Question Time For Brides

Guest blog by Amada Aitken, events co-ordinator at The Chester Hotel

Questions, questions. You’ve fallen in love with the venue you’d like to host your wedding.

It seems to the perfect location to begin your happily ever after.

But given your choice of venue is one of the biggest wedding day decisions you’ll make, it’s only right that you will have lots of points you’d like to discuss, questions to pose, and ideas that you’d like clarification around.

As hotel wedding planners, we love being able to provide the answers. Believe me, nothing is too unusual or too off beat. Being able to answer your questions will set your mind at ease, ensuring you can look forward to your special day full of confidence.

Here’s some of the questions that regularly crop up from brides and grooms seeking a superb location for their big day.

Do you have restrictions on the size of wedding party you can host?

This should be one of the first questions you should ask – size really does matter! If you have your heart set on a venue that can only accommodate events for up to 80 people and you want 150 at your celebration, then you’re going to need to do some serious trimming back on your guest list. Likewise, if the venue has a very large ballroom that can’t be configured in such a way to make the space smaller, it’s going lack in atmosphere if you are having a small, intimate gathering. We’re lucky here at the Chester Hotel that we have suitable space for celebrations that are very small and, conversely, really large.

How can I avoid colour clashes between our wedding colour schemes and the venue?

Many venues have neutral tones that will provide the right backdrop for your own colourway. White table linen will be complementary to your own themes and accessories, allowing you to put your own stamp on your special day.

Can we have input to the food and wine served?

Nowadays many brides and grooms have their own ideas about what they’d like served on the menu and may not wish to feel restricted by set menu options. Find out whether your venue is happy to adapt its offering to match your hopes.

Many, ourselves included, offer the chance to sample menus. We invite couples to make choices from our individual meal, wine, buffet and canape menus. A great chance for a date night with your loved one before the big day!

Are there restrictions around the hire of the venue that we need to consider?

Modern brides want to make their big day stand out and live long in the memory of their guests.

Grazing tables, DIY cocktails, and giant Jenga and Connect Four are trending. There’s the serving of street food, offering drinks from a prosecco table, providing slippers to give guests a break from high heels, or keeping the youngest guests amused with a children’s entertainer.

Check about the use of external drinks or catering vans before booking a pop-up bar or a pizza oven to come along. It’s also worth asking about the use of confetti or fireworks as some venues won’t allow this.

Some sites, particularly historic locations like castles, do not allow the wearing of stiletto heels, so find out what’s permitted and what’s not in advance.

What about table seating?

The wedding meal is a huge part of your big day. Round tables are particularly good to offer the chance for conversation - and drinks - to flow between your guests. Table plans are the norm and are a great way to help your guest mix. Many venues will create the seating plan, with input from the couple.

Will there be a private space for us to use on the day?

Most hotels will provide a room or suite to give the newlyweds a space of their own and for staying over. You may have a change of gown, want a place to store any wedding day presents or a space to touch up hair and makeup, so check out what’s available.

What about disabled access?

It’s important that all your guests can get around your chosen venue, but staircases or split-level venues may pose problems for people with mobility issues. Check out access and toilet provision so that your wedding can be enjoyed by all.