Here’s the thing - before you start planning your own nuptial celebration, there is no way to know just how tricky it can be to choose the perfect wedding venue.
In our blissfully unaware pre-engaged state most of us assume that it’s going to be super easy. You simply pick a place you’ve been before and really liked, and make it happen. Right? Au contraire, mon ami. There is a whole lot more that goes into it. Like, so much more.
However, the whole thing should not stress you out. Planning your wedding can (and should!) be fun. So, here are a few insider tips from our eventing team that will help you to choose the perfect wedding venue without breaking a sweat:
1. Know your budget
Start with brass tax. How much can you feasibly spend on your wedding without leaving yourselves in a tight financial situation after the fact?
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2. Narrow things down based on availability
If you are feeling really stuck when it comes to narrowing down your options with regard to wedding venues, it can help to settle on a date first.
For many couples, this is a no-brainer. After all, you need to make sure that all your important peeps (immediate family, super tight friends, etc.) can accommodate the date you have in mind.
In the height of wedding season (i.e. September to April in sunny South Africa) you also need to check that your date does not clash with that of another couple in your circle of friends. It happens! And it’s super awks for people to choose when there are two weddings that fall on one weekend.
As such, it makes sense to choose your date first. However, in some cases couples are so set on a certain venue, that they may choose to contact the destination to see which dates are available and use that info to make their decision.
Whatever the case may be, finalising the date is one of the things you need to do ASAP when you plan a wedding. Once it’s firmly in place, send those save-the-dates to your friends and family quick sticks so they can block out the date on their calendars and start to make travel plans if need be.
3. Be clear on your location
Next up - location. Where do you want your wedding to take place? This is kind of a big deal. After all, the wedding venue sets the tone for your entire event. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to zone in on an area that will work for your celebration:
- Do we want to be close to home? Not everybody does! Some couples prefer a destination wedding because they have incredibly happy associations with a specific place. Others prefer to stick close to home simply because it makes the planning phase of the wedding a lot easier.
- What’s the deal with out-of-town guests? If you have lots of family or friends that will need to travel a great distance to attend your wedding, you need to check on accommodation before you make a decision. For instance, if you choose to get married in a small, quaint town on the same weekend another big event is taking place, your guests may run into issues booking accommodation nearby. So make sure to check! It’s also nice to have access to an exclusive-use venue where your nearest and dearest can stay over and get ready on the day.
- Are there certain experiences we want to include in the celebration? Another way to choose, is to decide if there are certain activities you want to include in the lead-up to your Big Day or perhaps on the day itself? For instance, the groom and his entourage may enjoy a round of golf before the rehearsal dinner, while the bride and her bridesmaids may want to partake in a Russian tea ceremony (or the other way around, of course!).
Once you answer these simple questions, you are far more likely to have a good idea of the venues that could work well for your wedding.
4. Do an in-person check to suss out the vibe
The best way to find out whether a given venue matches your nuptial theme and style is to check it out in person. Sure, there is a lot you can glean from photos and walk-through videos but visiting a wedding destination IRL will tell you so much more.
As such, if at all possible, make the mission (with your fiance!) to scope out the look and feel of the place. Once you’ve had a look around, you’ll have a much clearer idea if it will work for what you have in mind.
5. Find out about on-site coordination
Also, check to see whether the wedding venue you have in mind offers on-site coordination services. At Hazendal, for instance, we have a very talented team of event specialists who assist bridal couples to put together a seamless event from start to finish. It takes so much pressure off!
There you have it! Following these guidelines will make it easy as pie to choose the perfect wedding venue near Cape Town. Now all you need to do is narrow down your options and pinpoint the venue that will tie together all your gorgeous ideas for your matrimonial celebration in the best way possible!
If you’re looking for some more planning guidance then take a look at our 12-month wedding planning guide to help you plan every step to perfection. Click the button below to get your copy.