Anybody that has planned a wedding will tell you that booking your Wedding Venue is a lovely but eye opening experience.
You walk in, are taken aback by its beauty and are practically chomping at the bit to sign on the dotted line and enter yourself into binding contract with the venue.
It’s then often the case after you’ve signed that you start to realise the venue might not be as perfect for you as it seemed on the face of it.
Here are 5 practical questions you need to ask before booking your venue.
1. Do you accept credit/debit cards?
Some venues will not have a bar area (think converted barns, marquees, village halls) and therefore a mobile bar is often brought in.
If your venue has a mobile bar they use as standard you need to check payment methods – this can be tricky as often venues with a mobile bar provider are not willing to change the supplier.
Remember that if it is a cash bar and you want to go ahead, you’ll need to give your guests a clear heads up that they will need to bring cash with them and provide directions to the nearest cash point.
2. What are the noise limitations?
That beautiful village location is all well and good, but it can make for grumpy nearby residents.
Venues in residential areas are often restricted when it comes to live music and you will need to check this with the venue if you’re planning a musical extravaganza that lasts up until midnight.
3. What’s the contingency plan for bad weather?
Living in the UK, we’re well aware that the weather is going to do its own thing regardless of season and that we simply can’t plan a wedding on the assumption that it will be a day free from rain, wind, hail, storms etc.
For this reason, if you’re seeing the venue on a beautiful sunny day it’s advisable to go back and see it on a dreary day.
Assume this is the kind of weather you’ll be experiencing during your wedding ceremony and reception and ask the venue staff to outline how the day will go if this is the case.
Seeing the venue on a less than perfect day of weather could lead to a very different experience and therefore is a worthwhile investment of time before signing on the dotted line.
4. Is the venue suitable for those with physical disabilities?
Even if your guest list doesn’t have a person with a physical disability it’s always worth asking this question.
From a guest breaking their leg in the run up to the wedding to a plus one with a physical disability, you need to know that the venue can provide adequate arrangements for those that are not able bodied.
5. What are my options with regards to catering and décor?
Venue policies on bringing in your own supplies differ massively and if you don’t ask them to outline every detail before booking, you could find that your choices are limited further down the line.
Ask about the alcohol policy – are you able to bring in your own wine for the tables?
How about the linens, cutlery and glass ware?
Some venues will even insist on a wedding cake being supplied from an approved supplier, which can put a real spanner in the works if you have a cake maker in mind.
Make a list of supplies to go through to ensure nothing is missed, from the décor arrangements you are planning to the catering options and sit down with the coordinator to go through each point.
A well organised venue will have their policies and procedures nailed down and ready to go through with any couple thinking of booking.
Don’t be afraid to ask direct questions; it’s the biggest day of your life and you need to be practical about how the day will flow with venue restrictions in place.
Author Bio: Zeenat is part of the team at wedding venue The City Rooms in the heart of Leicester City Centre.
She has a multitude of experience in assisting couples plan their big day and understands the importance of practicality when planning a wedding.