Real Life Bride #3: The Venue

The venue… Aah yes, this has to be one of the hardest parts of the whole wedding planning process! After visiting what felt like all of the hundreds of beautiful venues around the Cape Winelands, and still not finding exactly what we were looking for in our perfect wedding venue, I became quite desperate. After all, we are getting married in March, peak wedding season, and being a wedding photographer I should know better than to be leaving this vital part of the wedding so late! I began to have visions of hopping on a jet plane, just the two of us, and eloping to some far-off island getaway – something like Bora Bora would have been nice… but then our family and friends wouldn’t have been there to share in our special day. So back to the venue hunt we went!

This venue hunt went on for quite a while, and as time went by, I received a few worried emails from my close friends overseas asking just when our wedding date was. Of course, you can’t really announce your date before you have booked the venue, and with a number of guests coming from overseas they had to book their tickets, and so the list goes on!

So eventually after chatting to two of my good friends, Leigh and Kim, they suggested taking a look at a venue on the way to Paarl called Anura Vineyards. This gorgeous little gem, is quite unknown when it comes to the normal big and bold wedding venues, but as soon as we walked in we just felt it was perfect straight away!

Image source: Yvette Gilbert Photography

A few of the important factors on our list were that it had to be an intimate venue as we are having around 70 guests and didn’t want them lost in a big hall. Secondly it had to have a beautiful garden as we want a garden ceremony. Another important tick on the box was a good backup venue in case of the sometimes unpredictable Cape weather, and tick! they have a gorgeous cellar which acts as that backup!

Images top and bottom left from Bride Abroad; image bottom right from Anura on Facebook

Of course for me personally one of THE most important factors was beautiful scenery for our photographs (suprise suprise!) and the gorgeous Anura Vineyards has amazing scenery 360 degrees around the venue. It is small and intimate and has a rustic feel to it with a beautiful garden. The patio stretches along the venue with reeds overhead which we will decorate with fairy lights and white chinese lanterns, and of course have our outdoor dance floor! The trees in the garden will also be decorated with lighting and I love the fact that most of the wedding will be outdoors :) The lovely wedding co-ordinater, Kara, is also just amazing and very accommodating to my needs to have pretty things strewn about! And with around a 35 minute drive from our home and where most of our friends live it isn’t too far away, and there are plenty of options for friends and family to stay overnight.

Image source: Jani B Photography

So after all the blood, sweat and tears we have our perfect venue and now the wedding planning commences at last!

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