Sunday, 23 March 2014

Ask These Questions BEFORE You Book Your Wedding Venue

The excitement of your engagement has begun to calm and you’re now on to the next stage of excitement – planning your wedding!  The first step most people take (after drooling over wedding dresses in bridal magazines…) is to book their wedding venue.  You could have separate venues for your ceremony and reception or you could have the entire day in one place.  And if you’re really lucky you could have it in the Plaza in New York City as shown above… * sigh *

Once you’ve found yourself a venue (or several) that you like the look of, there are a number of important questions you should ask before you pay a single penny of a deposit.  Some of these may vary depending on the venue you choose.  I have organised them below for you so feel free to print this out and take it along to your potential venue(s).

The Fine Print

1.     How much will it cost?
2.     What is the deposit amount and what is the timing of payments thereafter?
3.     Is VAT included?
4.     Is there a rental fee?
5.     Is there public liability insurance for this venue?
6.     What is the cancellation policy?
7.     Can we have all the arrangements in writing in advance?


1.     Is there a minimum and/or maximum number of guests?
2.     Is there a wedding co-ordinator?
3.     Will they be organizing everything on the day? 
4.     Can we meet with them beforehand to discuss arrangements?
5.     What are the timings for each stage of the day?  Is this flexible?
6.     Is there parking available?
7.     Is there parking for guests with disabilities?
8.     Can guests leave their cars overnight?
9.     Is accommodation for the bride and groom included?
10. Can guests book accommodation also?  Do they receive a discount?
11. Is there an alternative space on the day should the weather be poor?
12. Are there cloakroom facilities?
13. Is there a secure location for gifts to be stored?
14. Can we also have our ceremony here?
15. Do you have a licence for civil weddings?
16. Will there be any other weddings taking place on the same day?
17. Can the bridal party get ready at the venue?
18. How early can suppliers get access to the venue e.g. florists?


1.     Is there catering provided in-house?
2.     Is there an option to bring in your own caterer?
3.     If bringing in own caterer, will they have access to a kitchen with power and running water etc.?
4.     Is there an option for either a sit down meal or finger buffet?
5.     Will food be provided for both day and evening guests?
6.     Is the menu flexible?
7.     Can guests be offered options for each course or will everyone be served the same menu?
8.     Can we have a menu tasting?
9.     Can accommodation be made for special dietary requirements?
10. Is there a children’s menu?
11. Is a cake stand and knife included the package?
12. Will the catering staff cut and serve the wedding cake?


1.     Does the venue hold a valid alcohol licence?
2.     Can we supply our own alcohol?  If so, is there a corkage fee?
3.     Is there an option to have either a free or paid bar?
4.     What time does the bar close?


1.     Can we provide our own decorations?
2.     What decorations are included in the package e.g. centerpieces, chair covers?
3.     Are candles allowed?
4.     Is confetti allowed?
5.     What is the policy on fireworks?
6.     Is the seating plan, place cards, menus etc. included in the price?

This may seem extensive but as you go along planning your wedding you’ll probably find that even more questions will pop into your head.  If you’ve asked the questions above you’re off to a good start and should hopefully not be met with any nasty surprises!
 Have you booked your wedding venue?  I’d love to hear where you have chosen!  Were there any other important questions you asked?

Maxine xxx

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