Perfect Venue

Perfect venue planning for a sublime wedding day

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Getting engaged kick-starts the excitement (and stress) of wedding preparations. But before jumping heels, tops and tails first into preparing the finer details of your special day, consider one of the biggest factors: securing your dream venue.

Whether you want a cosy bush lodge or city scape reception, a sunny wedding date or balmy autumn nuptials, bagging your wedding venue as soon as possible will save you the unnecessary stress of last-minute venue hunting, and the disappointment of them being fully booked.

South Africa’s beautiful summer and autumn months are popular wedding dates that fill up quickly, so book your venue early to avoid missing out on the date you have in mind. Review which package deals are available and whether (and by when) deposits will be due.

“Everyone has unique requirements for the perfect wedding venue. My best advice for couples getting married is to look for venues that offer something special that sets them apart from other locations,” says Brandon Schafli, General Manager at Premier Hotel Knysna – The Moorings, who recently tied the knot.

He adds: “Our hotel in Knysna, for instance, has beautiful indigenous gardens on the banks of the Knysna Lagoon. This was my wedding venue last year! It just has a lovely ambience for couples and their guests.”

Another equally alluring wedding venue option is Premier Hotel The Winkler with its choice of five different venues. Situated in Mpumalanga, 10km from White River and only 14kms from the Kruger Mpumalanga airport, the hotel is ultimate spot to capture the spirit of Africa.

For a venue with luxurious pre-wedding spoils, Premier Hotel East London ICC is a dream come true for any bride-to-be. One of the city’s most desired beachfront hotels, it has the added bonus of The Emerald Spa - a haven of tranquillity and relaxation where tailor-made bridal packages are the perfect aid to unwind and shake off pre-wedding jitters.

Schafli adds that it is important to bear in mind that your venue should be easy to find and that you should ensure there will be enough parking for your guests, especially if you are planning a big wedding.

He says: “For out of town weddings, choose a reception venue that has accommodation or is closely situated to bed-and-breakfast establishments or other alternatives to fit the budgets of your guests.”

Other essential steps include finding out if your venue allows for external catering. Alternatively, are they able to serve up a menu that suits your needs? Do they allow you to hire your own band or DJ, and do they allow confetti.

Confirm whether you are allowed to bring your own bubbly and wine and if there is a corkage fee. Many venues allow this and also have cash bars for guests. While requesting this kind of information, check if your venue offers cutlery, table runners and other décor. If you want to bring your own, book this well in advance from your external provider.

For outdoor or beachfront weddings, Schafli advises that couples should communicate to their guests what kind of dress code they have set. “Bear in mind that you, and your guests, will be contending with the elements – think sand, wind and humidity. Likewise, if you are having an outdoor venue in the colder months, remind your wedding party and guests to bring along jackets or other items for warmth, or provide pashminas as a thoughtful touch,” he concludes.

Get ready to organise your ultimate dream wedding – starting with your venue.

For more information on Premier Hotels & Resorts, visit www.premierhotels.co.za. For media enquiries, contactkirsten@eclipsepr.co.za

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