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10 Questions You Must Ask Your Wedding Venue
When choosing a wedding venue for your reception, you need to take lots of variables into account - budget, location, catering, decorations and their service. Here are the 10 questions you must ask your wedding venue to make the most of your wedding day:
- What time can I get in to set up the reception and what type of access will I have? Make sure you have enough time to get the reception venue set up for guests including your florist, decorators and hire company, cake maker and musicians. Each will need time to set up and prepare before your guests arrive.
- Is there anything we cannot have at the reception? Many reception venues won't allow you to have candles and fireworks for example. If you have your heart set on thousands of ambient candles softly lighting the room, this may not be the venue for you.
- What are the bad weather alternatives? If your venue is outdoors or has access issues in inclement weather, get the Plan B options from your venue now, so you are comfortable with the alternative arrangements if it happens on the day.
- Will you have enough staff to give me the service I'm expecting? The answer to this question comes down to a compromise between budget and service needs. You should have this conversation with the venue before the night so that you and the venue know what your expectations are and what the venue is expected to provide for your budget.
- What happens if our wedding runs overtime? Many venues will charge you a fee if your guests stay longer than the agreed end time, because they have to pay their staff to stay longer. Find out what the costs are if you have this problem and be aware of the surcharge. If you are uncomfortable with the charge, make sure you allocate someone from your family or friends to move the guests on so you don't have to pay this to the venue.
- Can I use my own vendors? Many venues will only allow you to use their inhouse wedding planners, florists, cake makers, catering and entertainment. If this is the case and you want to use your own suppliers, then you may have to change venues. This is one of those big compromise questions - if you don't like the way they do things, you may have to compromise on location to get the flowers you want on your tables.
- Do you have a beverage package? It is generally cheaper to provide your own drinks, but many venues won't allow this. The next best alternative is a beverage package which you choose based on your budget and taste. Read the fine print and make sure you have enough to drink for your guests, because if you run out of drinks, it is not only embarrassing to ask guests to pay for their own drinks, the alternative to pay per drink at the bar is very expensive for you.
- Are there noise restrictions? This one may not apply to you, but if you're planning a massive party with lots of guests and intend to dance into the wee hours with loud music, make this clear with the venue up-front.
- Are there any drinks or food we can't serve? If you have a venue that won't allow red wine and you have your heart set on it, then it might be time to think about another venue. This can happen in historical buildings with restrictions on dark coloured drinks and food.
- Do you offer any discounts? A wedding is expensive. Don't be shy to ask for a discount from every vendor. You will be surprised what they offer.
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