Wedding Venue Checklist

If you’re newly engaged, you are probably trying to get your head around venues for your special day,  A lot of planning and preparation goes into organising all the bits and pieces of the day, so it’s important to be prepared when contacting venues and doing venue visits, as your time is important.

Anyone who has started doing their venues search knows that many questions will be asked and need answering, so what are the right questions to ask?

We know the most important ones are:

  • How many people does your venue hold?
  • Do you have this date available?
  • Is there accommodation available with the venue on the date?

But after these it gets a bit trickier, so we’ve compiled a list of top questions our clients ask us, so that you can be prepared for any venue visit or phone call to a venue.

  • Who is the point of contact on the day? Is there a dedicated wedding co-ordinator or will the Conference & Banqueting Manager be there for the duration?
  • Is there a one wedding a day policy?
  • Is the venue available for exclusive use?
  • Are your packages flexible?
  • Are there any refurbishment or structural changes planned for the dates surrounding your wedding date?

Civil Ceremonies

  • Which room is licenced for civil ceremonies?
  • Will the ceremony take place in the same room as the meal?
  • What is the turnaround time?
  • Where the drinks reception shall be held during this time?

Food & Wine

  • Can I sample the wedding menu and is this included in the package at a cost or complimentary?
  • How much wine/prosecco/tea & coffee is included per guest? What is the recommended amount of drink per guest that is normal in a wedding reception?
  • Can I make changes to the decorations provided or bring my own?

The Reception – Decoration & Styling

  • What is included in the package- linens/tableware/cutlery/glasses?
  • Does the venue provide decoration/ lighting or is this outsourced?
  • What type of tables does the venue have (shape, size, top table)? Are there different options
  • Is there decoration provided in the package (menus, centrepiece, red carpet, cake stand)? What styles are there?
  • Does the package include flowers? Do you have any recommended suppliers that you use?
  • Can I make changes to the decorations provided or bring my own?
  • Are the chairs included in the package- do chair covers cost extra?
  • How far in advance can we have to decorate the room if we are decorating it ourselves?
  • Can we see examples of previous weddings and the decorations that they had?

 
The Wedding Party

  • If you are having a ‘movie’ or slide show during the speeches- does this have sound? Is there a projector in the venue? Is this an additional charge? Does this have a separate sound system?
  • Does the venue include sound systems in the package- do you need to hire in a sound system separately?
  • Where does the band set up? Is there a stage included in the package or is this additional?
  • Is there a late licence for the bar- is there a charge for this?
  • Are there microphones for the speeches?
  • Can we sync an iphone or ipad to the sound system?
  • What time do guests need to leave the venue?
  • How big is the dance floor? How many people will it accommodate?
  • Is there a secure place to store wedding presents?
  • Is there an outdoor smoking area?

Costs

  • What is the cost of hiring the venue?
  • What does the cost include? Does this include VAT and will service charge be added to the final bill?
  • What deposit is required? What are the payment options?
  • What is the cancellation policy?
  • Is the wedding menu tasting complimentary?

Catering

  • Does the venue allow for outsourcing of catering?
  • Can you see a list of different menu option? Is there a gluten free option? What are the special dietary requirement menu options?
  • When does the menu tasting occur- how many weeks out from the wedding date?
  • If there is no in-house catering in the venue, do they have a recommended catering company? Can outside caterers us the kitchen?
  • Is there a cake stand and knife for weddings? Is this included in the package?
  • What is the preferred order of service (speeches before the food is served or after?)
  • How many waiting staff will be provided at the service? How many per table? Will there be separate staff provided to serve water & wine?

Bar Service

  • How much wine is provided per guest in the package?
  • Does the venue supply bar tenders?
  • If you are allowed to bring your own wine, is there a corkage fee?
  • Are there restrictions on the amount of alcohol or type of alcohol served?

Civil Ceremony

  • Is the venue licenced to carry out a civil ceremony? Is it on the HSE Approved list?

Accommodation

  • Does the package include accommodation for the Bride and groom?
  • Do other members of the wedding party get a preferred wedding rate? How many people can receive this special wedding rate? How long do guests have to book this rate?

Parking

  • How much parking is available?
  • What is the cost of the overnight stay?

Restrictions

  • What time must the music stop?
  • Does the venue allow confetti/ candles/sparklers?
  • Do they allow professional firework displays on the grounds of the venue?
  • Can wine or spirits be given as wedding favours?
  • Are there any photography restrictions in the venue?

By all means this is quite a few questions to ask, and we are positive you will have more questions after reading the questions! But this list will help you make a start!

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