It all starts with this one major decision… the venue. You have probably already decided on a style of architecture (or perhaps none in the case of wanting a marquee site), the approximate number of guests, where in the World and then from some online research, your shortlisted wedding venue destinations. You’ve checked their availability and now it’s time to hit the road to view your contenders but aside from a general feeling how are you going to assess their suitability? Below are some things to consider and questions to ask when wedding venue viewing.
LOOK & FEEL
Just like house hunting you will get a vibe for the place and the events team. The wedding venue is going to be the backdrop to your whole day as well as one of the most expensive items on your shopping list so take your time.
– Walk around the venue as if you were a guest. How could you utilise the different venue space/s throughout the wedding day to take your guests on a journey. For example, is there an orangery that’s perfect for a ceremony, lawns for your drinks reception, a lounge for a comfy chill out space or photo booth? And then consider the capacities of each space
– Leading on from the above, if the weather happened to be poor do you have suitable indoor/ sheltered back up spaces?
– Consider the light. Is there a lot of natural daylight or do you need artificial light to brighten the space/s? And if so what options do you have for colour tones (dimmable lights) throughout the day and even party colours for the evening?
– Is there a particular colour scheme or design elements that you’d have to take into account with your wedding style? This could be a particularly bright patterned carpet, feature wall or artworks. However if you are viewing a room bare, remember that it will look very different once filled with furniture and people.
– Are there any redecorations, renovations or in fact building works planned between now and your preferred wedding date?
– Does the venue host multiple events at any one time? Are there spa or hotel guests that could be present and if so, how do the venue cater to your privacy?
Quick fire here on logistical questions to ask when wedding venue viewing.
– What items can the venue provide/ are included in the wedding hire package?
– Do you need to work with any preferred suppliers such as caterers or florists?
– Can you bring your own drinks and if so, are there corkage charges to be considered?
– Are there any noise/ sound limitors you’d need to take into account for entertainment bookings?
– Are there any restrictions when it comes to decor (such as no candles, no hanging things on walls or beams and so forth)?
– Are there multiple and easy to access electric sockets? Yawn, I know but it will be necessary when you start thinking about that DJ you really want or a slideshow you plan to show during the wedding breakfast.
– What are the access and clearance timings? Important particularly if you have to clear everything from the venue straight after the guests leave at midnight, you certainly won’t want to be doing it.
– Is there a storage area you can use for things such as drinks deliveries the day before or storing any personal items to collect the day after.
– Is there adequate parking for guests and your wedding team and is there disabled access? You’ll want to consider the comfort of all your wedding guests so other things to look for might be baby changing areas
MONEY MONEY MONEY
Yes you will have a guide price for venue hire or the wedding package but there can be some additional costs to budget for. So don’t forget these questions to ask when wedding venue viewing.
– Are there additional charges for a late night extension (if you don’t want the party to wrap up at midnight)? Or staff charges past a certain time? Other extras can be security, cloakroom and cleaning services so be sure to ask about all of these
– Does the package/ hire cost include VAT and gratuity (if applicable)?
– Do you have to take out any special insurances to host your wedding at the venue? Listed buildings for example may ask that you take out public liability insurance against any damages
– Take an abundance of photos as things are never exactly how you remember them. But also google images of weddings at the venue to see how a variety of professional photographers have captured the space at different times of year as well as different times of day.
I hope these questions to ask when wedding venue viewing help and best of luck finding your dream wedding venue.