Questions to Ask Your Wedding Venue #1
Knowing the right questions to ask your wedding venue staff can be difficult at the best of times. And with the latest guidance reflecting social distancing requirements and risk-limitation, there are now even more!
So, to try and help, this post is the first in our #WeddingVenueQuestions series and we’re starting off with Wedding Entertainment (of course)!
#1 WE'RE HIRING OUR OWN ENTERTAINMENT, ARE THERE ANY RESTRICTIONS?
When it comes to our many wedding entertainment services, one of the first things to check for is restrictions on space.
From our entertainment items such as our LED dance floor and Mr and Mrs LED letters, to our food and drink accessories like our prosecco wall, donut wall and sweet cart, a certain amount of space is needed.
You also might want to add in extras such as our photo booth dome or magic mirror. Even without Covid-19, it’s not a good idea to cram these in because your guests will need space to be able to use these.
And now? In the ‘new normal’ any distancing measures in place will impact on the space, movement and what you can do and use. So, it’s important to ask what the venue stipulates and how much space will be available.
If the venue is also providing the main catering for the wedding, it’s also worth asking about restrictions on additional items. This is because the venue may regard additional food and beverage items such as a sweet cart or prosecco wall as ‘outside catering’ so if you want to use these, ask before you book.
#2 can our DJ bring his own equipment?
Now Sean’s been a DJ at many gigs where certain questions clearly hadn’t been asked! So many in fact, that he knows exactly what the follow up questions are for anything relating to the DJ-ing for the celebration.
Our DJ service is a standard 4 hour hire, but knowing when the party has to stop will help you plan around this. It’ll also help you know if you need to book any extra time, especially if your ceremony and celebration are all taking place in the same venue.
The answer to this question will also help you plan the time for:
- Additional entertainments, such as a children’s entertainer to take centre stage.
- Including all of those extra moments, like cutting the cake or throwing the bouquet.
- Making sure that special first dance is the perfect moment!
Sean’s tip: “asking when the music has to stop helps you to schedule your reception entertainment for your guests. You can plan all the other aspects alongside so you don’t run out of time for a little dancing!”
Even if you’re thinking of having a basic set up, DJ equipment still takes a while to set up. Particularly if you’re booking a wedding package which includes pyrotechnics and LED dance floor, extra time will be needed to ensure everything is safely installed and ready by the time it’s needed.
Make sure you ask the questions which will help inform timings on the day such as:
- What time can the room be accessed for setting up?
- Does the equipment have to be packed away and removed at the end of the party, or can the team return the next day to collect the gear?
- If so, what time should this be?
Getting answers about exact times or slots won’t just help the DJ or entertainment provider. It’s also likely to be helpful information for anyone who’s decorating your space, or dropping off items such as the wedding cake.
Now whilst there are still general CV-19 restrictions in place, this question kind of answers itself, because loud music is not permitted. In which case, toned down sets or live acoustic music could be an option.
When venues return to a less restricted ‘normal’ though, it’s definitely worth asking the question. This way, your DJ team and live acts will know exactly what the limits are and can perform within these.
Getting an exact measurement is always helpful, so the set up can be planned in advance. This not only helps save time generally but can be essential in the ‘new normal’. Knowing how much space is available for the music zone ensures that any set up which needs to comply with social distancing can also be mapped out ahead of time.
Sean’s tip: “If you’re visiting the venue in person, or having a virtual tour, take photos of the entertainment space, to share with your wedding entertainment team. “
If your room is on the ground floor, this may not be a big issue. However, you wouldn’t believe how many times a gig has been booked on an upper floor and there’s no lift available!
As we all know, Sean loves to ‘go large’ and his DJ equipment is no exception! Large also means heavy, so do ask questions about lift or stair access.
Sean’s tip: “If there’s a particular issue or limit to access, take a video or photo of areas your DJ will be required to use. This way, we can check it over and plan ahead.”
Access to power sockets is an absolute necessity. By asking this question, you’ll hopefully be shown and be able to photograph the available power set up . Sharing this with your entertainment team will be very helpful in organising the logistics of the space and equipment.
Sean’s tip: “Please remember to ask questions about those other facilities a band or DJ may need. Think about access to the venue Wi-Fi – ideally, if you’ve already booked, get the code in advance. Also ask about any built-in feature lighting and screen facilities which are part of the venue and whether these will also be available.”
#3. We'll need tables for fun items like our selfie post box. will tables & extra space be available?
Asking this question naturally leads to discussion about how and where to set up any extra tables. This is ideal for organising the event, particularly in the context of available space available and ongoing numbers or distancing requirements.
Now we know you’ll have more questions than this, so look out for the next blog post in our #WeddingVenueQuestions series!