Picking the right venue to host your wedding could be the most important decision in the whole experience of planning so it is vital that you get it right.
To make sure that you make an informed decision we have collected some important questions for you to consider:
1. Size Matters, Is it big enough?
You want to make sure the venue can accommodate all your guests. For smaller wedding parties having too large a venue can make the event feel empty and less personal.
2. What equipment is provided?
Double check what the venue has to offer and what you may need to outsource, a lot of people assume chair coverings and dance floors come as part of every package.
3.What catering options are available?
Does the venue provide its own catering? or would you like to bring in outside catering? you will need to find out if your venue allows outside catering to be brought in and if a disclaimer is required. you may also like to find out what facilities are available to outside caterers will they have access to kitchen facilities? If you opt to go for the venues own catering you might like to know how flexible they can be with the menu options and if you can add your own input as well as if they cater for special dietary requirements i.e gluten free, veggie.
4. Are there any special requirements for other suppliers?
Sometimes venues require other suppliers to have their own public liability insurance before they are allowed to work in the venue.
5. Does the venue have a licence to consume alcohol?
You also might want to know if you are able to bring your own alcohol as this can cut the cost for arrival drinks and toasts, if so will you be charged corkage? Some areas of the venue may not be licensed for under 18's so remember to double check before booking if you have younger guests.
6. Are Fireworks, Sky Lanterns, Confetti etc permitted?
Some venues believe it or not do not allow confetti to be thrown or request that confetti be biodegradable so double check with your venue first, it usually states in the terms and conditions somewhere. Some venues also charge up to £200 if the rules are broken so watch out! You might want to try bubbles instead :)
7. Will the venue supplied tables, chairs, linens be suitable and match your theme?
You might imaging your wedding venue being cloaked in white linen, with white chairs looking very formal. with some venues this is not always the case and chair coverings are not supplied in this case you might have to order them in on hire. always ask to see the venue set up for a wedding to get a feel for it.
8. Will a cloakroom be provided for guests?
With Scottish weather being as unpredictable as it is your guest might arrive with soaking wet coats which you might prefer not to be part your venue decor.
9. Is there a safe place to lock away wedding gifts?
Don't forget that some of your gifts may be high value so make sure you keep them safe.
10. What access is available to the venue?
Will you have any guest that require disabled access. how far is the actual room from the entrance to the building? Will there be a lot of sign posts and walking required?
11. Is parking available on site or near by?
For those with some travelling to do you will need to find out if there will be parking available or you might want to consider hiring minibus to escort people to and from a central location.
12. Nearest bus stop and transport links?
It is important to find out if guests without a car can access your venue with ease some venues are on a main road with plenty transport links while others are more secluded and you might want to consider arranging a coach or minibus to pick up/drop off at a central location.
13. What is the cancellation Policy?
It is always useful t know this because you never know when unforeseen circumstances might affect your wedding particularly when the wedding is booked over a year in advance.
14. How much deposit is required? When is this paid? Is it refundable?When is the balance Due?
Different venues always have different rules regarding deposits so double check.
15. If booking far ahead is there any changes to the cost in line with inflation?
This is a very grey area that catches a lot of people out when booking their wedding so it is immensely important to clarify this at the start and make sure you have a written agreement in place. When booking your venue. Inflation is when the cost of something increases on a yearly basis it happens to everything from your grocery shopping to your wedding. An example of this happening to your wedding would be when you book your wedding the prices you see for the meals per head is £20 so for 100 guests that would be a cost of £2000 for the meals however if you book your wedding for 2 years time and inflation is 10% each year by the time of your wedding the price for the meals goes up to £24 per head making the cost for 100 guests £2400. Some people have seen cost of their wedding rise by over £7000 because of inflation. You need to clarify from your venue (and have written confirmation) that by paying the booking fee or deposit that the prices are secured, have it in writing what increases are expected from inflation or budget to make allowances for any inflation.
17. Will the venue realistically be able to accommodate your budget?
Work out exactly how much money you have available to spend on your wedding and take this figure to the venues to see if it an amount they can work with. there is no point wasting deposit money on a venue that would blow you budget on the wedding hosting alone without considering catering and all the extras. Look around there is a huge variation in prices between venues you will find something that will accommodate you.
18. Is the venue child friendly? children's options on the menu?
It is important to consider this if you will be having children attending the wedding, Although rare in weddings some venues are not licensed for children, some are only licensed in a particular designated area for kids where others are totally flexible with children. You might want to find out if the children's portion will be charged the same as an adult when it comes to catering or if there are any special rules for children on the premises.