January 10, 2017
What are the most essential questions to ask your potential wedding venue? If you’ve never planned a big event or wedding, how will you know the most important questions to ask? Most people do not know to ask about cancellation policies, exclusive use venues or late bar certifications. These are the most important questions you need to ask your potential venues, to make sure you are well informed and that you can execute your wedding day as you envision it in your mind. A wedding venue open day gives you the chance to see the venue and make note of the details, like whether there is handicap accessibility or where you can have your ceremony or reception. Feel free to take this essential list of questions with you when you attend the venue’s open day, these questions are the only way to find out if the venue is the perfect location for your dream wedding and wedding venue open days give you a chance to ask as much as you can!
- Do you offer exclusive use of the venue for the weddings and reception?
Whether you’re going big or small with your wedding, you’ll want to know about exclusive use. One of the nicest things about hiring out the entire venue to be exclusively yours, is that only you and your nearest and dearest will be present on your big day. Exclusive Use Venues are an excellent alternative for your wedding, rather than stay in a hotel, forced to mingle with other guests before, during and after your wedding and reception, you can hire an exclusive use venue allowing your event to be completely private. From the moment, you and your guests arrive the accommodations and grounds are for your enjoyment, not shared, so exclusive use is perfect for your luxury wedding.
- How many various rooms are available and how many people do they accommodate?
It’s very important that you get these big questions out of the way first, as to not fall in love with a venue only to find out the venue cannot accommodate the number of guests you require for a seated dinner. You will want to know how the price varies based on number of guests. Some venues have an increase in costs when numbers get a little higher, make sure you know before you get too heavily involved.
- Are they licensed for ceremonies?
It is lovely to hold your ceremony in the same place as your reception, so things run much more smoothly as it takes travel out of the question, making it easier for families attending. Keeping the event all in one place is just more convenient for everyone involved from guests to friends, family and staff. You will want to clarify which locations and rooms are available for ceremonies and which for receptions, tour these spaces and get details as to how the day will flow and function. Summer and spring weddings benefit from the use of outdoor spaces, giving stunning backdrops for the day’s events and photographs as well as giving everyone a chance to enjoy the beautiful weather. Is the venue licensed for outdoor use?
- Have you ever had a wedding similar to my concept? Can I see pictures?
This is something that is worth asking! Seeing images and examples of weddings similar to yours helps you visualize your big day more clearly and puts your mind at ease about the ability of the venue to cater to your needs. You’ll want to verify if there are decoration guidelines or restrictions. As exquisite as any venue might be, you have a specific vision for your wedding day, so it’s worth clarifying the specifics as to the scope of moving things around and adding your own decorations within the venue. It is important to find out if there are any unique little touches that the venue can provide to make your wedding extra special, the professional event planners will have several options available to make your day run a little smoother and ideas on how to make the venue look that bit more special.
- How late can the bar stay open? And what about suppliers & caterers?
Since this is often one of the biggest parties you will ever throw and without making the wedding coordinator think you’re an alcoholic, you’ll want to make sure your celebrations can carry on as long as you want them to, and some venues will need to apply for an extension license if you choose to party into the wee hours. You don’t want to get to midnight and be kicked out of your own wedding, because you assumed venues went until 2am just like bars, the legalities are very different for venues and vary by country, county and city! The venue will no doubt have good relationships with and can put you in touch with local suppliers. It’s important that you know where everything’s coming from, if the venue can help to source items and services, all the better for you and much less stress in the end! How well able is the venue or their caterer able to accommodate guests with special dietary needs? This might seem like a small detail, but preparing an entirely separate menu for allergy sufferers can actually be quite a big undertaking for a venue or caterer, so it’s essential to make sure that this is something that they are happy to do.
Be sure to use your cell phone (or a digital camera) to take photos or videos of the location during the wedding open day. Pay attention to the venue as a whole, this is one of the best aspects of attending a wedding venue open day, you get the chance to check out everything, including the restrooms, the foyer, the dressing rooms, the outdoor lighting and even the kitchen. Be sure your vision can be realized at this location and seeing the venue at an open day allows you to see what the venue looks like when it's set up for a wedding.
Once you’ve found THE PLACE and you decide you really love the site, you’ll want to ask the venue representative to put together a proposal with all the pricing and policies, including the tax and service charge, so you have an idea of the basic cost. The best part of touring the venue and attending the open day is you will get a chance to meet the suppliers and caterers, taste the food and see the décor and flowers, arranged as they would be for an open day. You will be able to use the above list to verify that this venue is the one of your dreams!