If you are newly engaged (Congratulations! btw) a lot of your time is being spent in seeking out the perfect venue for your Reception. You need to make a shortlist to contact venues, go along for a visit and work out which is THE ONE. Here is a handy check list of questions you should ask, along with a few places that are highly recommended by us at CJ’s Wedding and Party Hire.

When you go to view a venue, take a long a list of questions to ask and check them off as you go, that way you won’t miss a question and you will be able to compare answers from each venue, making your final decision so much easier.

We have worked with and highly recommend the following venues located in Sussex, listed below in no particular order

Bletchingly Golf Club https://www.bletchingleygolf.co.uk/page/weddings-overview.html

A stunning location to hold your wedding reception set in idyllic Surrey countryside with views over the North Downs and Weald. Since 2015 it has become an even more perfect place for your wedding as they are licensed to Solemnise Marriages and Civil Partnerships. Allowing you and your guests to spend a full day in the stunning surroundings of the Golf Course and the Surrey Countryside. With exclusive use of the venues experienced Wedding Co-Coordinators who will help and guide you through and plan every aspect of your perfect Day. A wedding in Bletchingly Golf Club, so easily accessible from South London, Surrey and West Sussex. As the premier Wedding Planning Events Company in Sussex and Surrey, we have established an excellent working relationship with the Wedding Co-Coordinators and have enjoyed planning many a happy wedding and reception for couples here.

Crowne Plaza – Felbridge http://www.cpfelbridgegatwick.co.uk/weddings/

An excellent choice for your wedding in West Sussex, the Crowne-Plaza Felbridge-Gatwick, offers stylish accommodation, Spa Facilities with the choice of The Grand Ballroom which can accommodate up to 500 guests to the more intimate suites which allows for 150This venue offers an intimate setting allowing the guests to mingle as they wish with quiet areas for relaxation. The event staff are warm friendly and experienced in ensuring your day goes without a hitch. It is always a delight for us to work with the team here.

The Hickstead Hotel
Based in the heart of West Sussex and a short distance from Brighton, the Hickstead Hotel is a great choice if you are looking for a picturesque location with easy accessibility close the M23 and M25, perfect for your guests who will be joining you on your day. This is an intimate venue offering comfort, personal service in a beautiful location, we at CJ’s have decorated this venue many times and look forward to continuing in the coming years. You will receive a warm welcome here every time. A professional and personal service from the team who work tirelessly to ensure your day is special.

First Things First
Who will actually be there on the day? Is there an in-house wedding coordinator? If there is a coordinator, will they be there for the duration of the reception?
Do you have a one wedding per day policy?
Is the venue available for exclusive use?
If so, is there a minimum amount of guests that have to book accommodation for exclusivity?
How flexible are your packages?
Are there any changes planned to the building before the wedding (renovations, painting etc)?

The Food & Wine
Does a complimentary menu and wine taste included? How many people can attend?
How much wine/champagne/tea & coffee is included per person?
Wine choices – what are the wine choices and what are the upgrade costs?
Do you charge a corkage fee?
Is the champagne toast complimentary?
Are there any additional charges for bar staff or waiting staff?
What time is the meal served?
Do you cater for special dietary requirements? Coeliacs? Vegetarians?
Is there an option for dinner the night before or a BBQ the day after?
Is there a late night food option, what time is it served?
Where is the cocktail hour or drinks reception held?
Can we serve signature cocktails?

The Reception – Décor & Styling
What crockery/linen/cutlery is provided as part of the package?
What type of tables do you have (shape, size, top table)? Are there different options?
Is any décor/stationery provided (menus, centrepieces, red carpet, flowers, and cake stand)? Are there alternatives available?
Can I move things around and decorate to suit my purposes, or do I have to leave everything as is?
If you want to set up and decorate the venue the day before the wedding ask if you can gain access
Can we hang things on the wall or from the ceilings?
Do we need to bring in a contractor to hang decor or lights?

The Wedding Party
Where does the band or disco set up? Where the dance is floor/how big are it/does anything have to be moved to create the dance floor?
Does the wedding venue already own a sound system with adequate speakers or will that need to be rented?
Do you have microphones in the venue for the speeches?
Can I hook an iPod or laptop up to your sound system?
Is there a late bar? How late will the bar be open?
Is there a charge for a bar extension?
What time do guests have to leave the venue?

Is the bridal suite included in the price? Are rooms provided for the parents?
What accommodation does the venue offer; will there be discounted rates for guests at the wedding?
Are there B&Bs and other hotels in the area for guests? Can you provide a list?
Are there reliable taxi companies in the area?
When is the check out time?
Can we block book rooms for guests? If so, how long can they be held for?

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