Questions To Ask: Your Venue

Okay, WELCOME to a subcategory of ‘The Wedding Series’ – ‘Questions To Ask…’!

Viewing venues and doing your research is really fun, but what about when you get to your meetings? What are the important questions to ask before signing that contract? Same applies for your photographer, baker, florist…hence this new little category!

Our venue coordinator is amazing, and a lot of these questions were actually answered during our initial show around/sit down (that level of efficiency gave me real peace of mind moving forward!), but here’s the list I compiled last March!

And let me just point out too, that this is the list for the initial meeting, when you and your fiance are in the midst of venue viewings and trying to get a feel for which venue fits you best. There will be PLENTY more questions you’ll want to ask during the planning process, but these are the ones you want to know before booking.

Questions To Ask: Your Venue

  1. Is wedding insurance included in the price?
  2. How long can you hold the date we want?
  3. Chair decor – is it included in the package/options/prices?
  4. Vendors – do you have suppliers you recommend/work with regularly?
  5. Can we have lit candles?
  6. Do you have any rules about confetti, fireworks or other decorations?
  7. Will we have to hire/pay extra for chairs, glassware, table cloths etc?
  8. What are our lighting options for the reception?
  9. Is there a safe place for gifts?
  10. Is VAT included in the final price?
  11. Accommodation – do guests pay us, or the venue directly?
  12. Do you provide mics for speeches?
  13. Will we need to vacate any rooms for setting up (at any time during the day)? If so, what are our options during that time?
  14. Does the bar take cash or card?
  15. Is there a schedule for; initial deposit, final payment, charges for staff.
  16. Will the venue clear everything away afterwards?
  17. When can we start setting up?
  18. Do you have public liability insurance?
  19. What are your usual timings for the day (ceremony, food etc)?
  20. Can we move things around to decorate?
  21. Can we have a written confirmation email and contract?
  22. Diameter of circular tables (how much room will we have for centre pieces)?
  23. Does the DJ provide their own decorations (star cloths, uplights etc)?
  24. Do you provide easels for signs?
  25. Do you provide a cake stand and knife?
  26. Do you host more than one event at a time?
  27. Do you allow sparklers?
  28. How many guests can you accommodate in the day/evening?
  29. Which rooms are licensed for civil ceremonies?
  30. Do you/how do you cater for food allergies/vegetarians/vegans?

As I said, there will be LOADSSSS more questions that will come up during the planning process, these are just the ones to get you going before you sign on the dotted line. There are (of course) more questions that you can ask (questions that will be on wedding sites and other articles), but a lot of these will actually be answered on the venue’s website/in the brochure, before you even go for a viewing!

Things like:
Do you offer a complimentary menu tasting?
How much wine is included per person?
What evening food do you offer?

…which is why they haven’t been included in my list. These are all the questions we asked, got firm answers right there on the spot, and we came back feeling very well informed – and in a good place to move forward with the booking!

ONLY 3 WEEKS TO GO NOW!

Lynette x

Wedding Planning Tips

Wedding Planning is a mammoth task. 

There’s so much to do, more than you’ll realise until you actually start doing it! I’m still adding things to my checklist and I’ve been planning for 12 months! So I wanted to take this opportunity to share some tips for the planning experience with you – whether you’re deep into wedding planning, only just starting out – or just curious! Some of these are discoveries/thoughts I made and some came from advice from friends/family. There’s lots of advice out there, but I wanted to note some tips I discovered from my own experiences. So! Here we go:

DECIDE ON YOUR BUDGET

Stick to it and keep track of what you’re spending! Whether you’re spending a lot, a little, or somewhere in the middle, it really doesn’t matter – but sticking to your budget is so important. The cost can quite quickly add up, and you want to make sure you’re not spending on unnecessary things at the detriment of things you want. So keep a note of everything you’re spending. I made a spreadsheet of all our expenditures as and when they got booked. It lists the vendor and/or product, the total amount, deposit amount, remaining balance, and a tick box for when the full payment had been made. And I’m so glad I did – it was quite sobering to write it all down and realise how quickly it was adding up!

CREATE A PRIORITY LIST

Linked to the last point…make an ordered list from the things that are important, down to the things that would be nice, but not necessary. This makes it easier when trying to stick to your budget. The order of the list doesn’t really matter, and we’re all different, so there’s no point in me sharing ours with you – but sit down with your significant other and decide where you want to splurge, and where you’re happy to pay less.

NOTICE OF MARRIAGE

Don’t forget about it! I know it’s the legal side so should be blindingly obvious, but when you’re distracted by pretty dresses and venues and cakes and flowers…going to the registry office with appropriate documents to prove you are who you say you are, and that you know the person you’re getting married to, just kind of gets lost! Also, a lot of checklists you see online have you doing that in the ‘3 Months Before’ section. Nooooooo! Unless you’re planning a last minute wedding, you have to give notice of marriage A YEAR BEFORE! So make sure you read the emails and small print about this once you’ve booked your minister/registrar.

CHECKLISTS

They’re honestly a life saver. As I’ve already said, there’s SO much to organise, so having lists makes it all so much easier to deal with.

DON’T WEAR MAKEUP TO YOUR DRESS FITTING

I saw this suggested online somewhere, and it’s an amazing idea! You want your wedding day to feel as special as possible, so you don’t want to see yourself in your dress, all made up, BEFORE then! If you’re having your hair up, wear it down (and vice versa), don’t wear any makeup, and pop your glasses on (if you have them but won’t be wearing them on the day). I did this for both of my dress fittings, and honestly, I’m so glad I did.

CHOP THE GUEST LIST TO SAVE MONEY

Brutal, but when the price per head can be so much, it’s the easiest way of bringing down the cost of your wedding. 

MAKE A SPREADSHEET FOR VENDOR INFORMATION

Or if you have a specific page laid out in your wedding planner like mine, great! Note the company name, the name of the person you dealt with, what they’re providing, their email, and phone number. When emails are so accessible on phones these days you don’t HAVE to, but having it all in one place is great. This set up of information is so handy, I found this particularly when we met with our venue coordinator a few weeks back who needed all of these details! It was a swift 30 second exchange of info rather than me having to riffle through emails and bits of paper for half an hour.

APPOINT A WEDDING PARTY/FAMILY MEMBER TO BE THE PHOTO ‘WRANGLER’

Suggested by our lovely photographer, and we’re definitely doing this! Though I’m not sure if we’ve told him yet… 😂 Your photographer doesn’t know who’s who, so it’s a good idea to use someone who DOES to organise who’s in what photo. On your wedding day, you don’t want to be worrying about doing the job yourself, so appoint a friendly helper, and the time for family shots will run super smoothly.

DESIGNATE SOMEONE TO COLLECT GIFTS/DECOR/PERSONAL ITEMS

We spend so much time prepping for the wedding, it’s very easy to overlook any time AFTER. Make sure that you’ve spoken to your venue about how/when things like this need to happen, and ask a trustworthy guest to help by sticking things in their car/room if needs be.

DIY TO SAVE MONEY

Soooo many articles suggest doing this to save money, and I suppose it depends on what you’re wanting, as to whether it’s doable. We’re doing the centre pieces ourselves: it’s working out more cost effective than hiring, AND it means we have total freedom to play around with ideas/do what we want. And everything we’re buying will be put to use after the wedding too!

WRITE A DO NOT PLAY LIST

This is a page in one of (I have two!) wedding planners – BRILLIANT idea! As part of our RSVPs, we asked guests for a song ‘to get them on the dancefloor’, but I wouldn’t have thought of a DO NOT PLAY list had it not been for my planner! There’s not much music we don’t enjoy, but I feel safe in the knowledge that we won’t be subject to The Beatles or Cyndi Lauper on our big day, should people request songs from the DJ. 

UTILISE THE KNOWLEDGE OF YOUR VENDORS

They do this for a living, so if you have a question/problem/are looking for advice – ask! For example, there’s lots of theories about freezing your wedding cake – when, how long for etc – whilst Google can be a brilliant tool, why not just ask your baker! A quick email and you’ll get a reliable answer. We also got advice from our photographer about confetti, something we wouldn’t have thought of – but as a seasoned pro, he knows what works and doesn’t work!

TRY NOT TO STRESS

It’s easier said than done, honestly, I know. But it’s true. A couple of months back, I really struggled with wedding stress, but I wrote a post about it here, took some of my own advice as well as that of family and friends, and I felt much better. It’s such a special time, and it’s really not worth getting yourself worked up over it.

And before I sign off, just remember that this is YOUR day. You’re doing it for the two of you, no one else, so make the decisions you want to make – not because you’re being made to feel guilty, or forced into something, by someone else. And enjoy your planning time! It’s going to absolutely FLY! I can’t believe it’ll be over for me in 6 weeks time! I won’t know what to do with myself 😂

Until next time,

Lynette x