20 must ask questions for your wedding venue

Matt Rock Photography

Getting engaged and then planning a wedding is one of the most exciting times of anyone’s life and finding the perfect wedding venue is the first step in ensuring you have your dream wedding! Because of the importance of finding the right venue for your wedding, we have listed down our 20 must ask questions for your wedding venue – enjoy, we hope you find this list useful!

Is there onsite accommodation?
One of the main considerations when choosing a wedding venue should be where will the bride, groom and guests stay both before and after the wedding. Especially if guests are travelling quite some way or from abroad, having accommodation onsite on the venue is a huge plus and means no designated drivers or late night taxis!

Here at Salomons we have a great deal of onsite accommodation with 47 well appointed rooms available for wedding guests. Not only does this help after the wedding but it means the bride and groom can wake up in their wedding venue on the day of the wedding.

We also have an onsite luxury Bridal cottage that sleeps eight guests. Perfect for getting read before the wedding and to enjoy afterwards!

Does the venue have a bridal room?
Here at Salomons we know how special a bride’s wedding day is, and what a fabulous occasion it is for them to share with their bridesmaids and family members. We therefore have a dedicated bridal room so brides can enjoy some privacy with their nearest and dearest on their special day. We believe this is a great addition to any wedding venue!

How much parking is there at the venue?
Many of your wedding guests will likely travel some distance to get to your venue and although some will take the train or a taxi, there will be others who will want to drive so making sure your wedding venue has plenty of onsite parking is a key questions to ask. With car parking for over 200 cars, we have ample parking for all guests on our glorious estate.

What transport links are nearby?
As we have already established, getting to a wedding venue for guests is extremely important, so a critical question to ask is what transport links are nearby and does the venue have anything in place such as links with a local, reliable taxi company who can take guests to and from the train station?

Is the food locally sourced?
Food is a key aspect to any wedding day – get the food right and you will keep your guests well fed and happy! We strongly believe that wedding venues should support their local community, and feel that high quality, locally sourced food is a key strength. We use popular well known local suppliers Southborough Butchers and Oliver Greens.

Does the venue offer a complimentary tasting?
Again focussing on the importance of food, it is worth asking if the venue offer a complimentary tasting. We always recommend couples go for a tasting before committing to their all important final menu, so it is worth checking if this is complimentary and if you can bring friends and family to make sure you are catering for a range of palettes!

What happens if it rains?!
Many couples want an outdoor wedding, and here at Salomons we have the beautiful South Facing Terrace which can seat up to 140 people but as we say to every couple who wants to get married outside, it is important to have a back-up plan just in case as we do live in England after all so there is always a risk of inclement weather.

We have many wonderful rooms inside so even if a couple cannot have an outdoor wedding, they can still get married in a stunning venue. So whatever wedding venue you choose, it is worth making sure that you are just as happy with the indoor option even if you have your heart set on an outdoor wedding!

Does the venue have a dedicated wedding planner?
A wedding can be a time consuming and stressful event to organise and a good wedding planner will help take much of the stress away. Here at Salomons, we allocate couples their wedding co-ordinator and host 6 months prior to the wedding date, who will be there on the big day to make sure everything runs smoothly.

So whatever wedding venue you choose, always make sure that there will be a contact you can communicate with!

What accommodation is nearby?
If there is no onsite accommodation, or the accommodation that is unavailable cannot take all your guests, then it is worth asking what accommodation is nearby. This is especially important if you are getting married in a remote location that is not near a town as the last thing you want is guests having to travel half an hour to get to the hotel they are staying at. We have a lot of onsite accommodation at Salomons but are also close to Tunbridge Wells if you want a large wedding, and hotels such as One Warwick Park are easily accessible for wedding guests.

What is the venue capacity?
When planning a wedding, how many guests you are going to invite is a key consideration, and the venue clearly needs to be able to accommodate the number of weddings guests you want to invite. If the venue has multiple rooms, this is often a good time to think about these and find the most suitable room. If the venue only has one huge room and you want a wedding for 50 guests for example, it may be worth considering a venue that has a room suitable for 50 guests as even if you love everything else about the venue, 50 guests in an enormous room may make the room seem empty and not create the buzz you want.

Here at Salomons we have a range of rooms to choose from with out elegant, intimate gold room seating up to 65, our grand Victorian theatre up to 230 and multiple alternative rooms to suit a range of wedding sizes!

How late does the venue stay open until? What are the restrictions?
What time does the evening reception need to be finished by? You need to think about this when booking your venue as you may want to party on late but your venue needs to shut by 10, and this is essential to know before sending out wedding invites so well worth asking at the start.

It is also worth considering whether there are any restrictions – if the venue doesn’t allow under-18s for example and you want children to be invited to your wedding then it’s one to cross off the list.

Is the venue licensed for civil ceremonies?
Here at Salomons Estate we can hold civil ceremonies, civil partnerships and everything in between! This means couples can get married at our venue and hold their wedding breakfast and evening reception with us too. If you are looking for a venue that will be able to spend the whole day at, they need to be licensed for civil ceremonies.

Does your venue hold multiple weddings on the same day?
We think this is a really important question as especially those venues that have multiple rooms will often hold multiple weddings on the same day. We don’t do this for the very simple reason that we believe a wedding day is so important, all focus and attention should be on one wedding – and it also removes the possibility of guests ending up at the wrong wedding!

What suppliers do you use/recommend?
Some wedding venues will insist you use particular suppliers for their venue. We like to give our couples the choice – we have a tried and trusted preferred suppliers list which helps them along the way but ultimately the decision is theirs! It is worth considering, and if the venue is insisting on particular suppliers, make sure you speak to the suppliers to make sure you feel comfortable with them before committing.

What about the cake?
For many the cake is the highlight of the wedding! Even if it is not for you, there are still some considerations when it comes to the cake such as are the cake stand and knife provided (they are for couples who choose Salomons)?  And will the venue charge a cake cutting fee? These costs can add up so make sure you are aware of them before signing on the dotted line!

What about evening entertainment?
We have all been to lively weddings where the dance floor is packed until midnight, and if this is how you want your wedding to be, you need to make sure you know what the venue can accommodate. Do they have room for a band to perform? Is a DJ the best option? Or if you are looking to cut costs do they have speakers or a sound system they can plug your iPhone into?

Who will be there on the day?
There can be a lot happening on a wedding day, and you need to make sure that you can relax and enjoy it. This is where if there is someone who will be at the venue on the day who knows both of you and exactly what you want it is an enormous help. Not only can they answer any questions you may have, but if something unexpected happens they can sort it out for you, ideally without you even knowing that something may have been going wrong in the first place!

At Salomons, we pride ourselves on our wedding team and always have wedding planners available on the day who know the couple and can help ensure the smooth running of their day.

What is the payment schedule?
Budgeting for a wedding can be an onerous task, and however you do it you are probably going to have a list somewhere of all your payments and when they are due so you’re able to make sure you don’t run out of money. Make sure you are clear when you sign up what the payment terms of the venue are, (as all are different) so you can budget accordingly.

What are the costs? Do they include VAT? What is included?
This is the biggie for a lot of couples as they will often have a budget they can’t go over so make sure you are very aware of how much the whole day is going to cost. Also make sure you know what the cost is with VAT as this is sometimes listed separately. Definitely ask what is included in terms of food, drink, suppliers, tables, chairs, candles – the list goes on but some venues will do an all inclusive package and some just a venue fee with everything else chargeable on top.

Is your venue insured?
Last but not least (and we have probably left the most boring one until last), is your wedding venue insured? Most venues who regularly hold weddings should have Public Liability Insurance but it is worth checking as if they don’t and one of your guests hurts themselves for example then you could be liable!

We hope this was a useful guide of must ask questions for your wedding venue. If you are still looking for your perfect wedding venue in and around Kent, then do get in touch with us and we would be delighted to show you around our stunning Estate and give more information on what Salomons has to offer!