We have a lot of things to be proud of in South Africa. Amazing wildlife, beautiful scenery and even more beautiful people. It is no wonder then why people come from far and wide to get married in our magnificent country.
Luckily for us living here already, we really don’t have to travel too far. We probably have a beautiful wedding venue almost in our backyard, and there are plenty to choose from.
From grasslands to forests, safari weddings to beach celebrations – there is everything on offer in our country. However great this is, it can be pretty overwhelming for people looking to plan a wedding.
Where do you even start? Do you get married in a vintage barn, out in a vineyard or maybe a venue with a sea-view? Weddings are stressful enough to plan, and you can’t really get started with fully planning your wedding until you know where you are going to have it.
What you need to know to book your venue
In order to know what you are looking for, you should look at you and your partner’s interests. Do you love mountain getaways or are you lovers of sand beneath your feet? After all, it is your wedding and you need to make sure that the most important people there – the bride and groom (you!) are happy.
Then look at how many people you want to invite. Some venues only cater for smaller weddings, whereas others will look empty with just a few guests invited. Knowing your number of guests will help narrow down choices nicely.
One of the most important factors is your budget. As destination weddings are in fashion, prices of hiring a wedding venue have sky rocketed. Make sure you have a reasonable budget in mind on how much you want to spend on venue hire.
Every venue has different ways of handling catering. Some only do in-house catering and others allow you to bring in your own caterers. If you already have a caterer picked, you will need to find a place that will let you bring them along.
A venue that has a ceremony and reception area is a real win. Guests won’t have to travel between the two events and can relax. Also look out for an area for canapes. This is when you run off to take photos after the official ceremony and guests hang around having a few drinks and snacks waiting for you to return for the reception.
Now that all the basics are covered, have a look at the best wedding venues South Africa has to offer.
Rustic Rock, Pretoria
Best Wedding Venue in Pretoria in 2016, it is everything you can hope to get out of a rustic wedding. Only able to host 60-100 guests, it is a smaller venue but it does include a DJ, a dance floor, crockery and cutlery, food and even two of your very own wedding coordinators. It really has such a comforting, rustic feel that the down-to-earth bride will fall in love with.
Tintswalo Atlantic, Cape Town
If ocean views are your thing, this wedding venue is for you. Overlooking the Atlantic ocean, you are able to be married on the deck as the sun sets, casting the most amazing background for your special moment. The onsite restaurant caters to all your culinary needs, so guests can take in the breath-taking views the whole day without having to leave.
Hartford House, Mooi River, KZN
Any Durban girl loves the Midlands Meander, and getting married in the Meander is a dream for many. Hartford House is the perfect venue to fulfil this fantasy. It is a completely romantic destination for both guests and newlyweds. The on-site internationally accredited chef Jackie Cameron offers a delectable menu. The venue caters for up to 150 guests, so a fairly moderate sized wedding.
Makanyane Safari Lodge, Krokodildrift
For the couple seeking a truly African experience. Get married in the bush, like literally in the middle of the grasslands. They cater some really authentic African cuisine, perfect to finish off your proudly African wedding. The guests will also love to go on a game drive the day before the wedding, to really get into the feel of things.
Oxbow Country Estate, Gauteng
A meander wedding for those not in KZN. 40 minutes away from Pretoria, Witbank and Benoni, this little piece of heaven makes for the most wonderful wedding day. Get married next to babbling waterways and enjoy the phenomenal scenery. It was a finalist in 2017 for the Top Vendor Wedding Awards. The venue can host up to 200 guests, making it great for larger weddings.
Cathedral Peak Hotel, Drakensberg
The Cathedral Peak Hotel is well known for being one of the best hotel and resorts in the Drakensberg mountains, but it is also one of the best wedding venues around as well. The Cathedral Peak mountains fall as backdrop to your wedding and the thatched roof buildings and farmhouse chapel finish off the mountain feel. There are numerous reception venues on site to choose from, all catering to different party sizes.
Savannah Game and River Retreat, Parys
An open air chapel set on a 3000 acre farm next to the Vaal river just makes the most perfect African wedding. A large number of 350 guest can be catered for at this venue without a dance floor, and 200 guests with a dance-floor.
There are so many options available for a South African wedding. Both for locals and for those travelling to our country to take advantage of our beautiful scenery. We really are so lucky to have such a variety here, right on our doorsteps.
Your wedding day is sure to be perfect when being held at one of these exquisite venues. Your guests will be left in awe at their beautiful surroundings, and hopefully more in awe at the stunning wife and her dashing new husband.