It is no secret that finding a wedding venue is a tricky endeveavor. Venues often post only the prettiest pictures and make pricing information difficult to find. So, you drive two hours outside of London on a precious weekend, all excited, only to find there is an ugly permanent marquee and boatloads of hidden costs. This, coupled with the fact that Saturday dates are oftentimes booked up to 18 months in advance, and what should be fun oftentimes becomes super stressful instead.

Even though it is hard, I  love venue searching and over the last couple years have whittled it down to a pretty efficient process. Extraordinary couples are given only 3-5 top venues that are a perfect fit for what they are looking for. We then go view an even smaller selection of those venues. So far, I haven’t had a bride and groom who didn’t love one of those narrowly selected gems!

Even with all of my experience as a wedding planner, getting to those 3-5 venues often can take up to a full week of work. Why? because it really is hard to find the perfect venue. So, don’t get discouraged, just keep plugging away – in an organised fashion.

In the process of searching, be sure to ask our list of 32 important questions and if you need to take them along with you on your venue visits, download the printable version here!

 

BEFORE BOOKING A VISIT

1. What dates do you have available?

2. Could another wedding take place at the same time as mine? Would our weddings “cross paths”?

3. What is the hire fee + approximate price per person?

4. Is there a reduced rate for weddings on other days of the week or other months?

5. What is the “flow” of the day (where does ceremony, drinks reception, dinner, and evening party take place) and what are the wet weather plans if any of these are outside? Tip: After finding out the name of the rooms where each parts of your day will take place, google them. You will have a good idea whether this venue is worth viewing after that. Careful research will save you a lot of time driving across the UK looking at venues aren’t suitable.

6. What is your maximum capacity?

7. Do you {insert your deal breakers, e.g., have extensions to 1 am, have a permanent marquee, have accommodation}? Tip: Never take the time to visit a venue until they know that they have/don’t have the things most important to you. 

 

GUESTS

8.  Is there accommodation on site? If not, what is the best accommodation near by?

9, Is breakfast included in the nightly rate for guests that are staying?

10. Are all sites handicap accessible?

11. Is there a coat check service?

12. Is there adequate parking?

13. What signage do you post for guests to direct them to my wedding?

 

ORGANISATION

14. What time do our suppliers get access to set up on our wedding morning?

15. What time does everything have to be cleared out by?

16. What time does music need to end? Is this extendable (what is the charge)?

17. What time is last service at the bar? Is this extendable (what is the charge)?

18. Do you allow storage of any items before the delivery day?

19. Who will be present to manage my wedding day and what hours?

20. Is there a kitchen available for our caterers to use (if using outside caterers)?

 

FOOD AND BEVERAGE

21. Can we provide our own alcohol/do you charge corkage?

22. Do you provide for meal choices among guests?

23. Do you provide for a menu tasting?

24. Are there any restrictions on what we can have such as no red wine, no olive oil, etc. (this is the case in some Historic Royal Palaces such as Kensington Palace and Banqueting House).

 

MONEY

25. Does my quote include your service charge?

26. Does my quote include VAT?

27. When are payments due and how can we pay?

28. What is the cancellation policy?

 

YOUR WEDDING, YOUR WAY

29. Is there a sound limiter for the band/DJ?

30. Are we allowed fireworks, confetti, and candles?

31. Are we allowed to hang decorations – from chandeliers to draping?

32. Do we have to use your preferred suppliers?

Even after you have asked all these questions, read your contract carefully! Then, when you have signed… celebrate because you have found your perfect wedding venue!

Happy venue hunting!!!