Types of Wedding Venue's

We breakdown a few of our favourite wedding venue types and possible options for your big day!

Your wedding day will be one of the most magical days of your life. With all the prep done, the planning and debating over, all that is left is to say, ‘I do’. However, without a venue, things would not be as picturesque as imagined. The venue isn’t just a place to say your vows and confirm your marriage to one another. The right venue could be the difference between something easily forgettable or have that unforgettable ‘wow’ factor. It could be the difference between the picture you keep in your living room or the picture you keep deep in the doldrums of an old album. In this segment, we cover the different venue types available, what each venue offers, and which wedding theme and budget they best suit.

Game Reserve

Hotel

Guesthouse

Banquet Hall

Farm

Garden Spaces

Beach Villa

Country Club

Restaurant

Loft / Modern

Industrial Chic

Private Estate

Yacht

Pop Up Spaces

Court

Vineyard/Winery

Surrounded by grapevines, lush green grass and a picturesque blue sky, without a cloud in sight, a vineyard would do nicely. A vineyard setting is simplistically romantic and rustic.  wineries are perfect for small, intimate and warm ceremonies, but can cater for larger weddings too. Using what wineries have to offer gives it a more genuine feel – think wine barrels as glass stands or fixtures. The ambience of the ceremony encourages a more peaceful and relaxed atmosphere for the guests. While some vineyards offer private spaces, others are still open to the public. When considering a vineyard based wedding, keep in mind, a private vineyard or winery will be more costly than one that even accommodates the general public. Your decision will largely depend on whether you’re wanting to keep it private, your wedding venue budget as well as the number of guests in attendance. Wineries generally have all-inclusive packages that cover catering, decor and venue costs. When visiting vineyards and wineries, enquire whether outside catering is allowed and their bar
terms.

Game Reserve/Safari

What better place to have a Safari themed wedding than at a game reserve? For nature lovers, this theme is right up your ally. A pleasant, off the grid alternative. There are more to these venues than meets the eye. Small and intimate, self-contained, with little to no outside interruptions and the promise of flawless imagery, its beauty is unparalleled. Before taking the plunge and booking your safari wedding, there are a few key factors to consider. For starters, make sure that the game reserve is malaria-free. If not, your guests will be required to get the necessary shot in advance. Plan your guest list, since these venues are situated far from home, your guests will be required to book into accommodation spaces nearby if the reserve can’t accommodate all guests. Ensure that things such as entry and exit on smooth, paved or carpeted areas are provided. If you want part of your wedding to be a safari tour where guests get to experience the wild, you need a contingency plan to ensure the safety of all involved. Keep in mind, game reserves usually include a free tour in the pricing. Although a setting like is like no other, it requires proper planning well in advance. You need to ensure the reserve has availability, factor in the time of year and your theme.

Hotel

If you want contemporary beauty laced in utter convenience, look on further. Hotels offer comfort, accessibility, and expert hospitality. Depending on the size of the hotel, it can suit smaller affairs or hold a larger guest list. There is no need to worry about your guests travel methods or stay. The hotel will deal with that if your guests wish to stay over. Although package prices might be slightly higher, you will be guaranteed sharp décor, excellent catering, proper seating, exceptional service and the vast availability of amenities. Parking spaces will be reserved for guests and the reception area comes is included. Hotel spaces make planning effortless as most of what you need is handled by in-house planners.

Guest House

A guest house venue is low maintenance and suits small and intimate weddings or weddings on a budget. While the theme and ambience largely depend on where the guesthouse is situated, you can personalise your theme according to your preference. For guest houses situated close to the beach, a beach styled wedding is perfect, while countryside guest houses are best for a more rustic style wedding. There are generally guest house chapels that are specifically designed for small weddings, making your intimate affair a one of a kind experience. Decor and catering are for the couple to see to since these weddings are low-key and intimate, you need not splurge on a big menu for guests. Snack platters and drinks or a light meal will do. With the option of an overnight stay, you and your partner can do a mini-honeymoon on a budget at a guest house.

Banquet hall 

If you’re wanting a blank canvas to plan the dream wedding you had in mind, a banquet hall is a place for you. The planning process would need to be done by yourselves or your wedding planner, this would include décor and catering. Banquet halls offer large, open spaces to accommodate bigger groups and have experienced staff who knows how to run your on-the-day schedule. Wedding planners particularly love banquet halls, they can customise a wedding to a client’s preference. All banquet halls have the same look and feel, allowing you to bring in different decor elements to make it unique and according to your preference. It is vital that you check ahead of time what is included in the fee, whether they have preferred vendors if there is a private space for the bridal party to get ready and how long the bar is open for.

Farm or Vintage Barn

If you’re a fun-loving, rustic vibe couple, then a farm or barn wedding will ideally suit you. A farm can be stylised, and colour schemed to your liking. Including things that are natural to a farm or barn such as hay, hessian and barrels will make for a relaxed and rustic atmosphere. However, much like the banquet hall, you have to do most of the planning yourself. From décor and catering to parking spaces and walking entrances; all the pitfalls of a farm must be taken into consideration. Ensure ahead of time that no farm animals be in the vicinity of the wedding ceremony itself. Farms and barns are relaxed spaces that allow you to play around with different themes. Since all planning is on you or your wedding planner, it can become pricey as you’d have to fork out rental fees too. While hotels and vineyards offer bathroom space, farms and barns may not offer what we’re used to. You may only have portable toilets available. Additionally, scenic spaces for beautiful pictures may not be close to the barn or farm, and you may be required to walk to the right spots to get beautiful pictures. All-in-all, we reckon there’s nothing to not love about this venue type. You can go both elegant and casual with a farm or barn wedding.

Garden Spaces

Outdoor garden space is a wonderfully picturesque place for a wedding ceremony.  Surrounded by blooming flowers, lush greenery and golden sunset, who needs additional decor? Garden spaces are great for wedding pictures as there are ample natural light and natural beauty. You need not stress, most of the prep work is done for you, allowing you to relax and focus on your gown and all the trimmings to look picture perfect on your big day. With in-house planners; décor, catering, food, parking spaces, and toilets are all taken care of by the venue. One risk does include unpredictable wet weather. The general space is well maintained by the staff. Additional décor and catering are allowed at an additional price above the provided. With shaded outdoor seating and relaxed indoor areas, garden spaces offer a wonderfully relaxed environment for both the ceremony and the reception. The risk you run with garden weddings is unpredictable and unfavourable weather conditions. This may require a contingency plan ahead of time, but otherwise, we love the big open space,
perfect for large crowds has to offer.

Beach Villa

Idealistically appealing, small, private and relaxed, beach villas excel when hosting intimate and romantic wedding ceremonies. Hosting a beach wedding in this venue makes perfect sense – minimal décor is required, and there is an indoor and outdoor area. Beach Villas have great backdrops for pictures. A view of the mountain falling behind a deep red-amber sunset with close family and friends is potentially breath-taking. Due to location, there is a risk of wet weather. Consequently, the couple and wedding planner would need to prepare the indoor venue available if weather conditions prove unfavourable.

Country Club (Golf Course)

A country club can cater for wedding ceremonies, large and small. You are guaranteed impeccable greenery, open spaces, and scenic pictures. Although a country club is a large open space, it is both private and exclusive. Themes ranging from rustic to modern and chic are available. However, different country clubs do work uniquely. Before selecting the perfect venue, be sure to do your research by way of decor options, guest list size, and catering. This process would be made more accessible by hiring a reputable wedding planner.

Restaurant

Restaurants would usually be associated with a unique dining experience. By the same token, the right restaurant could also double up as a great wedding venue. Catering will be included in the payment package, there will be well-serviced staff, and you will receive an incredible culinary experience. Such venues are also very relaxed and have a sense of intimacy – perfect for groups, large and small. Having your wedding in a restaurant will compromise the potential to take great pictures that ought to last a lifetime. Bad lighting and no scenic views for the background make it difficult. If you are interested in having your wedding in this venue, be sure to check the allotted time the restaurant will be available to
you.

Loft/Modern Space (rooftop spaces/bars)

Want to be on cloud nine? Say your vows among the clouds in the sky. Move away from what is considered normal and get married on the rooftop of a building. Although space is limited, the perfect day could make the venue all worth it. The city skyline forms as your background and decor options have no limit. As great as all of this sounds, weather can be a drawback. Strong winds or rain have the potential of ruining your perfect day. It is a great venue with the right climate. Have a plan B or a rescheduling plan in place. Rooftop spaces cater best for small and intimate occasions. Your decor options are limitless, and you don’t have to worry about abiding by strict noise limitations. This venue also allows you to capture picture-perfect aerial views of your wedding.

Industrial chic/luxe

If you are tired of the frills and frolics of an ‘elegant’ wedding venue, go organic. A naked architectural structure with a significant amount of open space, filled with a natural feel. With this degree of exposure, you can design your vision around it. If you like a thick, rich boho-styled dress, one with movement and texture, this type of naturalistic venue will offer an incredible depth of contrast and colour. Although packages can be pricey, if you desire something without too much fuss or hassle, industrial-chic might be the go-to theme.

Private Estate

Similar to a safari-style wedding venue, a private estate venue is generally used over a weekend with guests staying in the surrounding accommodations offered. Catering is included, with the option of a getaway, allowing you to enjoy a mini-break with your partner and guests. Suited for small, intimate and private affairs, estates are your perfect for a weekend of bonding. A private estate doffers open fields and beautiful backgrounds for memorable and scenic images. If you’re within the mountain range, you can have picture-perfect pictures of blue skies with balls of cotton clouds hovering over the mountain. Estates close to the beach are great for casual and fun pictures. Waves and rock formations make ideal props for the most beautiful images. Private estates offer flexibility in terms of wedding themes. You can go with modern chic, elegant and even a bohemian themed wedding. The decor is generally not included, and you would require an external company or your wedding planner to arrange the necessary decor for your day. Package prices may vary depending on where the estate is situated, whether you’re having your wedding in or out of season and the number of guests attending. While these estates offer accommodation, guests who aren’t staying over are generally welcome to attend both the ceremony and reception on the day.

Yacht

While a yacht is not popular as a location-based wedding venue, these weddings seem to be more common than we think. Ideal for small and intimate ceremonies, having your wedding ceremony on a yacht can be tricky. Although the backdrop of the sea is appealing, a lot has to be considered. You need to find out if your guests suffer from motion sickness and what options you can offer to them, how many people can fit onto the yacht and how everything will be done in a relatively small surface area. Guests might get bored and want to leave, it is therefore important to decide if the entire event will take place on the yacht or whether you’ll only have part of it on the yacht. As appealing as it may sound to recreate the infamous Titanic scene with Kate and Leo, image options are limited. For a unique, special and romantic day, a yacht wedding will be a memorable experience.

Pop-Up Wedding Venue

A pop-up wedding is a concept still relatively new in South Africa. After paying for a package, everything is done for you. The entire process is planned by a team of experts for a more intimate style wedding. A professional photographer, make-up artist, venue, a cake and drinks (with food being optional), is all made available to you. A pop-up wedding is usually 2 hours long and does come with a legal officiant to bind the marriage legally. If you want an ea pop-up wedding might best suit you.

Court (Department of Home Affairs)

If you aren’t concerned by the hustle and bustle of weddings and dresses and don’t wish to spend a fortune, you can simply go to the Department of Home Affairs, to say ‘I do’. The money intended for a big wedding can be used to contribute to your honeymoon or go into life savings. All you need is yourself, your partner and two witnesses when vows are taken. The witnesses are required to bring their official documentation (ID, or passports for foreign nationals), divorce orders (if necessary), death certificate (if necessary). Say your vows and journey off on your happily ever after. While the court is not meant for a fancy affair, the bride is allowed to wear a white dress. The wedding process at court is quick, easy and inexpensive.

Whichever wedding venue you choose, be sure to ask the relevant questions and take a book and pen along to make notes. For more on what to ask, check out the “wedding venue questions checklist” blog post. Now that you’ve had a look at a few venue options greenlights ahead, and let’s get married.