Story of the wedding …. The Venue

I have started to blog about the wedding preparations so many times and stopped because the process of it all is so exhausting, like even typing that sentence is enough of a killer.

In the last two weeks of Jan/early Feb we viewed a total of ten venues.

  1. Ingaadi – if I wanted to get married on the lawns, it would have been perfect. They don’t have a chapel!
  2. Chez Charlene – went to a wedding three years before and I wasn’t wowed – loved it so much this time round.  I loved the attention to detail and the finishing,the chapel and the grounds and the little ritual that the coordinator spoke about.But it did not have on-site accomodation 😦
  3. Diamond 4 Venue – they had the best space for the bride to get married in and a beautiful reception venue. The chapel, just average. The outside area looks like a construction site and I felt that for how much I was paying, the outside should look good.
  4. Usambara – they had the best chapels of all the places I went to. Beautiful lawns and a place to have cocktails, BUT, the smaller venue was dark and the lady making the sell talked my year off, even I was exhausted!
  5. Everwood – have you ever felt nothing for a venue and then had to go through the motions of whatever you felt? This was that place – they call it country/rustic and in my head I kept thinking incomplete and underwhelmed.
  6. En-Gedi – I really loved this place. Loved the bridal suite, the chapel (before I saw the seats they use) and the grounds. I wasn’t sold on the reception venue though – it had these weird corners to take and it felt a bit dark. But I felt it could be redeemed.
  7. Oakfield – this was my number two venue by far. The venue had a horse and carriage, beautifully manicured lawns and grounds, they looked like THIS is what they do and it showed!!
  8. Tres Jolie – I initially really loved the venue because of the chapel. It totally rocked then we got to the venue and it looked so busy with so many little nooks and crannies and the venue just looked, OK at best.
  9. Hoyo Hoyo – So I thought Everwood underwhelmed me? Nah, not so for this place. I had no energy to even try or pretend to like the place. Thank God for the Mr who rose beautifully to the occasion and asked all that we needed to know. I definitely left the place knowing its a NO.
  10. Zulu Nyala – So beautiful place right in the heart of Joburg. I mean they even had a place with wild animals and stuff and the most beautiful lake and lighting fixtures in the chapel and reception. So beautiful white and red stuff all over. Loved it too.

Just before I went to view all these places, I read this article about questions to ask at your venue. A very nice read, basically, make sure to ask about:

  • Decoration that are allowed and what’s not. For example certain places won’t allow Chinese lanterns, or certain types of candles ..
  • How long have you got the venue for? How much does it cost after that stipulated time?
  • Number of stalls in the gents and ladies – nothing like having so many guests wait in the toilet because there is only one.
  • Might be obvious, but what is included in the venue hire and what is not, down to the number of drinks and the starter or not.
  • Does the venue have an allocated wedding coordinator or will you need to hire another?
  • Who are their approved vendors and what do they like about them?
  • Any discounts or variable costs that the venue can give that point or at a particular season?
  • Number of waiters and serving stations. Are the waiters included in the venue hire or are they an additional cost?

A big thing for us is the fact that the wedding will be in August and it might get cold, we wanted somewhere people could stay late at the wedding but be indoors. Particularly for the older folk.

We settled on Joburg because the next day we have a traditional ceremony at the Mr’s place in the East.

I wanted a beautiful chapel and the venue we selected definitely has. We also wanted a dance floor to boogie the evening away …

So what venue did we select? Number 2!! Close runner up was definitely Oakfield and at Number 3 was Zulu Nyala and En-Gedi.

What would you have selected? What questions did you ask your venue supplier?

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