If you are planning your wedding, you already know that choosing the right venue is a biggie as it provides the backdrop to one of the most important chapters of your love story: The Wedding Day! Read our suggestions and we will get you on the right path to finding the perfect venue.

Get a good handle on your budget and the number of guests you anticipate hosting before you start exploring options that aren’t suitable. Make sure you understand exactly what is included in the venue hire fee and the cost per person. Some venues will quote a rate to hire the reception hall and charge per head for catering, while others may give an all-inclusive cost per person, incorporating the venue, catering and various services. Generally, the venue hire includes the use of tables, chairs, basic linen, cutlery and crockery but in some instances these will need to be hired separately. Some venues may even include the use of specialised chairs and a limited selection of décor. Don’t be shy to find out these details up front, as it will avoid unnecessary disappointment when extras are added after you have paid a deposit. And remember you can still find a beautiful venue on a budget!

An important aspect to keep in mind is the inclusion of a chapel.  Most venues have a chapel nearby, but if this is not on the property, it may result in additional costs. If the venue does not have a chapel, you could erect a marquee or stretch tent on the property but you will need to check with the venue if they will permit this. The setting might be ideal for a garden or outdoor ceremony but remember that you cannot control the weather and you’ll need to have an alternate option.

Your venue should suit your personalities and complement the style of wedding you want to create, whether informal, natural, location for your wedding, remember that your are bringing your friends and family together in one place to celebrate with you, so consider the practicalities of the venue versus making a statement just to be unique. If your reception is more than an hour away and guests cannot easily return home, determine whether there is enough accommodation on the premises, or close by. If you are
planning a destination wedding, factor in proximity to airports, ease of road travel, ample accommodation and an entertainment programme for the rest of the week-end.

The level of service you receive when being  shown around a venue is usually indicative of what to expect on the day. Most venues will have staff on hand to show you around and answer questions but it’s always recommended to make an appointment for a site visit.

Once you have booked your wedding with them, most venues are happy for  you to make follow-up appointments throughout your planning to show your venue to key family members or friends, to discuss the details of your day or to meet with additional service providers on-site. And whilst it is a good idea to visit your venue a few times ahead of your big day, keep in mind that venues are often busy with other functions and will appreciate you being respectful of their time as well as their other brides.

The selected venues within our portfolio have been divided into five areas in KZN. We have provided a map of each area to help with your planning and a summary table of all the venues at the end of this section listing venue hire fees, maximum number of guests,
whether the venue has a chapel or permits outside catering etc. If you don’t know where to start, join us on a Marriage Meander Journey when we visit a selection of our stunning venues and introduce you to some of our talented and trusted service providers who will give you tips and ideas to help with all aspects of your planning.  Check out the beautiful KZN wedding venues within the Marriage Meander collection here.

We wish you heaps of fun as you set out to find your dream venue!

Jacqui Cochran

Marriage Meander