Questions to ask your wedding venue
Choosing the right wedding venue is one of the most important decisions you will make when planning your wedding. The venue sets the tone for your special day, and it plays a crucial role in ensuring that your wedding is everything you have dreamed of. However, before you book your wedding venue, there are a few questions you should ask to ensure that it meets your needs and expectations. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive list of questions to ask your wedding venue before making a booking decision. These questions will help you make an informed decision and ensure that your special day runs smoothly without any unexpected surprises.
1. How long can you hold our date for
So it’s the start of the new year, you’ve got your wedding planner ready and you mean business. Unfortunately there are hundreds of other wedding couples with the exact same Boss Girl strategy This time of year is what we wedding suppliers like to call Peak Booking Season.
Some venues/suppliers allow you to hold your wedding date with them completely free of charge for a set duration of time or until other interest for the same date comes in. However, other venues/suppliers take a refundable or non-refundable deposit to secure your date with them due to their popularity.
So this question is important to ask at the start of booking your dream wedding venue to ensure you aren’t left disappointed when you finally decide that its The One and then get told it has been booked for your wedding day.
2. Is the venue licensed for civil ceremonies?
If you have chosen to get legally married at your wedding venue then this is a very important question to ask as some wedding venues aren’t actually licensed for the legal binding and only permit celebrant led wedding ceremonies at their establishment. The wedding couple in this scenario typically have to have a small gathering in their local registry office to become legally married a few days before their wedding day.
3. What is the maximum amount of wedding guests we can have?
You will already know from our 2023 wedding planning blog that the amount of wedding guests you choose for your wedding day will impact on more than just your wedding budget. Wedding venues have a set capacity that they are legally allowed to host for both the day and evening. So make sure to ask this question when viewing wedding venues to ensure that no one is left out on your special day.
4. How much is the deposit to secure our wedding day?
Like we mentioned in point 1, some wedding venues require a refundable or non-refundable deposit Its important to ask a wedding venues deposit requirements early on in your wedding planning. Then you need to ask yourself these smaller questions…
Do you have the funds there waiting?
if you are at the start of your wedding planning journey then its likely that you haven’t begun saving yet for your special day.
Are you prepared to lose that deposit if the venues policy is non-refundable?
Let’s face it, none likes losing money and especially when it could be £500+. So really consider if you are prepared to lose this kind of money so early on in your wedding planning journey if you decide to choose another wedding venue.
5. Can I choose my own suppliers?
We ourselves are recommended wedding suppliers and we do have a mixed view on whether you should choose a recommended supplier and heres why.
Choosing a recommended wedding supplier is beneficial for your wedding day as they would have worked at your wedding venue before and will have all the inside knowledge on where the best photo spots are for your wedding photos, the best flower type to compliment the room, the best DJ lighting etc.
However, these recommended suppliers may not be the right match for you and thats ok! We all have different personalities and you need to choose someone who you feel comfortable around on your wedding day. So this is definitely a question to ask you wedding venue ahead of booking them.
6. What is your rainy day backup plan?
No one wants to think about it raining on your wedding day but let’s face it. We live in the UK and there is a possibility that it might happen. So this is a super important question to ask your wedding venue as you want to ensure that you have all of your wedding day moments captured but without getting drenched!
However, as an experienced wedding photographer we have photographed on many a rainy day and have all the backup umbrellas going to make sure we still get those amazing wedding photos.
7. Do you have on-site accommodation?
On-site accommodation is a massive decision maker when choosing your wedding venue. Especially if you have wedding guests travelling long distances to attend your wedding day. So make sure to question your wedding venue regarding their accommodation availability on the night of your wedding.
Alternatively, we would suggest taking a look locally to your wedding venue for hotels or airbnb’s for your guests if you have your heart set on that specific wedding venue.
8. When can we arrive on the big day?
Some wedding venues don’t allow you to stay the night before due to their high demand meaning they will have a wedding the day before yours and that wedding couples guests will take priority for accommodation that day.
Be sure to ask this question to your wedding venue as this will dictate where you will have your hair and makeup done and also the time allocated to bridal portraits before your wedding ceremony starts.
9. Can we both get ready at the venue?
To make things as stress free as possible you will probably want you and your partner to get ready at the same venue to make sure there are no time delays in getting to your wedding ceremony.
By asking this question to your wedding venue you can prepare alternative, nearby accommodation for your partners prep if the venue doesn’t have enough room for the both of you to get ready on the morning of your wedding.
10. What is the turnaround plan from ceremony to reception?
It’s important to understand how long you should expect to be outside of the venues main rooms whilst the staff turn the room around for your wedding reception from your ceremony. The venue may not have alternative indoor spaces for large crowds and we don’t want nan outside potentially getting cold for too long.
11. How flexible are you with timings?
You maybe looking for a more relaxed vibe on your wedding day and don’t want to conform the traditional routine that weddings fall into. It is probably best that you ask this question to your wedding venue to ensure you aren’t only getting the aesthetic you want but also the feel which is what you will be able to remember your wedding day by.
In addition the wedding venues inside ceremony room maybe too small for the amount of guests you would like to invite for your wedding day. Ask if they have any alternative wedding ceremony rooms available.
12. What are your wedding ceremony options?
If you are having your wedding day in the summer then you may have already considered the possibility of having your wedding ceremony outside. This is a very important question to ask your wedding venue as some may not offer outdoor services which may impact your decision for your dream wedding venue.
13. Can we have fireworks at your wedding venue?
We have all been to Disney land and some of you brides to be may want to bring the Disney experience to your wedding day. And what better way to do this than with sparklers and/or fireworks.
A wedding venue needs to hold a pyrotechnic license to have fireworks in their vicinity and may also be impacted on timings and the type of fireworks due to nearby nature reserves and communities. However, there are plenty of firework suppliers offering silent displays that remove the last two concerns.
14. What are the menu tasting options available to us?
Who can say no to food? Lets face it we all absolutely love a meal out and a menu tasting session is the perfect way to get your bellies full and excitement started. Your wedding venue may offer a complimentary tasting evening as part of their packages or may offer a discounted evening.
15. Do you cater for specific dietary requirements?
Now more than ever, dietary requirements are a very important aspect to get right on your wedding day. Not only for life choices including vegetarians, vegans etc., but also allergies/intolerances. Most wedding venues offer a vegetarian option as standard but may not yet cater for other dietary requirements.
So make sure to ask this question during your tasting session.
16. Can we bring our own drinks? and do you charge corkage?
You have probably already thought about this when planning your wedding budget and is a question that should be asked when beginning your wedding venue search. As the cost of your overall venue budget maybe impacted by corkage costs and/or the ability to bring your own alcohol for the tables etc.
17. What time are we allowed to stay until?
Linking with Question 7 of Does your wedding venue have on-site accommodation. Its important to know what time you can stay until on your wedding day so not only can you organise the timings that food is going to be served but also to let your suppliers know, including your photographer and DJ/Band, what time they should be expecting to stay until to make sure that they can provide the top service to you on your wedding day.
18. Is there disabled access?
You maybe inviting guests with disabilities that restrict their movement and therefore may require a wheelchair. It is important to establish a wedding venues plan of action to ensure there is a smooth transition for these guests throughout your wedding day.
We want to ensure all of your guests feel included on your special day and that there is no potential awkwardness caused for your guests whilst moving between rooms.
19. Are there any additional costs that we need to include in our wedding budget?
Again going back to your wedding budget, you need to plan for any contingencies that may crop up. Including additional costs for table cloths, keeping the bar open later, using the Bridal Suite etc. It is important that you thoroughly read the package brochures offered by these wedding venues to completely ensure that you can afford it.
20. What time will we have to leave the next day?
In the middle of wedding season, wedding venues are typically hosting weddings back to back and it is therefore a good idea to ask how long you are able to stay at the venue the morning after your wedding.