The Questions Real Brides WISHED they’d asked their Wedding Venue

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Plenty of wedding blogs – Irish or otherwise – have published wedding venue question checklists, including things like asking if you can have your ceremony on site, or if there’s anywhere nice to take photos. But what are the REAL questions you need to ask your venue before handing over your hard-earned deposit? What’s going to come up down the line and chip away at your budget, your style and, most importantly, your patience? Today we’re looking at some of the important questions you’d never think to ask, like whether you need insurance to hang your own lights or if you need permission for bathroom baskets. This is our comprehensive list of essential answers to get so that you don’t miss a trick in your venue planning – whether you’re going for a package hotel or an exclusive DIY site. Our advice is to be thorough – don’t be afraid to ask for details, and get things down in writing as soon as possible*.

*Obviously not all of these questions need to be asked, and wedding coordinators can be very helpful in explaining what exactly is involved in the booking of their venue so don’t fret too much – just do your homework and everything will work out great!

Dates | Initial Info

Is there another wedding booked for our date? Can you guarantee one wedding per day (our wedding!)?
Is your venue wholly wheelchair accessible?
When is check-in time for the bridal suite?
Exclusive venues – What time can we get in at the day before the wedding (to set up etc)?
What is the minimum number or spend for smaller weddings?
Is it okay to have children in the reception area or bar until late?

Food & Drink | Catering | Other Vendors

Do you charge corkage? How much is it for beers/wines/Champagne/cocktails/mocktails
Do we have a menu tasting? Is it an extra cost? How many people can we bring/what are the restrictions?
What date is the final menu needed?
Can you cater for special dietary requirements eg coeliacs, nut allergies?
At what time and in what fashion is the meal served?
Can you store the cake the night before? Is there a fee for doing so? Where will it be stored/who will bring it out on the day?
Can we have a dessert table with our own homemade cakes? Is there a charge for this?
Can we use the wedding cake as dessert – will there be a charge for this?
Do we have to use only use your approved vendors, or can we source our own?
Is there a Champagne toast/other included in the package?
What will the price of alcohol at the bar be on the day? Can we get the drinks menu for the night before, the day of and day after?
Are you open to having different beer taps (ie craft beer) put in for the day?
Can guests go to a resident’s bar after the reception? What time does it stay open until?

Next Day

What are the breakfast options for the bride & groom/bridal party/guests the day after?
How is breakfast charged?
Exclusive venue – Can we bring our own breakfast items and put on breakfast for the families ourselves? Is there an extra charge for this?
Can we have a BBQ/food the day after? What options are available?
Can guests stay an extra night at a discounted rate?
Exclusive venue – Can we use the events room if we’re not using the bar?

Sound | Music

What is the sound system like? Can it accommodate a live band/DJ?
Where can musicians set up for the drinks reception?
Are there any noise restrictions? What time does the music need to finish?
Is there Wifi venue-wide or only in certain areas?
Can you accommodate a DJ/Live Band/Silent Disco?
Do you have a PA system for speeches? Will everyone be able to hear the speakers from their seats?
Do you have a projector for photos/video messages etc?

Accommodation | Bridal Suite

What accommodation is there for guests?
How much does it cost/is there a discount for wedding guests?
How many guests must book to secure a discount?
What date do you need final numbers by?
Can the wedding party get ready in the bridal suite?
Is the bridal suite part of the package?
Can you provide a list of local accommodation incl. B&Bs etc?
Can cars be left overnight? Is there a charge for parking? Is there a parking attendant?

Staff | Coordinators

Is there a separate charge for bar staff?
Will there be a dedicated coordinator on the day?
Do you have somebody to announce our entrance to the reception?

Decor | Venue Layout

When can we get access to the space to decorate/set up?
How early can supplier deliveries be made?
What are the restrictions for decor (confetti, lighting, candles, decor on walls or ceilings etc.)?
How long do we have to take down our decor etc. the day after?
If we’ve set up outdoor decor and while at church ceremony it rains – is there anyone to move the outdoor decor inside?
Do we need insurance to hang our own lights/other decor?
Can we store bouquets overnight? Where?
Where is the dancefloor? Does it need to be cleared after the dinner? What time and how does it work?
Where is the smoking area/is it covered?
Can we provide bathroom baskets for guests?
Do you have weather contingency plans for an outdoor wedding? Are there extra costs?
Is there a secure place to store wedding gifts?

Evening

Is there an evening menu?
What is the price per head?
Can we provide our own evening food or hire a supplier to provide food?
Is there an extra charge for this?
Where can outdoor vendors/a food truck set up?
How many extra guests can come for the evening?
Is a bar extension possible? If so, how much will it cost?

Cost | Hidden Costs | Extra Costs | Insurance

How much is the deposit?
What percentage is paid before the wedding/after the wedding?
When would we need to give final numbers?
What costs are incurred if the numbers on the day differ to the final numbers?
Are there any changes planned to the building before the wedding (renovations, painting etc)?
What is your cancellation policy/charges?

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