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Harare Wedding Venue Comparison – Chelmsford Vs Pabani

Pick the cream using our comparison technic. We lay the facts for you side by side helping you pick the best.

Zimbabwe wedding venue comparison – Roughly a month or so ago i had an opportunity to visit one of Harare’s new wedding venue in Umwinsidale – Pabani. Down the road coming to a few days ago i also had yet another opportunity to do a review visitation to Chelmesford Manor Zimbabwe a wedding venue located in Belgravia, Harare.

As i considered the latter venue, scanning through all the places i have been to before for reviews, Pabani came up as a great contender against Chelmsford Manor. In other words as you consider Chelmsford Manor as your wedding venue of choice there is also Pabani which is in the same category according to ZimBridal Venue Ratings yard stick.

This comparison is designed to assist you settle for one of the two venues after an objective and hopefully near scientific comparison of the two venues. In terms of the overall quality and aesthetic, in my view, nothing much will be lost by going for either of the two venues but as they say “its in the details”


Venue Location

In terms of location, of the two Chelmsford Manor is the closest to town. Pabani is some 30km or so away from town. It clearly has an advantage if you are looking for a venue way out of town where your guests will getaway for your wedding function.

Chelmsford Manor gives you the immediate advantage of being rather central and easier for your guests to find. It poses no risk of uninvited guests since it also is an exclusive venue which appears capable of upholding those standards.

In the end, I would say it is really up to you in terms of venue location, near town or out of town,

Venue Capacity

Pabani has a higher capacity of 500 guests compared to Chelmsford Manor’s 300. If your wedding is bigger, then Pabani automatically becomes your first prize. Even in size terms, Pabani is a much bigger property which has more “air” than Chelmsford Manor.

In terms of parking, at Pabani all the cars go inside with special reserved parking for bridal party closer to ceremony venue . At Chelmsford Manor only you and your team will get inside perhaps with a few VVIPs. Everyone else will be compelled to park outside. There is obviously a certain security risk associated with parking outside the property which however can be eased when security is made water tight.

Clearly Pabani comes out tops when considering capacity issues.

Venue Fees

For an average 300 guest venue you will pay almost the same for both venues i.e US$3000.00 (@ September 2011).

This amount excludes the other deposits such as security and so on. It represents what you will leave with the venue permanently for holding your function there. So in terms of fees it’s neither here no there for both venues.

Venue Ablutions

Both venues have a less desirable approach to ablutions – portable toilets. It is clear that both Pabani and Chelmsford Manor at this stage are not fully prepared, ablutions wise, to hold  a function of so many people.

In both cases you as the wedding couple and your closest guests will have access to reserved ablutions “inside”. The rest of the guests will have to use the BRIGHT YELLOW (sometimes green) structures that can be an eye sore when left within eye shot. Normally these can be well placed out of sight.

Besides, expect to pay an extra $230.00 for the four of them. Those that hire them out recommend at least four for a 300 guests wedding costing about $58.00 each inclusive of transport.

Both venues disappoint me when it comes to ablutions.

Venue Terms & Conditions

In this regard you have some advantage at Chelmsford Manor as you are free to bring in any equipment hiring company of your choice. At Pabani your marquee, tables and chairs will have to come from Rooney’s. You can get an idea of how much this will cost by looking at this Rooney’s hiring review i did a few days ago.

Real advantage here is the ability to engage another hiring company which is not necessarily Rooney’s Chelmsford Manor. For your own good, however, you need to ensure great back-up service from your marquee provider because those that recommend Rooney’s do it for a purpose.

Venue Ceremony Options

It’s good to have options to your wedding ceremony venue within a property. Both venues offer you at least two options both involving a pool. At Pabani you can have your ceremony at the deck on the edge of the pool or in the palm tree garden.

At Chelmsford Manor, your ceremony can be also at the lawn next to the pool or in the garden where there is a man-made pump operated water fountain. This looks very nice too. So on both venues you get very good options for your ceremony wedding location. The outcome is nip and tuck!

Venue Wedding Photo Locations

Pabani has a slightly better offering for your photo shoot than Chelmsford. What you get at the latter is mostly a well manicured garden and inside the Manor House. Once in there you have a few more possibilities including the stairs.

Pabani has a garden with some msasa trees and palm trees. There is also a house on the property which can only be used from the outside  to possibly give you some unique photos of your wedding. The fact that it has more “air” generally presents more options for your photography.

I wouldn’t however use this slight disadvantage to disqualify Chelmsford Manor as my wedding venue. You could still get great photos at this venue too.

Venue Customer Service

Both venues have excellent customer care. I, however, somewhat feel a little more confident about the delivery of Pabani’s event coordinator. As a disclaimer, please note that this is based on nothing more than using my different conversations with both to assess what i will get out as a wedding planner. I think how things are communicated to you matters when making a decision hence my position on Pabani.

Venue aesthetics

Both venues have fine finishings. They are well polished. The beauty of both venues is captivating. It is sure to please you and many of your guests in both cases.

As it were you come out “smelling roses” in both cases.

Venue ZimBridal Rating

Both venues fall in the same category based on ZimBridal venue ratings which you can check what we consider by going to venue ratings page. They are 4.5 star venues a level lower than 5 out of 5 stars reserved for the creme de la cream in the industry with absolutely no blemishes.

So overall, what will determine where you go? I think it’s your guest numbers. If not guest numbers perhaps preference of location. Or maybe availability of your preferred date. If not that ummmm… well i guess your gut feeling!

Download a detailed comparison chart for both venues => {title} ({hits})

See full Pabani Review and Chelmsford Review by following respective links.

Harare wedding venue comparison


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