Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully you’ve read our previous blog to give you an idea of what to ask when looking around a wedding venue. Now for some answers…
How many guests can each room hold comfortably?
Our Orchard Suite can hold up to 80 people comfortably for a wedding ceremony. Our Dining Room itself can seat up to 80 with our adjoining Conservatory able to seat another 20. For an evening reception, we can accommodate up to 150 guests.
Do you have highchairs?
Yes, we do – no additional charges would apply.
Do you provide linen, crockery, glassware etc on the tables?
Yes, we do – no additional charges would apply. We have white table linen and white linen napkins. We also provide crockery, cutlery and glassware; everything you need for your seated wedding breakfast. There are bread rolls on the tables when having a starter as well as water with ice and lemon as a standard throughout your meal.
What is the usual table setup?
We have long tables here at Cosener’s rather than round tables – we find these better suited o the overall shape of the dining room. Based on the room at full capacity, we would have a top table of 10 with two guest tables of 8 in front. A slightly longer table of 14 down the centre and four tables of 10 at the end of the room. The Conservatory would then have one table of 20 with either 10 down each side or 8 down each side and 2 at either end. If your capacity is less that maximum, then we can play around with the tables a little bit – we generally suggest tables of 8 to 10 to make use of the space.
Are there any décor restrictions?
We ask that no live flames be brought into the hotel. We also ask that anything you wish to have hanging is either done so from existing fixtures or put up with white tac.
Do we need to decorate, or can we drop off at the venue the day prior for you to do for us?
Usually, you would drop off any decorations you want to be put up, the day prior. At which point you will talk through everything and tell me where you would like everything to go. On the day, myself and the team will dress the space for you. Once everybody has gone to sleep/left the venue then the team will take down your decorations and return them to the room in which you dropped them off. In the morning, you can then take away what you like, and we will dispose of the rest for you.
Is there a surcharge if the venue is doing this for you?
No, this service is complimentary.
Do you have a cake stand and cake knife we can use?
Yes, you’re welcome to use our cake stand and cake knife – no additional charges will apply.
Do you provide background music for the wedding breakfast?
We have a system which you are welcome to use. You can provide a playlist either on a Spotify account or a device with an auxiliary output. If you want simple background music, then we have plenty of instrumental playlists we can put on in the background for you.
Is there a turnaround or are the wedding breakfast and evening reception setup in a different space?
There is a turnaround here as your evening reception is usually in the dining room, after your wedding breakfast. This takes up to an hour – the time being largely dependent on how long it takes your DJ/Band to setup and sound-check etc. We are usually done with setting up tables after around 30 minutes.
Where do guests go during the turnaround if there is one?
After the wedding breakfast, we usually offer a tea and coffee station in the bar in order to persuade your guests to leave the tables and allow us to re-set them into a more casual layout. A lot of guests use this time to explore the gardens, check in to their bedrooms, hang out in the bar etc.
What are the bar facilities like?
We have a private bar available to you and your guests throughout the day. It is directly next to the main dining room and opens into the gardens – the layout works perfectly to keep the flow of traffic and lends itself very well to less queuing. There is some seating in there but not too much that it causes overcrowding. We find most guests come in via the dining room, purchase their drink and leave via the gardens.
When does the bar close?
The bar will be open to you and your guests from the agreed arrival time until 12 midnight.
How many staff would be working-ish?
There are always at least two members of staff behind the bar. Your wedding planner is on-site all day as is the hotel manager. You also then have two duty managers (one early shift and one late shift) as well as several waiting staff. We try to have an average of one member of staff to every guest table.
Where do wedding photos usually occur on a dry day?
In our private gardens, overlooking the River Thames.
What is the wet weather backup option?
There is almost always a window of time when it isn’t raining, allowing you to use our gardens. However, in the case that there is not, our house foyer creates a beautiful backdrop for your photographs - keeping with the traditional décor. Our Conservatory is also a great option as it overlooks the Gardens and the River Thames.
Do you have a master of ceremonies?
Yes, your wedding planner would usually take on this role for you. But you’re welcome to hire in a master of ceremonies / toastmaster should you wish to. Or nominate a friend / family member to assist with this.
Is there a surcharge for this if the venue is providing?
No, this is a complimentary service.
What would bedroom rates be for wedding guests, is there a discount?
We take £5 off the published bedroom rate when you make a booking. Usually around £105 for a standard room and £125 for an Orchard room. We have a couple of family rooms with sofa beds and we charge £10 per additional child in each room.
What are your wedding packages?
Wedding packages are published in our wedding brochure on our website. We have three packages – Silver, Gold and Platinum ranging from £60 - £90 per adult.
How much do children’s packages cost?
Children aged 3-12yrs are charged at 50% of the agreed adult pricing and children over 12yrs are charged as adult pricing.
What are your minimum numbers?
We have a minimum number of 60 guests for Saturday’s between May and September. Should your final numbers fall short of this, a minimum of 60 guests will be charged. Smaller wedding parties are available between October and April and from Sunday to Friday.
What are your maximum numbers?
We can cater for up to 80 guests for your civil ceremony, 100 for your seated Wedding Breakfast and 150 for your Evening Reception.
What is NOT included in your wedding packages?
We don’t include ceremony room hire in our packages as not everybody chooses to get married on-site. Room hire for the Garden Room is £500 (discounts can apply for weekdays and off-peak months). The only other thing not included is the evening food. This is not included simply because people have different requirements. A popular option is a finger buffet or a BBQ at £15 per person.
How many do I need to cater for in the evening?
When catering to a buffet or BBQ, we ask that you cater for a minimum of 80% of your final guest numbers. When catering to evening rolls, wedges and cheese boards, we ask that you cater for 100% of your final guest numbers.
Is your menu flexible?
Our menu is very flexible to the point where if you wish to write your own menu, you’re welcome to. Once you have confirmed you booking with us, chef will create a seasonal menu for you. Once happy, you are then able to come in for a menu tasting to make sure you like the menu and make any tweaks along the way if you wish to.
Does it cost more to offer a choice menu if we gather a pre-order?
No, it does not. All I ask when you are offering a choice menu is that you provide a pre-order per person on a spreadsheet, broken down into tables. And that on the day, individual menu choices are printed onto place cards (as a lot of your guests will have forgotten what they chose!)
Will there be other people around on the day or is it sole use?
We do not book anything else on the same day as your wedding. The only instance where there may be other guests is if you have not taken all the bedrooms (which you don't have to) and therefore, we have non-wedding guests in the hotel. In this case these guests are either:
A. attending another event nearby and simply using us for accommodation
B. staying at the hotel but going out for dinner locally so will be out all evening
C. staying with the hotel and wish to dine with us. This is very rare, but it can occur so in this case, we turn a conference room into a restaurant and serve them there. They do not come up to the bar or hotel.
Do you have preferred suppliers, or can we bring our own?
You can bring in whoever you wish – we have recommended suppliers if you are struggling with anything. When bringing in a DJ or a Band, we ask for a copy of their pat testing certificate and public liability certificate. If hiring in a bouncy castle or a marquee for example, we would require risk assessments.
Do you have a sound limiter?
No, we do not.
What time can we finish?
Is there a charge to extend if you want to?
We are unable to extend.
How much is the deposit?
Your deposit is based on 20% of your quotation and is due once you have signed and returned our terms and conditions.
What are payment terms i.e. when are payments due and when is the balance due?
50% of your remaining balance is due no later than 1 month prior to arrival. Your final balance is due 10 days prior to arrival. You are welcome to pay in between these times should you wish to.
When are final details due? We will have a final catch up meeting one month prior to your wedding to discuss final details such as guest numbers, timings, menu choices etc.
Can we hold a date? When would you require an answer?
You’d be more than welcome to provisionally hold a date. I would usually hold a date initially for 2 weeks – if I have had other interest within those two weeks, I would need an answer from you as I do try to work on a first-come-first-serve basis. However, if I haven’t had any other interest then I’m usually happy to hold for a little longer. This doesn’t cost anything.
If you’re holding your ceremony at the same venue, make sure to ask the following:
Is there somewhere for the bride to get ready if she’s on-site? Or will it be in the bedroom?
You can either use a bedroom or you can use our Cottage Lounge in the morning – no charges will apply.
If in a bedroom, will her belongings be moved to the honeymoon suite?
Yes, your wedding planner will do this for you on the day.
Is there somewhere for the bride to park and hide if travelling on the day?
Yes, there is.
How is music played in the room?
We have a portable speaker which you are welcome to use, however, you would need to allocate a friend or family member to play/stop etc in the room. Live music is also always a beautiful option!
Which registrar do you fall under?
We fall under the Oxfordshire Registry Office. You would need to contact them separately to book in your civil ceremony. They have their own charges and booking process which is separate to the venue.
What do you provide in the space? i.e. furniture
Tables for the registrars. Chairs for your guests and chair covers with coloured sash should you wish to use them.
I hope this has helped answer any queries you have but if there is anything I have missed, please do get in touch and I will gladly assist!
Until next time,