Just like the location of a business premises, a wedding venue holds the most power in ensuring that whatever activities held – be it economical or leisure- are a success. Put simply, the venue can make or break an event. As my business management lecturer would say, “It’s all about Location, location, location!,”
What this then means is that brides and grooms should not rush into settling for a venue before they are absolutely certain that it’s the best deal available to them. Bear in mind though, that although you need not make a hasty decision, you still do need to ensure that you work at a pace which will outpace that of the other couples who could be eyeing the venue of your choice.
Venue owners/managers usually allow and encourage site tours of their venues before any payments are made or contracts signed. In this article I will be sharing with you 5 most important aspects of a venue to enquire about before deciding on the location of your wedding.
Every wedding has a theme. It is common knowledge that the theme of the wedding is usually determined by the bride – unless of course the wedding is democratic (which is rare but possible). In this case the grooms input will also be reflected in the theme i.e. colour scheme, time, food, décor etc.
The theme of the wedding ultimately decides whether or not one will book a certain type of venue (hall, garden, gazebo or even a field). If your vision for example involves flowers in bloom and spring then of course you cannot book a hall but a garden as the ideal venue for your wedding!
I originally intended to put this as the first aspect to consider as it is in all honesty the deciding factor about whether or not you will secure the venue you want. There is no romance without finance after all. Preferably, the venue has to be way within budget in order to avoid financial strain within your marriage at an early stage. You really would not be in a position to enjoy your honeymoon with the threat of debts hanging over your head. Other factors such as location, venue capacity and type of venue also have an impact on the cost of the venue (I will explain more below).
This is the area in which the venue is located be it city/town or suburb. A number of factors have to be looked at in terms of location. I will divide these into 2 sub categories which are ease of access and cost.
Ease of Access
How accessible is your venue i.e. How easy would it be for the wedding guests to arrive at the venue on your wedding day? Bear in mind that most people would not have travelled to your venue prior to your wedding day. Details like proximity to the city centre or local pick up and drop off points for commuter omnibuses (kombis) and taxis should be considered. Directions to the venue on your wedding invites is okay if all your guests will be driving to the venue. It would be much better though if you add bus terminus details and drop off points for those who will be using public transport (lookout for my article on dos and don’ts of wedding card design).
The location of the venue determines the charge of hiring it. Venues located in prime suburbs will definitely cost more than a venue located in other suburbs. Therefore, if you are looking to have a wedding in an expensive or elitist location then you need to be willing to pay the corresponding amount of money.
You will definitely be expecting gifts on your wedding day. This is a given. However, please do not expect your wedding guests to be as generous in the money they spend on transporting themselves to the venue. Guests using public transport to the venue will be concerned about how much money they will pay for public transport to the venue.
Will they need to board a bus to reach the venue or will they need a kombi or maybe a taxi will suffice? Those who have their own cars will be wondering about how much fuel is needed to reach the venue and how much it will cost. They will also be concerned about the state of the road network i.e. is it paved or dusty, potholed or not? Those staying in Africa will be all too familiar with the African road network hence I will not dwell much on this.
Furthermore, if there are any guests coming from out of town, they will be concerned about accommodation. Choosing a venue which offers overnight accommodation would be ideal as some venues usually include the accommodation in their wedding packages either as free (complimentary gift) rooms or at a separate discounted rate. Click here to find Zimbabwe Wedding Venues which offer accommodation.
When we talk about capacity, we mean the number of people who can be accommodated on the venue. The venue has to be able to cater to the number of people on your guest list comfortably. This will reduce congestion on your wedding day and will ensure your day is stress free.
When you go for a site tour of the venue, do not be distracted by its beauty. Assess its functionality. Ask the manager about how weather proof the venue is. If it were to rain for instance, will the structures put in place provide enough shelter for all the guest? Or will there be need for more tents? Are the additional tents included in the package or not? Will the venue have these tents on standby on the day of the event or not? And if there have been any previous accidents with regards to this, ask and find out what measures have been put in place to avoid this in the future.
This is a bonus tip.
After you have been told about the venue, cost etc. it would be best to familiarise yourself with the rules and regulations of the venue. These rules can range from cancellation policies or children not being allowed. All venues have their own rules and regulations. It is important to know, understand and respect these so as to avoid misunderstandings, altercations and frustrations.
I hope these tips will help smoothen the decision making process. If you have any comments, questions or additions please add them in the comments section below.