7 Essential Venue Questions You Need To Ask Before You Book.
Whilst it can be oh so easy to get carried away with your dream venue on the first visit, crucial venue questions about spaces, equipment and services are often overlooked and details of what you are getting or what is available, unclear.
TOP TIP: Go along to visit your shortlist of venues with a vision in mind of how much space you will need, potential extra equipment requirements and the help you will have on the day from the venue.
The last thing you want to be doing on your big day is worrying about the little details you may at first have forgotten to ask. Here, Nadia Mirhosseini, wedding and events manager for Cockliffe Country House Hotel has put together seven essential venue questions to ask to ensure you can relax in the run up to your special day, safe in the knowledge that you really have thought of everything and so has your venue. So, take note!
How do you ensure all of my requirements are communicated to the team on the day?
You may get on like a house on fire with your venue’s wedding coordinator, but who will be looking after you on the day? If the answer is someone else, which it very commonly is, it’s worth finding out how they will be briefed on your specific requirements and ask whether meeting with this person is possible before the day.
Many venues will put together a function sheet that sets out the specifications of the bride and groom. You might even like to ask to review this to ensure that all of the important details have been captured accurately. Another option is to ask for a pre-wedding meeting with the head of the on-site team on the day.
When can we get access to the space to decorate and set up?
Whilst many venues will ensure the room is available to you as far in advance as possible, don’t assume this will always be the case, some venues might be holding other weddings – something else to note. You don’t want your decorating team to turn up and find that they are not able to access the rooms – that’s a phone call you could really do without.
Where do you put the dance floor, and how big is the space?
If a fun fuelled dance floor full of energy is up high on your list of priorities, this will be an important consideration for you. A simple way to calculate the ideal size for you is to assume 40% of your guests will be dancing at any one time, and each guest needs about 5 sq ft of dance floor.
It’s also worth checking with the venue when they plan to lay the floor to ensure minimal disruption, and which furniture they will remove, and from where and when they do. You may have an idea in your head that Great Aunt Ethel needs to sit as close as possible to the rest rooms, so it’s best to check whether that table will be there for the duration of the day.
What audio visual facilities do you have?
Depending on your choice of evening entertainment, you might be able to save money if your venue already has equipment that you can use. They may have a sound system with speakers and handheld microphones, which could be used for speeches or even to play music through from a laptop or ipod even. Make sure you visit your venue with an idea in mind of what equipment you’ll need for entertainment and the space too. Can your venue supply these?
Is there an option for a dinner the night prior, or a brunch on the following morning?
When your wedding date comes around, you will want to draw out the day to make it last as long as possible. It is also one of the only occasions in your life where you will have all of your nearest and dearest in the same place at the same time. Tagging on an additional meal for your inner circle of guests is a fantastic way to make the most of the opportunity, and provides an additional chance to have meaningful conversations with those you cherish – something that is not always possible in the whirlwind of the day itself. Would you choose to have a pre-wedding meal with a few key members of your family? If so make sure your venue offers this service, especially if you wish to stay there the night before the wedding.
Do you operate a cloakroom for guests?
The British weather can be difficult to predict. If your guests have brought coats, bags and umbrellas, the room could soon get very cluttered and the excess baggage could cause an inconvenience to your invitees. Many venues will operate a simple cloakroom or even provide a rail in the corner of the room, if you ask in advance.
Are there any restrictions we should know about?
It’s a good idea to ask this general question of your venue. The venue may have noise restrictions after midnight, for example. Restrictions sometimes apply to photography, too. Some venues don’t allow flash photography in some areas, or perhaps the beautiful pagoda that you imagined having your photographs taken in is structurally unsound or unavailable for another reason.
Whilst there are certainly a lot of things to think about in the run-up to your big day, don’t forget if your wedding venue offers a dedicated wedding coordinator, they will have come across EVERY situation imaginable, and will be more than happy to share their advice and tips with you!