The venue is one of the biggest investments when it comes to your wedding, if not the biggest, so you need to make sure it’s right for you. Here are 10 questions to ask your venue before booking.
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Are you licensed for civil ceremonies?
If they aren’t you will need to look at alternative legal ceremony arrangements. You could do the legal bit on another day and have a celebrant-led ceremony, or have the ceremony elsewhere and move on to the reception venue.
What is your ceremony capacity?
If you’re wanting a ceremony on-site, you need to know the capacity. If they only have a license for 80 but you’re estimating 100 guests, this won’t work. It doesn’t mean you can’t have your wedding there, you just might need to rethink some options.
What is your wedding breakfast and evening capacity?
A venue might be able to sit 100 guests, but have up to 200 in the evening, which will help when it comes to your overall numbers.
What are the costs, and what’s included?
You will need to know what the hire cost involves and how this affects your budget. If the hire cost is £10,000 but you need to hire caterers and decor, it might push you over budget, whereas some venues offer an inclusive package that covers everything.
Another tip here is to ask if VAT is included in the pricing. Some venues don’t include it and you’ve not budgeted for the extra thousands this could be.
Is the venue exclusive?
Are your guests going to be the only ones there or could there be others around? If it’s not exclusive, we suggest asking how this works and how they make sure no outside guests accidentally come into your wedding area.
Do you have to use their preferred suppliers?
Sometimes venues have a list of trusted suppliers that you have to use. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as they are trusted and know the venue well, however they could be over budget. If they do have a list of suppliers you have to use, we would suggest doing research and getting some rough quotes to check against your overall budget.
When can we access the venue?
Some venues allow prior night set up and others allow access from 10 am on the day only, double check so you can pass this over to your suppliers.
When do we need to have everything cleared down?
Some venues have an overnight team that will pack your items into a storage area for you to collect the next day. There are venues that require everything to be removed that night, this will be something you need to discuss with suppliers.
How much accommodation is available?
If the venue has little to no accommodation on site then check where the nearest hotels are and who they recommend.
Are there any improvement works or refurbishments due at the venue?
This a great question to ask, especially if the venue is looking a little tired! It’s also great if the venue is a blank canvas or already has a colour theme, as you could base your decor around this and then having it change could throw a spanner in the works.
What is the deposit?
Venues vary with their deposits, and this is usually £500 - £1,000 however could sometimes be more like 25% of your estimated final balance.
Wedding planning can be a minefield, so we hope these 10 questions to ask your venue help in your planning journey!
Thank you for reading,
Wedding Planner and Stylist