Styling related questions to ask your wedding venue

As a stylist I often need to think about the specific questions relating to decor, set up, logistics and possibly challenges to ask a wedding venue. Its so important to consider all the little details and how they are going to work in with the vision I have for the styling and setup.

Here are a few tips I have for working with your venue to ensure your styling vision is possible:

Venue provided furniture items: If your venue provides items such as an arch, chairs, signing table etc. for your ceremony or reception make sure you ask to see what these items actually look like. Is it going to be their old colourful chairs from the reception venue that they throw some chair covers over? Does the signing table fit in with the rest of the styling and design for your wedding ceremony? What does the arch look like? Does it require styling, draping, flowers? What size are the tables? Asking your venue to view all the pieces they provide can assist you with ensuring all your furniture and decor works in together. If your venue does happen to provide items that you love thats always a bonus and will save you on hiring extra items!


Venue provided linen. Most venues will provide standard white linen for their tables. You do however need to check exactly what this linen includes. For example questions to ask your venue: are the table cloths floor length? Are the napkins white linen? Will everything be ironed and set up correctly? How will the napkins be folded? Will there be skirting on the tables? Do any tables not include linen such as cake, dessert, buffet, guest book tables? I have been caught out on this so many times before! There has been venues I’ve turned up at that have paper napkins out, terrible skirting on the bridal table, short table cloths that don’t quite reach the floor and my personal pet peeve table cloths that aren’t ironed well or stained. I’ve learnt to never assume that when napkins are provided that they mean actual linen white napkins or that there will be floor length table cloths.


Centrepiece packages: It makes me cringe when I see venues providing centrepiece packages. I know that might seem a bit unfair but really I’m yet to discover a wedding venue that have amazing centrepiece options. Often venues will have 3 – 5 centrepiece packages that you can pick from and add on with your wedding package. The worst thing about this is you really end up with a package similar to 500 other brides who have had their wedding at the same venue. The packages are often 10 + years out of date, quite commonly mirror bases, fishbowl vases and crystal bling looking things. And often they aren’t even cheap as your venue will be paying a stylist to do the centrepieces and then marking up their cost. The other issue is that if your centrepiece includes flowers you are then using 2 different florists, one for your bouquets and one for your centrepieces. So now you have the issue that your flowers aren’t all going to match perfectly.


Access times: What are the access times to your venue for setting up? Make sure your venue is going to provide you with adequate time to have your stylist (or yourself if you choose to) set up everything you are wanting. Giving you access to your reception room 1 hour before guests arrive is of course not going to work for a complex set up. Depending on what you are having I would suggest a requirement of at least 2 -3 hours before guests arrive to start setting up and ensuring everything looks perfect. When I have a small window for setting up I will always put on a few extra staff members to ensure that everything gets done in time.


Candles and Lighting: So many venues are now not allowing the use of real wax candles. If your vision is to have a beautiful candle lite decorated reception space you might have to think again. There is of course some great options for led candles or there is some clever ways to hide the candle while still getting the candle lite feel to your reception tables. Lighting is also really important. Make sure your venue has adequate lighting that you’re happy with. If you are unsure of the lighting ask to come see your wedding venue in the evening when they don’t have an event on so you can check it out for yourself. If you are going to bring in your own lighting make sure you consult with a lighting specialist. Lighting is not something you want to DIY.


Parking & Logistics: Logistically some wedding’s can be a nightmare to set up. I hate to say it but its very true! If there is no near by parking to your ceremony and reception venue or van/truck access logistically getting all the furniture and decorations in can be extremely difficult. Most venues do provide a convenient loading zone or lift access to the venue which is something as a stylist I need to investigate before choosing styling and furniture options. If there is a large distance to walk to your ceremony space you will expect to have to bring in extra staff to assist with the set up or trolleys for transporting items in. Its always good to ask your venue about suitable parking, loading zones and the easiest access to your ceremony and reception spaces.


I hope these tips help! If you need any assistance with your wedding styling please feel to send us an email –

Happy Wedding Planning!


Willow Tree Creative Wedding Styling Brisbane Byron Bay Gold Coast Sunshine Coast


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