How to know if a wedding venue is right for your big day. Finding the perfect venue for your special day is no easy feat and one that can be rife with challenges. From being able to use outside caterers, licensing arrangements and how many guests you’re allowed to invite, there are a lot of factors to consider.
In this blog I’m going to be suggesting some key questions you should be asking each wedding venue you visit to really understand what they have to offer and if it’s going to be right for your dream wedding.
How long can I provisionally hold a date for?
There’s nothing worse than finding the perfect venue but when you do return to book, it’s gone on the date you wanted.
Ask how long they’re hold a provisional booking for and if there’s a deposit to pay. It is worth making a provisional booking even if you’re not 100% sure at this stage to avoid disappointment, especially if you don’t have to pay a deposit to do so.
Is the venue fully licensed to conduct ceremonies?
If you want a religious ceremony at your chosen venue, is it licensed to do so? Whether civil or religious, if the venue has no licence you won’t be able to get legally married at that venue.
An alternative is to have a legal ceremony before, such as at a registry office, and have a celebrant lead a ceremony at your venue with all your friends and family there to celebrate with you.
Will the venue be exclusive to you?
Some venues are multi-purpose and will hold more than one event at a time. If you don’t want the kid’s birthday party up the hall disrupting your special day, you need to find out what the score is with your chosen venue.
Will the building be exclusively yours for the date booked?
If there is a hotel attached, will the other guests be able to access your booked area?
Knowing if anyone other than venue staff will be around on your wedding day will put your mind at rest and determine if this venue is really right for you.
Will you be allowed to use your own suppliers?
Some wedding venues have exclusive contracts with their own suppliers, meaning you can’t bring in your own caterer’s, florist, entertainment, etc for your big day.
Most venues will have their own list of recommended suppliers which can be a useful way of finding suppliers used to working with that venue layout and any potential restrictions, but do check that you’re not contractually obliged to use them if you prefer to retain full control over your wedding.
Is there parking for guests?
This problem often isn’t considered until the day arrives and you discover there’s no on-site parking available except for suppliers. This is often the case with historical buildings, but city centre venues can also pose this problem.
Ask if there are car parks nearby and how costly they are to use.
Are there restrictions on decorations?
Some venues, particularly those of historical importance, may not welcome all decoration types inside, or outside their building. You might be surprised to learn that confetti isn’t allowed and fireworks are a definite no.
Some venues will allow flower petals instead of confetti as an alternative and have other tricks up their sleeve to ensure that decoration restrictions don’t ruin your plans but do ask in advance and make sure you let your guests know in advance.
Is there room for a live band?
Live bands need a lot of electrical sockets for their amps and equipment, something that a lot of older venues are unable to provide. There may also be restrictions in terms of space around the electrical points.
Ask about this when you’re visiting the venue and see what kind of entertainment weddings hosted there typically have. It’s also worth asking about a sound limiter restriction – some areas only allow a certain volume to be played and only at certain times. Your band/DJ will know what to do with that information.
Ask for recent photos and testimonials
How to know if a wedding venue is right. One of the best ways to see if this venue is right for your wedding day is to see what recent weddings have looked like. Some venues will offer a discount if they’re allowed to use wedding photos for testimonials/promotions, so ask to see recent examples.
Look out for how many guests, what the room looked like, the entertainment, and the reviews given by happy couples.
Once you’ve gathered this information for each venue you’re interested in, sit down with your fiancé and go through it all until you’re both confident and happy with your final decision.