25 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Venue Before Booking

Written by Caitlin Hoare
Let me tell you a story (it is relevant to booking your wedding venue, I promise!)…

Once upon a time when I was the manager of a wedding venue (circa 2016), I had such an excitable soon-to-be bride that as we came to the end of her first ever viewing she told me she wanted to book the venue, and pay the deposit right there and then, even though she was there with her best friend and not her future husband! Believe me, that level of excitement is super contagious, and I really didn’t want to burst her bubble, but I also know that that level of excitement wears off, and then the head kicks in, the rational thinking, the reality of booking your wedding venue and the responsibility of paying the (often non-refundable) deposit. Reader, I didn’t take her money, of course I didn’t. I told her I’d hold the date for her while she had a chat with her partner, they worked out the financials / logistics and invited them to come back and view together before confirming. In the end I don’t think it took them long but she did book and they went on to have an amazing (but fairly raucous, if I remember rightly) day!

This kind of scenario wasn’t uncommon where I worked (Walcot Hall, if you’re interested) because the venue was magic. It would sweep you off your feet, was home to the most enchanting gardens and grounds and had accommodation for 100+ guests. But myself and my team got used to meeting lots of excitable couples, plus their families and friends, so would know what important information to share and when was the right time to give couples space to think and imagine their special day in those magical surroundings.

Although the romance of booking ‘the one’ on first glance and being able to tick that massive task off your wedmin list seems fun and super exciting, I would urge you to try not to get too swept up in the moment. There are a few questions that you need to ask your venue before you sign on the dotted line. For most couples this will be your first marriage or even the first wedding or large event you’ve ever planned so it’s fair to say you might be feeling a little overwhelmed. Choosing your wedding venue should be done with equal parts head and heart. Every venue is different and so is every wedding but as long as you ask these key questions (and are happy with the answers) then I believe you’re safe to let the heart take over, get your credit card out and secure the one!

So with that in mind, let’s go…

Questions to Ask Your Wedding Venue
  • How long is the hire period for?
  • What is included in the cost of the hire?
  • Do you have specific suppliers that I have to book or can I bring in my own?
  • How much is the deposit and what are the payment terms?
  • What happens if I need to postpone / cancel my booking?
  • Do you have a wedding licence?
  • Do you have disabled / wheelchair access and accessible facilities?
  • Do you have accommodation on site? If so, can I book it exclusively?
  • Do you allow dogs?
  • Do you allow fireworks / sparklers / candles / confetti?
  • Can I or my suppliers set up before the big day?
  • Will I have a wedding coordinator to help us with us plans and to assist on the day?
  • How much parking do you have available?
  • Can we bring in our own wine? If so, do you charge corkage?
  • Are we able to host a breakfast / brunch the next day for guests staying on site?
  • If we plan for an outdoor wedding but the weather isn’t on our side, do you have a Plan B option?
  • Are there any areas that have restricted access?
  • Do you have a Honeymoon Suite or somewhere for the bride / groom to get ready?
  • Is there someone to help put out tables / chairs and help with logistics on the day?
  • Do you have sufficient heating / air con in extreme weather?
  • Can we have live music? Do you have a sound limiter?
  • What time does our evening reception have to finish?
  • Is there somewhere quiet for older guests, breastfeeding mums to take some time out?
  • Is there anything happening nearby / in the local area around our wedding date that we should know about? Events / festivals / charity runs / local shoots etc.
  • Are you flexible on check in / check out times?

Planning Tip

Make sure you get as much as you can down in writing and keep communication clear and transparent with your venue coordinator throughout your wedding planning journey. They want you to have the best day EVER and will do everything they can to make that happen but be realistic with your requests and remember they could be juggling multiple wedding booking at once.

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