Looking for the perfect wedding venue? Here’s 20 important questions that you should ask before booking
Booking your dream wedding venue is not only one of the first priorities when planning a wedding, it’s also the most significant decision you’ll make. With so much to consider, and with most venues requiring a deposit when booking, you’ll need to know you’re making the right decision for your big day.
It’s so easy to get carried away with excitement when looking at wedding venues. Be prepared with a list of questions to ask when you visit potential locations.
Here are some essential questions to ask your wedding venue before signing on the dotted line. Happy venue hunting!
Wedding venue booking basics
Is the venue available on the date?
If you have a particular date in mind for your wedding, make this your first question! It may seem a little obvious, but sometimes the date is just as important as the venue itself. Weekend dates in the warmer months get booked up early, sometimes years in advance, so enquire with the venue before you even visit to avoid disappointment.
What’s included in the price?
Finding out exactly what’s included in the price is essential for your wedding budget and means you won’t get stung with any unexpected costs further down the line. Ask about the usual suspects – VAT, tables and chairs, staffing costs and the fee for the civil ceremony.
What’s the capacity?
Before sending out your save the dates, it’s important to know how many your venue can seat. Your guest list will be hugely dependant on the size of the venue, so get this information as early in the process as possible.
Is there accommodation available for the bride, groom and wedding party to change before the ceremony?
Although many wedding venues have suitable accommodation, rooms or dedicated areas for the bride, groom and wedding party to get ready prior to the ceremony, not all of them do.
With this in mind, make sure you ask if there are any changing areas available before booking.
How much is the deposit for the venue and when is it due?
The majority of wedding venues will require a deposit to be paid if you decide to go ahead and book. The deposit you’ll be expected to pay will vary from venue to venue, however as a general rule of thumb, across the industry the deposit is usually 50% of the total bill.
Remember, the vast majority of wedding venue deposits are non-refundable, so make sure you’re 100% happy with the venue before committing to booking it. At the same time, you should also ask when the final payment is due so you can manage your budget effectively in the lead up to the wedding.
Does the venue have liability insurance?
This is probably one of the last things on your mind when it comes to planning your big day, but asking whether wedding venues have liability insurance should be one of the first questions you ask.
After all… if the worst was to happen, and a member of your wedding party got hurt or injured (even accidentally), if the venue did not have liability insurance, you would be held accountable for any claims made.
Of course, these instances are few and far between, but it’s always worthwhile covering your back, just in case.
How much rehearsal time is allocated?
Your wedding day is one of the biggest and most important days of your life. And with many of us only doing it once, it’s important that every detail is perfect. This starts with thorough planning.
All venues should allocate a set rehearsal time for you to run through the ceremony, ensure that everyone knows their role and how the day will run. Of course, this time also allows you to ensure that you are happy with the scheduling and running order of your special day.
Check how much time is allocated to your rehearsal prior when deciding whether to book a venue or not.
Which rooms are licenced to hold the ceremony?
Having your ceremony and reception at the same location is convenient for both you and your guests, and it can save some money too. When you visit the venue, consider whether this is an option. Make sure you ask exactly which rooms you can get married in, so you can envisage the all-important ceremony.
Does the venue accommodate civil ceremonies?
Many wedding venues now offer the option to conduct a civil ceremony, which is great if you want a venue where you can get married and enjoy the celebrations after, without having to move to a different venue.
Are there any restrictions?
From areas off-limits for photography, to sound limiters for DJs and bands, ask what restrictions your venue has in place. This could mean that you’re unable to decorate the venue just how you imagined, or party until the hour you want, so it’s an important question to ask at the outset.
Can the venue provide equipment?
If you’re planning on getting your guests on the dance floor in the evening, make sure you enquire about the equipment that’s available at the venue. Consider the audio-visual equipment, electrical outputs and the lighting.
Does the venue have a dedicated wedding team and/or coordinator?
Choosing a venue with a wedding coordinator means that the planning process is as stress-free as possible. An in-house member of staff will not only know the venue inside out, but what works well too. Enlisting their help will undoubtedly be priceless!
Is there parking available at the venue?
Weddings often see guests travelling from far and wide to join in the celebrations. And, although many couples organise transport to take their guests to their wedding, some guests will drive to the venue.
With this in mind, you should check what car parking facilities your venue offers, especially if you’re getting married in London.
Does the venue use an in-house caterer?
Some venues may charge you an extra fee to use your own caterers, so make sure you have an idea of the catering you’re after before booking the venue. Many venues offer their own excellent in-house caterers, which are certainly worth looking at. If not, ask if they have a list of preferred suppliers.
How flexible is the menu?
Many couples choose to reflect their individuality through their menu choices, so it’s worth asking whether there is any flexibility with the food choices or if creating a bespoke menu is an option.
Do you offer a food tasting service?
Whether you’re looking to celebrate your special day with a three-course dinner, a delicious wedding buffet or canapés between proceedings, you should always test the food menu you choose before your big day.
The majority of venues offer a food tasting service in with the price, so you can sample the food on offer before your wedding.
If you hire a private caterer, are there facilities they can use?
If you decide to hire a private caterer rather than using the venue’s catering services, you should make sure there are suitable facilities they can use, and of course, that they are insured to do so.
Are there additional charges for bar staff?
Depending on the size of your wedding, it might be necessary for your venue to increase their staffing levels. If this is the case, make sure you check if extra costs will be added on.
And everything in between…
Is there a plan for bad weather?
You can plan everything to the finest detail, but there’s just no predicting what the weather will do! Make sure your venue has a backup plan for rain and bad weather, and take a close look at any alternative space. You’ll need to love the backup plan just as much as you do the rest of the venue.
Is there nearby accommodation?
It’s always useful to find out if the venue has any nearby accommodation for both you and your guests. If the venue is in a remote area, you’ll need to do some research to ensure the closest accommodation is convenient for your guests and available on your wedding date.
Are you able to bring your own decorations?
Many venues will dress your venue for you in line with your theme and requirements, however many couples like to add a personal dimension by bringing along their own decorations.
Just check that the venue is happy with this before you start buying or making your decorations.
Why choose The Brewery for your wedding venue?
In the heart of London, The Brewery is a wedding venue like no other. Our wedding licence includes every one of our unique rooms within the venue and allows us to host your wedding ceremony and reception on-site for between 40 and 1,000 guests.
Our dedicated wedding planner is on hand to guide you through the entire process, taking care of everything from the budget to the dietary requirements, meaning you can relax and enjoy the build up to your big day. And from the moment you get in touch, your allocated wedding planner will become your single point of contact.
Each room includes everything you need to create the wedding you envisage – from LED lighting, PA systems and Wi-Fi.
To find out more about having your wedding at The Brewery, get in touch. We’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you have.