Wedding Venue Questions
That You Must Ask!

Wedding Venue Questions:

Choosing a wedding venue entails more than just picking one that you like the look of or is convenient to your home or the church. There are dozens of issues you need to consider and each of those can lead to other things you may not have thought of.

As I've been down this road myself I have compiled a list of questions that should cover most eventualities. Take some time and read through them. You will likely find that some of them won’t apply to you and if that’s the case you can ignore them.

This list of questions to ask your wedding venues isn't exhaustive. The idea is that as you read through them they may spark an idea for another, more specific question that applies to your individual situation. Make a note of these and in a short time you will have a complete set of bespoke questions tailored to your wedding requirements.

Preparation:

I would suggest printing out a list of questions for each wedding venue, so if you have three shortlisted venues, print three lists of questions. If you then put the name of each wedding venue at the top of each list you will have a record of how the individual venues responded to your questions.

I would also suggest you should leave at least 1 blank page at the back of your question lists for additional comments and notes you will take while at each venue.

Don’t underestimate how good an opportunity you have to gather information. So it’s important to get your questions right. Read through the following wedding venue questions and add any specific questions you need to ask. Familiarise yourself with all of them before going to the venues and make sure that you know exactly what your requirements are for each question you ask.

Wedding venue questions

The Wedding Venue:

  • Is the room available on the date you want? It’s also worth asking if the room is cheaper during the week as there could be a significant saving if you book mid-week.
  • Ask to see the actual room you would be getting, that way you can look at the existing décor, condition of the carpet, doors, tables etc.
  • If the room isn’t dressed ask if you can you come back when it has been set up for a wedding
  • Does the wedding venue have any decorations? If so try to get them to include the use of these into the overall price, for example candelabras, candles, fairy lights, seating plans, chair covers, etc.
  • Ask to look at the bathrooms. Are they clean and well maintained with no broken toilet seats etc.?
  • Are there adequate cloakroom facilities for guests to leave coats etc.?
  • Is there a private room where you can powder your nose or get changed?
  • How far is it from the car park to the reception room and is there adequate parking for all your day and evening guests? Don’t forget if there is another wedding on the same day you will need to allow for all their guests’ parking as well.

    It's also worth remembering the second wedding may have more guests than you have so don't just multiply your guests by two when calculating parking.

  • How many stairs will your older guests have to climb? Also check disabled access if relevant.
  • Do they have a P.A. system for speeches etc?
  • Who will be your point of contact during the lead up to your wedding day and on the day itself? Ask to meet them and insist on a single person as your point of contact. Trust me, having one person as your point of contact will save you a lot of hassle. We didn’t do this and we regretted it BIG TIME!
  • Do they have a suitable area for taking photographs? Is there an alternative if it’s raining? If not can they recommend a suitable area nearby?
  • What is their policy on confetti, naked flames (candles, tea-lights etc.) and decorations? Some wedding venues do not allow them. If so ask them to suggest alternatives that are allowed.
  • If your wedding venue is outdoors, what backup do they have in case it rains?
  • Is the room large enough to accommodate all your guests (day guests and evening guests) while still leaving room for a dance floor and the band if applicable?
  • If your ceremony and reception are to be in the same room ask how long it takes to “change the room” and also ask to see where your guests will go during this period? Is it big enough if it rains and all your guests need to be in that one area?
  • At what time and on what day can you access the room to set up?
  • Is there a specific time by which you need to be out of the reception room on the night of your wedding?
  • Are there baby changing facilities if required? Ask to see them.
  • Is there a quieter area for older guests who might want to get away from the music?
  • Is the reception venue split over separate rooms? Our function room had a separate bar area, and once the music got going in the evening; many guests scarpered to the bar! This made it more difficult to get people dancing.
  • At what time does the reception room need to be cleared the following day?

Transport:

  • Where is the nearest public transport for your guests? This is especially relevant in big cities.

Accommodation:

  • What discount will your guests get if they book an overnight room? Bear in mind if the discount percentage is small your guests may be able to get a better rate by calling the venue themselves and booking early.
  • Is the bridal suite and breakfast included in the price? If not it should be!
  • What time is checkout for your guests the next morning?

The Bar:

  • Do they have a bar? If so, what time does it close? Get a list of the bar prices your guests will pay, it’s not unheard off for venues to increase the cost of drinks as the night goes on and don’t assume they will pay the same price as in the hotel bar.
  • Do they insist on providing the drinks for the tables and toasts or can you provide these? If you can provide your own, ask what their corkage rate is.

The Music:

  • Where will your band set up and do they need to set up before the reception starts?
  • Do they have an additional P.A> system you can use for use with an MP3 player if you want to do your own music/playlists?
  • Is there an adequately sized dance floor/area?
  • Are there noise restrictions or can your DJ or band turn the volume right up?
  • Where are the guests’ bedrooms in relation to the music? Are you likely to get complaints from other guests meaning you have to turn the music down?

Wedding reception questions

Catering:

  • How many people can they cater for?
  • Do they insist on doing the catering or can you provide your own catering. If doing your own or bringing in an outside company ask what facilities are available and ask to see them.
  • If the venue is doing the catering can you sample the food? They may charge you for this.
  • Ask what is included, such as table cloths, cutlery, etc. If you are doing your own catering this is very important as it could save you money if they will provide them.
  • Do they have a cake stand and knife that you can use?
  • Ask for a copy of their sample menus with full costs.

General Questions:

  • What is the total cost? Be blunt and ask them if there are any potential hidden extras. Get them to confirm this in writing.
  • What are the payment stages?
  • What is their cancellation policy?
  • Do they have a licence to perform civil ceremonies? If so ask them which local authority area it comes under and get the contact details for them so that you can get your wedding licence etc.
  • How many weddings do they allow each day? If there is a possibility of a second wedding on the same day ask how close the other room is to yours and if there is a chance of guests getting mixed up?
  • If you would like professional fireworks ask if they are allowed and if the venue has any specific health and safety requirements?
  • Is there an area where wedding presents can be stored safely?
  • If so, are the presents insured against theft and/or damage or do you need to arrange your own insurance cover?

Finally, read and re-read the contract before signing. If you are unsure about anything ask them to explain it again.

It might seem like a lot of questions to ask the wedding venues, but by being prepared, you will let the venue know that you are organised and that you know what you’re talking about! Being confident and well prepared will also help with your negotiation when it comes to agreeing on the final price.

It will also mean that you cover all your bases and shouldn’t get any nasty surprises after you sign the contract. Finally, enjoy yourself – picking your venue is one of the best parts of planning your wedding!

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