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Choosing a wedding or kwanjula(Introduction) venue is the most daunting task for an engaged couple. When starting, it seems light but after failing at the first 3 venues (probably because they are already booked, over budget or not good enough), you start to realize how heavy, expensive and exhausting of a task it is.
However, a venue is a do or break. It determines the price of the food, drinks, decor, and other services. A wedding venue is, therefore, the focal point of your budget and should be given thorough attention. It is for this reason that we are offering you a few things to consider when choosing your wedding or introduction venue
1. What each venue provides
Every venue comes with accompanying items. These could be chairs, tables, tents, drinks, and so much more.
Since a wedding requires various services, it can get daunting coordinating all of the various service providers. We, therefore, advise you to find a venue that couples the venue with various services like chairs and tables, food, drinks, PA system, security, decor, and other items. This way, you will be saving time, energy and money. The venue’s wedding coordinator will be the one in charge of coordinating their various service providers instead of you. Your committee members can just come along to give the venue personnel an extra hand or oversee their activities to ensure they are delivering as agreed.
However, it is important to be cautious and ensure they are providing the right services as you’d want them. Additionally, you need to keep an eye out for venues who make unfeasable[too good to be true] promises.
Since weddings are a once-in-a-lifetime event, some venues will over-promise [in order to get your money] but under-deliver simply because you forgot to sign an agreement and they believe you won’t be having a wedding again- a very wrong perception as they forget you could refer a friend to them.
2. Rules or Terms & Conditions of the venue
Some venues want the music stopped by 9 pm – when most couples haven’t yet cup the cake, others 11 pm. Other venues will accept outside catering and drinks, others will restrict you to their food and drinks and they won’t accept corkage. Some other venues will let you their outdoor venue but restrict certain chairs on their grass cover. Heck other venues restrict the kind of music you can play at their venue! So before you book a particular venue, ensure the terms are in black and white. That way, you are certain you know what you are getting into. You also want to be sure if they have any extra charges (hidden charges) that may surface later on.
3. Drainage of the venue
If you are having an outdoor function [especially in the rainy season], you want to be sure that your venue of choice has proper drainage. Otherwise, you and your guests will be soaked in mud and water even long after the rain has stopped.
4. Accessibility of the venue
How far or close is the venue to your ceremony church, salon or photoshoot area? How easy and safely can you and your guests get to the venue? If you are going to have a church minister wed you at your reception, distance may not be so big of an issue but it doesn’t make sense to hold your reception in Entebbe and be wedded in Kampala.
Longer distances also increase your overall ependiture as service providers will charge you extra if your reception is out of Kampala or their district of operation.
5. Price of the venue
Obviously, price is a very important parameter. Some venues are very expensive but not worth the price. Others are good, cheap, accessible and offer more services but they are just not yet famous. These are the types of venues that would offer you a good deal. If you are getting married, you probably know about 3 venues, however, there are about 200 venues just in Kampala. The other issue is to compare what each venue is giving you along with the venue. I know a particular venue that charges 4.5m without any additional items[chairs, tables, tent], yet there’s a newer and better venue that charges the same fee and it comes with chairs, tables, and tent.
You need to find out how many security personnel will be manning your event and what kind of security that will be. Will it be Uganda Police or private security? Will they enough to handle all the guests? If the venue doesn’t offer enough security you may need to outsource more.
If you don’t have proper security, you will have uninvited get in, take up your guests’ seats, drinks, food and leave your guests hungry.
In addition to security, parking is a critical issue to consider. A venue in a fenced perimeter wall is an added advantage. Besides protecting your guests’ cars, it keeps out uninvited and dangerous people.
8. Don’t be afraid to ask
When you have a limited budget, you may be afraid to approach some popular “high-end “venues like Kampala Serena but you’ll be surprised to find that their price tag is almost similar to that venue you are considering as plan C. However, to book such venues (like Kampala Serena), you need to book a year in advance as they are very competitive.