The venue is usually the first thing to be booked on the wedding day and it is of critical importance, especially if you are having the ceremony, canapes and reception all in one place. Here are a few very important questions to ask your venue before booking the date.
Pricing - Most venues will have a hireage cost and then another cost for the menu and another cost for the bar. The bar spend is dependant on a lot of factors so explain what you are planning to do or your estimated budget and see if this lines up with the average spend. Be sure to check that all pricing includes GST - this is 15% which can have a huge impact on your budget if not allowed for. Also ask the venue if there are any other costs that you should know about.
Contract - Before you confirm the date or make the deposit, ask for a copy of the venues contract to look over, you should not have to commit to a date before checking this out. This will let you know any deposit requirements, cancellation policies, sound restrictions and much more.
Closing time - It is really important to know when closing time is and also as above if there are any sound restrictions, there is no point booking a band at great expense if the venue must be quiet by 9pm.
IF you are visiting the venue at a different time of year than when you plan to marry, ask your venue what the grounds are like at that time of year and ask to see some photos if possible.
Wet Weather Options
We all want the sun to shine on the big day but it is important to hope for the best and plan for the worst. Make sure you talk to your venue about how wet weather might affect your setup and which alternate spaces are available.
Services - Most venues form strong relationships with local suppliers so they can be a great resource. Make sure to ask your venue which other local suppliers and services they can recommend.
Rehearsal, Setup and Packdown
Make sure you find out what time you can have your ceremony rehearsal, as well as finding out what time you can pack in and when everything needs to be picked up by so you know you have enough time to get everything setup just the way you’d like.
Most of all pay attention to the way your vendor treats you, do they seem genuinely interested in your plans? If you find the venue’s reception lukewarm I highly suggest you look elsewhere - if they aren’t looking after you before you book the service isn’t likely to improve once you have.
Good Luck! I hope these tips help you book your dream wedding venue!