You’ve found this blog. So that must mean one thing … you’re on the hunt to find your perfect wedding venue. Two questions you’ll notice in many wedding photographers enquiry forms is do you have a wedding date and venue booked.
But why is that? You most certainly know the obvious reason. But here it is – I need to make sure I’m available for your wedding date and can travel to your wedding venue. That’s not all though.
It’s also ask this to check out whether your beautiful wedding venue fits my photography style. Also then I can work out the best advice for your chosen venue and how you can get the most amazing wedding photos there if you decide to – book me as your wedding photographer.
Your wedding venue creates the scene for your epic wedding and ultimately enables me to craft your wedding photos. Each wedding venue is brilliantly unique and has the ability to affect how your wedding photos turn out and how much you’ll enjoy your day.
If you chose a wedding venue that’s intimate, is set in the most gorgeous location and filled with beautiful natural light, we’ll be able to create something magical together through my bright and natural style.
Keeping in mind all venues are unique and different. The wedding venue you choose may suit an alternative style to mine so finding the right wedding photographer that shares your vision is really important.
These two simple questions can influence your decision to choosing the right photographer for you.
The same applies to wedding venues. You need to be able to ask the right questions to make the right decision and book the right wedding venue for you.
The Right Questions to Ask your Wedding Venue
A venue may be in the best location or have the most dazzling architecture but does it mean it’s right for you. Is the venue sharing your dream vision and does the experience from the venue match this?
Would you like to gain clarity on the questions you need to ask your wedding venue prior to booking?
Here’s the one and only ultimate list of wedding venue questions you’ll need to decide if this venue is your dream wedding venue.
Reservation and General Wedding Venue Policies
- How far in advance can we reserve our date?
- How long can we provisionally hold a date?
- What’s your cancellation policy?
- What’s your Covid-19 policy?
- Is there a deadline for making changes to our reservation?
- Do we have exclusive access to the venue?
- Are there extra charges for the exclusive use of the venue?
Pricing and Inclusions
- Do the prices already include VAT?
- What’s included in the wedding packages?
- Can we customise the packages to suit us?
- Do you offer seasonal rates?
- How much is the deposit, when is it due, and what is your refund policy?
- How many hours does the rental fee include?
- Is there an overtime fee if we stay longer?
- What are the available payment plans?
- What forms of payment do you accept?
- Are there any extra charges that aren’t included in the wedding packages?
- Are cabs/rideshares available from the venue?
- Can you assist us with shuttle or taxi services?
- If you have guests travelling a long way. How accessible is the venue from the major airports?
Capacity and Accommodation
- How many guests can you accommodate in the day and in the evening?
- Is there a minimum guest size requirement or maximum guest size limit?
- Do you have accommodation on-site for both us and our guests?
- If no accommodations are available, do you partner with local hotels?
- What are the room rates and is there a minimum requirement for booking?
Wedding Day Coordination
- Do you offer wedding day coordination? What do you include in that service?
- Who’s the main contact on our wedding day?
- Will we have one dedicated contact?
- Will our wedding coordinator be personally available on our wedding day?
- Do we need to rent portable restrooms?
- Do you provide heaters and/or umbrellas?
- Do you have a generator for power outages?
- What’s your weather contingency plan?
- Do you have public liability insurance?
- Who’s the contact person for emergencies?
- Is an indoor space available if it rains?
Food and Drinks
- What do you include in the wedding packages?
- Do you offer complimentary menu tasting?
- Is there an in-house caterer or a list of recommended caterers?
- How about special diets? Do you cater to those?
- Do I have the option of using an outside caterer?
- Does your fee already include the rental of tables, linen, chairs, crockery, cutlery, etc?
- Do you have a license to provide alcohol service?
- Do we need to purchase liquor elsewhere or do you already include that?
- Can I bring my own cake or do I have to use a cake made on-site?
- Do we pay a corkage or service fee if we purchase liquor outside?
- Do you charge for unopened bottles after our reception?
- Will you restrict the type or quantity of alcohol we can serve our guests?
- How do you price alcohol? Do you have a minimum spend requirement?
- Are there additional charges for bar staff?
- Can you accommodate a live band or DJ?
- When can a live band or DJ set up?
- Do you have enough electrical outputs to accommodate their equipment?
- Do you have a sound system and/or microphones for speeches?
- Are there noise restrictions or a curfew?
- How long can we use each room?
- Are there areas for us and our wedding party to get ready in the morning?
- Are the ceremony and reception held in the same room or separate rooms? If not, what is the changeover plan?
- What time will our evening reception need to finish?
- Do you have a license for civil ceremonies?
- Is there enough parking and is there a fee?
- Do you have disabled access?
- Do you have a secure area to store our valuables and wedding gifts?
- How many restrooms are available for our wedding guests?
- Is your venue dog friendly?
Wedding Decor and Rentals
- What decorations are already included in your wedding packages?
- Do you have guidelines and/or restrictions for decorating?
- Do you allow the use of candles, confetti, loose petals, sparklers, fireworks?
- What table size and shapes do you allow/have?
- How many people can sit at each table?
- Can we remove/move things around?
Wedding Supplier Policies
- Do I have to use your recommended suppliers?
- Are there restrictions for using non-approved vendors?
- What are the insurance requirements for my vendors?
- When can outside suppliers start setting up or cleaning up?
- Do you have supplier entry and operating restrictions?
Top Photographer Tips
Check if the wedding venue will suit the style of photography you desire.
Lighting is everything, and plays a major role in creating your desired atmosphere and aesthetic for your wedding. This can impact the general feel of your celebration and in-turn the overall look of the photos. Venues filled with gorgeous natural light will look amazing for someone who wants a deep connection with the outdoors and if you’re wanting the venues decor to be packed full of neutral tones. Whereas a darker venue (a venue that uses more ambient than natural light) suits you if you’re after more dramatic, contrasting vibe and photos. Have you got a particular photography style that you are drawn too? If yes go for a venue that suits the look you want in your wedding photos.
The bridal and groom preparation rooms are key considerations if you’re particular about aesthetics.
Windows … and yes the bigger the better. Windows that let in a greater amount of natural light will make for more flattering portraits and preparation photos. Think neutral – go for rooms with plain walls. This can bring a sense of elegancy and will help from having too many distractions in the photos. Not every room are going to have these features but the biggest thing to takeaway is the amount of natural light these rooms have – the more the better.
And finally, if you’re planning an outdoor wedding or eloping…
Make sure that you have a backup indoor venue especially if the weather can be temperamental and unpredictable in that particular location. It pays to always be prepared!
No matter what though go out there and have fun. You are only doing this once so find the right wedding venue for you.