Wedding Venues – 17 Important Questions To Ask

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When it comes to weddings, just like it use to be at school, there are only smart questions. There is no need to feel ashamed to ask a question. As true as this might be, people often forget to ask all the questions they have when they reach the venue of their dreams. Either you just forget because there are too many questions to ask or you are just too emotional to remember.

Choosing between wedding venues is a big part of your wedding planning. The venue is the most expensive part of your wedding. The style of the venue will define your wedding. The process is truly overwhelming. The venue has to be what you want, affordable, accessible and convenient for your guests. After all these fall into place, you still have to hope the venue isn’t already booked.

We have made your visit to your venue a little bit easier by reminding you what you need to ask. You should have a pen and notebook at the venue so you could write down ideas that randomly pop into your mind (they just as easily pop out), make a list of questions to ask at the venue. Here is a list of important questions to ask and keep in mind.

First of all, keep a record of every place you like and are considering. This way when you go home you can easily compare your notes on the venue.

Venue Availability

Is this venue available on the date you desire? This should be your first question. If there is no wiggle room with the date there is no point to fall in love with a place that is not available when you need it. It is a waste of time and hope.
Most venues have online calendars so you do not have to waste a trip just to receive bad news. 
It would be best to not decide on the date before visiting the venues you want. Opt for a certain period of time of the year and see what is available. It is surprising how most couples choose dates that do not have a certain meaning to them or their relationship. If the date symbolizes something of importance, them, by all means, stick to it. Otherwise stick to the flexible dates, this way you will not be disappointed.

The Cost of the Venue

The truth about finances is that you should be very clear about this with both your partner and the venue. While there might be wiggle room with the date of the wedding, there usually isn’t much to negotiate with the wedding budged. 
Do not go and look at a wedding venue that is four times over your budget price. This will only make your wedding seem somehow less of an event if you compare it with what other venue and what it has to offer. The wedding is not about starting your life together with a huge party and glamorous chandeliers and getting left with the debt of it all the next day. A wedding is about celebrating your love and unity in life. If you are lucky and you earn more throughout the years, you can re-do your wedding when you grow older. Until then ask about the cost.
Ask for a detailed proposal from the venue. Not just a rough estimate, these have a way of never adding up to what you were told. Ask for the breakdown and the final numbers.
If you do not have clear numbers to compare venues it will be very overwhelming when you get home. You will realize you spent all that time and got nowhere and no real answer. A wedding is a very big investment for anyone, no matter by what mean you choose to have it, it still is a big deal.

Do not be afraid to ask!

The Venues Capacity

When you find yourself at the location, you should have a rough estimate of the number of people you are expecting to attend your wedding. Run these numbers by the venue and make sure that they are not stretching what is possible just to suit your ears. It will be too late at the wedding to be mad because the place is too crowded.
Venues have been known to stretch out the truth a little bit from time to time to seem more attractive to the couple in need. If they state that they can fit let’s say 200 people in a room, does not necessarily mean they should. Make sure of this little detail (it will matter when the wedding comes). 
Ask the number of guests the venue would do best with, before giving them your number.

Consider Transportation

You might need to provide transportation to some of the guests you are expecting. This aspect has a financial and space question to be asked at the venue. You need to know how much more the transportation part will set you back.
 Once at the venue, is there a place to park? Do you not want a bus in front of the venue? It would ruin the esthetic atmosphere and your photos to be honest. 
If everyone is driving there is there enough parking spaces to accommodate most guests? If so are these spaces paid or unpaid?
 Transportation is very important to all your guests.

Catering Restrictions

Once you have found your venue you need to find out about the food. Some venues make you use their exclusive caterers. These tend to be a little bit pricy so make sure you get all the details from the venue. 
Maybe you had your heart set on some sort of specific specialty food and the venue will not allow it. You do not want to find this out after you shook hands with them.

Venue Vibe

This is the most import aspect after you have settled the expenses part of the venue. The vibe you get from a location is very important. It might just be a gut feeling but it needs to feel right.
If you are looking for a very light wedding that serves barbeque, Greek columns and an Italian marble-laded hall might not fit each other very well. If you choose a beach bar or a barn wedding and your guests have stilettos on they might not be very happy. It might be your wedding, but you need to accommodate your guests as well.
 You can have something in mind but do not fixate on that type of venue, just like with the date, if it doesn’t mean something special be open. 
Stay open to possibilities until you visit the venue on site, it might surprise you, what you liked in a photo might not be so charming live. While what you did not want might just surprise you on site.

Venue Décor

The décor the venue has might end up saving you a lot of money. If one venue is a little cheaper than another but does not offer anything decor wise, while the more expensive venue does, you might want to look into decorations as well. Add the sum up and add it to the cheaper venue. Your total will surpass the more expensive one. This way you can choose the more expensive venue and end up saving on décor and time.
 Take a closer look at the photos, there are a lot of marketing strategies when showing the venue online with all those flowers, all that light and the draping that decorates the space so elegantly.

All-inclusive Venue

This might be a good idea if you ask all the right questions so you can get an idea of what exactly is included. These types of weddings usually come in packages you get to choose from. These packages usually include everything from the cake to the alcohol.
If the venue does this often then it does not cost them anything to put up some fancy draped or tablecloths. They might have crystal vases for the tables. Why wouldn’t they? They can reuse these for their own venue. This is where the all-inclusive pays of, the little things. 
On food and alcohol, you sit down and decide together.
 The best part about an all-inclusive wedding is that you have a straightforward price that is broken down and knowing how much your wedding is going to cost. No hidden fee is the part that makes all-inclusive best.
There is no worrying about the caterers and the vendors, they are someone else’s problem. Bundled prancing mean you are going to get the most out of your money.

Other Events that day

An important aspect is that of capacity. You want to know if on your day they will be hosting another wedding. This is possible if the venue has more than one hall.

Venue Curfew

How long do you have to use the venue for? What time do they expect you to leave the premises? Imagine everyone is having a fun time at your wedding while they venue staff want to go home.

Venue Sound Limitations

Some venues might be in a certain zone that has sound limitations. You might want to ask beforehand so you aren’t surprised when the music volume at your wedding goes down.

Alcohol

Can you bring your own alcohol and if so what is the corkage charge? Sometimes the corkage fees can be so much that is cheaper to buy the venues dinks that to provide your own.

Music at the Venue

Can this venue accommodate a band or DJ, including all of their equipment? Are there enough electrical outputs for the music and the lighting?

Facilities for Children

Is there a place for children to play. If there is an extra room where entertainment for them can be arranged with games. Maybe a movie can be played for them.

Disabled Access

If there is anyone that is attending your wedding that requires a ramp or anything else ask id the venue can accommodate the needs?

Fireworks at the Venue

If you always wanted fireworks at your wedding to display you should ask if they are permitted at the venue.

Liability Insurance

Not that anyone wants anything to go wrong, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Ask in they cover any unlikely accidents that may occur on the big day.

For a well-planned wedding take everything into consideration.

Enjoy your day!

 

This post is sponsored by Newton Hall, one the finest Northumberland wedding venues in the North East of the UK

 


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Sean Benfield

I'm a writer and avid enthusiast of all things to do with weddings, planning getting married and wedding venues. I live and work on the beautiful Northumberland coast in the North East of the UK.