Besides the obvious questions such as cost, capacity and location, there are more questions that a prudent couple needs to ask before deciding on a wedding venue. Most couples make the mistake of not asking enough questions when doing their venue shopping and end up committing to a venue that they end up regretting. Having worked in the wedding industry myself and having had the pleasure of organising quite a number of weddings, I have managed to compile a list of questions which you should ask wedding venue managers or owners. 
1. Time Limits

You need to find out what time limits the venue has put in place for events. Most venues abide by council bylaws which means their gates open at 9am and close at 6pm (Zimbabwean law). But if you would like a night time wedding then it is crucial to ask if it would be possible to shift the time limit in order to accommodate your event. You also need to find out the times the venue has allocated for rehearsal dinners or setting up of decorations at the venue.

2. Rules

one of the most popular sayings in English history says, ” when you are in Rome do as the Romans do”. Application of this saying within the context of this article means that the wedding party has to know, respect and abide by the rules of their venue for the duration of the event. You will then need to find out about the general rules of the premises, special clauses within the contract to take note of etc. Click here to read more about this tip in my previous article. 

3. Electricity

If you live in Africa you know that electricity is as scarce here as potholes are scarce in 1st world countries. Electricity is sporadic in Africa and there is no way of telling if it will be available on uour wedding day. Assuming that electricity plays disappearing games on you on your special day, then you need to have alternative power supplies to use. Worry not though, most venues have back-up electricity supplies, however,you should not take this for granted. Ask questions about what kind of back-up they have. Will it be enough to power everything. Are there any additionals like fuel etc. Is this back-up a part of the package or is there an additional fee that needs to be paid? 

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4. Outsourcing of Services

You need to know whether or not the venue allows you to outsource other services such as decor and catering. Some venues prefer to provide all the services for their clients hence they charge heftily for outsourcing in order to discourage it. If outsourcing is available, you need to know the fee charged for you to do this. You also need to find out if the following is available: kitchens ( to be used by caterers), storage space for crockery, food, etc fridges and accommodation (if cooking or decor will be done overnight). Additional charges should be discussed and finalized. 

5. Hidden Costs 

Ascertain that the costs and theI charges you have noted down on your end are the same as those which the venue manager has. Ask for a detailed quotation as a way of ensuring that you are both on the same page. 

6. Discounts/ Promotions 

This is yet another bonus tip. 

Ask about any special offers or promotions each venue has. These promotions are usually seasonal and can range from discounts, special packages, extras to competitions. Be on the lookout for these as they might be an incentive to you and your spouse. 

I hope these questions will help you make the best choice in your venue selection. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or additions please add them in the comments section below. Look out for the next article which will be published here this coming Friday.

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