From the tropical east coast to the crisp west coast and every mountain, river and nature reserve in between, South Africa is a truly breath-taking country. This rich natural beauty lends itself to some of the most scenic and unique wedding venues and it can be overwhelming deciding where to tie the knot.
Unique Wedding Venues
Once you’ve decided between bush, beach, mountain, country, city or winelands’ unique wedding venues you can whittle it down to exactly where the Big Day will take place. And to offer some guidance, below are 10 of South Africa’s insanely cool and unique wedding venues.
Mountain Wedding Venues
1. Table Mountain
Why settle for wedding photos that feature one of the world’s seven natural wonders as a mere backdrop when you can have photos taken from atop the iconic mountain? Many people don’t realise that there are six unique wedding venues situated on the flat-top mountain, each with its own stunning view of the city. Of course, the weather can be quite a tricky element to overcome and the logistics of getting all your guests to the venue can prove difficult but more than 80 couples have managed it in the past three years so it is a viable option.
2. Cathedral Peak, Drakensberg
If mountainous landscape echoes within your romantic soul, then the impressive Drakensberg range is one of the country’s best offerings for unique wedding venues. Set against the awe-inspiring backdrop of the Cathedral Peak mountain range, the Cathedral Peak Hotel exudes a gracious elegance that offers couples a personalised experience. The beautiful gardens and charming stone-and-thatch chapel overlooking the mountains is the perfect setting for a wedding with a resident helicopter offering unique wedding shots.
Read more: 5 of the most unique wedding venues
Beach Wedding Venues
3. Birkenhead House, Hermanus
Sitting somewhere between a mountain and beach wedding venue, Birkenhead House overlooks Walker Bay, home to Hermanus’ biggest attraction, the Southern Right Whales. To take full advantage of this annual visitation, weddings need to be planned for between May and December when a sighting of these amazing creatures is most likely from the comfort of the beautiful and unique wedding venue. A simple and informal setup atop a cliff, Birkenhead House offers fantastic cuisine in a stunning ocean view setting.
4. The Oyster Box Hotel, uMhlanga
Synonymous with uMhlanga’s upmarket lifestyle and renowned for its celebrity guests – among them Prince Harry, Sean Penn and homegrown Charlize Theron – The Oyster Box Hotel combines high-end city comforts with laidback coastal vibes and is at the top of the list for unique wedding venues. A dedicated wedding co-ordinator and banqueting team assist with every wedding detail and venues range from the elegant Pearl Room to the secluded Victorian gazebo in the tropical gardens.
Winelands Wedding Venues
5. Lourensford Wine Estate
From Franschhoek and Stellenbosch to Paarl and Constantia, the Western Cape has hundreds of spectacular unique wedding venues situated within the scenic winelands. One that certainly stands out is the Lourensford Wine Estate which offers couples tailor-made packages, superb cuisine and outstanding wine all within a magnificent venue.
Country Weekend Wedding Venues
6. The Nutcracker Country Wedding Venue
Inspirational and totally unique, the Nutcracker country wedding venue situated just outside the town of Parys, 90 minutes drive from Johannesburg, makes for a completely memorable occasion. Nestled in Schurwedraai within the valley on a river bend, the scenery boasts the unspoilt beauty of natural landscapes. The owners go out of their way to ensure every couple has their desired wedding which includes exclusive use of the wedding venue for an entire weekend. If you are thinking old farmhouse, working farm or unspoilt country wedding venue then The Nutcracker Country Wedding Venue is for you. This unique wedding venue has a beautiful vintage feel to it and the riverside wedding ceremony area is spectacular. Guests will love the wedding reception hall with its antique chairs and tables and exposed beams. This venue is a truly unique wedding venue.
Bush Wedding Venues
7. Phinda Private Game Reserve
Featuring seven distinct habitats and forming the link within the greater St Lucia Wetland Park in KwaZulu-Natal, Phinda is the perfect location for an untamed wedding. Guests will enjoy a river cruise boat and fantastic sundowners in one of the most stunning African settings where wildlife sightings add another dimension to the experience, this is one of the truly African and unique wedding venues in South Africa.
8. Moholoholo Ya Mati
Fusing the mystique of the mountain setting with the African essence of the game reserve, Moholoholo Ya Mati is an iconic wedding venue. Located within the mouth of the world’s third largest canyon – Blyde River Canyon – Ya Mati is surrounded by the Drakensberg Mountains within the Lowveld of the Limpopo Province. This unique wedding venues rock and thatch chalets, chapel and restaurant are an architectural delight within the exotic oasis of acacia trees, wildlife and crisp water.
City Wedding Venues
9. Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa
Combining the mountainous beauty of the Western Cape with ocean views and city luxuries, Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa is a five-star location for the ultimate unique wedding venue. The site offers endless photo opportunities and the dedicated wedding co-ordinator will ensure every aspect of the special day is suited to the bride and groom’s wishes.
10. Rovos Rail, Pretoria
Forever connected with romantic ideals of past adventures and future travels, a railway wedding is definitely a unique experience. The restored Rovos Rail Station is the perfect unique wedding venue with couples exchanging vows on an elegant platform against the backdrop of a 1920s steam engine. The reception takes place within the awaiting train which promises classy, old-world glamour with quality cuisine and staff.
So there you have it, the 10 most unique wedding venues in South Africa. Now all you have to do is choose a date.