Small Weddings: Venue Questions to Ask

I did a poll on my Instagram and the majority of people said they found my post How to Make a Small Wedding Feel Special helpful… so I asked ‘would you like to see more of these kind of posts’ and the answer was a resounding ‘yes’! So as a wedding planner, with my blog being the backbone of my website offering wedding planning advice, I of course wanted to try to help more! With so many people re-planning their wedding, adapting to a small wedding, or now having additional celebrations, I thought a simple starter guide on venue questions to ask might be the most helpful to keep you on track – or at least help arm you with a copy and paste list you can use to enquire with; I know how exhausting this year has been anyway, let alone trying to muster the energy to re-plan a wedding.

To be honest this list is suitable for large weddings too, but has been tweaked for small weddings and celebrations here. If you’ve had to switch up your wedding plans for this year, you may have forgotten some of initial important questions you had or researched when you first booked a larger wedding… or it may be that cost is now more of an issue if you are now having two celebrations.

So I’ve got a starter list of venue questions to ask if you are having a smaller wedding reception or elopement somewhere privately, say in a private dining room, a restaurant, or hotel.

-Easily adaptable to any kind of celebration, but definitely helpful for smaller weddings and celebrations to keep you on track.



Small Weddings: Venue Questions to Ask

  • Is the room completely private? 
  • What is your maximum room/area capacity for a) a standing drinks reception b) a seated dinner? 
  • Is there a room hire charge?  -is this inc or exc VAT; and is this inc or exc service charges? 
  • Is there a min spend?  -is this inc or exc VAT; and is this inc or exc service charges? 
  • Do you have set menus?  -is this inc or exc VAT; and is this inc or exc service charges? 
  • Do you allow kids? 
  • Do you have kids meals/menus?
  • Can we add on extras like bubbles/cocktails on arrival, teas/coffees, etc? 
  • Will you cut up and serve our wedding cake? 
  • What hire times/access time can we have on the day?  (e.g. if I were to send my cake maker/florist in earlier to dress the room)
  • Do you provide complete place settings, including menus and place cards? 
  • Do you provide any flowers or candles for the table? 
  • Are we allowed live music?  
  • Do you have a way for us to play our own playlists? 
  • Are you also licenced for wedding ceremonies, and is this an option at all (same room or separate room)? 



Hidden costs to watch out for: 

  • Any associated service or management charges for venues, caterers, or bars
  • VAT – always applicable to venues, and usually caterers too. 
  • Check if both are inc or exc in any min spend requirements. 
  • N.B. people who are ‘sole traders’, like me, do not charge VAT – i.e. I am not a limited company and have no employees or premises. Most often found to be planners, florists who don’t have premises, some photographers.


Small Wedding Venue, London Wedding Planner, Walthamstow Wedding Planner, London Wedding Coordinator, Walthamstow Wedding Coordinator, On the Day Coordinator, On The Day Coordination, Wedding Day Management, Devine Bride, Hackney weddding planner, Hackney wedding coordinator,
Image by Larissa Joice Photography from Mel + Alex’s wedding we worked together on


I hope you find these helpful.  If you have any questions or queries about the above, please don’t hesitate to ask. 

And if you are having to re-plan your wedding, I’m so sorry you are navigating such a difficult year.  Remember that small weddings can be every bit as amazing and special as a larger one, and 30 people can still make for such a fun party – imagine 30 people in your house for a party, that’s more than enough to get merry and celebrate with! 

Best of luck with the rest of your planning and wishing you an amazing wedding day when it comes – whether it’s in a small wedding venue or not.

Let me know if I can help at all! 


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