12 questions you need to ask your wedding venue before signing the dotted line

Booking a venue is likely to take a big chunk out of your big day budget, so it's well worth ensuring your venue is a perfect fit before signing the dotted line and parting with that hard-saved dosh. As with most things in life, success lies in the preparation: arm yourself with a list of questions (use a clipboard for extra pro-points,) and tick them off one by one. Keep reading for 12 questions you need to ask your wedding venue.

1. Is your capacity different for ceremony and reception?

Finalising head counts should be the first thing you do with any potential venue.

2. Can our guests have a discounted rate for your accommodation?

If there is accommodation, many of your guests will likely want to stay onsite. Happily, negotiating a discounted rate is often possible. And you'll be extra-popular with family and friends at the end of the night, when all they need to do is pop upstairs to bed.

3. Do we have to use your bar or can we provide our own alcohol - and do you charge for corkage?

Beware of bar rules and corkage charges: some venues will only allow you to serve their alcohol, while others will let you bring your own bottles, charging a standard corkage fee.

4. Will our menu tasting be complimentary?

Many couples assume a menu tasting will be free of charge, but can then be presented with a nasty bill.

5. Do you allow fireworks?

There are strict laws around lighting fireworks (who knew?). And your venue will have their own policy too.

6. May we see the chairs we'll be using on the day?

Seating can have a huge impact on the overall vibe of your reception. Ask to see when viewing the venue and think critically about whether their chairs will work for you.

7. What time would the evening celebration need to finish, and can we pay for an extension?

Little known fact: at some venues, it's possible to buy a curfew extension if you plan to party into the wee hours!

8. Is VAT included?

Don't get hit with a stonking whack of VAT on your final invoice. It could push you well over budget.

9. Are crockery, cutlery and a cake knife included in the hire and catering costs?

Picture the scene: guests surround you, cameras at the ready, you're about to cut that cake but… there's no knife. Don't let this happen to you.

10. Do we have to use your recommended suppliers or can we hire our own?

Some venues will only allow their own trusted caterers to use their kitchens. If your heart is set on one company, double-check that your venue will allow them in.

11. Do you have public liability insurance?

Fingers crossed nothing will happen, but you don't want to find out too late that you're not insured. Never miss this question out.

12. Do you clean up after the wedding or do we need to organise that?

Ah, the first morning of marriage… The perfect time to get up at the crack of dawn, don dungarees and mount a forklift to clear away last night's debris. Or NOT. Find out whether your venue will take on Operation Clean Up to avoid this most dire of scenarios.

With a whole host of wedding venues across the UK, Marriott Hotels offer big day spaces with as much - or as little - involvement from their expert staff as you'd like (they like to call it 'Big Day Your Way.')

Discover one of their unique venues at Marriott Hotels.