Choosing the wedding venue is one of the most important decisions made in the entire wedding planning journey and, often, the first step in the planning process! For many, it is easy to get carried away with the beautiful surroundings, luxurious rooms and what they have to offer, often distracting us from asking the all-important questions to be asked prior to securing the venue. Here we list what we feel are the top, key questions all couples (or their dedicated wedding planner) should address with any venue which is being considered as a possible contender for a wedding ceremony, reception, or both!
1). Will the venue be exclusive to you/your wedding party?
Whilst this sounds like an obvious question, it is important to ask the question, especially to venues that typically cater for large functions, such as hotels or grand buildings where there are often several entry points, suites and areas where a wedding celebration can take place.
2). What is the comfortable capacity of guests at the venue?
Many venues will offer their maximum number of guests to the couple, but this may not be practical for the wedding celebration you envision, especially if part of the space is being used for entertainment or activity purposes. The maximum number of guests may be forfeiting certain layout and seating arrangements which may not be ideal, or necessarily comfortable for your guests, so it is important to understand the differences and to assess all suitable options.
3). Are they licenced to hold civil ceremonies?
We often work with couples who prefer to have the ceremony and reception in the same place for travel logistics and ease on the day. In these instances, we strongly advise checking whether the venue holds a specific wedding licence for the ceremony or whether the couple will need to visit a registry office or the equivalent elsewhere, before or after the wedding day to have their Civil wedding officially legalised.
4). Are there any restrictions with regards to décor or equipment allowed?
This question may typically follow once the venue is secured and when discussing the finer details, however, we advise asking this in the first instance too, particularly if you have certain elements of the wedding day in mind already, as the venue may not be able to cater for these. For example, some venues have sound and timing restrictions or décor/styling limitations such as using LED candles only and not real candles/no indoor spark fireworks or sparkle fountains for example, due to fire hazard and safety reasons.
5). Does the venue have an appropriate wet weather contingency plan?
Residing in the UK with such unpredictable weather, we know this is such an important one and one that applies to all wedding locations! Even when planning to wed in the best season, location and weather possible, you can never be 100% sure if it will rain and thus it is important to have an appropriate backup plan in place. Some venues will offer alternative areas or rooms in the event of wet weather, whereas others may suggest hiring a marquee as a backup alternative if using their outdoor space.
This list is by no means exhaustive and there are many other factors that should be asked and considered, subject to the wedding vision you have in mind. At Love Lydia Weddings and Events, we work side by side with our couples to ensure all such questions are addressed in advance of the venue selection and to allow for smooth and care-free planning for all our couples, enabling them to have the wedding of their dreams! If you are in search of assistance or advice for your wedding, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information on how we can best support you!