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Wedding Ideas 12 questions you should ask your wedding venue

12 questions you should ask your wedding venue

Booking your wedding venue is a big decision. It’s typically by far the greatest cost, with couples spending approximately 10-15% of their wedding budget on the venue. But more than this, your venue sets the scene for your big day, creating the ultimate backdrop to your celebrations. It’s where you create memories that will last a lifetime.

Choosing the perfect wedding venue is such a different process for every couple – we have many couples who book Hodsock Priory after stumbling across us on social media or by a Google search, but equally we’ve hosted lots of weddings for couples who have had their heart set on marrying at our beautiful Nottinghamshire country house for years.

So, whether you’re at the start of your search, or have already decided Hodsock Priory is the dream wedding venue for you, there are certain things you need to know before you book. These are the essential questions you should ask your wedding venue to make sure you’re a perfect fit.

What availability do you have in the month I want to get married?

Chances are you have a date in mind for your big day, but unfortunately it’s not always possible to accommodate – we wish it was. Saturday dates during peak wedding season book up quickly, so it’s worth being a little flexible when picking the date for your day (or book as far in advance as you possibly can!). Check with your venue what availability they have during the month you’d like to get married before you do anything else.

Bride and groom driving away form Hodsock Hall in open top car
If you’re dreaming of a sunny summer wedding, check dates with your wedding venue as early as possible. Photo: Jessica Sommerville

What’s your capacity?

Whether you’re planning an intimate celebration or a huge wedding day filled with all your friends and family, you need to check numbers with your venue first to make sure they can accommodate. At Hodsock Priory you can have up to 130 guests for your ceremony and dining, then up to 240 for the evening reception. Now that is a party! 

How much will it cost?

When it comes to questions to ask your wedding venue, this is a big one. Let’s be honest, how much a venue costs to hire can be an absolute deal maker or breaker when planning your wedding. Which is why it’s essential to get all the information you need upfront. There’s no point visiting a venue, falling head over heels, before realising it’s way out of budget. At Hodsock Priory we like to be as transparent as possible about costs, to make it easy for you to decide if we’re right for your day. You can use our online quote builder to get an accurate idea of how much your day will cost, taking into consideration things like the number of guests and menu options. Click here to give it a try.

The exterior of Hodsock Priory
Find all the tools on our website to work out how much a wedding at Hodsock Priory costs. Photo: Monkeymole Photography

Do you offer accommodation on-site?

If you’ve got guest travelling from around the country, choosing a wedding venue with accommodation can be a very appealing option. Check how many rooms or suites, are available, if they all need to be booked as part of your wedding package, what time everyone needs to be out the next morning and whether breakfast is offered. Some venues may provide quirky accommodation like glamping, others more traditional hotel rooms. Have a think about your requirements and your style. Hodsock has up to 17 bedrooms available to book when you hold your wedding with us, just in case you’re wondering…

One of the beautiful rooms at Hodsock Priory
Imagine waking up here the day after your Hodsock Priory wedding. Heaven! Photo: Monkeymole Photography

Do you have A weddings manager?

When it’s your big day you want to be able to relax and soak it all in, without worrying about whether the cake has turned up or not. One of the questions to ask your wedding venue is whether there is a team or manager to help you in the run up and on the day. Having a dedicated event manager on hand to make sure the day runs smoothly is a huge plus, and we can guarantee you’re in safe hands at Hodsock Priory. We’ve got the most incredible team, who love nothing more than working to bring your perfect day to life. They know everything there is to know about hosting a fantastic wedding and can trouble-shoot like pros. 

What are the menu or catering options?

Check whether your wedding venue caters in-house or uses external companies to provide the food for your day. If it’s all done in-house, ask to see sample menus, find out about the kids’ options and how well they cater for various dietary needs (if required) and see if you’re able to have a food tasting. Food is such an important part of your day and a great wedding menu really elevates the occasion. At Hodsock Priory we are passionate about creating the kind of wedding food you and your guests will rave about for years. Want to know a little more? Just click here to check out our food gallery. Warning: It will make you hungry!

Menu and table laid out ready for a wedding at Hodsock Priory
Work with us to create your ultimate wedding day menu. Photo: Joel Skingle Photography

What time can we have the venue to?

Some venues offer late licenses, meaning drinks and dancing can go on into the early hours, while others stick to the more traditional end time of 11/11:30pm. If it’s important to you to stretch the night out as long as possible, check with your wedding venue what time they close the bar and what time the music needs to stop.

Bride and groom first dance covered in confetti
Check if your wedding venue has a late license if you want to party all night. Photo: Yorkshire Portraits

Do we have to use your recommended suppliers?

Over the years, wedding venues will build up great relationships with the very best local suppliers – whether that’s florists, photographers or DJs. Some venues insist on you picking from a list of recommended suppliers, while others simply offer them as a suggestion.

Will the venue be exclusively ours for the whole day?

For some couples this is an essential requirement. If you really don’t like the idea of sticking to a rigid schedule or bumping into other wedding parties during your big day, exclusive use is the way to go, but this does often come at a higher price. If you’re looking for an exclusive-use wedding venue in Nottinghamshire, Hodsock Priory ticks all the boxes. The house and gardens will be solely yours from 10:30am to 10am the following day – or, if an epic celebration is on the cards, we offer a two-night/three-day weekend wedding package.

Wedding guests playing croquet on the ground of Hodsock Priory
Make the most of having Hodsock Priory to yourself for your whole wedding day. Photo: Sugarbird Photography

Where can we have our ceremony?

If you like the idea of having your ceremony and reception in one place, check first that your wedding venue can accommodate this. Many venues offer a choice of indoor and outdoor ceremony locations, so ask for full details before you commit. Hodsock Priory has five stunning licensed rooms, from the intimate surroundings of our historic library, to the grand Buchanan Hall, as well as two glorious outdoor ceremony locations to say your ‘I do’s. We also have a choice of idyllic village churches nearby.

Bride and groom getting married at the Library at Hodsock Priory
The Library at Hodsock Priory is an historic, atmospheric setting for an intimate wedding. Photo: Chris Terry Photography

Is the venue accessible?

If anyone on your guest list has specific access needs – whether that’s wheelchair access or elderly relations who may struggle with steep stairs or uneven floors – this one of the questions to ask your wedding venue in the early stages of planning.

Is there any car parking available?

Unless you plan on arranging transport to and from the venue for your guests, ask the question about parking. How many spaces are available? Can cars be left overnight? Is the parking close to the venue (important if accessibility is a problem with any guests)?

Planning your wedding should be a fun process and choosing your venue is one of the first exciting steps towards bringing your dream day to life. Get the venue right and everything else slots into place. That’s why it’s important to think about the questions to ask your wedding venue before you book. We’d love the chance to show you around our historic Grade II listed Nottinghamshire wedding venue. We think Hodsock Priory is pretty special and can’t wait to show you just how unforgettable it is. If you’d like to book a viewing or just ask us a question click here and we’ll get back to you straight away.  

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