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15 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Venue

As an engaged couple, choosing your wedding venue is one of the first decisions you will make when planning your big day. You’ll know upon visiting a selection of venues for weddings which is the right one for you as it will be somewhere you can see yourself saying ‘I do’.

From wedding date availability and how many guests your wedding venue can accommodate to choosing your wedding entertainment, there are many details to consider when planning a wedding so it’s understandable that you will have a lot of questions for your venue. Amidst the excitement of finding your dream wedding venue, knowing what questions to ask is the difficult part.

Being a luxury wedding venue in Lancashire, we’ve put together a list of key questions to ask your wedding venue before booking your dream day. You can use these questions as a guideline, cherry-pick the ones that apply to you and add any personalised questions that relate to your particular event.

1. What is the Availability for Our Desired Wedding Date?

We’re kicking off our list of questions to ask a wedding venue with a big one. Setting your wedding date is one of the first, and arguably the most important, steps towards planning a wedding. It may also be useful to know how far in advance you can reserve your wedding date.

Wedding venues in Lancashire get booked up fast, with some couples booking up to 3 years in advance. If you’re bound to a specific month or particular date, it’s vital to know what the venue’s availability is and it’s a good idea to attend site visits with an open mind to avoid disappointment.

2. How Many Guests Can You Accommodate in the Day and the Evening?

Before making a final decision on your wedding venue, you’ll need to draft your guest list. This is key to defining the capacity you require from your wedding venue and will help you determine a wedding budget as well as how much you are willing to spend per head.

You should take into account that venues that offer civil ceremonies may have a smaller capacity for the wedding ceremony itself and a larger capacity for the evening wedding reception. So, you should be sure to make note of these figures when planning a wedding.

3. Is the Venue Licensed for Civil Ceremonies?

If you want to have your wedding ceremony and wedding reception in the same location or don’t plan on having a traditional church wedding, you should opt for a venue that has a wedding licence. In this case, hotel wedding venues like the Lawrence Hotel in Padiham, Lancashire, are your best bet.

4. Is the Venue Available for Exclusive Hire?

If you’re looking for a private wedding venue where you will be the only couple getting married and your guests will be the only party permitted on the grounds of the venue, ensure that your venue is available for ‘exclusive hire’. This is particularly important if it is a hotel wedding venue.

5. What is the Rental Fee and What’s Included in That Price?

What is the venue rental fee? How many hours does the rental fee cover? What does the rental fee include? These are all important questions to ask your wedding venue before deciding if a venue and particular wedding package is right for you.

Most wedding venues highlight details of what is included in their wedding packages as well as add ons and fees on their website. It’s best to ask your wedding venue to confirm these figures on your site visit as they might be able to tell you about enticing upcoming offers.

6. How Much is the Deposit and When is it Due?

One crucial piece of information that you might not be able to find on your chosen wedding venue’s website is the deposit fee, when it’s due and whether you’ll get it back.

By booking a wedding venue you are asking them to hold the date and turn away any other offers so you will be expected to pay a deposit. The deposit is typically considered the first instalment and it may be possible to set up a payment plan to allow you to split further costs over several months.

7. Do You Have Accommodation On-Site?

Some couples choose to hire accommodation for their guests, particularly if they are travelling far to attend the wedding. If this is one of your priorities, you should ask your wedding venue about accommodation options, capacity and cost. Some venues may offer 2–3-night stays for wedding parties and upgrades are often available to include breakfast with room hire.

8. Do I Have to Use Your Recommended Suppliers?

Whether you’re in search of a wedding photographer, wedding videographer, wedding car, wedding cake or wedding band, most venues will provide you with a list of recommended local suppliers that they regularly work with and trust. Some wedding venues only work with their recommended suppliers and others will offer you the freedom to choose your own so it’s something you’ll want to know early on.

9. How Flexible are You with Timings of the Day?

When thinking of questions to ask at the wedding venue, it’s important to make sure that you will be able to stick to your pre-planned wedding schedule. Most wedding venues provide a suggested running order of the day that has been tried and tested to ensure your wedding runs smoothly, but it would be beneficial to ask if they offer any flexibility with these timings.

If you’re planning on decorating your function space yourself or are bringing in professionals, you’ll need to know when you can access the venue on your wedding day and how long you will have to set up. Some venues offer access to the function room the night before if they don’t have an event on, allowing you time to set up in advance so it is worth asking if this is possible.

10. Can We Get Married Outside?

For couples planning a spring or summer wedding, you may have considered getting married outside. Outdoor wedding ceremonies are romantic and create beautiful picture opportunities, particularly if you are planning on having a twilight wedding and your outdoor wedding ceremony perfectly coincides with the sunset.

There are many wedding venues in the UK that offer the experience of tying the knot outside under a beautiful structure such as a pagoda, band stand or elsewhere on their estate. When enquiring about outdoor wedding options, it’s a good idea to check if your venue can ensure they have a backup plan in case of bad weather.

11. Are Fireworks and Confetti Allowed?

Rules on fireworks and confetti will depend on the venue so it’s important to check if they are allowed in advance to avoid being disappointed on the day. Most will be happy with biodegradable or petal wedding confetti and sparklers may also be permitted for use outside.

12. Do You Have an In-House Caterer?

Many wedding venues have in-house caterers that they prefer you use, and some don’t allow any outside caterers at all so you should ask this early on. Your wedding venue should be happy to discuss wedding menus including the wedding breakfast and evening buffet menus as well as any dietary requirements to accommodate your every need.

13. What Menu Options Do You Have?

Most wedding venues will provide you with suggestions for your wedding food but it’s worth asking if they offer any flexibility on these menu plans. The best wedding venues will work with you to design bespoke wedding food for your big day including welcome canapes, wedding breakfast menus and evening buffet menus.

It is also important to ask about the option of menu tasting and catering for specific dietary requirements as well as any menu upgrades and their cost. Some venues will include drinks in their wedding packages but it’s always worth asking. You will likely be charged extra for personalised cocktails etc.

14. Are You Dog or Pet Friendly?

If you would love to have your dog or pet involved in your wedding, you should make a note to ask whether your venue is pet-friendly on your list of questions to ask your wedding venue.

As Lancashire’s number one dog-friendly wedding venue, we at the Lawrence Hotel love nothing more than hosting dog-friendly weddings. There are many ways you can include your furry best friend in your wedding day and if you’re looking for some inspiration you can check out our ultimate guide to a dog friendly wedding.

15. Can the Venue Accommodate a DJ or Live Band?

Your wedding day is a celebration and hiring musical wedding entertainment will not only enhance the atmosphere but will ensure your guests are kept entertained all night long. You might have a particular wedding band, wedding musician or wedding singer in mind for your special day so you’ll want to make sure your venue will accommodate this. You should aim to find out key details such as when the band can set up, if there are any sound restrictions and if they have a music curfew in place.

We hope this list was helpful and we encourage you to bring it along with you on your wedding venue site visits. Happy venue hunting!


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