We love the trend that is becoming evident in modern weddings. Couples seem to be choosing to have smaller, more intimate weddings, sharing the event with close friends and family rather than large weddings where some guests are almost unknown to them! This could be due to the economic realities we live under, as well as the fact that many weddings are not the bride or groom’s first wedding, and if the couple are paying for their own wedding, they get to invite who they want to share their wedding day with.
This smaller, more intimate type of wedding lends itself perfectly to a destination wedding. We are so fortunate here in South Africa as we are privileged to have many quaint villages and stunning localities to make for really memorable destination weddings.
One of our favourite beach destination venues is Grootbos which is situated overlooking the ocean on a Fynbos reserve between Gansbaai and Hermanus in the Western Cape. Grootbos has had the honour of being named in the Top 50 Hotels I in the world. This particular part of the ocean offers the best land-based whale watching in the world. You can choose to have your ceremony in a number of places. If you have always dreamed of a beach wedding, they can set up your ceremony on the beach at sunset. The other alternative is a forest wedding ceremony amongst their 1000 year old milkwood forest trees which makes for unique and beautiful wedding pictures.
Grootbos are well-known for their excellent cuisine, and being so close to the ocean, for their fresh seafood, so you need have no concerns about your reception menu. There is a cosy, intimate underground wine cellar where they hold smaller receptions. Decorated with flowers and bathed in candlelight, the wine cellar offers a stunning reception venue. Alternatively your reception can be held on the terrace overlooking the ocean or in our cosy dining area which boasts amazing views from Cape Point to all the way round to Cape Agulhas.
For your honeymoon, their luxury honeymoon suite has its own private splash pool, private balcony and beautifully furnished accommodation. All meals are included (and these are all delicious!) and there is a plethora of activities ranging from horse riding to shark-cage diving for the adventurous, to hikes through the fynbos. Have a look at their profile on www.saweddingvenues.com/grootbos.aspx.
An area that is becoming increasingly popular for destination weddings is the beautiful Eastern Free State. These venues are situated on farms outside towns that are within easy reach of Gauteng, and are thus perfect for a weekend wedding where the bride and groom and their guests wish to get away from the city and enjoy a relaxed wedding in beautiful surroundings in big sky country.
Clarens is a very popular destination with its art galleries, coffee shops and interesting stores and is thus perfect for a destination wedding. Oranje Guest Farm is a charming venue for your wedding. Have a look at their profile at www.saweddingvenues.com/oranje-guest-farm.aspx.
Clocolan which is situated between the towns of Ficksburg and Ladybrand has a few lovely country wedding venues. One of these is Zuikerkop which is situated on a farm surrounded by rolling green fields, flat-topped koppies, abundant game and unrivalled skyscapes. Have a look at www.saweddingvenues.com/zuikerkop.aspx. You could consider this as a wonderful option for your destination wedding.
Another gorgeous venue with 150 year old sandstone buildings so characteristic of the area is Essence of the Highlands. This venue has magnificent views with clear blue skies in the day and amazing stars during the night. If you look at www.saweddingvenues.com/essence.aspx you will see what we mean! These venues offer accommodation for your guests and an unforgettable experience if you should choose to have your wedding there.