As Bridebook remarks in their article, “21 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Venue“, choosing your venue is exciting. It is, perhaps, the most important decision you’ll make for your wedding. So, it’s very important to ask the right questions. With that in mind, here are our answers to Bridebook’s 21 questions
1. Which dates are available in your chosen wedding month?
Drop us a line by email or give us a quick call and we’ll let you know if your chosen dates are available immediately. Or check the availability calendar on our venue hire page.
2. How many guests can this venue accommodate?
Barnutopia can accommodate 120 day and evening guests for ceremonies and receptions. Currently, there is glamping accommodation for around 35 guests (assuming the bride and group want a glamping unit to themselves) plus tent campers. Accommodation is included in venue hire. If you want your guests to pay for accommodation we are happy to take payments from them and reduce your balance accordingly. We plan to add accommodation this year and should be able to accommodate around 40 guests in glamping units from the start of the 2018 season.
3. Would it be possible to have our wedding ceremony at this venue? Which rooms could we use for this purpose?
Currently, there are 3 barns and the farmhouse dining room licensed for wedding ceremonies.
4. How long do we have the use of the venue for? Is there a set ending time? Can we extend?
Officially, you have the venue from 12 noon on arrival day to 12 noon on departure day; although, we are very flexible. We may have to continue cleaning and changing bed linen in the glamping units we don’t mind if you arrive a bit earlier and leave a bit later. Please ask if you would like to extend with an additional night before or after the 2-night hiring period.
5. Will you be hosting any other weddings at the same time as ours?
No, yours will be the only wedding taking place on a given day.
6. What time would we be able to start setting up for the wedding?
Normally, you can start setting up the day before and take down the day after your wedding. If need be, we can take delivery of items or hold onto items for a few days either side. Just ask. We’ll do our best to help with whatever you need.
7. What are the guidelines for decorations?
ONLY biodegradable WATER SOLUBLE confetti may be used. Strictly no paper, tissue or metallic confetti. You can dress the venue, of course, although you can’t hammer nails into the walls willy nilly. There are nail heads and hooks you can use to hang bunting and other decorations, already. If there aren’t enough, please tell us what you want to do and we will help find a way to do it. There are curtain swag hooks over all the barn windows for swags.
Note that candles or naked flames of any kind are NOT ALLOWED in the wedding barn. This is a fire safety requirement. You may use the fake LED flickering candle lights for a similar effect. We have used these very effectively.
8. Are the tablecloths, chairs, cutlery and glasses provided or do we need to rent our own? Can we have a look at the available choices?
Included in venue hire are 140 banqueting chairs and 15 round tables seating 8-10 guests each and 4 x 6ft rectangular trestle tables and 4 x 8ft rectangular trestle tables good for the top table. Table linen is hired separately. We have tablecloths for the round tables in white or pale grey and chair covers in both colours. You are welcome to hire your own or we can source different colours for you. You can hire our vintage china and cutlery for the wedding breakfast but we do not have glasses (can be hired free from Morrisons).
9. Do you have a list of preferred caterers? Can we see sample menus?
You are welcome to use outside caterers but we do not, yet, have a list of preferred caterers. Depending on what you want, we may be able to cater for you. We are not silver service caterers but you could expect good food served a little more informally, perhaps an afternoon tea, buffet or outdoor bbq. Our afternoon tea is substantial and served on our vintage china.
10. Can we bring our own alcohol? If so, what corkage do you charge?
You can bring your own alcohol at no additional charge. Our bar staff can serve your alcohol.
11. Do you have the option of a paid bar? Would there be a specific amount that would have to be reached before the end of the reception?
Yes, we have our premises license and can offer a paid bar service with a minimum spend. Up to 11 pm Sunday to Thursday and 1.00 am Friday and Saturday.
12. Can this venue accommodate a band or DJ, including all of their equipment? Are there enough electrical outputs for the music and the lighting?
We can accommodate a band and/or DJ and have enough electrical outputs for music and lighting.
13. Do you have any special facilities for children?
Currently, we do not have any special facilities for children. However, we are a farm environment and children love spending time here.
14. Do you have disabled access?
There is disabled access into the yard, yurt field, wedding barn and Dutch barn. Our bathroom block has a toilet and a toilet/shower that is wheelchair accessible.
15. When do we need to pay our holding deposit? Are there any other fees we should know about? (Corkage, taxes, service charge)
We’re happy to block out dates for a short time without any deposit but need a deposit to secure the booking within a week or so. All our fees and charges are outlined on our venue hire page.
16. Would there be a venue coordinator available on the day?
Katrina and Steve (owners of Barnutopia) coordinate on your wedding day to ensure everything goes as planned. If they cannot be around for some reason, they will ensure someone else takes their place to help make sure you have a stress-free day.
17. Is VAT included in the price?
Yes, our prices include VAT.
18. Are fireworks allowed?
Cautiously, yes, as long as they are bona fide “quiet” fireworks. We have had our own fireworks displays on bonfire night and New Year’s Eve, but we would not wish to make a nuisance of ourselves locally with frequent and noisy pyrotechnics, even though our nearest neighbour is over half a mile away around the hill. We use the quiet fireworks ourselves and find them to be just as entertaining.
19. (If an outdoor wedding) What are the possible options in case of inclement weather?
We have a large covered Dutch barn that provides a great indoor/outdoor space. The wedding barn itself can have sections curtained off and has a door directly through into the Dutch barn. We have a 3 m x 4.5 m gazebo with sides that can be erected as needed.
20. How would car-parking work on the day?
A general rule of thumb employed by traffic planners is to divide the guest number by 3 to get an approximation of the number of cars needing to park. We have turned part of our pasture into a car park and can also park on the campsite field. If you expect significantly more than 40 cars, please let us know.
21. Does your venue have liability insurance?
Yes, we have liability insurance.