South Africa’s enviable climate, stunning natural landscape and generally breath-taking scenery have positioned it as a leading destination, worldwide, for outdoor and garden weddings. There is something truly magical when witnessing the union of two individuals in resplendent natural surroundings. If you’re planning a wedding and are considering South Africa as an option, here are some of the top outdoor and garden wedding venues available.
Best outdoor and garden wedding venues
1. Summer Place
If you’re wanting a garden wedding but don’t want to veer too far away from the city comforts, then Summer Place, in Johannesburg’s exclusive Hyde Park suburb, is a really stunning outdoor and garden wedding venue. There is a seamless flow from the stylish buildings moving onto the landscaped gardens, with the soothing sound of splashing water from various water features adding a melodic background noise. Hosting up to 350 people per wedding, Summer Place is an exquisite garden venue with Joburg’s notoriously inviting climate making it an attractive option.
2. The Conservatory
Located in the green Franschhoek Valley, The Conservatory outdoor wedding venue offers guests a countryside feel with some of the country’s best wines readily available. As far as outdoor weddings go, The Conservatory can put on one of the best shows. You can have an outdoor wedding ceremony beneath age-old trees with the glass conservatory bringing the feeling of the outdoors right inside – while ensuring no weather-related delays. This outdoor wedding venue can cater for up to 120 guests.
Read more: Summer wedding trends
3. The Nutcracker Country Venue
Within the heart of the Vredefort Dome (the site of the largest verified impact crater worldwide) sits a natural haven – The Nutcracker. A short one-and-a-half-hour drive from Johannesburg and just 15 kilometres from Parys, the rustic, country feel of this outdoor wedding venue will make you feel as though you’re a million miles away. If you’re seeking a genuine, rustic, outdoor wedding – reception and ceremony as well – then The Nutcracker is ideal. Hosting up to 160 guests, this wedding venue specialises in weekend-long events, extending the experience and fun.
Read more: 5 of the best rustic wedding venues
4. Shalwyn Venue & Conference Centre
The vast open spaces and sweeping views of the African savannah make Shalwyn the ultimate outdoor wedding venue. Located 45 minutes from Durban in Tala Valley, Shalwyn is an elegantly rustic site using natural resources to merge with the surrounds. Guests are encouraged to enjoy a drink on the sprawling desk while watching a magnificent African sunset, and there is seating for more than 300 guests.
5. Valverde Eco Hotel
When it comes to outdoor and garden wedding venues, then Valverde certainly makes the cut. Amplifying the natural beauty of the Elandsdrift Valley in the Muldersdrift area, Valverde boasts two unique wedding venues catering for garden weddings or picnic weddings. Both wedding venues offer exquisite views with the property’s gardens – adorned with colourful flowers and water fountains – making for some quality photo backdrops.
6. Palmiet Valley Estate
This Paarl-based outdoor and garden wedding venue is shaded by an abundance of tall trees with the backdrop of mountains and vineyards creating a serene space for nuptials. Located within the Klein Drakenstein region, this glorious garden venue caters for anything from two to 100 guests.
7. Braeside Weddings & Functions
Based on the Dolphin Coast, Braeside is centred on ‘closeness to nature’, made evident from the moment you enter the venue which is lined with spectacular columns of 100-year-old Norfolk Pines. Teeming with birdlife and delicately illuminated by fairy lights at night, Braeside is the ultimate outdoor wedding dream. There is a beautiful garden gazebo for the outdoor wedding ceremony, with the reception hall – hosting up to 300 guests – bringing in the garden through expansive windows.
8. Shepstone Gardens
Within Johannesburg’s Mountain View region is the enchanted Shepstone Gardens which fuses timeless elegance and natural splendour in one garden wedding venue. The main house is constructed from local quartz – believed to be 350 million years old – and the open-air glass marquee allows for an intimate garden wedding ceremony for some 200 guests.
9. Granny Mouse Country House & Spa
As quaint as the name itself, this Midlands-based garden wedding venue overlooks the exquisite Caversham Valley with up to 150 guests enjoying panoramic views from the chapel and reception venue. Located just an-hour-and-a-half from Durban, Granny Mouse is a truly romantic, farm-style, outdoor wedding venue that brings the natural beauty into every aspect of design.
10. Mountain Shadows Guest House
Based in a picturesque olive and wine estate within Paarl, Mountain Shadows allows for garden weddings under the French gazebo or beneath the shade of oak trees with views of the mountains.
There is an outdoor Bedouin marquee surrounded on green lawns overlooking the golf course and vineyards. An exquisite garden wedding venue for up to 100 guests.