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As Bridebook remarks in its article, “22 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 22 questions (originally 21 questions).

1. Which dates are available for our 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 you accommodate?

Barnutopia can accommodate up to 120 day and evening guests for ceremonies and receptions in the event barn, with price points of 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, and 120. Glamping accommodation for the couple is included, and further accommodation for 40-45 guests plus a tent campsite are optional extras.

3. Can we have our ceremony here too?

Barnutopia is licensed for wedding ceremonies anywhere on the property, indoors or outdoors.

4. How long do we have the venue for?

Officially, you have the venue from 10 am on arrival day to 2 pm on departure day; however, we are very flexible and can normally arrive earlier to dress the barn(s) and continue to take down decorations until 4 pm. We ask for the glamping units to be vacated around noon so we can clean and change bed linen. Please ask if you would like to extend the hiring period further with a third night before or after the 2-night period.

5. Will you be hosting any other weddings at the same time?

No, yours will be the only wedding taking place, and guests will be onsite for the duration of your wedding booking.

6. What time can we start setting up?

You can start setting up at 12 noon on the day of arrival, usually the day before 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 kind of decorations can we have?

ONLY biodegradable AND water-soluble confetti may be used outside. Water-soluble is important. Biodegradable alone is not enough. Strictly no petal, 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 event barn windows for swags. See here for dimensions and floor plan.

Note that candles or naked flames of any kind are NOT ALLOWED in the event barn or the party barn. This is a fire safety requirement. For a similar effect, you may use the fake LED flickering candle lights. We have used these very effectively.

8. What do you provide and what should we rent?

Please see our Build Your Own Wedding or Event calculator for a current list of what’s included. There are loads of optional extras available at a lower cost than for outside hire. We stopped including them as standard as occasionally couples wanted alternatives and it did not seem fair to charge them for extras they did not use.

9. Do you have a list of preferred caterers?

You are welcome to self-cater, use outside caterers or Barnutopia event catering. We have a growing list of mobile caterers in our vendors & suppliers directory. We recommend that couples do not self-cater if there are more than 45 guests, but this is not a hard and fast rule. Check our tips for successful self-catering at your wedding.

10. Can we bring our own alcohol? Do you charge corkage?

You can bring your own alcohol at no additional charge (no corkage). If you hire our bar staff, they can serve your alcohol. Alternatively, you can take advantage of the Barnutopia paid bar.

11. Is a cash bar an option?

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 12.00 midnight am Friday and Saturday, with the option to extend up to midnight during the week or 1 am Friday and Saturday. See also our vendor directory for mobile bar companies.

12. Can we have a band or a DJ?

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’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 staff help 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. What are our bad weather options?

Most wedding ceremonies are conducted outdoors with the event barn reserved for receptions. However, if the weather is poor we reconfigure the event barn to allow the ceremony to take place inside. If this happens, we often set up the wedding arch in the double doors of the barn entrance so there is still a backdrop of the stunning Shropshire and Powys countryside. We also have a large covered Dutch barn that provides a great indoor/outdoor space. The event barn itself can have sections curtained off and has a door directly through into the Dutch barn.

19. Are fireworks allowed?

Cautiously, yes, as long as they are bona fide “quiet” ground-only fireworks (no rockets). We host 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.

20. What car-parking is available on the day?

Traffic planners use the general rule of thumb of dividing the guest number by 3 to approximate 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 30 cars, please let us know and we can figure something out with a neighbouring farmer.

21. Is there anywhere guests can stay overnight?

Barnutopia has 11 luxury yurts, cabins, and stables available for guests.

22. Does your venue have liability insurance?

Yes, we have liability insurance.

As if 22 questions aren’t enough, we found another article with 99 questions to ask a wedding venue. Feel free to ask us all of them when you come to view Barnutopia.

Bridebook’s 22 questions to ask your wedding venue