Your venue contributes to absolutely everything on your wedding day, and (like most things in wedding planning) it can be quite daunting doing your initial visits. Most venues will have their own host or coordinator that will show you the venue, and they’ll usually have a prepared script of things they want to highlight to you.
When I was doing my own venue shopping, I was so wowed by the décor of one place that I completely missed the fact that it was a dry hire venue! Only to make a wasted trip back the next weekend with my hubby. Oops.
So, with that in mind, I’ve compiled a starter pack of questions for wedding venue shopping, feel free to copy and paste into your own planning docs!
• Do you offer legal ceremonies?
• How many people can you accommodate for a sit-down wedding breakfast?
• How many people can you accommodate for a more informal feast or buffet style meal?
• How many people can you accommodate additionally for an evening reception?
• Is there a venue hire price?
• Is there a separate price for the ceremony?
• Is there a minimum spend?
• Is there a minimum spend to ensure the whole venue is private for us on the day?
• Do you have your own bar and catering services?
• To use your bar and catering services, what is your average price per person for:
– Any packages you offer
– Drinks (including welcome drinks + drinks for the toast)
– Meal price
– Feast price
– Buffet price
• Do you also accommodate dry hire?
• Do you charge corkage?
• Do you charge cake-age? (for bringing in your own wedding cake)
• Do you have a service charge?
• Is there an extra charge for a doorman/security/concierge?
• Are any prices flexible? (eg if a course is excluded from our meal, will this be reflected in the price?)
• Do your prices include VAT?
• What is the start and finish time?
• Do you have a curfew?
• Can you cater to babies/kids/vegetarian/vegan/gluten free guests?
• Is there an additional cost to feed our photographer/wedding planner?
• Do you have an in-house host/coordinator who will manage our day? (note their name, too)
• Do you offer any extras like a sweetie table or a photo booth?
• Do you have any sound/noise limitations?
• Do you have a PA system/mics/projector we can use?
• Do you have a preferred suppliers list?
• Are you child friendly?
• Do you have high chairs and also baby changing facilities?
• Do you have disabled access and toilets?
• Do you have a separate bride’s room/toilet?
• Is there a cloakroom? (And do you charge for it?)
• Is the venue available on Fridays separately to Saturdays?
• Do you offer package deals for rental for an entire weekend?
• Are there cheaper options available for mid-week weddings?
• Do you have on site accommodation?
• How many rooms do you have?
• Do you offer discounted rates on accommodation for weddings?
It also helped me to put these questions down the left-hand side column of a spreadsheet, with all my venue names across the top so it looked like a grid. This meant I could print out a copy and easily fill it in there and then at each venue. This also made cross referencing the pros and cons of each venue super easy.
This is a starter pack, but there will be many more questions that arise depending on your type of venue and its location.
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