Looking at wedding venues can be quite fun but can also be a little bit daunting as there’s so much information to take in and to compare. You’ve looked at countless wedding venues online and narrowed down the style of venue you want and what suits you. You’ve booked to view different venues but what should you expect when going to view them?
Before you book a viewing you may have already emailed or had a phone call from the venue about wedding dates you’re thinking of and approximately how many people will be invited. If this hasn’t come up when you’re going to your viewing then jot them down and ask while you’re there.
First Impressions Count
First impressions are always important. You want to have confidence that the venue you choose will take care of you and help plan your wedding so that everything runs smoothly. And this all starts with the website and initial contact. Do they email you straight away? Do they call you? Do you call them and they follow up with an email? This all counts towards that first impression you make of the venue.
When you go to your viewing the person you are meeting should be there waiting. If they’re not and you have to go looking for them it doesn’t exactly give you confidence in them. (And this has happened to me where I’ve had to search for a receptionist, it doesn’t look good for the venue).
You’ll most likely be given a brochure, available dates (if you’ve given a general time of year or month you’d like to be married and not a specific date i.e August 2019) and prices. If catering is in-house they’ll also likely give you some menus with prices based per person and drinks packages. If there is no in-house catering they’ll either give you a list of catering companies you have to choose from or their recommended caterers with some sample menus.
The venue may also give you a list of recommended suppliers such as photographers, florists, car hire and local hotels guests can stay in.
What else do I need to know?
Whomever is showing you around should be able to give you plenty of information on the venue itself and show you to each room that is either included in your price or as options for your wedding. They’ll likely ask you a lot of questions because they’ll want to get as much information as possible about you and your wedding. They could ask about colour schemes you’ve thought of, table arrangements (round or long trestle tables), the feel you’re going for etc.
What should I ask?
You’ll need to ask plenty of questions too. You need to get as much information about the venue to help you make your final decision. Before you go to a venue viewing jot a few down to take in with you so you won’t forget to ask.
Are there any limitations with decorations? Can we hang decorations down from the ceiling?
What time do we have the room/venue from to start setting up?
Can we extend the evening by an hour?
Do you have a pa system we can use for the speeches? Is there an extra charge for this?
Do you have disabled access? (if you don have disabled guests check out the disabled toilets and bedrooms if there are any at your venue)
Do you have public liability insurance?
How much is the deposit and when does it need to be paid by?
Will my DJ/Band have enough room to set up and for their equipment?
Are there any extra charges we should know about? – This can include VAT, table linens, chair hire, service charge, to have fairy lights on, so make sure there’s no hidden costs.
If the venue has a chair/table display out so you can see an idea of what one will look like for your wedding ask if those chairs are included in the hire price or are they extra (some places may put out fancier chairs and not tell you until you’ve booked that they’re an extra cost, same with tables).
If you’d like me to create a full list of questions to take with you to venue viewings, leave a comment in the comment box.
Make a comparison
Once you’ve viewed each venue jot a few notes down as to what you thought of it and any pros and cons. This will help you later when you come to compare all venues side-by-side.
Create a table with venue and catering costs with your estimated guest numbers to compare prices. You can also add on what the hire price for each venue includes below each table, it may help you make your decision.
If you’re not sure which month you’d like to married do another companion table for each venue with their differing prices. You’ll find a lot of the time May-September is more expensive as this is the Wedding season. Whereas having your wedding in April or October or January can be a lot cheaper and may suit your budget more.