One of the earliest steps in your wedding planning will be to set a date and get your venue booked, you will need somewhere to wear that dream dress after all!
Remember that your venue is more than just a building, it’s the backdrop for your big day; it will feature in all your photographs and set the tone for the day and even dictate how many of your ideas will be possible and how many guests you can invite to each element of your day. So take your time and weigh up your options carefully when selecting your venue.
When you set out on the trail to find your perfect setting, do so with your budget and theme clearly etched in your mind. This will rule out venues that simply won’t work for you. Then, once you’ve whittled down your venues to your favourites, use these questions below to help you choose the very best venue that works for your.
Is the venue free on our chosen date?
An obvious but vital question to start with. If it’s not free, then you will either have to look elsewhere, or if you really have your heart set on the venue, consider changing your date to fit with when it’s available.
Will we have exclusive use of the venue?
Exclusive use will give you the run of the designated reception areas, and should allow you and your wedding party to relax into the day safe in the knowledge that you are the only wedding party there, and you won’t have to work around what another group may be doing.
Can we hold our ceremony and reception at the same venue?
This will cut down on travel time and costs with only one space to consider when planning the flowers and the theme of your day.
How many people can attend the day ceremony and the evening reception?
The formality of ceremony and wedding breakfast seating will often mean that fewer wedding guests can be accommodated during the day time than in the evening. Evening receptions are invariably much more informal and more guests can usually be catered for and accommodated.
What exactly is included in the package?
All of the wedding venues you consider should provide you with a portfolio type pack detailing what is included in each type of wedding package offered. Read this and any accompanying terms and conditions carefully.
Additional requirements and variations can often be accommodated, but there is likely to be an additional cost.
Is there accommodation available on site? For how many people?
If you choose a hotel or country house option, check what type of accommodation will be available to your guests, what sort of discount is offered and if there is a minimum stay requirement. Chances are some of your guests will have travelled a good distance to your wedding and on site accommodation will be a bonus for them, with no additional searching around the area for a room for the night.
When will we have access to the venue beforehand?
This is a relevant question both if you plan to decorate the venue yourself or if you have hired someone to do this for you. Time should be allocated to preparing the venue.
This is especially important with barn and marquee weddings where the setting up time, both for decorations and the practicalities such as tables and chairs will be much longer.
Are naked flames permitted?
If not candles, tea light, sparklers & a roaring log fire are out.
Can we throw confetti?
Some venues will only allow confetti if it’s biodegradable. Cue some lovely real petal confetti.
Are there any restrictions regarding adding decorations?
It’s generally a given that with a barn venue or a marquee, you will add decorations to the venue as these are generally quite a blank canvas, literally, in the case of a marquee.
However, with a hotel or country house type of venue, the owners may put practical restrictions on the type of decorations you can add, particularly if they involve attaching anything to the structure of the room.
Are we restricted to the venue’s recommended suppliers? Can we source alternatives?
Quite often, a venue will have a recommended list of suppliers, including everyone from the caterers to the entertainment, which it will prefer you to use, or indeed require you to use as part of your contract with them. Do double check this if you would prefer to source alternatives, as this may prove to be a deal breaker.
If you are able to use your own suppliers, be sure to check to hold the necessary public licenses and insurances. If you wish to use outside caterers, check with your venue if a corkage fee will apply.
Can we taste the menu. Do you cater for special dietary requirements?
This is a reasonable request and your venue should be happy to oblige. It should also be a tasty part of your wedding planning.
feature Image : Bijou Wedding Venues