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  • Lisa Martus


Updated: Sep 22, 2023

Summer is such a wonderful time of year to get married with glorious sunshiny days, wild flowers galore and beautiful surroundings to say ‘I do’. Seasonal details like these are sure to make a splash at your summer celebration and you can make your wedding unique by bringing the local flavours from the area into your menu choice, cake and decorations. Weddings are a celebration of family and friends, not just the bride and groom, so an outdoor wedding also provides the opportunity to mix and mingle, escaping some of the formality which can sometimes dampen down the joie de vivre.

Magoebaskloof is the perfect place to find a wedding spot which suits your personal style from the smaller, more intimate spaces to the garden, lakeside, forest and farm venues in the area. The scenic views are a given, but you will know when you have found ‘the one’ when everything just seems right from place, menu and decor style to the owners and staff.

Monte Christo Wedding Venue, tucked into the mountains of Magoebaskloof, has the ideal backdrop for summertime nuptials in a stunning setting. There is nothing quite like a lakeside location for creating a moody and memorable atmosphere, with the clear water creating a natural mirror of the bride and groom surrounded by pine forests into infinity. The well-established gardens come alive with cherry blossoms and azaleas in Spring but are lovely throughout the year and a wooden jetty creates a perfect spot for romantic photos of the newly-married couple. Originally the Pirie family home, the building was refurbished, after a house-fire, into a warm and rustic farm-style wedding venue accommodating up to 120 guests. Event-organiser, Chantelle Wilson says, ‘at Monte Christo, we pride ourselves on creating memorable experiences. We go the extra mile to make sure that every bridal couple has their perfect day, as they say their vows in the misty mountains of Magoebaskloof.’

Monte Christo Wedding Venue is situated on the Pirie family farm, 14 km from Haenertsburg accessed by a dirt road. Accommodation is available at the Mountain Fly Fishing Log cabins on site or in the area. It’s a family business so Colleen Pirie can offer you excellent, bespoke catering services and Chantelle will help you plan a wedding which is just perfect for you. Call 071 487 7654

Liz Krige, the Wedding Coordinator at Mina’s Farm Venue says, ‘there is something truly magical about the mountains of Magoebaskloof and each season has its own unique beauty. Summer brings the surroundings to life with cicadas buzzing in the trees, bumble bees searching for blooms and light breezes that whisper through the trees.’ So it makes perfect sense to bring the natural beauty around you into your wedding decor with seasonal wildflowers picked from the farm and surrounds to give you a unique bridal bouquet and floral table settings. White chairs , tableware and long taper candles mix beautifully with the wooden tables and woven placemats for a warm and romantic feel.

Having the opportunity to celebrate a beautiful wedding day with loved ones, surrounded by all the sounds and smells of summer, is a truly special experience. After a ceremony in the heart of the forest under pine trees softened by dappled sunlight, guests are welcomed at Mina's Farm Venue by an array of delicious, light and fresh summer snacks and an outdoor bar serving Zwakala Lager or Gin & Tonic on tap to put a summery spin on the big day.

As the light shifts, guests make their way down to the lush green reception area to take their seats under towering trees filled with fairy lights, looking out into a mystical valley of green. When the sun sets behind the mountains, the golden hour is carried into the sparkling fairy lights, bonfires and twinkling stars.

Mina’s Farm Venue is at the heart of the Zwakala River Retreat which offers rustic accommodation in four unique venues, as well as the charming log cabins linked to the River Spa on the property and two private campsites. Catering can be organised with Mina's chef and Wildflower packages are available. Also on site, Zwakala Brewery is great for bachelor’s festivities while the bridal party can be thoroughly pampered at the River Spa @ Zwakala. Call 060 331 2681 /

Just up the road is another fabulous wedding venue tucked into the spectacular Cheerio Gardens, renowned for the beautiful blooms in Spring. The spacious, stylish, glass-walled room with wooden rafters opens up completely onto a patio spilling into the lush green space outside. It is no surprise that Cheerio Gardens is one of the top wedding venues in the country, sought after not only for the picturesque open-walled chapel nestled in amongst the foliage, the superb catering, elegant decor and floral creations, it is about the team, headed up by owner, Sarah Hilary, who pulls out all the stops to make sure it is the wedding of your dreams.

The famous gardens, a passion project of Sheila ‘Box’ Thompson, Sarah’s great-aunt, create the perfect backdrop for a joyful summer celebration where the whole world seems beautiful and full of possibility. Crab-apple trees, cherry blossoms, azaleas and camellias cluster around to form a colourful embrace around the venue and, at night, fairy lights create a magical wonderland amongst the trees. The garden pathways littered with petals are a photographer’s dream, as is the scenic trout dam circled by blooms. But the venue itself will steal your heart with the elegant candelabras, wall of fairy lights, hanging foliage and clear-backed chairs allowing the focus to be fully on the stylish table settings and floral fantasies created by Sarah’s mother, Jane. Choose for one of South Africa's most beautiful garden wedding venues at Cheerio Gardens.

Ten boutique glamping tents are elevated above the magnificent Cheerio Gardens with its lush green valley and the scent of new blooms hanging in the air. These tents with their outdoor wood-fired hot tubs and enchanting views, are a short walk away from the venue so guests can party all night. Sarah has years of experience as a wedding planner and has all the insights you need for the perfect catering, cake, music, flowers and decor options. Email her on or whatsapp 083 355 0835.

Other Summer Wedding Venues in the Area Graceland Eco Retreat (083 277 5553) on the outskirts of Magoebskloof, is renowned for its small but stylish event space and culinary creations. The soaring views into the Kudu’s River Valley make it the most spectacular place to tie the knot.

Haenertsburg Village Hall (081 708 8346) Situated in Haenertsburg, this historic community hall is available for weddings for up to 150 people. Crockery, cutlery, glasses & linen for rent.

Silver Mist Resort (015 295 9901| 063 117 2629) Unique setting on an Arabian horse farm overlooking a picturesque lake. The arena offers a perfect space for your wedding.

Magoebaskloof Hotel (015 590 9910) Specializing in conferences, functions & weddings, Magoebaskloof Hotel is fully equipped to accommodate large and smaller groups. (R71)

Magoebaskloof Mountain Lodge (015 305 7906 | 082 571 2555) This venue offers a facility for weddings with indoor and outdoor seating for up to 100 people. (R71)

Eden's Gate Wedding and Function Venue (060 550 3745) down the Magoebaskloof Pass can cater for up to 240 guests in a lovely setting overlooking a trout dam and forests. (R71) Fairview Hotel (082 900 5166) on the outskirts of the lush, subtropical town of Tzaneen is sure to leave you weak in the knees. Get married in their country-style chapel and start your post-nuptial celebrations in the luxurious Honeymoon suite. Tzaneen Country Lodge (015 590 3992) near Letsitele has wedding venues to suit all tastes whether it is a small and intimate affair or a lavish wedding banquet hall. They also have an on-site Chapel and an amphitheatre with a thatched stage overlooking a lovely lake.

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