After saying ‘YES!’ one of the first and most important things on your to-do list will be deciding on the venue – get this sorted and the wedding theme and style of dress should fall into place quite easily. However, choosing your dream venue is sometimes easier said than done. Not only should it reflect your taste, personality and interests, it also needs to tick-off a lot of the obvious check boxes from the out-set; is the date we want available? Is it big enough to cater for all of our guests? Is it within our budget? Is there parking? Toilets? A dance floor? Blah, blah, blah…I won’t continue to bore you with a whole list of questions you already know you should ask.
My aim with this blog is to provide you with useful information that you won’t find in every other wedding magazine, website and blog. So, without further ado, here are 5 important questions to ask the venue that you may not already have on your list:
1. Does the venue have liability insurance?
I know it’s not something you’ll want to be thinking about on the happiest day of your life, but accidents can (and do) happen, particularly when alcohol’s involved. And, while there’s nothing you can do to prevent your drunken uncle’s embarrassing dance floor antics, you’ll want to be sure that if he does slip over and cause some damage while doing the funky chicken dance that you don’t end up footing the bill.
2. Do we need any permits?
This is especially important if you’re considering an outdoor wedding, marquee or want to include some outdoor elements to your day; BBQ, fairground rides, live band, fireworks etc. Regulations can differ from council to council, so don’t just assume that because your friend didn’t need a permit for their carnival themed wedding in the park, that you won’t need one either. If in doubt, check with the local council of where your wedding is being held.
3. Can we use the wedding cake as dessert?
And more importantly…How much does this reduce the cost of the catering? It is totally acceptable to serve the wedding cake as dessert. After all, you put all that effort into selecting the flavour, style and decoration (not to mention the cost), so you want your guests to enjoy it.
How many times have you been to a wedding or party and have eaten a 3 course meal including dessert…then cake comes round, you take a slice to be polite, but you’re too full to eat it so it gets wrapped in a napkin and put in you handbag and forgotten about? Is that what you want for your wedding cake?
4. Will there be a toastmaster and reception MC?
From greeting the guests upon arrival to announcing the first dance, don’t overlook the role of the toastmaster and MC. It is their job to introduce the speeches, the cutting of the cake and ensuring that the wedding runs effortlessly and to schedule. If this isn’t included in your package, your wedding venue coordinator may be happy to do this for you. Alternatively, you could hire a professional toastmaster or appoint an usher or the best man to do the job, providing they are confident with meeting and greeting the guests and comfortable speaking in public.
5. Can I use my own vendors?
Most wedding venues have a list of preferred vendors; photographers, DJs, florists etc. that they recommend and have worked with in the past. So, before you go ahead and start booking your caterer and band, be sure to ask about the rules about bringing in outside vendors. For example, your venue may have a state-of-the-art music system, so they may only allow their affiliated DJ to use their equipment.
If you really love the venue, contact the representative there and ask them to send you a proposal with all the pricing and policies. This will give you an idea of the basic cost and should also answer many of your questions.
Download your FREE Wedding Venue Survey and take this along with you when viewing or inquiring about venues.
Keep calm and marry on,