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What questions should I ask a wedding venue?

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What questions should I ask a wedding venue?

Choosing the perfect wedding venue can be a complete minefield.

You want something that reflects your personality, can hold your number of guests, is in a suitable location AND has plenty of stunning locations for your wedding shots.

But before you decide on one, there are a number of questions to ask your wedding venue. We’ve used our knowledge and expertise in all things wedding to create this comprehensive list of questions you should be asking a wedding venue before booking.

Is it available on the date we want?

It’s best if you can be open with your choice of date. Some brides want to get married on a special date like Valentine’s Day or their anniversary. If this is the case, you may need to book your chosen venue in plenty of time to ensure you get the date you want.

Remember, if you’re getting married in a church, you need to check your chosen church can do the same date as your venue.

Don’t let the date be a big deciding factor. If you’ve fallen in love with a venue, it would be silly to not get married there because they don’t have the Saturday in June that you want. Some compromise may be needed.

Is it exclusive access to the wedding party?

Some venues that have multiple function rooms may allow other functions on the same day as your wedding. For some couples, this isn’t a big problem. However, others don’t want to share their venue and have strangers walking around amongst wedding guests.

If you want exclusive access, double check the venue can do this. It may come at an additional cost.

What is the minimum and maximum number of guests it can hold?

If you have a large family, you need to double check that your venue can fit all of your guests in. Some large venues also have a minimum number of guests, so make sure you can fill those seats, otherwise you may have to pay more.

Does the venue have an in-house wedding coordinator?

What are the parking facilities?

Can the guests leave their cars overnight?

What's the disabled access like?

If you have any elderly or disabled wedding guests, it would be worth checking:

  • that the venue has disabled parking
  • there are bedrooms available on a ground floor/if there’s a lift
  • that the toilets are located on a ground floor
  • that there isn’t lots of steps up to the venue

What time do we need to leave the next day?

How many bedrooms are there?

What packages are available?

Some venues only offer venue hire, some have their own packages that include anything from food to venue dressing to a cake, and more. If you’re a bride on a budget, this kind of all-inclusive package might be better for you. 

What's included with the venue?

Some venues will include table linen and crockery for you, however with other venues, you may need to hire these through the caterer. Just double check if they’re included. If not, you need to factor in the additional cost.

Does the venue have a wedding fayre so we can see it dressed up?

Some venues have their own wedding fayres. If you can, you should go along even if you haven’t booked the venue yet. Wedding fayres are the perfect time to see the venue full of people and dressed with table clothes, chair covers, and stunning flower displays. You can also meet potential suppliers.

Are we allowed fireworks in the evening?

Can taxis get to the venue to pick guests up?

Can our pet be involved in the ceremony?

Pets at weddings are a recent craze, but couples love to get their animals involved. We’ve seen dog ring bearers, owls flying down the aisle, and even llamas to entertain wedding guests.

If this is something that you desperately want, make sure your venue allows it. You may also want to check what the cost of damages could be for a dog weeing on a 200-year-old chair. Just in case.

What size are the tables? And how many chairs will fit around them?

Is there a sound limit or music cut off time?

How does the bar work?

Some venues will allow you to choose what alcohol you want to be available. If you’re gin lovers, you might want a selection of gins to be available to your guests. You could even create your own cocktails for the day.

You can also pay the bar in advance up to a certain amount. For example, you put £1,000 on the bar so that most drinks are automatically paid for. When this runs out, the guests will need to start paying for drinks themselves.

Can we supply our own alcohol. If yes, how much is corkage?

Where are the toilets and how many are there?

Can we get ready at the venue in the morning?

The morning of the wedding is such an exciting time. There’s lots of hustle and bustle with photographers popping in and out, hair and makeup artists set up and bridesmaids wandering round with glasses of champagne. You can make it even more special by staying at your chosen venue the night before. Some venues will offer a discount if you stay with them the night before the wedding and the night of.

A bonus is that the venue will do the cleaning up once you’re ready.

Where do gifts and cards go?

Do you have any recommended suppliers we can look at?

Is a deposit required and when is the final payment due?

Discussing money and budget is so important. A wedding venue will probably be one of the biggest costs and you need to make sure you can afford it. Discuss what the down payment is to secure the venue, and how the rest can be paid.

What's the cancellation policy?

Do we need to buy special wedding insurance (usually applicable to really old venues)?

Discussing money and budget is so important. A wedding venue will probably be one of the biggest costs and you need to make sure you can afford it. Discuss what the down payment is to secure the venue, and how the rest can be paid.

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Styled Shoot

Fairyland-Inspired Wedding Inspiration Shoot

If you’re looking for some quirky Alice-in-Wonderland-esque wedding inspiration, then you’ll love this whimsical styled shoot.

The amazing decor and surroundings at the Lindeth Howe hotel on the banks of Lake Windermere called for a shoot with a difference. In honour of the Beatrix Potter books hanging from the walls, the animals pictured on the carpets and the foliage growing in the dining area, a Spring Festival Fairyland-inspired wedding shoot, created by AMB-Vision, seemed the only answer.

By bringing together some of the best North West wedding suppliers, AMB-Vision created a shoot to remember.

 

The Models

Inspired by the fabulous bespoke wedding dresses by Hannah Charlotte Bespoke, a Snow Queen and Fairy Queen were created and styled.

The Snow Queen was styled in a magical feathery skirt paired with a pure silk cowl back top both created by Hannah Charlotte Bespoke.

Bride in white dress with feather bottom and bright wild flower bouquet

For the full effect the model’s eyes were dusted with lots of white glittery shadow and a simple blush to the cheeks (Lauren Poole, the makeup artist on the shoot, was somewhat in her element!). The beautiful sculpted hair created by Wedding Hair in the Lakes was crowned with a hair piece fit for any Queen from the hugely talented Eleventh Heaven. The final flourish was a beautiful wild bouquet filled with rich yellow tones from Flower World in Penrith.

The Fairy Queen wore a more relaxed hair style, the work of the super talented Wedding Hair in the Lakes, with an ivy crown, also created by Eleventh Heaven.

Bride in gold dress with detailed top holding large feather

Warm makeup with browns and golds (as well as a hint of green to match the headpiece) worked beautifully with the crystal encrusted bodice and classic duchess satin skirt by Hannah Charlotte Bespoke. This Queen was photographed both inside the dining area of the Lindeth Howe and outside, amongst the daffodils, in the venue’s stunning gardens (a tip of the hat to Wordsworth there for anyone keeping tabs!).

As a final flourish, the Snow Queen became a Festival Queen with glitter makeup on the face and lips. An extraordinary butterfly headpiece made from pink and purple gems by Eleventh Heaven dressed her hair.

Bride with lots of glittery makeup and bright coloured balloons

She was photographed in the gardens of the Lindeth Howe beside a yet-to-blossom tree in an amazing flowing satin skirt and illusion bodice embroidered with silk flowers, pearls and delicate beading all by Hannah Charlotte Bespoke. The outfit was completed with an upcycled denim jacket emblazoned with fairy wings. Oh, and of course, some fabulously vibrant balloons from Balloons in the Lakes.

 

The Decor and Accessories

For the table decor, in keeping with the magical feel, the venue stylists Wilde and Romantic created a vintage vibe for the fairyland-inspired wedding shoot with clashing vintage crockery, coloured bottles and peacock feathers. Favours were Lake District-inspired booze (Kendal mint cake gin anyone?) courtesy of Penningtons Spirits & Liquers and Grasmere Gingerbread (yum). And for dessert, a rainbow layered cake of dreams created by the super talented Bella Bakes Cakes.

Fairyland-inspired wedding shoot in Lindeth Howe hotel, Lake Windermere.
Bright wedding cake with rainbow centre on table
Table decor for wedding with brightly coloured glass bottles on table and china plates
Vintage china plates and teacups Alice in Wonderland style

In keeping with the theme the beautiful stationary, created by the uber talented Raspberry Toast, which included a stunning hand painted envelope depicting birds and butterflies.

Invitation for wedding amongst fresh flowers
Table of wedding with Invitation on white tablecloth surrounded by quirky china.
 

Hopefully Beatrix Potter, who once stayed at the venue when it was a family home, would have approved of our fairyland-inspired wedding shoot!

Suppliers involved: