Choosing your wedding venue will be not only be one of the most exciting parts of planning your wedding, but what we believe will be one of the most important. As soon as you’ve chosen your venue and wedding date, the rest of your day should fall in to place; from choosing a floral theme, to styling your day and beyond. However, to get to that stage, you’ll need to create a shortlist of venues to visit before choosing “the one”.
To help you along the way, we asked the team of Wedding Specialists at Farnham Castle in Surrey, who have been helping couples plan weddings for many years, to share a selection of the most popular questions that they get asked by couples who are currently searching for their perfect wedding venue, and why each is important.
The following, provided by Francesca at Farnham Castle, should help you gain an insight into what to ask before and during your wedding venue visits.
Question 1: Can we get married at your wedding venue?
“Not all wedding venues will hold a civil ceremony licence, so it’s important that the venue can offer room options to hold your ceremony and make your vows. If you’re looking to hold a religious ceremony, there are a select few wedding venues who are lucky enough to have a chapel on site. In fact, Farnham Castle is one of the only venues in the UK to offer a choice of two! Speak to the venue team about an on-site civil or chapel ceremony.”
Question 2: What are the food and drink options at your venue?
“Every venue will operate differently when it comes to the dining experience. Some venues have a dedicated, experienced, in-house culinary team, based at the venue full time, who do everything from creating menus to offering Tasting Events before the wedding. This is what we do at Farnham Castle, but at other venues you may need to source an external caterer. Some venues only permit recommended caterers, and others permit any caterer of your choice. It’s best to understand the venue’s catering policy, as this will affect your overall wedding budget.”
Question 3: What is included in the price?
“It’s unlikely that you’ll leave a venue visit without knowing how much your potential wedding day could cost, but it’s important that you understand what is included in that price, for future reference. For example, you might want to question items such as tables, chairs, tablecloths, napkins and lighting. There may be an additional ceremony room hire cost, service charges, VAT, and a honeymoon suite (if available at the venue) may or may not be included within the venue hire price. Try to find out if there could be any hidden charges further down the line.”
Question 4: Do you have accommodation on-site?
“Being able to stay at the venue, at the end of your wedding celebrations, will be a wonderful added bonus to your day. Not having to think about transport, or getting from A to B late in the evening, could be a huge benefit. Plus, being able to have breakfast with other overnight guests the following morning will be a lovely extension to your wedding experience. Ask to see the overnight accommodation available, and ask how many rooms your guests are able to pre-book.”
Question 5: What is your venue capacity?
“A venue will always set their maximum capacity of guests for a ceremony, seated dining and an evening reception, so it would be advisable to mock up an anticipated guest list in advance, (day guests and separate evening guests if necessary).Then you can imagine that number of guests in the venue – and ensure that the venue can hold your numbers.”
Extra questions you may wish to consider asking:
- Is on-site parking available at the venue?
- What time can our suppliers arrive at the venue on the day of the wedding?
- Do you have a preparation suite for the bride or groom to get ready in?
- Can you provide an evening food menu?
- Do you have a list of Recommended Suppliers you can share?
- How many bedrooms do you have available for our guests?
- Can you provide a children’s menu?
- Can we utilise the gardens and grounds at the venue for our wedding photography?
The team at Farnham Castle know their couples really well, as they are fully involved with them from the very first enquiry, right through until they depart the Castle, the morning after their celebrations. Find out more about booking a show-round at Farnham Castle.