16 Things a Bride and Groom to Be Need to Ask Their Wedding Venue

Is the wedding venue available on our wedding day?

Sounds like an obvious first question doesn’t it, but you really need to ask it first. There is no point visiting a potential wedding venue, falling in love with the idea of getting married there and not being able to make your dreams happen because another bride and groom got there first.

If you’ve already chosen your special date, then we suggest you telephone the wedding venue ahead of the visit and state you can only make that date, if they are already booked up then get back to the list and find another fantastic wedding venue.

How many guests can be seated for a meal at the wedding venue?

This is fairly crucial, you don’t want to book a wedding venue that have a seating area for 250 people if you’re only inviting 60 to a sit down meal.

In turn you also want to ensure your guests can sit comfortably without being crammed into a small venue, or even worse, being left to feel as if they’re shoved in at the back, and can barely see the top table. Once you’ve got a rough idea of how many wedding guests are being invited, you need to make sure your chosen wedding venue suits your requirements.

Request to see a sample seating plan, ask about whether they have round tables, maybe even ask to see photos of previous wedding meals and how the tables are laid out. This will give you a good indication of whether you can seat your wedding party and ensure everyone is happy.

How many guests can the wedding venue accommodate for the wedding reception?

Some couples prefer to have a small and intimate wedding ceremony, and then follow that with the mother of all parties in the evening. If this is your plan, be sure that the wedding venue can accommodate this. You don’t want to have 200 evening guests descend on your wedding and find them all squeezed in, or unable to get to the bar. Again, the flip-side is that you don’t want to find out your wedding venue has a separate dance floor and bar area that resembles a barn – the single easiest way to have zero-atmosphere at your wedding reception is to find the wedding DJ or band playing to a half empty hall, with your wedding guests sitting around the edges not mingling.

What time can we access the wedding venue?

“Exclusively yours for the entire day!”… says their website. But what does that mean exactly? Each wedding venue will have their own rules of when you can access the building on your wedding day.

Simply confirm what time you can arrive ahead of the wedding, you don’t want to be left standing outside waiting for the cleaner to turn up.

Can the bridal party get ready at the wedding venue?

Maybe this is something the bride would prefer, instead of rushing around in the morning, why not ask the venue if they have the facilities for the bride to prepare for her wedding day in the comfort of her wedding venue.

Obviously you’ll want something nicer then a conference room, or a ladies changing room at a golf club, but if the wedding venue has a nice quiet comfortable room for the bride to arrive and perhaps have her hairdresser, make-up artist and the rest of her entourage help her prepare for her wedding day then all the easier.

Can we give you a CD of our wedding music for the bride’s entrance?

If you’re having a civil ceremony performed in an approved premises you won’t be able to use any music that has religious references in the song at all. By this we mean, terms like: Angels, Heaven, God etc etc. So no Robbie Williams ballads. The wedding venue will be fully aware of this and may have a CD of acceptable music, which is fine. However, if you want to make your wedding entrance to music of your choice you need to ensure that the wedding venue does actually allow this.

Assuming they are OK with you bringing along your own CD with your favourite song on it to play at the bridal entrance, it’s well worth dropping it off a day or two in advance to the wedding venue and asking them to test the CD on their player. You don’t want for them to try and play it as you’re nervously standing there only to find out your old CD is scratched or your CD-R won’t work on their machine.

The registrar will have to approve the songs you’ve chosen ahead of the wedding, but they should clarify all of this when you meet them.

Can we agree a timetable of the day, or are we set to your times?

Obviously a good wedding venue will suggest times to you, they’ll know how long each stage of the day will take. Ensure you can discuss the day’s timetable, agree when the ceremony will start (you’ll also need to approve that time with the registrar), plan how long the photos will take, agree the start time of the meal, decide what time to invite the evening wedding guests, and when the cutting of the cake and first dance will take place.

Can we bring our own drinks to the wedding venue, if not can we see the bar prices?

This is an interesting one, and well worth asking the question. Even if a wedding venue has a licensed bar available they still may agree that you could bring your own drinks along – even if it’s just fruit juices for the kids, it could save you money.

If you’re hiring a marquee at a venue, they will have a temporary bar for your guests – ask if you can stock the bar yourself, maybe even do a deal with someone who’ll buy all the booze for you and manage the bar for the night.

Should the wedding venue insist that you must use their bar facilities, ensure you ask to see the bar prices first, whether you or your guests are paying, no one wants a huge bar bill. Also check about wine served at the meal, and champagne for toasts.

Do we have to use your caterers, or can we instruct our own?

Some wedding venues insist that you must use their caters. This may be a restriction, however their own caters obviously have the knowledge of the venue and their kitchens, and would of catered for many weddings before – so maybe it’s not a bad thing.

However, it’s worth asking the question as if you are not committed to their caters you can shop around, and enjoy plenty of food tasting along the way.

If it’s raining, where would be the best spot to take our photos?

It won’t rain on your wedding day, surely not. Hopefully not. Maybe.

If the sun lets you down on the most important day of your life, you need a back-up plan. Have a good look around the wedding venue and ask where photos are normally taken during rainy days.

You really want to avoid having an awful backdrop indoors, when you were planning lovely photos out on the lawn. Most wedding venues are beautiful places anyhow, so they’ll be used to the British weather letting down brides before, and no doubt have a proffered beauty spot indoors to act as the back-drop for your wedding photographers to take your photos.

Is there a sound limiter on our wedding DJ or band?

Not a question most brides or grooms would consider asking, hence we threw it in the mix.

The thought is that if you’ve paid up to £500 for a wedding DJ, or potentially even more for a wedding band, then you want to be able to hear them at the back.

Unfortunately a lot of wedding venues in residential areas will be restricted to acceptable noise levels – this may mean your live entertainment loses some atmosphere on the dance floor. If you are planning a huge party for your wedding – check this first.

Do we need to order the full amount of guests for the buffet?

If you have 100 wedding guests in the evening, do you need to book a buffet for 100 people? You know that your mates will be more interested in the bar, most people who ate the wedding breakfast won’t be too hungry, so why not ask the wedding venue if you can just pay for 80% of the expected guests.

This way you’re saving some more money, and potentially saving wasted food at the end of the night.

Is there accommodation available at the wedding venue?

Maybe the wedding venue has a honeymoon suite available? A lot of weddings have visiting relatives from far afield, this means they’ll need somewhere to stay. You need to check in advance where you are going to spend your first night as a married couple, and if the venue has accommodation available then this could be your best option.

Even if you chosen wedding venue happens to be part of a hotel complex, you’ll still need to book accommodation for those who need it, so get your bookings in early.

Do you have a wedding cake stand we can use?

Your wedding cake needs to sit on something, it’s a focal point of your wedding day, and will set you back a fair few quid. No doubt the wedding cake maker will offer you a cake stand and knife for hire, but quite often the wedding venue will have a top quality cake stand ready for you.

If they do, it’s another little saving and one less thing to worry about.

Will there be any other weddings on at the same venue?

Why have we left this one so late? Well, it’s a personal choice whether you want a wedding venue entirely to yourself for the day, or whether you mind having another wedding party on the same day.

Whether it makes much difference or not depends on the size of the wedding venue. A small wedding venue may not have the space, or the different rooms for two large weddings.

You may find yourself sharing facilities, do you mind bumping into another bride?

Large hotels or golf clubs or private manor houses are often designed in a way that they can easily accommodate more then one wedding. Lets face it, weddings are big business so they want to attract as many as possible. If your chosen wedding venue will be playing host to more then one wedding on YOUR wedding day, ask to see where the two parties take place and ensure you’re comfortable with the idea.

What time does the bar shut, and what time do we have to leave?

Surely the most important question, what time can we party until? A good wedding venue will not go around at the end of the night throwing guests out of the door, however they will expect your wedding guests to leave at an appropriate time. Clarify with the venue what time is last orders at the bar, and what time does the music have to be finished by.

You’ll want one big farewell and send-off at the end of the night, so ensure your DJ is aware of the closing time and that he is prepared for the last dance and farewell to the new Mr & Mrs!

Choosing the Best Wedding Venues

Where to Start When Searching for a Wedding Venue.

So if you are planning a wedding without the aid of a wedding planner, your first concern should be to find the wedding venue.

Naturally, the style of venue directly impacts on the style of wedding for it will shape the entire style, theme and décor of the whole day’s proceedings. So after having set a date and a budget (actual or approximate), you need to decide what style of wedding you are after. No doubt some brides (and grooms!) will have been dreaming about their wedding for months or years before they are engaged and will have an idea about the style of wedding they want.

However, for most newly engaged couples the task ahead can sometimes seem daunting. For many, the first port of call will be the internet where you can practically lose yourself in a maze of wedding resources. We suggest you spend an hour or two online together and immerse yourselves in this strange new world of weddings. Confetti and Hitched are useful UK resources, among many others, whilst Martha Stewart and The Knot are excellent sites that focus on the American wedding market where lots of our trends first originate.

Wedding blogs are another useful online resource and nowadays, more and more couples are turning to blogs such as Style Me Pretty, 100 Layer Cake, OnceWed and Rock n Roll Bride for their wedding inspiration. They are well worth investigating.

After only a short time online you should have a pretty clear idea about your preferred style as well as the avenues you want to explore. Some of the most popular ideas that start to evolve might for instance include classic, vintage, rustic, contemporary, chic, retro, funky or seasonal.

Then, from this position you can start to focus your search on wedding venues that befit the general style or styles(s) you have in mind. For instance classic or vintage would tend to lead you toward old historic venues, such as castles or stately homes. Whereas contemporary might lead you toward venues that are more of a blank canvas, such as art galleries. And if you are considering funky or maybe chic, you might focus your search on appropriately styled boutique hotels.

There are several websites dedicated solely to the promotion of wedding venues. Whilst most feature dozens of venues in a wide range of styles of varying quality, one or two go a step further by assessing the quality of the venues featured.

When it comes to selecting the style of venue, your personal and individual personalities, likes and dislikes will dictate to a large extent. For instance, a flamboyant couple will be drawn to venues that have an immediate ‘Wow Factor’ such as a large and elaborate stately home in the country, whereas a more conservative couple might want to consider guest practicalities and opt for a country house hotel close to a city.

There are a wide range of different styles to choose from, from restaurants to rustic barns or boutique hotels to former palaces. Be warned that unfortunately, as is so often the case, you tend to get what you pay for. Furthermore, peak season Saturdays will usually be booked up 9 months or more in advance, so in order to secure the best venues it is important to either be flexible with the wedding date or start your venue search a year or so in advance. Be warned!

However, if you use an online resource that assesses the quality of the venues featured and offers a wide range of criteria in which to focus your search, your venue search should be reasonably straight forward!

Primary Considerations for a Wedding Venue Search

Wedding date

The more flexible you are, the greater your choice of venues. Remember that Saturdays in peak season get booked up quickly so consider Sundays or even Fridays. You will benefit from lower prices too. Note that Bank holiday Sundays also tend to book up quickly.

Type of ceremony

Typically your options will as follows:

Civil – 25 minute legal ceremony that will take place in a registry office or in approved premise, such as a country house hotel.

Religious – 50 minute religious ceremony in a House of God.

Civil with blessing – civil ceremony followed by a separate religious blessing

Civil with humanist – civil ceremony followed by a separate humanist blessing

Note, if you want a religious ceremony, you should already have good links with your local church. Alternatively, if you want to get married outside your own parish you might be able to register with an alternative church if you are prepared to attend mass regularly before your wedding.

Also note, if opting for a religious ceremony, for convenience your reception venue should be reasonably close by, ideally 5-10 minutes away, up to a maximum of 20-25 minutes.

Number of guests

Naturally, if you expect 100 guests you need to identify venues that can accommodate 100 guests and ideally more in order to avoid the possibility of squeezing tables together.

Total wedding budget

As indicated, allocate 50% of your total budget to your venue and catering costs. However this could be from 40%, or up to 60%.

Preferred geographical location(s)

Clearly the wider the geographical area you consider, the greater your choice of venues.

Venue style

There are a wide range of styles to consider, from boutique hotels to country clubs, or stately homes to livery halls.

Exclusive use of the venue

Decide early on if this is essential to you. Many venues only offer exclusive use as standard but others, such as large stately homes and hotels will have the space to accommodate 2 or more weddings at the same time. Usually they will be kept separate but sometimes it is not always the case. In such venues, exclusive use might be an option, for an additional fee.

Do you require guest accommodation onsite?

If so, how many guests and for how many nights? Note sometimes you might be expected to take a minimum number of rooms on the wedding night.

Would you consider a marquee?

Again, keep your options open in order to maximise your shortlist of venues especially if you expect more than 100 guests. Unfortunately there are many, many excellent venues across the UK that can only accommodate up to 100 guests internally, within the walls of the property and therefore a marquee is the only option for larger weddings. That being said, the design and style of marquees has come on enormously over the past 5 years and there are some super-modern styles available for hire.

Would you consider separate rooms for your ceremony, drinks reception, dinner and dancing? Or mind having the ceremony and dinner in the same room?

The venue’s room format is an often forgotten consideration when venue searching and can lead to huge disappointment, especially if you have travelled to view the property unaware of such considerations. It is sometimes the case a venue requires you to have both the ceremony and the meal in the same room. In such instances the room will be ‘turned around’ whilst the drinks reception takes place in another room, outside or in an annex, so you won’t be able to see the tables laid after the ceremony.

Alternatively, it might be that dancing cannot take place in the same room that the meal is served in and this can lead to segregated guests.

Or if you have filled the room to its dining capacity, it is often the case that in order to make space for a dance floor, 2 or 3 tables have to be removed.

Some Additional Considerations

Fireworks, confetti, candelabras/naked flames/tea lights, garden/outside area, late licence.

Again, all these elements can limit your choice of venues so do try to keep your options open! For instance, do you really want to lose out on what might be the perfect venue that happens to calls last orders at 11pm, just because you like the idea of celebrating until midnight or 1am?

Or will you really reject what could be your ideal property simply because they don’t permit fireworks?

Selecting Wedding Venue Location For A Mesmerising Wedding

A memorable and mesmerising reception is the result of sensible, responsive and careful planning of the wedding day. All it takes is to be comfortable, have patience and choose the finest and the most amazing wedding venue in order to arrange the complete wedding reception, dance, lunch, dinner and wedding games in an impeccable manner. However, choosing a venue requires lots of knowledge; this is why it is crucial task. Indeed, the complete wedding reception program is dependent upon the choice of the wedding venue. In fact, other wedding reception arrangements are also dependent upon the venue and its location. Therefore, deciding an ideal venue is the very first step of the wedding planning process.

Selecting Wedding Venue Location

Bride and groom must ensure the best and healthy venue location that is full of green vegetation and located near the city. Wedding reception place should be near to the city in order to conveniently transport the necessary wedding accessories, guests, bride and groom and other wedding related things to the wedding destination. It is also important to choose a place near the vibrant city so that maximum number of guest can attend and enjoy the ceremony.

However, the first thing that should be considered is to select one from the different venue locations in and around the region. Sometimes, it becomes difficult to book the nearest one because of seasonal bookings. It is also important to look at the cost of venue booking, internal arrangements, accessories, tables, cutlery, serving plates, glass wares, chairs, etc. before finalizing the venue. It is the vital factor to consider and the complete wedding budget is dependent on it.

Reckoning Seating Capacity

The second most important thing to consider is to personally observe the seating capacity. It is important to accommodate all your local and international guests at the same location. Determining the full capacity of the venue is the best thing to have in mind. In identifying the suitability of the wedding place you should also ascertain its past record. References from other people are helpful in this regard and help you find a better place.

Online Wedding Venue Directories

You should also enquire about menu, special diets, chocolates, audio and visual effects and other associated services at the same time. However, it is good to find the exact venues from the online wedding venue directories. These directories offer you the exact and the most desired venues as per the location preferences. If you are residing in Australia, then you can easily find the most convenient and beautiful wedding venues in Queensland, Sydney, Gold Coast, etc. In fact, you can see multiple venue options, compare prices, and look for other wedding planning accessories as per your needs

8 Tips For Finding The Perfect Wedding Venue

At the top of every engaged couple’s to-do list is finding the perfect wedding venue. Some couples know exactly which venue they’d like to host their wedding at from the moment they get engaged, while some of you may not have a clue as to what you want and what is even available to you in your area. The wedding venue is the first thing you will book as a newly engaged couple and it sets the tone for the overall feel for your wedding day.

The options are endless. From grand hotels to quaint bistros, sprawling gardens to urban rooftops, and rustic barns to modern cityscapes – the choices can become overwhelming. So how do you narrow down what you want in order to find the perfect wedding venue for your day? Even if you have a general idea of what you are looking for, there are so many factors to consider. Here are some tips to help guide you in finding the perfect wedding venue.

Determine your style.

A casual affair with outdoor elements, or a formal soirée at a grand hotel? Downtown chic or a lakeside retreat? A rustic country feel or modern urban ambiance? Determining the style of your wedding is the first step in deciding which venue fits your vision best. Every couple is different and will have a unique list of qualities that they are looking for in a venue. Once you nail down the style and feel you are looking for, you can contact venues that fit that description.

Pick a season.

A summer wedding in July or a winter wedding in December – you need to decide on the time of year you’d like to have your wedding so that when you contact venues they can let you know what dates are available in that particular month. Most weddings happen in the summer months, but autumn is also becoming a popular choice for couples to tie the knot. The month you choose to get married in will help determine the best fit for a venue. Depending when you want to get married, you might have to be flexible with your date as good venues book up at least a year in advance.

Come up with a budget.

This is the biggest factor when choosing a wedding venue. When you contact venues, ask them what the average cost is to have a wedding at their location. Costs vary greatly, and you want to make sure the venue fits within your budget before you go on a site visit. Otherwise, you may just be wasting your time, or fall in love with a venue that you can’t afford. Anyone contributing to the cost of the wedding should go along on the venue tours so that everyone has all of the information needed when making a decision on booking a venue. Make sure to get all of the information in writing so that you can review everything later and compare each venue properly to ensure they fit within the budgeted costs.

Determine the number guests.

You should have an idea on the number of guests you will be inviting to your wedding so that you can make sure the venues you visit can accommodate the number of guests you will be inviting. Always book a venue that can accommodate all invited guests – don’t book a venue hoping you will have fewer guests that can attend. Just in case most of the guests RSVP yes, you want to make sure your venue can accommodate everyone comfortably.

Do you want the ceremony and reception at the same location?

If so, you need to choose venues that can accommodate both. If you’d like an outdoor ceremony, does the venue have outdoor space to hold a ceremony and what is their plan B in case of rain? Will you need time in between the ceremony and reception to flip the room? Is there an extra rental fee to have the ceremony on site? If they don’t offer ceremony space, can they recommend a location close by that provides this service?

Ask the right questions.

Some venues offer full service – catering, tables, chairs, linens, glassware, dishware, lighting, bartenders, alcohol, tents, décor, music, and audio/visual. You will have to determine your needs before meeting with a venue to ensure they can provide everything that you need. Do they also provide a list of preferred vendors and are you required to book those vendors or can you bring in your own? What are all of the costs involved – rental fees, taxes, gratuities, service fees, cake cutting fees, set up fees. Get everything in writing before signing a contract and putting down a deposit.

What are your expectations for food and drink?

This is often the most important part of the wedding – some couples can be very particular on the style and quality of the food and drink that they serve their guests. Generally speaking, the higher the quality and service, the higher the price. What kind of food and beverages would you like to serve at your wedding? If you have a certain idea in mind – let’s say food stations or family style service, a casual bar-b-que feel or a gourmet five-course meal – you will need to make sure the venue can accommodate your requests. If not, will they allow you to bring in your own caterer? Do they have set menu packages and can they customize a menu for you? Do they provide a menu trial dinner? Will they provide the alcohol or do you need to provide it yourself and apply for your own permit? Will your expectations require extra servers and fees?

Consider the out of town guests.

Will you have a lot of out of town guests that will need accommodations and transportation? If so you’ll want to choose a venue that is close to hotels and where guests can be transported to easily. If the venue you absolutely love is a little out of the way, you may need to look into bus and shuttle services to get guests to and from the wedding site.

Best Wedding Venues To Hire

Wedding is the most important day in a person’s life, so everyone tries to make the wedding day unforgettable. Although all arrangements for the wedding play an important role for making the event successful, but the importance of venues is greater as compared to all other arrangements. Venue is a place that is specified and designed to hold wedding ceremonies.

A venue has all the required facilities and provides enough space to a large number of people effectively. Most of other wedding arrangements are dependent and influenced by the venue, so it can be said that venue is an important factor for making the wedding event successful or unsuccessful.

There are many venues all over the world that are known because of providing facilities to the guests that make their stay over there comfortable. Before hiring wedding venues, people must keep few things in mind so that the venue is perfect for the event.

There is no doubt that people have to consider their budget before selecting a wedding venue, but it must be considered that the wedding venue provides enough space for the number of guests invited in a wedding. A wedding venue that is very small or too large for the number of guests is not suitable for making the event wonderful, but it can destroy all wedding arrangements.

While looking for wedding venues to hire in the UK, people can search different websites that are aimed at providing details of wedding venues in different areas of the world. There are so many cheap and luxurious venues in the UK that can be hired to make the wedding ceremony exclusive. To make the wedding ceremony hassle free, people can use directories that provide lists of venues. In the UK, there are many hotels, restaurants, clubs and other types of venues like castles, historic buildings and churches.

Some famous wedding venues to hire in the UK include Ramada Maidstone, Winslowe house, Hilton bath city, Ramada London Gatwick, Menzies flitwick manor, rookery hall and spa, Ramada Glasgow city and Ramada Bowden hall. Some other wedding venues available in the UK are Alea Casino Leeds, Abode Manchester, Apex City Quay Hotel and Apa, Chesford Grange Hotel and Hendon Hall Hotel. All these wedding venues have many advanced facilities that can play an important role in making the wedding ceremony a memorable one. There are many other venues available in the UK as well that can be selected according to requirements.

There are many companies that can be very helpful for making the decision of the venue selection. Wedding services finder and directories can be very helpful for searching the most appropriate wedding venue easily. By completing the search criteria, a list of available venues can be found that can be very helpful for selection of the best venue. The comparison of different venues can make the decision easier. Internet can be the best source of finding not only the best venues but available facilities in these venues as well.