It was relatively fun looking for a venue for our wedding. My husband works on Saturdays so I would wait for him to get off work in the afternoon and then we would drive around the city looking for venues. Sometimes it was fun, sometimes it was frustrating but all in all we didn’t have a choice, we had to get the job done. It didn’t take us too long to get the venue we wanted. My husband and his entire line up were all in the same high school and so he thought it would be so cool if he could have the wedding in the same place and they could relieve their high school days (I do not share the same sentiments about my high school days, I still don’t get it ) but it was his wedding as much as it was mine and I figured that if it meant that much to him, then it meant that much to me.
Anyway much to our disappointment (mostly his 🙂 ) the Pope was scheduled to come around that time therefore the school couldn’t confirm our dates and so we had to keep it moving (This was before we changed the date of our wedding). We then settled for St. Christopher’s School and we locked this in around 9 months to the wedding. The reason for this was because the field was enormous and we wanted a lot of dancing at our wedding especially for our traditional dancer’s (#isukuti)
So today I want to share on some factors that guided us when choosing locations in the hope that they will aid you as you choose yours:
- Distance from where the bride and groom come from- mostly the bride though-With the traffic mess in Nairobi, you definitely want to consider the distance and time it will take for the bride to leave her home and make it to the venue. I was leaving from Kilimani and my husband was leaving from South B. It definitely made sense that we choose Karen because it was near to my home and we figured worst case scenario, my husband could just get on a ‘matatu’ or ‘boda boda’ and make it to the venue comfortably. I could not afford that same luxury in my dress 🙂
- The type of wedding you want to have-Do you want an all-inclusive venue meaning both church and reception at the same place or separate venues for both? Should you decide to go with separate venues, you definitely want to consider the time it will take for your guests to move from one venue to the other.
- Do you want an indoor or an outdoor wedding?This should also be dependent on the month that you are having the wedding. Nowadays with global warming it is relatively hard to predict whether it will rain or shine but this is definitely an important factor to consider. If you absolutely do not want to take chances on the weather, then you should definitely consider an indoor wedding.
- Price-Obviously the price of a venue will help you determine whether or not it is within your budget and this should help you in making a decision. Sometimes however some places may be slightly out of your budget but the venue in itself will not require you to invest heavily in trying to transform the look of the place or add other amenities to it. This can in the long run help you cut costs on other aspects of the wedding. E.g. the venue we selected came with toilets therefore we did not have to budget for mobile toilets and this reduced our wedding expenses. Another example could be that the location is already beautiful and does not require much décor this therefore means you reduce your costs on décor and just go with the natural look of a place. Last but not least another example could be on security. You can pay more for a venue where they already have security measures in place and reduce your wedding expenses on getting security for the day.
- Some locations offer an inclusive package of tents, décor and catering. While for some this may be a great deal of stress taken off your shoulders, for others it could limit creativity and therefore be a deal breaker. Depending on the venue, it could also end up being quite expensive for the couple(this is especially so on the catering part).
- Photo shoot areas- It is important to try and establish if the location you have chosen for the venue has any areas that could offer great locations nearby for your photo session. Proximity to the venue is important therefore as you look for a venue in a particular area, you want to be sure that you have options for your photo session (Unless of course you choose to do your photo session after the reception is over at the end of the day).
- Parking spaces-Is there enough parking provided for your guests to park their vehicles?This is also another factor that should aid in making a decision. You definitely do not want frustrated guests on the wedding day because they had to struggle to find parking or walk long distances in their heels 🙂 just to get to the wedding area from the parking lot.
When visiting venues, the best strategy you want to adopt is to divide them according to locations. It is best to do your homework online and identify venues that you can look at in one location to save on time and cost. E.g. If you have a location such as Karen, try to find out as many venues as possible in Karen that you can look at all in one day. That way you don’t have to run from Karen to say Thika road.
Hope this will help you in your planning.
As always, drop a comment and feel free to say hallo.
#letshavefunplanningweddings , #weddingplanningisfun
Peace and blessings.