5 Big Questions
Booking your dream wedding venue is the most significant decision you will make regarding your big day. With so much to consider, and with most venues requiring a deposit on booking, you will need to make sure you understand all there is to know about the venue and how the wedding day will proceed.
With all the other things to think about when it comes to booking your wedding, it can be easy for some questions to slip your mind when you book, so we've put together what we think is a helpful list of 5 big questions to ask your venue.
1. What is included in the hire fee?
Ask the venue to provide a breakdown of what is included. For example, some venues charge extra for furniture, tableware, a cake stand and even staffing, or the sound-systems and AV equipment need to be hired in too - these sort of additional costs are not things you want to be surprised by when it starts getting close to your wedding! These items are all included in the venue hire at Penshurst Place, and we send a list of inclusions with every quote for transparency and peace of mind.
2. Will there be any other events hosted on the same day as our wedding?
Some larger venues or hotels can host more than one wedding or event on the same day. Please check this if exclusivity is important to you. At Penshurst Place you can rest assured that we only host one event per day, and you will not have to share our facilities with another couple!
3. Who will set up the rooms – will we need to be involved on the day?
Venues who offer a ‘DIY’ hire are likely to require you to set everything up the day before, or even on the morning of the wedding. Always check this with your venue and also check whether items can be left securely overnight at the venue both before and after the wedding.
Here, we set everything up for you and store it away at the end of the night. Usually the couple drop off items such as the table plan, decorations, favours and name cards the day before the wedding and explain how they would like it all placed to the wedding co-ordinator. Often the same member of staff will also be on duty the next day. Our team of venue staff work with the caterers to set up the rooms as the couple wish, and the couple are invited to have a look at the dining room before the guests enter for the wedding breakfast. This often results in a few happy tears and gasps of amazement at the transformation! (And it's a great moment for your photographer to capture!)
4. Who will be my point of contact, in the lead-up to the wedding and on the day itself?
Many venues have two teams, a sales team to plan each event and an operations team who manage the event on the day. Make sure you understand how your venue works and who you will liaise with at all stages. Will you be able to meet your event manager in advance of the big day?
At Penshurst Place we operate as one small team. Often the team member you meet at your initial viewing will also be present on your wedding day. In the months prior to the wedding, we are in regular contact with each couple, via email, telephone and face-to-face meetings. All details are carefully checked and usually a final, short meeting takes place the day before the wedding, when the couple deliver their items.
5. Can we marry outside?
If you would like to marry outdoors, do check that your venue is licensed to host a legal ceremony outside, and that there is a back-up room that you are happy with should the weather be inclement.
Currently Humanist or non-legal ceremonies or blessings can take place in an unlicensed area outside, but to be legally married you will need to also have a civil ceremony at a licensed venue.
Legal wedding ceremonies are conducted at Penshurst Place in our beautiful Inner Courtyard, a lovely lawned area close to the house. In wet weather a stylish Capri tent can be used to cover the area, or the ceremony can take place in the Sunderland Room, inside the building.
There are also various pretty locations within the main gardens and the wider parkland where a Humanist ceremony can be hosted, such as the Nut Garden or Lake Park.
So there we have it… five BIG questions which are often forgotten in the excitement of planning the perfect wedding day!