More and more brides and grooms are choosing to share their vows not in the confines of a building, but rather outside, with nature itself as their backdrop. Beside a river, in a garden, between mountains, or under a forest canopy, wedding venue trends in 2019 still advocate for natural scenery. So if you’re thinking of enjoying the most special day of your life at an outdoor location, Christine Hogg has done the research and found the most stunning garden, forest and outdoor wedding venues in or near Gauteng.
Reminiscent of an enchanted garden straight from a fairytale, Shepstone Gardens is teeming with greenery and hints of the 20th century. Located in the heart of Mountain View, Jozi-based brides won’t need to travel far to experience a wedding of dreamy proportions. The main house is part of a unique time in Johannesburg’s heritage and, built from local quartz estimated to be 350 million years old, both the bridal party and guests will feel like royalty amidst their own lavish castle.
The open-air Glass Marquee allows either the ceremony or reception to be as intimately part of the garden as possible, while also sheltering everyone from the elements. And though you’re immersed in the foliage, the venue is marked with a sense of opulence: elegant chandeliers, golden accents and grand pillars simply scream luxury. Depending on the bride’s level of required support, the venue offers either a full wedding planning service or just on-the-day coordination.
Location: 10 Hope Rd, Mountain View
Services offered: Wedding coordination, in-house DJ, staff, an in-house floral and decor team as well as a list of preferred wedding suppliers including catering, photographers and more
Guest Capacity: Up to 200 pax
Known for an easy-going-but-luxurious atmosphere, Oakfield Farm is a unique country venue situated in Muldersdrift, in close proximity to both Johannesburg and Pretoria. And – surrounded by 72 acres of gardens and fields, manicured lawns, pretty floral borders, neatly cropped hedge rows and statuesque trees – there’s no shortage of options for a picturesque ceremony.
Whether inside one of the chapels or outside in the leafy gardens, the set-up can be adjusted for small to large weddings. With 27 years of experience, the team at Oakfield Farm are adept at turning wedding dreams into reality. A professional wedding coordinator is available to make sure everything runs smoothly, promising a romantic ambiance, scrumptious food and wonderful service.
Location: 204 Beyers Naude & Oakfield Farm Rd, Muldersdrift
Services offered: Wedding coordination, catering
Guest Capacity: 40 – 450 pax
VALVERDE ECO HOTEL
The natural beauty of the landscape and the view over the Elandsdrift Valley serve as a perfect backdrop for weddings at Valverde Eco Hotel. With the property’s gardens, colourful flowers and fountains, every wedding is a spectacular occasion filled to the brim with natural elements and stunning photo opportunities.
Situated in the Muldersdrift area, Valverde has two unique wedding venues to select from, each with its own separate entrance gates – guaranteeing privacy for your function. Both can cater for garden ceremonies, morning weddings or picnic weddings. Selecting the King’s Hall comes with the Jasmine Chapel, which overlooks the Elandsdrift Valley and Renaissance garden. Its wrought iron features, wooden pews, red carpet and entrance arch make it an ideal haven to share your vows. While the Olive Lapa and its Vista Chapel allow for impressive views over Elandsdrift Valley. But what’s really fantastic about this spot is that they offer a money back guarantee on your booking for a month, and your guests receive preferential rates on hotel rooms.
Location: Beyers Naude Ext., Plot 5, Lammermoor
Services offered: Accommodation, catering, decor, wedding coordination
Guest Capacity: Between 20 and 250 pax
ROODEVALLEY FAIRCITY HOTEL
The Roodevalley Faircity Hotel lies on the banks of the Pienaar’s River in Pretoria, surrounded by a nature reserve and a bird sanctuary. The hotel offers a relaxed bush setting within easy reach of Johannesburg and OR Tambo International Airport, complete with thatched roofs for a true African feel.
With both indoor and outdoor venues, it provides a natural setting surrounded by perfectly landscaped gardens for memorable events. The unique Garden Chapel has a breathtaking view of the Pienaar’s River and is the perfect setting for a romantic outdoor ceremony. Sunbird venue is perfect for an indoor ceremony or in the event of rain and, with its charismatic thatched venue with large windows, looks out to the beautifully manicured gardens. Cormorant Terrace, the indoor reception venue, boasts extensive windows as well which offer spectacular views of the great outdoors. While Kingfisher Terrace, more suitable for intimate events, is the ideal semi-outdoor wedding reception venue that offers a natural and airy feel with exposed wood beams and a thatched roof, ultimately flowing out into the lush garden.
Location: 81 Kameeldrift Rd, Kameeldrift East, Pretoria
Services offered: Standard decor, staff, menu tasting prior to wedding, complimentary room for bride and groom for 2 nights, complimentary groomsmen dressing room
Guest Capacity: Up to 180 pax
EVERWOOD COUNTRY WEDDINGS
Everwood is an intimate garden venue in Muldersdrift, combining understated luxury with countryside pleasures. The ceremony can be held in the open-sided, glass-front chapel, set in lush rolling lawns under the shade of towering Jacaranda and Pine trees.
The team at Everwood Country Weddings promises “a wedding of your dreams” without breaking the bank. If you book for a Friday or Sunday in 2019, a wedding of up to 100 people can cost less than R45000. The package includes welcome drinks in the garden, followed by a three-course dinner in an elegant, fully-draped banqueting hall, chilled sparkling wine, waiters, linen, napkins, decorations, flowers and centrepieces, a cupcake tower and DJ. But most importantly, the newly weds get to spend a romantic night one of Everwood’s gorgeous bridal suites.
Location: Plot 138, Nooitgedacht, Muldersdrift
Services offered: Wedding coordination, catering
Guest Capacity: Up to 250 pax