The last thing you want to be doing on your wedding day, is running around trying to confirm the smaller details with your wedding venue, that’s why it’s essential to make sure you go over everything with the in-venue wedding planner, to make sure they are ready for everything that will be thrown at them with your wedding. It would be terrible to have guests without seats, without meals, or even without cake! To avoid the worst, make sure you check off all 20 of these points before your wedding day:
1. Where is your ceremony?
Some brides choose to have their actually wedding ceremony in a different place to where the rest of their wedding is held, this might be for religious reasons for example, if you want to get married at a church. The venue will need to know where you are so that they can plan their time and they can get in touch if they need to.
2. What time is your service?
Again, if you’re going off-site for your actual wedding ceremony, the venue will need to know what time to expect you at their doors, so that everything is set up and food and drinks can be prepared. They will need to know the time of your ceremony even if you are getting married at their venue, as some bigger venues host two weddings a day, that need to be scheduled at separate times.
3. How many guests?
You might not know this figure until you get RSVPs, but make sure you give your venue and estimate for daytime, and nighttime, as this will assist them will planning the amount of seating, drinks, food, and space you will need. Make sure if you remember, to call the venue again nearer the time to confirm numbers, or else you might be charged or any excess food that is made for your party.
4. What menu?
You will probably be asked to select your wedding menu early on in the planning process, but make sure you confirm and ensure it’s the meal you would like. Try to pick something that has an option for fussy eaters too.
5. Any dietary requirements?
Vegetarians, Vegans, Pescetarians, those with gluten or lactose intolerance, and those with allergies will all need to be catered for. Make sure you ask you guests in advance what their requirements are, to ensure the chef has plenty of time to source unusual ingredients.
6. Children’s meals?
Kids are likely to eat less and be even fussier than your usual guests, so there’s unusually no point in paying for a full price meal for them. Most venues will provide a kids menu, and if not, they will often provide a smaller portion for kids.
7. Will you be having an evening meal?
Depending on the venue, there will be many options for evening food. You will likely be able to choose between a sit-down meal and a buffet; remember to tell the venue how many they will be catering for, and for what diets. Some venues may even have options for roasts and barbeques for evening meals in the summer, so do some research to find out what’s right for you.
8. Details about reception drinks
If you are offering a free drink at the wedding reception, it’s a good idea to choose between champagne and cocktails, or even a free bar. Make sure you provide an option for those who don’t wish to drink alcohol too.
9. Disabilities and Special Requirements
Older or disabled guests may require to be seated before the rest of your wedding guests, and they might need alternative access when it comes to stairs. Make sure staff know which guests might need assistance
10. Music and Entertainment
If you’re having a DJ, a band, a disco, a kids bouncy castle or a live band; and performer will need to have PAT tested equipment, and venue staff will need to know their requirements, and what time they will be arriving.
11. A contact for the chief bridesmaid
A chief bridesmaid’s duty is to ensure the whole day runs smoothly, ad to deal with any problems so that the bride doesn’t have to worry. Ensure the venue has a mobile number for the chief bridesmaid just in case of emergency.
12. Room Décor Plan
Unless you’re decorating the room yourself, you’ll need to provide a décor plan for the venue staff. Include photos of how you would like things set up, and make sure everything they require is provided.
13. Cutting the cake
Venues will provide a knife for you to cut the cake with; you can often choose between a sword and a standard knife. You will also need to inform the venue how many pieces they need to cut the cake into.
14. Any Deliveries?
If your cake, flowers or dress is being delivered last minute, make sure your venue knows so they can provide parking for the delivery driver, and they can provide staff to help unload anything.
15. Wedding cars access
If you’re arriving in a wedding car, make sure the venue knows how many vehicles to expect and how big they will be. They might need to ensure their entrance and driveway is clear for your arrival.
16. Photography locations
If you have a photographer and you’ve spotted somewhere you would like photos taken at your venue (like the gardens for example), let the venue know, as they may need to get permission or clean the location.
17. Venue Access
If you are decorating the venue yourself, you might need access prior to the event so you can set things up, or you might even need some storage space. Your venue should be able to help you with this.
18. Overnight guests
If you need guest accommodation make sure you book in advance, as rooms can get taken up quickly at popular hotels.
If guests stay over, your hotel might need to know how many are planning on staying for breakfast, as there may be an extra charge for this, and they will need to know numbers for catering.
20. Religious or Registrar
You don’t need to inform the venue of your religion, but if you are having your ceremony at the hotel, they will need to know who to hire to conduct the ceremony. They may also need to know your religion for catering, as some religions require dietary rules.
Check off all these points and you’re sure to have a stress free day!
This guest post was contributed by Holly Powell on behalf of Thornton Hall, the picturesque wedding venue situated in the North-West of England.