If you’re reading this page, chances are you have recently gotten engaged. So CONGRATULATIONS, and welcome to wheresmywedding.co.za. We’ve created this website to help you and your fiancé find your perfect wedding venue.
Nicola is a wedding planner and has years of experience helping couples find the perfect setting for their big day. In her experience, she has found that choosing your wedding venue is probably the most important decision you will need to make when planning your wedding and is often something couples struggle with.
Where’s My Wedding is a website that allows you to narrow down your search for a wedding venue, using filters that will help you find your dream setting. We have identified the 6 key questions you will need to consider when you are deciding on your venue.
1. Where do you want to get married?
Seems obvious, we know. But there’s a lot to consider. You need to think about the location of your wedding venue. Whether you want to married on a beach, maybe in the winelands or a game farm. Perhaps a hotel in the city where people don’t need to travel that far. Something you should consider is how far are you prepared to travel.
2. What kind or style of wedding would you like?
Think of the ambience you would like to create. An elegant black tie event with men in tuxes and woman in floor length gowns? Maybe you’d prefer something more rustic and laid back, a brunch with close family and friends perhaps? Whatever you choose, remember that this is your day, it’s all about you and your fiancé.
The kind of wedding you choose will likely also dictate the time of year you get married. Most couples tend to get married in the summer months but winter weddings are becoming more and more popular. Think massive fires and hearty food…and often, reduced prices.
There are tons of resources to help you decide what you want. When Nicola first meets with clients, she creates a mood board with them to get a better feel for what they like. So we invite you to explore ‘Where’s my Wedding’. This is precisely why we have made the website so image heavy. So you can visually gain inspiration and see how a venue can be transformed into a spectacular space.
3. What is your budget and is it flexible?
We realise money is often a sticky subject but the amount you want to spend on your wedding is something you really need to establish from the start. Is there flexibility in this amount or do you have a set amount that you need to stick to? The costs involved in a wedding can escalate very quickly, but if you’re clear about your budget from the beginning, every decision will be that much easier.
4. How many guests do you think you’ll have?
Many of you would like to invite everyone you know to share in your special day, but the reality of it is that your guests will influence your budget. We encourage both of you to sit and write a list of family and friends you would like to invite. A guesstimate is fine for now, but it will dictate your venue. For example, you don’t want a venue that can hold 300 people if you’re only expecting 50 - you’d want a smaller more intimate venue that holds your wedding party with an ambience and warmth.
5. Will your reception be at the same venue as your ceremony?
Most couples have their reception at the same venue as their ceremony, simply in a different area. But this might not be the case for you. Perhaps there is a special place, maybe a place of worship, you would like to include in your day that is in a different location to your reception venue. Here you would need to consider travel distance between the 2 venues. We have designed our search page to include an interactive map, which allows you to search for venues nearby.
You should also consider whether you would prefer your ceremony indoors or outdoors? Perhaps you would like the ceremony to be in a wedding chapel. Many venues these days have their own chapel on site.
6. Do you require accommodation on site?
If the venue is far from where you or most of your guests are travelling from, you will require accommodation. Does the wedding venue offer enough accommodation for you and your guests, either on site or within a reasonable travelling distance? A growing trend we are seeing is weekend weddings, especially if friends and family have travelled from afar to be with you. If this is the case, you could then have a relaxed gathering the night before the big day or a late brunch the following day where everyone can share stories from the previous night’s festivities
Once you have an idea about these 6 questions, you’re ready to start your search. Using our filtered search, you will be able to narrow down the wedding venues that suit you and your fiancé’s unique requirements. Once you’ve narrowed down your search, go and visit the shortlisted venues to get a feel for the flow of the space. Look at the prospective pre-drinks area, the ceremony area and of course, the reception area. If these areas are outdoors, is there a plan B for weather?
If there is a wedding coordinator on site, it is important that you feel a good connection with them. You’re going to be dealing with them a lot, so it’s important that they are helpful and accommodating.
To help with your venue visits, download our venue questionnaire, it includes all the questions you will need to ask when visiting your shortlisted venues. For example, what time do you have the venue until? Are you allowed to bring in your own wine? Is there an in-house chef? And the most important question, what is included in the venue hire?
It is important to be aware of what is included in the venue hire, as this is where unforeseen costs can quickly escalate. To help you with this, we have provided you with a costing estimator that you can apply to each venue. The costing estimator is designed to give you an estimate of what items will cost to bring in, should the venue not provide it or you do not like the item the venue provides. It is an Excel document that allows you to input items you require and it will calculate the total cost you are likely to incur. Our costing estimator provides an average current industry price for these items. It also exists to give you an idea of the basic items you might need to consider when planning your wedding…knifes and forks are probably the last thing on your mind.
Equipped with all this information, you will now be able to choose the wedding venue that is right for you and your fiancé. Once you’ve made your decision- and this is going to seem painfully obvious-but book your venue, sign a contract and pay the deposit. If you’re torn between venues, the best advice we can give you is this: Think about how you felt when you first walked in, because that’s how your guests will feel. If the venue feels right, it probably is.
And just like that, you’re half way to planning your big day. Let the search begin!