Choosing the wedding venue

If the bride and groom are religious, it is highly likely they will want to be married in their regular place of worship. If they are not religious, or they prefer a non-traditional ceremony, they may already have an idea of where they would like to be married, or they may ask you for some ideas.

Here are some suggestions where a ceremony could be held:

  • A place that is unique or special to the couple (e.g., the location where they first met, of where they got engaged)
  • Art gallery
  • Backyard of a parent or friend’s house
  • Beach
  • Boat
  • Botanical gardens
  • City hall
  • Community hall
  • Golf course
  • Hotel
  • Mountain
  • Non-denominational church
  • Park
  • Outdoors in a marquee
  • Restaurant
  • Private Mansion
  • Wedding chapel
  • Winery

Once a desired venue has been chosen, before you book it, thoroughly check out the venue (with your clients) and ask the following questions:

  • What is the fee for hiring the venue and what does the fee include?
  • How much deposit is required and when is the rest of the fee payable?
  • How long can the venue be used for at that fee?
  • What are the hourly charges if the time allotted is exceeded?
  • Is there a security deposit required?
  • What is the refund policy?
  • Can the venue be used for a rehearsal the day/evening before the wedding (and is this included in the rental fee)?
  • What are the insurance requirements, if any?
  • Will there be a venue coordinator available, if required? If so, what are the duties of the venue coordinator?
  • Are there any officiant options with the venue?
  • Are there any requirements regarding an officiant?
  • Is pre-marriage counseling required (if in a place of worship)?
  • Can couples from mixed faiths be married in the venue (if applicable)?
  • What rental equipment is included with the fee (e.g., microphones, candelabras, stereo system, organ etc.) or what is the cost of using these if not included in the fee?
  • Is there an organist or pianist available?
  • What is the room capacity?
  • Is there a change room/waiting room that is included for your use?
  • What parking is available?
  • Will there be any other weddings held on the desired date?
  • How long before the wedding can the florist and decorator come in to set up?
  • Are there restrictions with respect to decorating?
  • Are there any wedding policies or rules (e.g., regarding picture taking or confetti/petal tossing)?

You can print this list of questions off and take it with you when you inspect the venue.

If our clients decide to proceed with the venue, request that the venue coordinator reserve it for your clients and also request that a rental contract be prepared covering all the items that you have agreed upon. This will help to avoid any misunderstandings or surprises.

Once the contract is prepared, you should review it and ensure everything that should be has been included, and then arrange with your clients to sign it, and provide any deposits that are required to keep the booking.

Wedding insurance

It may be necessary to obtain wedding insurance for some venues. For some couples, wedding insurance buys peace of mind. Packaged cover is available for a range of mishaps through many insurers (just do a web search on ‘wedding insurance’ and take your pick). Premiums start at around $199 for a standard package, which includes cover if you need to re-shoot photos, cover for damage to the bride’s dress and public liability cover — a must if one of your rellies is injured at the wedding.

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