15 essential questions to ask at your wedding venue viewing

Ready to take the first step in planning your big day? The venue really defines your wedding style, setting the scene for an unforgettable day. Make sure you get the most out of your wedding venue viewing with these must-ask questions.

Credit: Elizabeth Jayne Photography

Choosing the perfect venue for your wedding is a huge decision – after all, the venue sets the tone for the whole day, so you want to get it right. That’s why, even if you’ve fallen in love with a venue from their website, it’s so important to visit and look around in person before you book.

Exploring the different rooms, getting an authentic feel for the vibe of the venue, and checking out all the practical factors (we’re talking essentials like parking, accessibility and capacity) will really help you decide whether a particular venue is the right fit for you as a couple and the kind of wedding day you have in mind.

At Hampton Court Castle we’ve had the pleasure of showing hundreds of couples around our exclusive-use Herefordshire wedding venue, so we know what we’re talking about. Want to get the most out of your visit? Here are the questions you need to ask at your wedding venue viewing.

The Central Courtyard. Photo by Matt Willis Photography

The questions to ask at your wedding venue viewing

1. What availability do you have in the month we’re interested in?

Chances are you will have already had the conversation about your preferred wedding date through your initial email enquiries, but when you’re walking around the venue it’s worth finding out what availability looks like for the whole of the month you have in mind, just in case you do decide on an alternative date.

2. What’s the capacity?

Again, you probably already have a general idea of the venue’s capacity from the website, but during a wedding venue viewing ask for specifics. How many guests can you have for the ceremony and what’s the maximum for the evening reception? Be sure to check what the minimum number of guests required for booking is, as this can have an impact on your budget. Also, if accommodation is available at the venue, check how many guests this will cover.

3. What is accessibility like?

If you have elderly relatives, wheelchair users, or those with other mobility issues on your guest list, how accessible a venue is will play a big part in whether it’s the right choice for your big day. When you’re being shown around, ask the venue about bathroom access, step-free access inside the venue, space for wheelchairs to move around and whether there’s a quiet space for guests to sit away from the main bustle of the celebrations if necessary.

4. How does the day flow?

Does the venue have a tried and tested timeline they would recommend for the smooth running of your wedding day? Is it easy to move between the ceremony and reception space? What will guests be doing while you have your couple photographs taken? An experienced wedding venue will have all the answers to these questions and help provide a fool-proof running order for the day.

Bride and groom in traditional Chinese wedding dress at Hampton Court Castle. Photo by The Unscripted
5. Do you have any photos or videos of the venue set up in our preferred season?

It can be so helpful to view images of real weddings set up at a venue while you’re standing in that ceremony or reception space. If you have your heart set on a wedding in a certain season, ask the venue if they have any pictures of how other couples have styled the venue at that time of year.

6. What’s the plan if it rains?

This is a crucial question to ask if you plan on holding any part of your day outside – and any decent venue will always have a Plan B up their sleeve in case the weather doesn’t play ball. At Hampton Court Castle, for example, we have two gorgeous ceremony spaces – our alfresco Central Courtyard and our historic Chapel – providing a romantic backdrop for your ‘I do’s whatever the weather.

7. What’s not allowed?

When it comes to questions to ask at your wedding venue viewing, this one is so important. It’s a simple way to find out exactly what’s not allowed and to see whether that will impact on the dream day you have planned. Whether it’s decorations, fireworks, live music, or pets, it’s important to find out what a venue can accommodate and what they can’t before you go any further with the booking.

Fireworks at a Hampton Court Castle wedding. Photo by The Kensington Photographer
8. Do you have any preferred or must-use suppliers?

Some venues will have a list of suppliers they recommend and have a great working relationship with, some may insist you use certain ones, while other venues may be happy for you to use any suppliers you like. If you’re set on using a particular supplier, like a florist or photographer, this is a must-ask question to cover during the very early stages of planning.

9. What exactly is provided?

During your viewing, ask what the wedding package includes. For example, does the venue provide table linen or is this something you need to bring yourself? Also check whether your venue has an inventory of décor (lighting, candle holders etc.) that you can borrow from.

10. Can anyone help us put up decorations?

If you are allowed to use you own décor to personalise the space, it’s worth asking the question as to whether the venue has anyone on the events team who can help with decorating on the morning of the big day. If they don’t, you’ll need to factor this into your prep.

11. What are the best places for photos?

Every venue will know the best spots for incredible wedding photographs, and this is a great question to ask during your viewing so you can see them for yourselves. At Hampton Court Castle we provide our newlyweds with exclusive access to our neighbouring gardens for their couple photography, while guests enjoy a glass of champagne on the South Lawns. From the ancient wisteria arch to the gorgeous rose garden, it’s a dream come true for wedding photographers.

The Wisteria Arch. Photo by Elizabeth Jayne Photography
12. What are the menus and pricing?

While many venues will have details of their menu packages on their website, it’s much easier to chat face-to-face with someone from the venue about what each package includes. If relevant to your guest list, don’t forget to check how easily they can cater to different dietary requirements and whether there’s a separate children’s menu. This is also a good time to ask whether the venue offers a menu tasting session for you and your partner, before you commit to a certain menu.

13. How many cars does the car park fit and can guests leave cars overnight?

This is another essential question to ask at your wedding venue viewing, to help you plan guest numbers and whether or not additional parking options need to be explored.

14. What kind of evening entertainment is allowed?

Whatever your musical preferences for the evening reception, now is the time to ask if they can be accommodated. If you’d like a live band for the evening, check if there is room and whether there is a stage available. If you’re planning on booking a DJ, ask if the venue provides the sound system or not. Check if there is a dancefloor at the venue and whether tables from the wedding breakfast will need to be moved or removed for this. If that is the case, consider seating older guests on tables that won’t have to be taken away when the dancing starts.

First dance at Hampton Court Castle wedding. Photo by David Liebst Photography
15. How quickly do we need to book?

Some venues may hold your date for a week while you make your decision, others will need a deposit to save the date for you – ask the question so you know exactly where you stand after your viewing.

Book a viewing at Hampton Court Castle

If you’re searching for a luxurious, historic, exclusive-use wedding venue in Herefordshire, we’d love the chance to show you around Hampton Court Castle. It’s a venue with serious wow-factor and the ultimate setting for a truly romantic, unforgettable wedding. You can get a feel for what we offer through our online virtual tour – just click here to get started ­– then get in touch to visit the Castle in person. Email, call 01568 797 797 or click here to get your viewing booked in.


PHOTOGRAPHER Elizabeth Jayne Photography
PHOTOGRAPHER Matt Willis Photography
PHOTOGRAPHER The Kensington Photographer
PHOTOGRAPHER David Liebst Photography

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