Wedding Planning 101

The Venue


My brother recently got engaged to my best friend from primary school, and what a joy it has been! I’ve been intimately part of every step of the wedding planning process up to now and have realized how incredibly difficult it is to plan a wedding that fits your budget. The moment that you mention the word ‘wedding,’ all the rates double immediately!

So I’ve decided to walk this wedding planning path with all of you. It’s always easier if you have a friend at your side who gives you honest feedback and help. Let’s make it a often coffee (or wine!) date, were I’ll be giving you tips about the what, where and when of wedding planning. And I’ll also give you the necessary questions that you need to ask before you book any suppliers.


Let’s start at the beginning. The perfect wedding venue?

(They say it is even harder to find the perfect wedding venue than to find the perfect spouse!)
There are a few important aspects to keep in mind when you book your venue.
Here are the questions you should ask your wedding venue manager before you sign anything or pay the deposit:

1. Most important – do they have your wedding date available?
2. How many guests can the venue accommodate?
3. Do they have a church or chapel on the premises where you will be able to host your ceremony?
4. Do they have a acceptable lawn or veranda that you can use for pre-drinks?
5. What’s the weather usually like in your wedding month?
6. Does the venue fee include tables, chairs, cutlery, crockery and glassware?
7. Do they offer any other hiring items?
8. Does the venue have sufficient light, or will you need to arrange extra fairy lights/bulbs/candles?
9. Do they have onsite caterers and DJ’s?
Or are you allowed to bring in any service providers of your choice for catering, music, flowers, and décor?
10. Do they have on-site caterers and what menus do they offer?
11. When will you be allowed to enter the venue for setting up?
12. Do they offer waitering services? What will the extra cost be?
13. Do they offer a bar service and will this be card/cash or can you do a bar tab?
14. Can you bring in your own wine and Champagne, and what is the corkage amount per 750ml bottle?
15. Do they have a cut-off time for the music or any other sound restrictions?
16. Do they have a venue cut-off time and what will the extra cost be per hour after that?
17. Do they have accommodation on site and will the bridal suite be included in the venue fee?
18. Who will be responsible for the cleaning of the venue before and after the wedding?
19. What restroom facilities do they have for wedding guests?
20. Are you allowed to use any confetti or must it be organic?
21. Do they have any setup restrictions? Are you allowed to hang things from the ceiling?
22. Do they have a proper dance floor or will you need to set up a dance floor?
23. Will you be able to take your photographs on the premises or will you need to drive somewhere else?
24. What will the breakage deposit be? And the deposit to secure the venue? How long before the wedding do you need to make the final payments?

When choosing my perfect wedding venue, do I need an on-the-day wedding coordinator? Click here and read the related article to find out.


It’s a very good idea to do use ncweddings.co.za as a search medium for venues in the Northern Cape area and then contact the venues to get their wedding packages. Thereafter you will be able to make a shortlist of three venues that suite your taste and budget. Book venue visits at these three and make sure you ask all of the questions mentioned above to the venue managers. And keep in mind that there are endless possibilities…think pop-up weddings in the Kalahari, or even a wedding at a camping site on the banks of the Orange River!

It’s your perfect day and if you start the planning in time and be well equipped, you will be able to pull off an amazing wedding in any setting. Good luck with this very important first step!

Till next time xxx

Marli Nel
Wedding Coordinator
& Bloggist

Young, with a taste for life!
Her heart urging to tell new stories and her being to touch more lives.

A free spirit adventurer and totally in love with the idea of love…

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