Your wedding day finally has a date! Your dream was always a summer wedding in a garden with the colours of the rainbow but you may consider autumn or winter as venues tend to be less expensive. Do you want your reception to be where your ceremony takes place or at a different location? An important factor in choosing the right venue, besides your wedding, is that you want all your guests to have the best weekend they’ve had in many years!
For family and friends flying in from London, Gauteng and Cape Town, you’re arranging cheap air flights with either ‘FlySafair’, ‘Mango’ or ‘Kulula’ including cheap car rental vehicles with ‘First Car Hire’ ‘Avis’ or ‘Tempest’. A number of guests will be staying on to visit family and old friends so they’ll want their own rental vehicle but you’ll also need to hire a mini-bus or kombi for family that will be arriving and leaving together.
The ‘Rain Farm Game and Lodge
The ‘Rain Farm Game and Lodge’ is definitely you from images you’re looking at and its only 15 minutes from Ballito. You already see yourself arriving in a horse-drawn carriage, walking down the aisle of the stone chapel with a thatch roof, having your photographs taken on the lake with a backdrop of green trees and wild life. Your first dance as a married couple could be in the boma overlooking rock pool with the stars glistening above and a full moon! Yes you had to shuffle the date to accommodate the moon! At the ‘Rain Farm Game and Lodge’ you can have your ceremony, your reception and spend your honeymoon weekend in the honeymoon suite with its own Jacuzzi and fireplace. The ‘Rain Farm Game and Lodge’ accommodates 60 people and has everything available for the perfect wedding.
Still in Ballito, for those not planning on staying over, another choice is ‘Collisheen Estate’ with its arresting chapel and beautiful outdoor setting. Accommodation is available for 8 guests.
Nestled in the heart of the Natal midlands in the ‘uKhahlamba Drakensberg Mountain’ range and immersed in history is ‘Lythwood Lodge’ situated on a 275 acre estate that offers Victorian High Teas, trout fishing and croquet on the lawns besides walks through an indigenous forest. Built in the mid-1940s by capable Italian prisoners of war from the camps in Pietermaritzburg, the estate has developed with hotel accommodation including six tranquil self-catering cottages. Worth noting is that ‘Lythwood Lodge’ won the ‘Best Hotel Reception in the Coastal Region’, took silver for ‘Coastal Boutique Hotel’ by ABIA and had ‘Lilizela Tourism Awards’ voting ‘Lythwood Lodge’ a finalist for ‘Service Excellence’.
‘Eden Lassie’ is yet another stunning venue with a chapel, magnificent garden and small lake where guests can relax on the veranda with pre-dinner drinks overlooking the beauty of Tala Valley and only a 40-minute drive from Durban. ‘Eden Lassie’ offers an excellent choice of menus confirmed by numerous testimonials of more than extremely happy and satisfied couples whose special days went off perfectly.
The iNsingizi Game Lodge and Spa
The ‘iNsingizi Game Lodge and Spa’ is within a 400 hectare private estate amidst the craggy hills of Mid Illovo (between Durban and Pietermaritzburg) in a secluded valley with breathtaking views and wild game. Specialising in intimate, personal weddings with your ceremony in a thatched chapel with a tree that grows through the roof, you really love that and appreciate the fact that because the tree was full of nests, they didn’t cut it down when building the chapel. Definitely your kind of people! You also can build your own menu to suit everyone’s tastes and your budget. ‘iNsingizi Game Lodge and Spa’ has nine en-suite chalets accommodating a total of 32 guests with an option for dinner, bed and breakfast or self catering.
The images reflect a truly warm ‘African feel’ with an ambiance of nature and romance which is exactly what you’re looking for. The thought of gently rocking in a row boat on the lake at dawn, alone with your husband and the sounds of nature places ‘iNsingizi Game Lodge and Spa’ on top of your list. And in case of power surges they have a generator not to mention a Spa for pre wedding jitters!
Five minutes from Hillcrest in Botha’s Hill is ‘Talloula Celebrations’ where your ceremony would take place in The Garden Conservatory and your function organised to the last finest detail. Your menu is overseen by Chef Bheki Wilson Msomi who trained at the ‘Chantecler School of Food and Wine’. The ‘Talloula Suites’ accommodate two people on a bed only basis with breakfast being served in their ‘Treat Cafe’ and dinner arranged in advance.
The ‘Ubizane Wildlife Reserve
The ‘Ubizane Wildlife Reserve’ in Hluhluwe has everything you could possibly want from being close to nature, accommodation with choices of room only (self-catering), bed and breakfast or half board. Units have thatched roofs, patios, air-conditioners, mosquito nets and en-suite bathrooms. The ‘Tree Lodge Rooms’ are on stilts and hidden in the Fever Tree forest with captivating views from your own private deck allowing you perfect seclusion. You can walk down the aisle at the ‘Bush Deck’, a private deck deeply hidden in the Ubizane bush, surrounded with flourishing plants, trees and tranquillity with only the sounds of nature to be heard. Guests are transported in open Land Rover vehicles ensuring no vehicles have access.
The ‘Ubizane Wildlife Reserve’ offers a choice of six reception venues. Yours can be held in either one of ‘The Boma’s’ under an African star-lit sky with a bonfire pit in the middle and candles creating an enchanting ambience or celebrate with a scrumptious ‘Bush Dinner’ at the ‘Fever Tree Forest’ venue with night time sounds of owls hooting and Bush Babies calling in nothing less than a magical atmosphere. You take note that last year was the 20th visit by a distinguished Norwegian professor to The ‘Ubizane Wildlife Reserve’, now that surely says something!
The advantage of getting cheap car hire vehicles will give your guests the freedom to explore the surrounding areas should they wish to do so.