Finding the Right Venue – Part 2

Last time I spoke to you guys about finding a venue, I left you with a horrible cliffhanger. I’m sorry. Let’s forgive and forget and dive right back in, shall we?

After what felt like months of googling venues and checking out their websites, I was starting to lose hope. However, one Sunday night after we had just got from visiting my parents, I was back to googling like a fiend, and I stumbled onto a website for a wedding venue which I had never heard of. It was called Rosemary Hill and the pictures on their website were just beautiful.

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I watched one video under their ‘weddings’ section and viewed some pictures, and I was in love. Everything looked absolutely exquisite, and I thought they would definitely be outside our budget (I use the term ‘budget’ very loosely, we had never actually sat down and had a conversation about it). Holding thumbs, however, I sent an email to them to enquire about prices and packages.

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Rosemary Hill responded the next morning while I was at work and I opened the email with trepidation… and I was so pleasantly surprised! Their prices were basically all inclusive (I hate the idea of having to hire cutlery and crockery and linens) and very much within our budget. They also attached a copy of their menu and I was salivating. I forwarded their packages to ProteaGroom for approval and then we scheduled a meeting with the venue.

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We went on a Saturday, and met up with their wedding coordinator at the time, Theresa. We had coffee together, she showed us some photos and then she took us around the property. All I can say is… WOW. This venue was exactly what we had in mind, and they were very flexible when it came to weddings. By having only one wedding per week, they made sure that they could give their undivided attention to each event and ensure that it is special and unique to each couple!

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The biggest problem was that we wanted an engagement less than a year, but the venue was already fully booked until July 2013 at that point.

We didn’t want to get married in winter, so September 2013 was our next option, but Theresa cautioned that it might not be the best time as we were looking to get married in the flower maze and by September the flowers would not have started to bloom yet. She recommended later on in the year, around October or November.1_1358

We decided to mull it over a bit before making a final decision so we went home. I was conflicted. I loved everything about the venue and I felt that it would be the perfect place to get married, but I also felt like we needed to look around a bit more (how could I possibly only have ONE viewing of a venue. I felt cheated out of the true bridal experience!)

Finally, ProteaGroom talked some sense into me. In reality, we lucked out by not having to go round and round looking at venues and finding the perfect one on our first go. We decided to go for it, and before I knew it, our wedding was booked for November 2013.

Were you indecisive when choosing a wedding venue?

** All photos found on the Rosemary Hill website! **

Finding the Right Venue – Part 1

For me, the logical first step of wedding planning was to find a venue. All those wedding websites and magazines that give you those handy dandy timelines (I’m being sarcastic here – I hate those timelines) say that the first step is picking a date and then finding a venue and other suppliers, but for me it just makes sense to pick a venue and have everything else flow from there.

So a few weeks after getting engaged, we set off to find the perfect wedding venue. We had a few non-negotiable points:

  • The venue should have facilities for the ceremony and reception. Neither ProteaGroom nor I was fond of the idea of travelling to another location after a church ceremony.
  • Either the ceremony or reception (or both!) should take place outside.
  • The venue should be within a 50km radius from where we live.

ProteaGroom suggested the perfect venue for our wedding. One of his uncles owns a beautiful farm, with stunning views and lots of open space to host a wedding. It is literally a blank canvas. The bride part of my brain started practically salivating at the idea of all the amazing decor we could implement.

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Image source (clockwise): 1 2 3 4

We started to research this idea, but soon realized that in order to execute this successfully; it would take a lot of planning, effort and money. I also realized that the stress related to planning a wedding completely from scratch would cause me to go absolutely crazy a few days before the big day. So, the idea of a DIY farm wedding was nixed fairly quickly.

We looked around at other popular venues in our area. They were beautiful, but the atmosphere and set-up was so far removed from what we were looking for, that none of them sold us.

We’ve been to many weddings held at these venues, and we were looking for something a bit more unique than the typically cookie-cutter South African wedding.

I was beginning to think we would have to settle on something that just didn’t represent us as a couple.

Did you find your dream venue easily? Do you hate cliffhangers as much as I do?