What to ask the booking manager before reserving your wedding venue

Once you’ve set your wedding date and worked out a ballpark budget figure, the next box you need to tick is the venue. Now if like Brad and Angelina you own a château in France, then it’s plain sailing! But if not, you’ll need to check out various locations armed with a list of questions for the booking manager.

Château Miraval, Brangelina's French home

Château Miraval, Brangelina’s French home


Beware the hidden extras

In my view, your venue sets the tone for your big day. And remember that all that glitters is not gold. Some locations may look fabulous in the brochure, but be aware of those hidden extras! I’ve visited several wedding venues with my sister Jill and her fiancé Alan over the last two months, and we eliminated a couple immediately once we realised what the price did NOT include. Here are some pricing guidelines:

What is the venue hire fee and for how many guests?

Does this fee include tables, chairs, table linen,etc. or just the space?

Would your venue supply lovely details like this?

What is the cancellation fee?

If the venue has beautiful grounds, does it cost extra to have a pre-dinner/lunch cocktail outside? Great for photos, but it could break the bank!

Can you bring your own drinks? Supplying your own booze works out cheaper, even with a corkage fee.

Can you provide your own vendors? This can help lower the cost of your big day, but many hotels oblige you to choose from their list.


Attention to detail counts

It’s not all about price however! Attention to detail matters:

Will there be staff exclusively for your reception? You don’t want waiters running about like headless chickens between events!

If the venue is a hotel, will it have a special room for the bride to powder her nose in and leave any presents brought on the day?

And how many rooms can the hotel guarantee at a special rate? This is important when there are many guests travelling for your wedding.


I hope my tips will help you choose the best venue – forewarned is forearmed!

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