So you have done your research and now it’s time to visit the wedding venues on your short list. I work as a wedding planner and know Berkshire Wedding Venues well, but this advice is relevant to any wedding venue visit.
Once the date is in your diary for your visit make a note of these questions and tips on what to look for and what to ask whilst at a wedding venue viewing.
1. WEDDING VENUE GROUNDS
What will the grounds look like at the time of year you are planning to marry? Ask to see some photographs, particularly of the grounds. This is especially helpful if you are viewing on a cold wet winter day but planning a summer wedding, or vice versa. It is also useful to have an idea of different areas so you can plan photographs or for different element of your day such as an area for your ceremony or for a drink’s reception.
2. WHAT IS INCLUDED IN YOUR WEDDING VENUE COST
As you walk around take photos (checking first it’s okay to do this). Remember to ask what is included in the costs as well as what is not included. You might see a beautiful floral arrangement on display in reception hall – is this purely for display purposes or a permanent feature you can incorporate into your wedding design style.
3. ARE THE WEDDING ROOMS THE ACTUAL SIZE YOU WERE LED TO BELIEVE?
Talk through and visit all the areas for all the elements of your wedding. From the ceremony room where you will marry though to the room for your dining to the evening space where your dance floor and bar will be. You may have already checked this out before viewing but it is always good to double check and actually “feel” the space but standing in it.
4. WHAT IS THE WEDDING VENUE ACCESS AND TIMES?
Ensure you are clear on access times. When can you or your wedding suppliers arrive to set up on the wedding day or before? What are the check in and check out times for any accommodation you are using onsite? Is there easy drop off access? Are there any potential difficulties or restrictions for lorry and vans delivering? Does the bar have an opening and closing time and very importantly what time must music stop in the evening and guests depart?
5. WHAT DECORATION CAN YOU HAVE AT A WEDDING VENUE?
Some wedding venues are very relaxed and let you decorate the space as you choose while others have strict rules about what can and cannot be done. Some other questions you might ask are: Can I use real candle flame? Is it safe to dig for marquee stakes? Can decorations be attached to the wall or stairs?
6. WHAT ARE THE CATERING FACILITIES?
From a catering perspective, the most important questions to ask relate to infrastructure: Is there a kitchen on-site? Does it have cooking equipment or is it just a staging area? How far is it from the reception area? If not, how do caterers normally set up at the venue? Does the venue provide a marquee for caterers? What is the power available? Is there running water? Where can the caterers park?
7. DOES THE WEDDING VENUE HAVE SPECIFIC WEDDING SUPPLIERS YOU HAVE USE?
It is vital to discuss wedding suppliers. Does the wedding venue have a recommended suppliers list or is there flexibility to bring in suppliers that you would like? Again, you will almost certainly know this before viewing having checked out their website, but it is worth talking through to be crystal clear. Many venues are open to ideas. Remember that if a wedding venue does have a recommended suppliers, they should choose suppliers who are trusted professionals. Venues would not recommend wedding suppliers who did not have high standards as it would reflect badly on the wedding venue.
8. DOES THE WEDDING VENUE HAVE A WEDDING PLANNER?
Check if the venue allows you to bring in your own wedding planner and stylist if you are using one. The venue may have a wedding venue co-ordinator but what actually is their role? Are they just available to help with planning before your wedding or are they available on the day? What is their specific role?
9. IS THE WEDDING VENUE AVAILABLE?
Take the opportunity to discuss the wedding venues current availability. Talk through their booking terms & conditions as well as the payment schedule.
10. WHAT ARE YOU GUT FEELINGS?
Finally, at the end of the viewing how do you feel about the venue? Are you getting a good vibe about the venue and whether it’s right for you? I’m a huge believer in gut instinct. You will know when it’s right.
Before making your final decision on a wedding venue ensure that you have everything in writing. You will have more questions as soon as you leave the venue so do remember never ever be afraid to ask a question and certainly never think that it is a daft question. Believe me the wedding venue will no doubt have been asked it many times before. It is their job to ensure that you have all the relevant facts and questions answered before making that all important wedding venue decision!
If you would like any help with venue finding or would like some support in visiting venues please do contact me via my website https://honourandpop.co.uk/contact/ or follow me via Instagram to see my latest work and plenty of top tips and advice https://www.instagram.com/honour_and_pop/