Amongst the excitement, nerves and anticipation leading up to your event, there may be questions you forget to ask at the most important time – your venue visits! It’s normal to feel in awe at a beautiful venue and look at the gorgeous décor, gardens and function rooms, it can even feel overwhelming when there’s so much to take in and without experience, it isn’t easy to know what to ask. At Dash of Sparkle, we want to make sure you don’t miss a trick.
The most obvious questions are the ideal starting point as they get your imagination going. For example, make sure to ask how many people the venue can hold (remember to include with a dance floor), if they’re available on your preferred date and how much you can expect to pay to hire a function room or entire venue. You may be able to find out this information prior to visiting the venue, but it’s always a great idea to check the most important details of your special day before heading out to view the venue as you would not want to waste a lot of time viewing venues that don’t tick all your boxes.
Once you go along to visit a venue, it’s helpful to have your questions in categories and take a notebook to jot down their replies. This helps you to focus on the things you want to know and find out how the venue will fit with the other suppliers you’re interested in. Knowing about the facilities a venue has is key when you decide on your entertainment. If you’d like to have a DJ, book an entertainer or hire a photobooth, here are a few questions to ask:
- Do you supply a stage?
- If so, is there an extra charge to use it?
- Is the dancefloor fixed or can it be moved?
- Do you have a PA system?
- If so, can the entertainer/DJ use it?
- Once the tables/chairs are set up, is there space for a photobooth?
No event would be complete without delicious food, cake, food stations and refreshments. When visiting a venue, don’t forget to ask about catering options, especially if you require Kosher food or have other dietary needs. Organising catering for your event can be the most difficult decision, but asking the following questions will take the pressure off:
- Do you accept external caterers?
- If yes, do we have exclusive use of your kitchen, cutlery, crockery?
- Have you got experience in Kosher/Vegetarian catering? (if using venue caterers)
- Do you supply waiters/bartenders?
- Would use of the bar be included?
- Do you charge a corkage fee?
Once you’ve got a clear idea of what to expect in terms of catering and entertainment, there are lots of miscellaneous questions you should ask to ensure you’ll have everything you need. Here are some tried-and-tested Dash of Sparkle examples:
- Is there on-site parking?
- Do you have a cloakroom/coat rails and easels?
- Do you have a projector and plasma TV/screen to show videos/slideshows?
- Are tables and chairs included in the price?
- If so, how many and what size?
- Do you have a civil ceremony license?
- How long is the function room/venue available for?
- Do you charge for rubbish removal?
- Do you expect the caterer to put the tables and chairs away and do a spotless clean?
- Are there any other events happening on the same day?
We could go on forever – there are so many possibilities! Don’t let the lists of questions put you off, they’re there to spark your imagination and give you a few good ideas before going to a venue visit. If you’ve planned several visits, make sure you have a pen and paper to take notes, as each venue may be similar to the last. To make it even simpler, print out our guide and take it with you!