Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Venue

So you’ve set a date for your special day and now its time to secure that special wedding venue! While visiting potential venues you need to make sure you and your fiancé are well equipped with a comprehensive list of questions to ensure you get all the information you need. Now, there are so many questions that you could potentially ask, but I’ve put together the top 5 that are essential. Here they are…

 

“Is the venue available for our wedding date?”

Before you make any appointments to visit venues make sure you give them a call or send an email first to establish that it will be available on your wedding day. You don’t want to have wasted your time visiting, asked all your questions, and made a decision that it will be your perfect venue, only to find out its not even available for your chosen wedding date!

Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Venue

Credit: Kingen Smith

 

“Will we have exclusive use?”

Some venues allow more than one event to take place on their premises on the same day. If you’re the type of the person that will prefer to have exclusive use, then make sure you find out if this will be the case.

 

“Can we bring in our own suppliers?”

These days many wedding venues prefer that you hire suppliers recommended by them. This is usually because these suppliers have worked in their venue before, therefore they have established a relationship with them, and trust them more than they would compared to a supplier they do not know. However, if you really love the venue, don’t hesitate to ask if it’s “possible to work with other suppliers other than those on your list?” – you might just be able to negotiate something that will work for you.

 

“Is there a time the music must finish?”

You and your guests are having such a good time at the wedding reception. The dance floor is jam-packed and your uncle has just showed off his best moves! Suddenly, the plug is pulled and your DJ is told they can’t play anymore tunes!! Not good!

It’s always a good idea to find out what time music will have to end. It’s very likely your wedding venue will have a specified time for music to finish, especially if it’s in a residential area.

What is the overall hire fee?

Of course you need to know how much everything is going to cost. Find out if there are any deposits to be paid and when. Whether you can pay in installments. If there are any extra fees e.g. if the venue allows you to bring in your own suppliers you will want to find out what their corkage fees are.

 

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How to Deal with Venue Noise Restrictions

You may or may not have heard of the event of Bruce Springsteen’s microphone being switched off at a gig he performed at Hyde Park a while ago. Springsteen had to leave the stage in silence as he had continued performing after Westminster’s’ noise curfew. Whether this comes as a shock to you or not there are rules and regulations – no matter who you are!

There’s a trusted article I always return to when it comes to beating venue noise restrictions, and it was written by London DJ Matt Maurice and Kelly Chandler from The Bespoke Wedding Company. I thought I’d share it with you as it is an important aspect to consider if you want your wedding reception to go as smooth as possible. Each wedding venue differs from the next when it comes to decibel limits and strict end times, so Matt and Kelly have created a number of rules to avoid any trouble on the day.

Rule 1: Know the policy
You can run into sound restrictions anywhere, from city-centre hotels with non-wedding guests to remote castles where music can travel for miles (thus disrupting ‘neighbours’ you can’t even see). “I’ve played Thames river boats, 5-star London hotels and country mansions with sound restrictions, so there’s no set venue type,” Matt points out. The key, Kelly advises, is “never assume.” The two big areas to clarify with the venue are finish times and decibel limits, which may require your band or DJ to use a noise limiter when they perform. And if, like us, you’re not super-clear on how loud a decibel actually is, follow this rule of thumb: a noise limit of 80 decibels would be quite low, 90 is average, and 95 is pretty OK.

Rule 2: Don’t panic
“There’s a misconception out there that, ‘Oh no, the venue requires a sound limiter, the party is going to be a disaster’,” Kelly says. “But really what it influences is things like the size of the band you can have.” (Swap the 10-piece band for a 4-piece and you’re less likely to exceed your decibel count.) With earlier-than-desired finish times, you can also ask the venue if it’s possible to extend (though, as they’ll have to apply to the council for late license, this will most likely cost you extra).

How to beat venue noise restrictions_2

Rule 3: Communicate with your musicians
Knowledge is power, and there are techy tweaks your team can make to get the most out of their sound even if a noise limiter is required. “There are certain things that set off the sound limiter, like certain types of vocals or the position of the mic in relation to the crowd, and professionals can work with it most of the time,” Kelly says.

Rule 4: Respect the noise limiter
So how does this thing actually work? “Most use a traffic-light system: green, amber, red,” Matt says. “It’s programmed to the unique level setting at the venue, and at green and amber you’re OK. Go into the red for more than the pre-set number of seconds and power to the entire system can be cut.” Multiple factors can affect whether you enter the red zone, like room set up, number of guests and music style. “Crowd noise like clapping and cheering can also send the noise levels up and cause the limiter to kick in,” he adds, so be sure to follow guidance from the musical pros who know best.

Wedding DJ_How to beat venue noise restrictions

Rule 5: Stay on schedule
Don’t want your first dance to be the last of the night? Be vigilant about timings earlier in the day – especially if you’re up against a non-negotiable finishing time at the end of the reception.

Rule 6: Plan an after-party
If a noise limit rather than a fixed end time is the issue, ask if your venue will let you stay in the space with your guests if you agree to switch to non-amplified music or an iPod. Or, move on to phase two: we’ve known couples to arrange pub takeovers or book private areas in nightclubs to extend the best night ever.

How to beat venue noise restrictions_1

Rule 7: Be honest about your priorities
“If you have your heart set on a 10-piece band and partying till 5am, then you need to focus your energies on finding a venue that will allow it,” says Kelly. Though in that case, as Bruce and Paul learned the hard way, Hyde Park is probably out!

Words by Julia Scirrotto

I do hope this was helpful, as many people do fail to take this into consideration. Music can be the life and soul of a wedding or event and the last thing you want is the atmosphere being ruined!

Image sources: 123

Venue Spotlight: The Conservatory at Painshill

 “Set in Painshill Park in the heart of Surrey, The Conservatory is a stunning luxury marquee situated in the tranquil surroundings of its very own private 18th century walled garden.”

the conservatory at painshill_wedding

“Painshill Park is one of the most astonishingly romantic and intriguing gardens in Europe, providing a wonderful backdrop for any special occasion or event.”

the conservatory at painshill

“Conveniently located within a few minutes of the A3 and M25 in Cobham, Surrey and just a stone’s throw away from Weybridge,Guildford, Leatherhead, Woking, Dorking and Kingston, The Conservatory at Painshill Park is ideal for any special event and is one of the best wedding venues in Surrey.”

the conservatory at painshill_marquee wedding venue

“The Conservatory at Painshill Park is the perfect wedding venue in Surrey and enchanting private walled garden is an idyllic setting for your civil ceremony and wedding reception. Set in picturesque 18th Century gardens, The Conservatory is the ideal place to create the day of your dreams.”

the conservatory uk wedding venue

The Conservatory Venue Hire Rates start from £2000 to £5500 depending on time and season. This includes exclusive use for up to 320 guests seated guests, and up to 400 for buffets and evening receptions.

uk wedding venue

 

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Image Source: The Conservatory at Painshill 

 

Venue Spotlight: Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum_London Wedding Venue

If you’re looking for a unique wedding venue in London, then look no further. Everything about the Natural History Museum is ‘GRAND’…from its Grand Central Hall, to the grand staircase and grand Diplodocus dinosaur structure!

Natural History Museum_London Wedding Venue

Natural History Museum_London Wedding Venue

The award winning venue holds a capacity of 100 – 700 guests for dinner, and 200 – 1,200 guests for a wedding reception. Your guests can enjoy some light canapes and bubbly, then move into the Central Hall for dinner. Imagine dining and dancing the night away under the skeleton cast centerpiece!

Natural History Museum_Unique Wedding Venue

Natural History Museum_London Wedding Venue

The Natural History Museum will certainly leave your guests talking about your wedding in years to come.

Venue Contact Details:
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road
London
SW7 5BD

Tel: 020 7942 5434

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Image Sources: 5 Star Wedding Directory, Natural History Museum, Snapz Photography, The Wedding Community Blog, Scarlet Events