Choosing a wedding venue is one of the biggest decisions of your day. It will dictate the look and feel of your wedding, and it has to be perfect. Here we’ve put together 30 questions to ask your wedding venue before making your final decision.
1. What is the capacity for the day and evening reception?
Before getting into the nitty gritty of any venue, you need to know if it will be big enough to hold yourselves and your guests. This is a really simple way to cut your wedding venue list too.
2. Is the venue licenced for civil ceremonies?
If you’re looking to be married at your venue, it will need to be licensed. Without this your wedding won’t be official.
3. How many weddings do you hold each day?
Some venues hold just one wedding per day; others have multiple events happening at once. If you’d prefer to have exclusive use of the venue make sure you ask.
4. Is confetti allowed?
If your confetti picture is something you’d really like, you need to check if there are any restrictions surrounding it.
5. Is there a dedicated space for guests to wait?
Some venues have one room where the main parts of your wedding take place. This is the ceremony, wedding breakfast and evening reception. While this room is being turned around (set up for the next part of your day) is there a dedicated space for you and your guests to wait? If not, where do you go? Occasionally venues ask you to wait in the bar area or outdoors, but it’s a good idea to ask.
6. How flexible are you with timings?
If things are running late, or even early, you’ll need to know that your venue can deal with this. We’ve been at weddings held up by car accidents, and some that decided to cut speeches at the last minute. Your day should still run smoothly no matter what the situation.
7. What time can you set up?
Will you be able to have access the day before to put in your finishing touches, or will it need to be done the day of your wedding? This could change whether you need a venue stylist or are able to DIY.
8. Can I have a live band or DJ?
Wedding packages sometimes come with a DJ included, but if live music is your thing you’ll need to check that there’s room for your band. It’s also good to know what time they can set up from too.
9. What time will the evening need to finish?
This is important information, particularly if you’re having a live band. Occasionally you can pay an additional fee to extend the end time, but it’s usually between 23:00 – 00:00. Make sure you pass this information onto your guests too so they can arrange taxis in advance.
10. Is there somewhere safe we can store our cards and gifts?
Wedding gifts can be expensive. You’ll need to know what will happen to them on the night of your wedding, and who is in charge of keeping them safe. Some venues will offer to put everything in the bridal suite, others will take no responsibility. (If this is the case, nominate someone you trust to move them for you).
11. Can we bring our own alcohol?
If you’re looking to provide your own alcohol, you’ll need to check the venue rules. If it is an option, there may be a corkage charge and time limits too. Some venues will not allow alcohol as wedding favours either.
12. How long will you provisionally hold my date for?
Most venues will hold a date without a booking fee for a limited amount of time. This can be anything from a week to a month. By provisionally holding your date the venue is allowing you some thinking time before signing a contract with them.
13. Do you have a dedicated wedding coordinator I can speak to in the run up to the wedding?
The few weeks before the wedding you’ll want to know who you can go to with any questions or concerns you might have to get a quick, accurate response. A wedding coordinator is usually the way venues provide this service.
14. Are there charges for staff or room hire?
If these costs aren’t included in your price, you’ll need to know exactly how much extra they will be.
15. Are there any venue restrictions?
We’re talking confetti, photographs, fireworks and wedding favours. If there are any restrictions at all, make sure you know what they are.
16. What is your cancellation policy?
Particularly in light of last year, it’s important to be crystal clear on the cancellation or postponement policy of your venue. They’ll likely go through this with you, but it’s always worth having the conversation before you book.
17. Do you have public liability insurance?
If your venue doesn’t have this in place, and is able to show you the certificate, do not book.
18. Do you have accommodation on site?
If your wedding guests are traveling to be with you on your day, you’ll need to make sure they have somewhere to sleep. If there isn’t any on site accommodation find out where the closest hotel is.
19. Do you have disabled access?
This is a huge question for any wedding. Disabled access will not only mean a wheelchair will face no problems during your day, but neither will prams, toddlers or grandparents. It makes a huge difference.
20. How much parking do you have?
There should be enough parking spaces for all your guests and any suppliers that will be with you on the day too.
21. Is parking free?
If your guests or suppliers will need to pay for parking, make sure they know in advance. Change for the parking meter isn’t something that people think about when attending weddings, and being dressed up means less chance of finding some coins in their pocket.
22. Do you cater for different dietary requirements?
Your guests may be vegetarian, vegan, gluten intolerant or have a nut allergy. You need to be sure your venue can deal with this, and know if it will cost you any extra.
23. What size tables do you have?
This is essential to know when creating your seating plan. It also makes a difference as to how many tables you can fit in your wedding breakfast room.
24. How many toilets are there?
Two toilets for over a hundred guests aren’t practical. Make sure your guests will be able to enjoy your day without an hour long queue for the loo.
25. How much will the overall cost be?
Getting a written confirmation of the final costs is essential. It should cover the exact amount, and extras and when all payments are due.
26. Is VAT Included?
Some venues include VAT as standard, others don’t. This can make a big difference to the overall price.
27. Is menu tasting included in the cost?
If you haven’t eaten at your venue before a menu tasting is a good idea. Some venues will include it in the price, others it will be an additional charge.
28. Is there an additional charge for crockery and linen?
We’re talking plates and tablecloths here. For the most part they’re included in your wedding package, but some venues have an additional charge for these. Just make sure you know where you stand.
29. Is there a charge for cake cutting?
Cutting the cake is a big part of your evening, so ask if there’s an extra charge for the use of a knife or for the venue to cut and serve the cake too.
30. What are your bar prices?
Nothing cuts the party short like an overpriced bar – trust us. If the prices are out of your guests range, people will stop buying drinks, go to bed or leave early.
For Yorkshire wedding venue inspiration, take a look at our Wedding Venue page.