25 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Venue

A blog inspired by Coco Wedding Venues, we decided to answer the questions that they recommend you should ask your venue! The team have powered through the 25 questions to give you an insight into how they would be answered here at Thicket Priory. We hope this helps, please do bear in mind that as a venue we are continually evolving, improving and adding to our offerings so should you dive into this blog in the future, some answers may have changed, but as at October 2022 you will be up-to-date.

Photography by Hamish Irvine
1.  How long is the hire period for?
We offer one- or two-night celebrations as standard but can offer a third night’s stay for Bank Holiday weddings. For anyone wishing to expand beyond a 3 day/night hire, please do ask! Bonus, you can have more than one wedding outfit, Lauren & Tom did this so stylishly for their wedding, enjoying a cocktail evening the night before!

Photography by Amy Lou Photography

2.  What is included in the cost of the hire?
The stunning house and grounds of Thicket Priory includes 35 luxury, en-suite bedrooms, 4 pantries, and a fully staffed, licensed bar all of which are included in the venue hire. We also support our couples with our dedicated events team, as well as all the details/items you would expect like tables and chairs, cake stands with a knife, easel and integrated sound system throughout the building. For even more details please follow this link. What is included is writing is not extensive to what is fully included with Thicket Priory as a venue as the level of detail within the building itself is something you will discover when visiting.

3.  Do you have specific suppliers that I have to book or can I bring in my own?
At Thicket Priory we have a wonderful group of suppliers who we have lovingly called our ‘Friends of Thicket Priory’, all of which we can hand on heart recommend as we have worked with them and they will have a great understanding of Thicket Priory when you start working with them. That said we welcome our couples to use any suppliers you may already have in mind and we will support them with any information they may need, whether that we via your planning portal or speaking directly to them.

The exception to this is for caterers, we only offer a choice of our three preferred caterers. We choose to do this because our caterers know the intricacies of delivering the very best service within our house and grounds and we wouldn’t want our couples’ experiences to be compromised because a caterer doesn’t understand the logistics of delivery a wedding at Thicket Priory. We hand picked three incredible local caterers who wave the Thicket Priory standards flag as high as we do.

4.  How much is the deposit and what are the payment terms?
Our booking fee is 10% of the total venue hire cost at the time of booking. We then ask for 40% of the total venue hire cost six months prior to the wedding. Finally, we ask for the remaining 50% of the total venue hire cost one month prior to the wedding, as well as any additional costs such as our drinks collection.

5.  What happens if I need to postpone / cancel my booking?
Whilst any cancellation or postponement is subject to a cancellation fee, we would actively work with our each and every couples to try and offer an alternative solution to minimise the financial impact of any changes to their plans. We realise only too well following the events of 2020-2021 that every couple has different circumstances and we work very ‘humanly’ with you due to this.

6.  Do you have a wedding licence?
Yes, you can legally marry in our Morning Room, Jefferson Room, or Bandstand. We have a number of other spaces available should our couples choose to have a celebrant perform their ceremony, one of these spaces is our stunning Chapel.

Photography by Hazy Daze Weddings

Photos Carla Whittingham Photography

7.  Do you have disabled / wheelchair access and accessible facilities?
We have disabled access bedrooms as well as ramp free access to our ballroom, bar, grounds and toilets too. All areas of the venue are wheelchair accessible with the exception of the Chapel due to this being part of the original 1840s build. We have however made sure there is adequate hand rails and will work on any plans which need to be in place to ensure you are always surrounded by your nearest and dearest on the most special day of celebrations.

In some circumstances couples have been unable to have some loved once to attend the wedding itself, whether unable to travel or for health reasons. We will work with you to ensure a plan is in place for streaming the ceremony to anyone unable to be here in person so they can be a part of your day.

8.  Do you have accommodation on site? If so, can I book it exclusively?
We have 35 luxury, en-suite bedrooms that are booked as part of the exclusive venue hire, meaning that your nearest and dearest can share your full wedding experience with you. Sleeping 70 guests under one roof is a wonderful concept to ensure each guests gets to be there from beginning to end. Guests in excess of the 70 residents in-house have a choice of various local accommodation, within 5-20 minutes of Thicket Priory. Taxi’s are advised to be booked in advance, we can provide you with a number of local numbers to ensure this is an easy process for you and your guests.

9.  Do you allow dogs?
We welcome dogs for your whole stay and have many dog-friendly bedrooms where your four-legged friends can stay. The entire garden wing on the ground floor is dog-friendly with quick access to the grounds…the perfect playground for them! Word of warning, your furry companion might just steal the show like Millie did on Gary & Charlotte’s wedding day!

Photography by Jenna Meeking

10.  Do you allow fireworks / sparklers / candles / confetti?
We actively encourage confetti and sparklers as these are fantastic photo opportunities. We allow candles too, but flames will need to be contained. Real candle-light can be used in the Ballroom and bar areas, all other areas within Thicket Priory would be battery powered candles, which we have a large stock of for you to use, simply providing the batteries.
Unfortunately, fireworks are not permitted as we are surrounded on three sides, by a nature reserve.

Photos by Amy Lou Photography

Photo by Victoria Baker Weddings

Photos by Carla Whittingham Photography

11.  Can I or my suppliers set up before the big day?
When you book a two-night celebration with Thicket Priory, you have your first day to be able to set up everything you need, pre-guest arrival 12pm – 3pm you are welcome to arrive with all your trinkets and goodies. Your suppliers are welcome to join you on that day too, sometimes earlier if planned with us in advance. When you book a one-night celebration, you will have access between 12pm and 4pm the day before your wedding.

12.  Will I have a wedding coordinator to help us with us plans and to assist on the day?
You will have a dedicated coordinator to support you through every stage of your wedding planning. This same coordinator will be available to you throughout your wedding experience ensuring the smooth running of your wedding, allowing you to relax and enjoy yourselves. Here’s us all in action…

13.  How much parking do you have available?
We have ample parking spaces for all our guests.

14.  Can we bring in our own wine? If so, do you charge corkage?
We can offer corkage should our couples wish, although we would work with our couples to accommodate any special drinks requests as part of our drinks collection.
We are not a ‘dry hire’ venue, as we have our beautiful Gryffin Bar, stocked and staffed ready to serve your guests with their favourite tipples. Any corkage would be in place of our drinks collection, which essentially is your ‘day-time’ drinks for the wedding. A reception drink, wine for the wedding breakfast and your toast drinks.

15.  Are we able to host a breakfast / brunch the next day for guests staying on site?
As our offerings are for overnight celebrations, your breakfast would be arranged with your chosen caterer the morning after your wedding day. Check out time for guests is usually 11am, however should you wish to explore other options for the day of check-out, please ask the team and we can look at what might be possible based on your ideas.

Photo by Carla Whittingham Photography
16.  If we plan for an outdoor wedding but the weather isn’t on our side, do you have a Plan B option?
We offer complete flexibility for our couples and their plans, actively including contingencies in our planning process. We will make a final decision on your ceremony location by midday the day before the wedding so we can ensure that everything is set up correctly, including communicating to suppliers such as stylist and florists.

17.  Are there any areas that have restricted access?
As a Grade II listed building, we don’t have lift access at Thicket Priory. All ground floor areas are wheelchair accessible with the exception of our chapel, which has a small number of stairs to access, and ample handrails.

18.  Do you have a Honeymoon Suite or somewhere for the bride / groom to get ready?
We have two Master Suites at Thicket Priory, arguably you could say three! The Buckingham Suite and the Vavasour Suite are both designed for wedding parties to get ready. Both suites are spacious, have mirrors galore, sitting areas to enjoy some sparkling drinks whilst getting ready, sound systems, a fan to cool you if you’re feeling the ‘heat’ and are flooded with natural light…every photographer’s dream! Check them out below!

Photos by Carla Whittingham Photography

Photography by Steve Mitchell Photography

19.  s there someone to help put out tables / chairs and help with logistics on the day?
All requirements for furniture and other items would be agreed ahead of time with your wedding coordinator, and the Thicket Priory team would have this in place before you arrive. There will be a staff member available throughout your stay should anything be needed. We are essentially your logistics boss throughout the entirety of your wedding celebrations, liaising with your suppliers, helping your guests with anything they may need…and even grabbing a needle and thread for a wardrobe malfunction if needed! We will turn our hands to anything that may arise.

20.  Do you have sufficient heating / air con in extreme weather?
Thicket Priory has central heating throughout the house, and we can offer fans to guests when the weather warms up. As a Grade II listed building, we don’t have air conditioning, but the style of the house includes large windows that are opened during warmer weather. We have another lovely touch for anyone who may feel the cold more than others, each bedroom has it’s own hot water bottle which you could pop in your bed, ready to warm you feet when you retire from the dancefloor.

21.  Can we have live music? Do you have a sound limiter?
We actively encourage live music, and do not have a sound limiter.

22.  What time does our evening reception have to finish?
Evening celebrations will conclude at 1am for weekend weddings and 12am for midweek weddings. Evening receptions will finish at this time, although guests can still use the communal lounge area within the house to continue their celebrations after these times, we certainly don’t send anyone to bed.

23.  Is there somewhere quiet for older guests, breastfeeding mums to take some time out?
We have plenty of quieter, communal areas should guests need to take a break from the festivities. The option of grabbing a cup of Yorkshire Tea and hiding away in The Parlour is certainly an option for Grandad if he needed this! Any resident guests will also have the option to retire to their room should they wish.

24.  Is there anything happening nearby / in the local area around our wedding date that we should know about? Events / festivals / charity runs / local shoots etc.

This would be discussed with your wedding coordinator ahead of your celebration. As a house situated in the North Yorkshire countryside however, there shouldn’t be anything else going on locally that will impact upon your experience. One things which can impact on us from time to time is when there are horse racing meetings in York, this can make Taxi’s a little harder to book so we would advise booking in advance more so on these weekends.

25.  Are you flexible on check in / check out times?
Our check in and check out times are designed with the experience of all our guests in mind, those staying for your wedding, as well as those for future weddings. We are always willing to talk through options and ideas you may have around your wedding plans and accommodate where we are able to.

Photograph by Matthew Laraway

We do hope that in answering these 25 questions you have a great taste of what Thicket Priory is all about!

Looking for the perfect venue to host your wedding or a special celebration, please do reach out to the team, 01904 230600 or emails us [email protected].

Team Thicket