each couple and that person is usually available prior to and on the day of your wedding - to make sure everything runs like clockwork.
12. Are there areas for both parties to get ready?
If you intend to get ready at the venue, it is worth checking that there is space for both the bridal party and groomsmen to get ready separately. Most couples do not want to see each other prior to the ceremony so if this is important to you, it is worth asking the question.
13. Will there be other weddings taking place on the same date?
If you do not have exclusive hire of the wedding venue then it is worth asking if other weddings will be taking place on the same day as yours. It was important to me that the venue I chose only ran one wedding a day because I didn’t want my guests getting confused as to where they were supposed to be.
14. Are you able to see a sample menu or is there a list of preferred caterers? Is a menu tasting included in the costings?
A lot of wedding venues provide catering and often have a set menu for you to choose from. It is always a good idea to ask to see a sample menu so that you are aware of the style of food they serve. It is also worth asking if a menu tasting is included in the price you’re paying.
15. Can you take your own alcohol? If so, what corkage do you charge?
If you would like to serve specific wine or alcohol on your wedding day, it is important to remember to ask if this is allowed and how much they will charge you to do so. Some corkage fees differ in price greatly so if this is important to you, it is worth exploring various venues to get a hold on their price differences.
16. Are there enough electrical outputs for the music and the lighting?
If you’re having a DJ, it is important to find out if there are enough electrical outlets available for them to be able to set up their sound system and lighting. The last thing you want is extension cable wires trailing all over the place.
17. When will you need to pay a holding deposit? Are there any other fees you should know about? (Corkage, taxes, service charge.)
Knowing when payments are due is always important as this will help you budget and save for those big payments. It is also always handy to ask if there are any other fees you should be made aware of so that you can properly assess your costings prior to making any commitments.
18. What are the possible options in case of bad weather?
If you’re planning an outdoor wedding then it is advisable to double-check what the backup options are in case of rain. We do, after all, live in Britain!
19. Is confetti allowed?
A lot of venues permit the use of confetti but some do not, purely because it is an absolute nightmare to clean up for the next wedding. Some also have specific rules with regards to confetti such as the type or location that the confetti is thrown. Always worth checking and also relaying to your guests so that everyone is aware.
20. Does your venue have liability insurance?
All wedding venues should be able to provide you with proof of their liability insurance. You do not want to be held responsible if a guest injures themselves.