Ready to sign on that dotted line? Wait- you may just regret rushing!
Have you asked everything you need to know before you hand over that deposit and agree to those never-ending venue Terms & Conditions? Take a look at the 5 top questions you should ask your chosen venue before booking- it’s pretty important stuff and could be the difference between your dream wedding and a full blown nightmare!
5. What’s included- and even more importantly, what’s not included?
As a wedding coordinator at an established venue, this is one of the biggest sticking points for couples. It comes down to this- we all want to get a bargain! Does it sound too good to be true? Because it might just be. Check with the venue wedding coordinator exactly what is included and any additional services you’d require which would cost. Does your venue provide toilets? Is it corkage free? Are chairs provided for free (yep, some charge per chair and hide it- sneaky!)? The big one… Is VAT included? Make sure you know exactly the cost of your wedding at the venue before agreeing to anything!
4. Can we have any caterers we choose?
When you first start looking at venues, you may assume you can have what you want- it’s your big day, after all! However, many venues stipulate caterers to be used, but trust me, it’s all in good reason. Recommended suppliers are likely to have worked on the site previously, they will not be required to carry out site visits for your wedding if they have already been and their food will be approved by the venue, so you know it’s good stuff!
“But we want to do our own catering!”
With couples trying to keep the costs down, as well as trends such as wedding ‘Bake Offs’ and dessert tables, more and more couples want to do at least one part of their catering. One thing to be aware of- venues have to cover themselves with insurance and may require this from you too. After all, if your food poisons your guests (god forbid), they’ll want to cover themselves! So check all this before you sign- agree to a venue and you may well be agreeing to a stipulated caterer too!
3. What else needs doing before I book?
Booking your venue should NOT be the first thing that you secure, as much as it seems the natural first step. There are a few more suppliers that, without their attendance, could mean bye-bye any wedding at all! So what should you do?
- Pencil in a provisional date- most venues hold for around 14 days for you to confirm details.
- Ring the registrar for the area you’re getting married in (not the registrar local to your house!) and book them for your date. You can find more info on registrars and the legalities here.
- Check the chosen/recommended caterer is available for your date- if they aren’t, make sure there’s an alternative.
- If you have any other priorities, e.g. a certain photographer or ensuring important guests can make it, check all of this before signing with the venue- that’s what the 14 days are for, so use it wisely!
2. Is there any accommodation near by?
If your venue doesn’t supply accommodation, check that there are local options for guests, particularly if your venue is rural and far from your hometown. While most will have this, it should not be assumed, as no local accommodation would be a pretty tricky issue to get around- I’m not sure how happy guests would be spending the night in a tent!
1. “I have a theme- am I allowed to…”
Everyone wants their wedding to be unique and memorable, with themes becoming more and more popular to stand out from the crowd. From the classic vintage theme, to the more crazy ideas, you may want to run through your vision with your venue. I regularly get excited bride-to-be’s with lots of wonderful, wacky ideas and while it sounds like a brilliant idea, reality may limit certain key aspects of their theme.
Things to be especially mindful of? Fireworks, lanterns, confetti, animals- basically, anything that creates a mess, a noise or a potential hazard may be a no-go!
Still deciding your theme? Take a look at these inspirational ideas from Brides Magazine!
Now you’ve got your questions answered, how about answering those questions for you? You know the ones, those annoying niggling questions from relatives like ‘Are you sure?’ (yes, I’m blooming sure!). Be prepared- check out ‘The 5 Most Annoying Wedding Questions & How To Handle Them’