So you’ve found a venue online you love the look of and you’ve booked a tour but now you’re wondering what to ask to make sure it’s the perfect venue for you?
I’m Jen, and I run the wedding barns at our family farm in North Yorkshire. It’s me who will show you around on your tour of the barns, and I’ll be on hand to help with every question you have along your wedding planning journey, from how long the tables are to picking the cars up the morning after your wedding.
Ask your venue what their policy is on suppliers, in particular if there are any you must use. This is particularly relevant to food and drink as this is where most venues have preferred supplier lists, although do ask if there’s any others they insist you use or whether you can chose your own – this can be anything from your cake to your hairdresser so do ask so avoid surprises later on! At Lodge Farm the only in house supplier we have is Yorkshire Bartender for the bar – that’s because they do amazing drinks and are a super slick bar company – nothing worse than queueing for a drink at a wedding!
There’s a few things to ask here – the main one is what time does the license end – ie when will last orders be and what time will the music end? The others to think about are when are you allowed access to the venue to set it up – if you’ve spent months planning your table decorations you won’t want the stress of putting them up on the morning of your wedding! Similarly check when you have to take everything away by – will you be gathering your flowers up as you leave at midnight or are you allowed back in the next morning to clear up in a more leisurely way!
We love seeing the way each couple decorates Lodge Farm in a really unique way which reflects them as a couple. Do ask your venue if there are any restrictions on decorations so you know before you’ve already organised lots of it!
Boring, but essential – do find out what facilities your venue has. The better facilities the easier life will be, and the less it will cost in the long run! Find out if they have a commercial kitchen for your caterers to use, what the loos are like, how many cars the car park will hold, if people can leave cars overnight and if there is a sound system you to do your speeches with.
We love a good band! Music helps create the atmosphere during your whole day – be that music as you’re walking down the aisle, an acoustic guitarist as you’re having you’re welcome drinks or a live band to party the night away to. Ask what the venues policy on all these is, if they have sound systems you can use and whether they have any restrictions at any time.
Different venues work with their couples differently and you might want to think what kind of venue support you want – would you like a place where they hand you the keys and leave you to it or do you want someone with you every step of the way? Ask the venue what help they’ll give and what their role is on the day. Also ask if you can visit again if you want to with family and friends, and what happens if you’ve any questions or need help.
So this part may not be as relevant if you’re getting married in Portugal but here in North Yorkshire we find it makes everyone more relaxed to prepare for every eventuality! If you’re planning on having an outside drinks reception is there a Plan B for if it rains? Also do check that the barns are heated – I went to a wedding a few years ago and the main thing I can remember is being cold!!
I absolutely love going back to look at the pictures from our wedding and I know many of our couples love reliving their day when they get theirs so ask what areas can be used for pictures and if there’s any recommendations.
The Most Important Thing……
Go with your gut – can you envisage yourself walking down the aisle, are you already smiling, dreaming, feeling butterflies? If you get “the feeling” it’s the venue for you! Stay true to yourself, be authentic as a couple, space and design representation of who you are.
That’s a pretty extensive list so hopefully you feel more confident you know everything you need to when making a decision on your wedding venue.
If you’d like to take a look around Lodge Farm you can book your tour using my online diary here – I promise to answer all these questions and any others you may have!