Did you get engaged over the festive holidays?! With 2019 now in full swing you might be starting to think about that all important wedding venue search.

Before you commit to any venue be sure to ask lots of questions and write everything down as you will most likely visit quite a few in a short space of time.Β Below are my top questions to ask!

Wedding ceremony at The Priest's House in North Yorkshire
Photo Credit – Richard Perry Photography

What availability do you have?

Venues get booked up quickly so this is one of the questions you should ask first, especially if you are planning on having your wedding in high season. If you have a special date in mind then make a note of this too.

What’s your capacity?

It might seem obvious but the number of guests you plan on inviting really is worth knowing from the outset so that you can find the perfect venue. There is nothing worse than going to view the most ideal venue and realising that they can’t accommodate your numbers. Make sure you ask how many guests you can have for both the wedding breakfast and evening reception.

Marquee wedding at Chapelgarth Estate
Photo Credit – Joe Dodsworth Photography

Can we have a legal ceremony?

If you want to have your ceremony and reception all in one place then make sure you ask if the venue can hold licensed ceremonies and where they need to take place. If the ceremony isn’t legal then you will need to think about having it elsewhere or arranging a celebrant/humanist at the venue. You can then make everything legal before or after!

Will we have exclusivity of the venue?

Having exclusive access to your venue means that there will be no one else on the grounds apart from you and your guests. If this is important to you then make sure you add this to your list of questions.

Bride and groom at Lambert's Yard in Leeds
Photo Credit – Caitlin + Jones Photography

How long can we hire the venue for?

If you are planning a DIY wedding then finding out how long you can have your venue for is really important. Some venues will only give you access on the morning of your wedding whereas others will have a weekend or four day hire period which is great when you have all that decorating to do! Make sure you also ask what time you have to be out by so that you can plan your lie in and enjoy a nice breakfast.

What’s included in the venue hire?

Every single wedding venue works in different ways so it’s crucial to find out what is included in the hire charge. Before you hand over a deposit ask for a contract to be put in place so that everything is itemised and in writing. You can then refer back to it whenever you like throughout the planning so that you know exactly what you are paying for.

Wedding cake ideas by Where the Ribbon Ends
Photo credit – Natasha Cadman Photography

Are there any supplier restrictions?

Often venues have a preferred suppliers list so if you have a particular caterer in mind, florist or stylist then make sure you ask this question so that you know who you can and cannot book.

Do you have any accommodation on site or close by?

If lots of your guests are travelling a fair distance then it might be worth finding a venue that either has accommodation on site or close by so that they don’t have far to go once they are here. Also ask if there is a bridal suite or somewhere for you and your bridal party to get ready so that you can be close to your venue on the morning of your wedding.

Outdoor wedding ideas
Photo credit – Alex Abbott Photography

Are there any sound restrictions?

If a venue is in a small village or a similar location then there will often be sound restrictions in place so as not to disturb the locals. Make sure you ask this before you book any entertainment so that you are fully aware of when live music has to finish and whether music can take place outside.

What planning support will I get on the day and throughout?

Last but not least! Make sure you ask about what planning support will be offered to you and what support you will get on the day of your wedding. Planning any wedding no matter how big or small is time consuming and overwhelming so having that support is crucial. If your venue doesn’t offer this or if you feel like you need a little additional guidance then this is when independent wedding planners can be extremely useful!

Find out more about my planning and on the day coordination services.

Festival themed wedding in Leeds, West Yorkshire
Photo credit – David West Photography

That’s pretty much it! It may seem a little intense but honestly it’s worth it in order to not have any stress later down the line. Get everything in writing and you will be just fine πŸ™‚

Sian xxx