Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

September 2022

12 Questions You Should Prepare To Ask Your Wedding Venue Before Booking

Don’t know what questions to ask your preferred wedding venue before you meet with them? We’ve put together a list for your reference!

Picking a wedding venue is not as simple as choosing one that you like on your wedding date. Since it will be the most expensive expenditure of your wedding, it is important for you to get all the information you need, and know what you can or cannot do before you sign on the dotted line. To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of questions that you may need to ask your wedding venue before you book them for your big day.

While not every question will apply to you, you can use this list as a reference to prepare yourself before you meet with the venue, just in case something important to you gets missed out on during your discussion with the wedding coordinator.

1. Is the venue available on my wedding date?

Sheena and Vivegan’s Stellar at 1-Altitude Wedding with Bold Florals by Thomas Tan Photography

Before you move on to other questions, the first question you should clarify with your shortlisted venue is whether they are available on the wedding date you have chosen. This is especially important for couples who have acquired an auspicious wedding date and are less likely to be flexible with their dates in the event that their first choice of venue is unavailable, as that might mean they’d have to search for another venue.

If you are more flexible with your wedding date, you can check with your preferred venue on your first choice, and if they are not available, you can find out if they are available for the other dates that you have on hand.

2. What is the minimum spend or head count for renting this space for a wedding?

Joanne and Russell’s Magical Horseback Wedding at Capella Singapore by Pixioo

Most venues will require couples to meet a minimum number of tables or a minimum spend to close off the space for a wedding celebration, depending on your chosen venue. For most hotels, you’ll be required to book a minimum of 15-20 tables, or more, if you wish to book their main ballrooms. For a smaller celebration, you may enquire with the hotel on the minimum number of table bookings required for their smaller rooms.

For venues such as restaurants, there is usually a minimum spend required to close off the space to public. You’ll be required to hit the minimum spend with food and drinks, and other add-ons such as a dessert table, if you are not able to meet the minimum spend with the former two items. So, do check with your chosen venue on their minimum spend and capacity before you book them. You should also ask what their maximum capacity is, as well, so that you can better plan your finances and wedding before you sign on the dotted line.

3. Will a wedding coordinator be assigned to me?

Kamelia and Jeremiah’s Cosy Cafe Solemnisation at Belo by Kenneth and Amabelle from Bobby Kiran Photography

Although the answer is most definitely “Yes”, it never hurts to ask and be reassured that someone will be assigned to your wedding and help you with the logistical details. A wedding planner or coordinator will be assigned to you and work with you from day one to understand your needs, bring your visions to life, and be present on the day of the wedding to make sure that things are running smoothly.

Sometimes, the venue’s wedding planner or coordinator’s scope of responsibilities do not include running the wedding for you on the actual day. You might then want to consider hiring an external wedding planner or coordinator to help you manage the nitty gritty details of the wedding day, so you don’t have to. Since wedding planners and coordinators may be a little costly, you might want to look for a wedding planner who is also a stylist, so that you can cut down on costs, or have your bridal party run the wedding instead.

4. Will we get exclusive use of the venue, or will we have to share the space with the public?

Valerie and Wei Zhong’s Sunrise Yoga Shoot at Upper Peirce Reservoir and Singapore Botanic Gardens by Senica Photos

If you’ve booked out the entire venue, then you will likely get exclusive use of the space. However, if you have booked a partial area of the venue, then the public will most likely be able to access the part that is not occupied by your wedding. Speak to your venue and planner on how you can demarcate the area used for the wedding to ensure that the public do not wander in by accident.

5. Is there complimentary parking for my guests?

Giselle and Sean’s Classic Wedding at W Singapore-Sentosa Cove by Chris Ling International Photographers and Depth of Tales

If most of your guests are driving to the wedding, you might want to check with your venue on complimentary parking. Some venues, especially non-hotel venues, do not offer complimentary parking, and may have limited parking lots available. In this case, you would also want to ask how many parking lots are available on site, and how far away the next nearest parking lot is, so that you can inform your guests beforehand.

If your venue offers complimentary parking, do check with them on how many complimentary parking passes you are entitled to. To cater to guests who are not driving to the wedding, you might want to clarify the nearest public transportation or drop-off points for private hire cars and taxis, so that you can inform your guests.

6. Is there a preferred vendor list I have to adhere to?

Evangeline and Joel’s Ethereal Impressionist Monti Wedding by Trouvé Photography

Before you excitedly contact and hire your dream team of vendors for your big day, do check with your venue to see if you are allowed to use your own team of vendors, or if you have to choose from their preferred vendor list.

Most venues have a list of vendors from photographers to florists that they have a good working relationship with, and may be able to offer you a small discount if you engage a preferred vendor for your wedding, which you may not get if you hire them independently. So, do check with your venue who they usually work with or have a preferred vendor discount with, so that you can better make a decision.

7. Are there any limitations to what we can do to the venue?

A Summertime Pastel Romance Styled Shoot at The Summerhouse by KAI Picture

This is a detail that you can check with your venue at a slightly later stage, but it is always good to keep it in mind. Before you share your grand plans of suspended floral structures and sparklers with your stylist, remember to check with the venue to see if these are allowed, or remind him or her to ask when she does her site inspection.

Since most venues use the standard banquet chairs for weddings, you might want to ask if they have other chairs that can be used, or if you can bring in your own. You might need to top-up to use a fancier chair for your wedding, so do be sure to ask for the cost before you agree to change the chairs.

If you are planning for an after-party with your guests at the same venue, do check with them on whether you are allowed to do so, and if there is any cut-off time for loud music.

8. How long do I have the venue for?

Rachel and Hui’s Tropical Eclectic Wedding at Corner House by Yimage Moments

This is especially important if you are having a wedding lunch celebration, as most venues need time to turn over the place to prepare for the next wedding in the evening, if there is one. Even if you are celebrating at night, you should also check with your venue on how long you have the venue for, and what time you’ll need to clear out of the space by, to prevent incurring any additional costs or causing delays for the venue and their team.

You or your stylist should find out what the set-up and tear down times are, so that they can better plan their time on the day of the wedding. You might also want to enquire about unloading bays and how they can access the venue space from the unloading bay, if required.

9. What are your wet weather plans like, in the event of rain for outdoor weddings?

Ming Tong and Daryl’s Honest and Raw Wedding with Gold Accents and Sustainable Elements at Botanico at The Garage by Bottled Groove Photography

While our weather is fairly predictable, it can turn rainy or sunny within a blink of an eye. If you are having an outdoor solemnisation or wedding reception, you would definitely want to check with your venue on their wet weather plans. Would you be moved to an indoor area, or would tentage be provided? Would there be an additional cost for the latter option, and if so, how much? These are the questions you need to ask your venue, so that you can update your stylist. He or she will need to ensure that their plans for the decorations are adaptable in the event of bad weather.

Wet weather is not the only one you need to have contingencies for. Sudden, blazing hot weather is also a cause for concern, if you are having an outdoor celebration. To keep your guests comfortable, do ask if your chosen venue provides portable fans to cool them down. You can also prepare some umbrellas or foldable fans for your guests to use while they wait for your solemnisation or reception to begin.

10. What payment methods are available? How much deposit are we required to put down and when is the balance due?

Ame and Shaun’s Tropical Boho Wedding at W Singapore-Sentosa Cove by Love Me Tender Films

These are important questions to ask, so don’t forget them! Ask your venue if they have any ongoing credit card promotions, or check out the various banks’ credit card promotions such as rebates and rewards, before you make payment. Since the cost of a wedding is a large sum of money, many couples tend to make use of credit card promotions to enjoy a discount on their final bill. You can even split the bill between yourselves to max out the credit card rebates and rewards for maximum savings.

You should also talk to your venue about how much deposit you are required to put down for your booking, and when you’d need to pay the balance, so that you can better plan your finances. If you need to split the bill into several payments so fully maximise your credit card promotions, you might want to talk to the venue to see if they would allow you to do so.

11. Are we allowed to bring our own alcohol?

Jacqueline and Joey’s Heartfelt Wedding at Novotel Singapore on Stevens by Natalie Wong Photography

Most, if not all, venues will offer a beverage package with alcoholic drinks such as beer or house pour wine as part of your wedding booking. If you have a specific brand of alcohol that you’d like to include in your wedding, you can check with your venue to see if you are able to purchase it through them. But do beware that they might be marked up, so you might want to factor that in.

Alternatively, you can check with your venue to see if you are allowed to bring your own alcohol for the wedding. If you are, what are the conditions you have to meet, such as corkage fees and only bringing duty-paid alcohol. Weigh your options to see which is a better investment before you make a decision.

12. What are your cancellation or postponement policies like?

Paige and Wilson’s Quirky and Intimate Solemnisation at the Night Safari Singapore by Leslie Photography

One of the things COVID-19 taught couples is the importance of a cancellation or postponement policy. In the event of an unforeseen event, such as a global pandemic or the uncertainty following one, having the terms of postponement and/or cancellation written down in a formal document, in black and white, is extremely important for both the couple and the venue. So, do remember to ask your venue what their postponement or cancellation policies are like, read through them carefully, and raise any questions you may have before you sign on the dotted lines.

You should also check with the venue on other terms and conditions that you should know of, such as additional fees if you overstay your allocated time or any damages to the property.

Feature Image from Siti and Husaini’s Elegant and Ethereal Clifford Pier Solemnisation by Colossal Weddings

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12 Questions You Should Prepare To Ask Your Wedding Venue Before Booking