Gone are the days of easy wedding reception venue selections! You might have been dreaming about your ideal venue for years, or you might have never thought of it, but one things for sure – the venue options are numerous. You’ve made the first tricky steps of narrowing down a few dates, and have possibly narrowed down the venues. But, there are always questions you need to ask your reception venue to ensure it’s the right choice and that it will meet all your expectations.
If you fail to ask these important questions, you could be left feeling extremely disappointed, or worse – end up paying a hefty fee.
7 must ask questions before booking your wedding reception venue:
1. Is the price negotiable?
Never sign a contract without trying to negotiate on price. The first quote should be your starting point.
“That price is slightly over my budget, is there a way you would consider bringing costings down?”
Most venues will have some wiggle room available. You can also offer to serve your wedding cake as dessert to save more money.
“That is ridiculously over-priced and I will NOT be paying!”
It might be what you’re thinking at the time, but you don’t want to burn bridges at your dream location because of brashness.
Hidden costs including service charges, gratuity, cleaning fees or overtime charges like to rear their ugly heads at the last minute. It’s best to ask about these at the beginning, as well as the cancellation policy (things happen!).
2. How many hours of venue hire are included in the price?
Cinderella might not turn into a pumpkin until midnight, but that doesn’t mean all venues stay open until this time. Check to avoid disappointment of finishing at 10.00pm when you were hoping to dance the whole night away.
3. What are the restrictions?
Restrictions to look out for include:
– Does the venue allow bands?
– Do they have their own vendors or will the venue allow offsite caterers or other suppliers (florists or furniture hire)?
4. Will my guests all fit?
And on the flip side of that; is this space going to look way too empty for my guests? If the space is too large then the wedding will look and feel uninviting. If you have any entertainment will they fit too and where will they be located?
TIP: Ask the venue to see a floor plan as this will give you the best idea of the space.
5. Is there a back-up plan?
If your venue is outside it’s crucial to have a wet weather option. Does the reception venue cater for onsite ceremonies if you would like to marry at the same venue?
6. What are the logistics?
This includes onsite parking and any costs associated with it. Will the venue call taxis for guests at the end of the night? Logistics might also include items such as disability friendly bathrooms.
7. Are we allocated a dedicated wedding coordinator to help organise the day?
You might have your own wedding planner but a coordinator that understands the venue is a bonus! They can help from everything to setting up to packing down at the end of your event.
Last but not least ensure you have everything in writing from your selected venue. A contract is a legally binding document, so make sure you know what you’re agreeing to before you sign! It’s equally important all the information you have discussed and agreed upon is followed through by the venue.