Top 3 Wedding Venues in Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch

The Top 3 wedding venues in Stellenbosch, a picturesque student town in the heart of the Cape Winelands.

Stellenbosch is the second oldest town in South Africa – Established in 1679 by the dutch, it boasts with a rich history and is to this day seen as the epicentre of Afrikaner culture.  Scattered around this picturesque town are a host of working wine estates, many of whom also have facilities to cater weddings and other functions. These Wine estates, with their majestic old Cape Dutch Styled Manor houses, rustic barns and rolling vineyards have in the last 20 years become the most sought after wedding venues in the world!  It is especially popular for destination weddings, with couples from Europe, USA and Asia often opting to tie the knot on a Stellenbosch Wine farm.

Top 3 Wedding Venues in Stellenbosch

 

Over the last 12 years ZaraZoo has covered more than 200 weddings on these prestigious estates in the Cape Winelands.  We know these venues inside out and have seen them grow into the state of the art hospitality facilities that they are.  We want to share our knowledge with you, to make your life easier in choosing the best wedding venue in the Cape Winelands.   This is our top 3 wedding venues in Stellenbosch.

3.  Nooitgedacht Estate – Stellenbosch Wedding Venue

Nooitgedacht Estate is situated just 5km outside Stellenbosch on the R304 and a mere 40 minutes by car from Cape Town City Centre.  The Estate offers an All-in-One facility that allows for all the preparations and proceedings to happen on-site.

The Manor House and converted slave quarters are very well suited for bridal and grooms preparations.  The lush gardens and chapel offers plenty of ceremony options and the rustic converted wine cellar can host receptions of up to 260 guests.

Lovely natural gardens, huge oaks, vineyards, rustic farm buildings and fruit orchards offer a variety of wedding spaces and plenty of photo opportunities.  This all is set on the backdrop of the towering Stellenbosch mountains in the distance.

 

Find Out More About Nooitgedacht Wedding Venue:

 

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It will appeal to…

If you ever dreamed of getting married on a Stellenbosch Wine farm, then Nooitgedacht is probably the picture you had in your head…  You walking down from the steps of the historic Manor with its Cape Dutch gables while being showered with confetti by your closest family and friends!

For the bride seeking an opulent start to the day, imagine getting ready in the stunning bridal suite, with its four-poster bed and bridesmaids dancing around your feet… Your wedding ceremony under the shade of an oak tree that is older than the oldest person you know;  A stroll and a kiss in the middle of the tree-lined entrance lane;  Your grand entrance as Mr & Mrs into the spacious old candle-lit wine cellar.

These are just a few of the special moments you can look forward to when you tie the knot at Nooitgedacht.  It is definitely worth its spot in our list of the top 3 wedding venues in Stellenbosch.

 

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Bridal & Grooms Preps

The Bridal suite in the Manor House is a reminder of the class and grandeur that once bestowed this residence. High wooden ceilings, double doors that open up unto the large veranda (stoep) and a modern, refurbished bathroom are some of the other highlights of this room.  It is big, big enough to comfortably fit the bride and all her bridesmaids…  and yes, big enough for both moms as well! For the groom and his party, getting ready at one of the 3 converted slave quarters, with ensuite bathrooms, are just perfect! Having both groom and bridal parties do their preparations on site is a big bonus and will relieve a lot of transportation stresses.

 

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Ceremony Options & Chapel

The faunum (chapel) attached to the Wine cellar (reception venue), is a fantastic indoor ceremony option. It is a rustic space with exposed brick walls and old wooden windows and can seat up to 120 guests.

The estate also offers a variety of outdoor ceremony options. The gardens are huge.  My favourite spot would be the lawn in front of the manor house, with the bride making her entrance straight from the lovely wooden doors of the from the bridal suite.

 

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Pre-Dinner Drinks Areas

On a clear sky, sunny summers day, pre-drinks can be done on the lawn in front of the manor house or on the paved area in front of the cellar. Both spots are absolutely magical and will give your guests the full winelands experience while they sip their bubbly under the shade of those ancient oaks that are littered around the homestead.

For winter and grizzly cape rainy days, the foyer of the cellar can be utilised.  This area is big enough to accommodate your wedding party, without them feeling squashed.  With its wooden floors and ceilings and antique furniture pieces, it gives that warm farmhouse feel that will let the misery outside fade away.

 

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Reception Options

The old cellar (Banquet Hall) can accommodate up to 260 guests, making it one of the biggest venues in the Stellenbosch area.  But do not be alarmed with the size.  With clever use of indoor plants and lighting, even a wedding of 120 will not feel sparse.  An oak-beamed roof, screed floors and rustically plastered walls are some of the elements that give the cellar its charm.  It can be dressed in any theme – a fantastic blank canvas to work with.  The main hall is flanked by modern ablution facilities and a bar.

Outdoor, you can set up a see-through marquee on the main lawn or set a long table in the lane that leads up to the homestead.  An intimate open-air setting under a huge oak and dangle fairy lights from the overhanging branches is another option. For a less risky outdoor option, there is also the spacious porch of the Manor House, that can be extended with a stretch tent if needed.  This would be ideal for smaller wedding parties.

 

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Wedding Photography Options

Nooitgedacht is one of the best-preserved examples of a Cape Dutch wine farm and it is no surprise that most couples opt to take their photos on the Estate.  There is so much to work with.  Take a short stroll over the railway line and you’ll arrive at a stunning dam, that mirrors the Simonsberg in the distance.  Right next to it, you have lush grassland and vineyards that can be used as a canvas.  In springtime, the orchard next to the cellar, with pink and white blossoms makes the perfect fairytale setting.

The homestead itself with lush manicured Gardens, authentic Cape Dutch buildings, expansive lawns with fish ponds and wisteria and boston ivy-clad buildings offer an endless array of photo opportunities.

Not to fear!  If your day is rained out, you can get the owners permission to utilise certain parts of the Manor house and its historic architecture and antique furniture.

 

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Catering & Bar Services

The food at Nooitgedacht is divine!  They boast a fully equipped kitchen and world-class chefs.  Unfortunately, no outside catering is allowed.  The kitchen offers a choice between buffet or plated 3-course meals and canapé’s and is charged on a per-person basis.  Candy Bars and dessert tables are also done on request.

The fully stocked bar just next to the main hall is spacious and has a rustic farm feel to it.  The venue will provide barmen and waiters at a cost. All wine is supplied by Nooitgedacht and sourced locally from neighbouring wine estates. Should you choose to supply your own wine, corkage is charged at R25 per bottle.  The bar is stocked with beers, ciders and spirits and is operated as a cash bar.

 

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Wedding Accommodation

The Estate offers a bridal suite, 3 converted slave quarters with a double bed each and a newly restored cottage with two double bedrooms.  So a total of 12 people can sleep on site.  All suites boast unique period furniture, super-comfy beds, Egyptian cotton linen, Satellite TV, classy modern bathrooms, a nifty kitchenette, air conditioners and underfloor heating.

And for all your other guests, Stellenbosch, that is just 5 minutes away, has plenty of hotels and B&B’s.

if you’d like to see more Photos and full weddings at Nooitgedacht Estate, follow the links below:

 

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2. Cavalli – Stellenbosch Wedding Venue

 

Coming in at number 2 in our list op the top 3 wedding venues in Stellenbosch, is the luxurious Cavalli Wine and Stud farm.  This venue is located conveniently on the R44 highway 10 minutes outside Stellenbosch and just 40 minutes for Cape Town CBD.  Where most of its counterpart farm venues have a rustic and historic appeal, Cavalli is the opposite.  The architecture, gardens, fittings and furniture is ultra-modern and perfectly suited for the city sleeker that wants a wedding to fit in with his / her up to trend look and feel.

The estate offers one of the most amazing 360-degree views on the Cape Peninsula and Stellenbosch mountains, with majestic Helderberg just a stone throw away.  Gardens are perfectly manicure and the dedicated outdoor ceremony area is a winner.  The only reason that Cavalli did not get the top spot is because it does not offer onsite accommodation.  However, with Stellenbosch just 10 minutes away, there are plenty of hotels and guest houses in the area in which you can put up your guests.

Find Out More About Cavalli Wedding Venue:

 

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It will appeal to…

This venue is definitely for the refined, modern bride.  If you like modern, angular architecture, clean lines, fine dining and wine culture, then you will fall in love with Cavalli.  The Wedding Venue that overlooks a lake and the Stellenbosch mountains in the distance is nothing short of spectacular.  It is a blank canvas that can be transformed into any theme – this is probably one of the most appealing assets of this world-class facility.

The venue is particularly popular with trendy, fashion-loving and up-and-coming entrepreneurs who want a venue that will reflect their style and outlook on life.  This is not your typical wine farm and it is because of that that this venue has made it into our Top 3 Wedding Venues in Stellenbosch.

 

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Bridal & Grooms Preps

One of the only reasons why Cavalli is not our number 1, is because they do not have onsite accommodation or bridal preparation facilities.  I really hope that their future plan includes some accommodation and a bridal suite.

But there are plenty of lovely guest houses in the vicinity.  One such is the 5-star Majeka House just 10 minute from the Estate.  We’ve included a few pictures below of this boutique hotel that offers lovely spacious and trendy rooms as well as a lovely lounge that can be utilised for bridal and grooms portraits.  Most of our clients opt for Majeka House when it comes to their location for preparations.

 

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Ceremony Options

The sunken garden, a formal hedged space situated adjacent to the main reception hall is one of my favourite ceremony spots.  It is almost totally sheltered from the wind, has the most beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and the synthetic turf ensures that this setting can be used all year round.   This is basically an outdoor blank canvas that can be transformed to fit your style, no matter what. For wet conditions, a stretch tent that covers the whole area can be erected. It can seat 300 people cinema-style and 400 people standing.

Another lovely ceremony location is the lawn overlooking the clear waters of the dam in front of the function venue.  The views from this spot is sublime and you can even see Table mountain from here.  It can also double up as a helipad for guests that want to arrive in style by helicopter!

For wet weather, the lovely indoor conservatory is perfect.  It overlooks the dam and mountains in the distance and can seat up to 150 people cinema-style.

The many ceremony options at Cavalli is one of the reasons why we rated it as one of the best wedding venues in Stellenbosch!

 

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Pre-Dinner Drinks Areas

Both the Sunken garden and the lawn that can be used for ceremonies can also be used as pre-drinks areas.  For more a more formal affair, the sunken garden is perfect.  the lawn with its mountain views is often used for the setting of family photos and lawn games to entertain guests.

The deck that leads from the reception hall and the conservatory are the perfect backup spaces for wetter conditions.

 

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Reception Options

The function venue that can host up to 300 people with a dance floor is one of the biggest function spaces in the Cape Winelands.  The contemporary and neutral design enables you to transform it to suit any style of event.  The sliding glass doors that stretch from floor to ceiling ensures lots of natural light, ventilation and vistas over the dam, with views of the majestic mountains of the Cape Winelands.  This reception hall is one of the biggest of all the wedding venues in Stellenbosch.

For smaller, intimate weddings, the conservatory, that can seat 50 guests with a dance floor, is just perfect.  It’s a unique setting, right on the water’s edge mean your guests The glassed enclosure takes full advantage of the stunning views, over the dam to the Helderberg Mountains.

Since Cavalli is situated far from residential areas sound restrictions only come into effect at midnight.  The bar closes at 2pm but the venue hire can be extended up to 4pm is needed.

 

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Wedding Photography Options

Photographers have a field day at Cavalli.  There are a host and variety of locations that can be used for a multitude of different backdrops and settings.  This ranges from the lawn and entrance lane with mountain views, to the grass fields and orchards and pine tree lanes.

As Cavalli also produces wine, the many acres of vineyards is another great setting for wedding photos.  Towards the bottom of the venue there is another, more rustic dam and natural fynbos that provides yet another location for wedding pictures.

If you are a horse lover, the function manager at Cavalli can help you arrange for photos with horses that are stables on site.  This comes at an extra cost but is all worth the while as you’ll be able to use yet another area around the stables, paddocks and camps with its white wooden fencing.

This versatility in photo opportunities is another reason why Cavalli is at number 2 on our list of the top 3 Wedding Venues in Stellenbosch

 

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Catering & Bar service

Apart from the function and banqueting facilities onsite, Cavalli also boasts with an award-winning restaurant that operates during normal business hours.  For weddings and functions, this very kitchen is used to cater for guests. Their banqueting cuisine is renowned as some of the best in the industry with a focus on authentic, yet refined dishes. Outside catering is not allowed, but for kosher, halaal and other special dietary requirements due to religious beliefs, they will outsource it to their preferred specialist catering suppliers at an additional hiring fee for the use of our kitchen facilities.

Cavalli Estate is fully licensed and manages and will manage all your bar and beverage requirements in house. Unfortunately, no other alcohol may be brought onto the premises. their liquor licence regulations require the bar to close at 02h00.

 

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If you’d like to see full weddings and styled shoots that we covered at Cavalli Estate, then click on one of the links below:

 

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1. Molenvliet – Stellenbosch Wedding Venue

Molenvliet Estate in Stellenbosch is the single venue in South Africa that we have worked at the most.  It is no surprise then that it is our favourite and our number 1 op the Top 3 wedding venues in Stellenbosch!

The Banhoek Valley between Stellenbosch and the small town of Pniel is arguable one of the most beautiful valleys in the world!  Molenvliet, a small boutique winery lies at the foot of this valley and is surrounded by the beautiful Simonsberg and Hottentots Holland mountains. Other well-known Estates in this stretch include Delaire Graff and Zorgvliet.  The Estate is about 45 minutes by car from Cape Town and just 20 minutes from Franschhoek.

The Estate is a perfect All-in-one wedding venue has everything you need.  With a very versatile function hall, a Cape Dutch Style manor house, vineyards, a lovely river that cobbles along the foot of the property, a cellar that can be used for indoor ceremonies, plenty of luxury suites and rooms that can accommodate up to 54 guests, perfectly manicured gardens and lawns for outdoor ceremonies and entertainment areas that include two swimming pools, Molenvliet is by far the best all-round wedding facility in the Stellenbosch Area.

Find Out More About Molenvliet Wedding Venue:

 

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It will appeal to…

MolenVliet is what we call an all-in-one venue.  There are separate houses for the Bridal and Grooms preparations, countless ceremony options and an amazing main wedding hall for the reception.  Having everything in one place, with so many options means you do not have to waste any time in travelling from or between your preps venue or ceremony location.  The venue is perfect for destination weddings as the onsite accommodation can sleep up to 54, which means you can accommodate most of your guests on the farm.

If you are looking for the Wine Estate feel together with 5-star accommodation and service, look no further!

 

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Bride and Groom Preps

The Manor House, set high up on the hill, overlooking the vineyards below and Hottentots Holland mountains in the distance is the most amazing bridal preparations venue in the whole of Cape Town.  The main ensuite bedroom is classically furnished with a four-poster bed and crystal chandeliers.   From the lounge and the dining room, you can step out onto the pool deck of which you will see plenty of photos in this post.  It is one of my favourite spots for bridal portraits pre-ceremony as from the elevated setting you literally have a view of the whole estate, vineyards and mountains.

The River Manor, with four double en-suite rooms, is another space that is perfect for getting ready and is within close proximity of the Manor House. This Bed and Breakfast style house has four double en-suite rooms, a cigar lounge with a bar facility and a wraparound deck overlooking beautiful, lush gardens and vineyards.  It is ideal for the preparations of the Groom and his entourage.

 

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Ceremony Options

When it comes to spaces for wedding ceremonies, Molenvliet has plenty to offer.

  1. The lawn of the Manor House – This beautiful outdoor setting is surrounded by huge established oak trees and perfectly manicured gardens and flanked by the Manor House.  The driveway up to the manor house offers the perfect bridal car entrance and reveal.
  2. The lawn at the entrance fountain – similarly surrounded by beautiful gardens and close to the cottages and guest parking.
  3. The Lawn in the middle of the Vineyards – Imagine getting married right in the middle of the vineyards with river and mountain views!
  4. The Ageing Cellar that can accommodate up to 150 guests seated cinema-style.  This venue is perfect for adverse weather conditions and is located right next to the reception venue.

One of my favourite traditions at Molenvliet is for the bride and groom to lead their wedding guests down the hill to the reception venue.  The short, magical walk takes you through the estate on an oak tree-lined road to the lawn area in the middle of the vineyard where pre-drinks are often served.

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Pre-dinner Drinks Spaces

All of the ceremony areas mentioned above can double up as outdoor pre-drinks areas.  But added to that are also:

  1. The patio next to the reception venue – with views over the vineyards and Dwarsrivier that runs through the venue, this deck is my favourite.  It is close to the bar, kitchen and ablution facilities but you still have that fantastic outdoor feel.
  2. The courtyard in front of the reception hall, this enclosed space with an open roof in the middle and covered perimeter can also be covered with a stretch tent for wet weather conditions.  The perfect backup plan!

My favourite is the lawn in the middle of the vineyards! Just imagine sipping your bubbly while surrounded by vineyards and mountains while listening to some fine live entertainment and enjoying the company of your closest family and friends.

 

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Reception Options

Molenvliet offers plenty of versatile reception spaces:

  1. The Main Venue with its “all-white” Colonial meets Cape Dutch style is designed to adapt to any wedding or event, without it ever looking the same.  It is the perfect blank canvas!  But apart from this main hall that can accommodate up to 250 guests. The rectangular shape means you can apply a multitude of floor plans so that no one wedding will look the same as the other.  The hall also boasts with a very spacious modern bar area and a guest lounge with permanent furniture.  Both areas are finished off with stylish checkered flooring.
  2. The open-air Courtyard, that overlooks the veranda and deck facing the Vineyards, this is perfect for smaller functions or can be utilised as a dance floor when the venue is at full pax.
  3. The Patio next to the venue – If you are looking for an open-air setting with all the convenience of the adjacent indoor space then this is a good option.  This area is for great for smaller wedding parties and intimate weddings.
  4. The Vineyard lawns van be used to erect a marquee – Imagine a clear tent in summer and partying the night away under the stars!

 

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Wedding Photography Options

When it comes to photo opportunities, MolenVliet has it all and more.  This is a working wine farm that produces award-winning wines, yet it is perfectly manicured to give a real feeling of luxury, opulence and style.  Apart from the rolling vineyards,  impressive old oaks and winding paths the estate also boasts with one of the most amazing backdrops in the mountains surrounding it.  Other photo-worthy elements include the newly installed fountains, the lush banks of the Dwars River and the tree-lined entrance lane.

And if you are worried that it might rain on your wedding day, fear not, the indoor options are just as plentiful.  With a classically furnished and decorated Manor House and other under-roof facilities your indoor photos will totally match up to the quality of those taken on the rest of the estate.

Of all the wedding venues in Stellenbosch, Molenvliet offers the most variation in photo opportunities and backdrops.

 

CONTACT MOLENVLIET

 

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Bar & Catering

The kitchen at the main reception hall is spacious and fully equipped, but no resident caterer, so you have to hire in your own and outside caterers are welcome.

The bar at the main reception venue is fully licenced and fully stocked.  No third-party bar services are allowed and only Molenvliet wines can be served at weddings.  Corkage fees apply only to Cap Classique and Champagnes.

 

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Wedding Venues in Stellenbosch - Molenvliet Wine Estate

Accommodation at Molenvliet Estate

One of the biggest assets of Molenvliet is the number of guests it can accommodate.  The various Manor houses, cottages and guest suites can sleep a total of 54 people.  This puts Molenvliet near the top of the list as one of the wedding venues in Stellenbosch that can accommodate the most guests on-site.

  1. Guest Cottages – MolenVliet has four exquisite double en-suite Cottages which is individually furnished with a log fireplace and various in-room facilities. The Cottages are ideally situated at the entrance of the Estate with close-by parking and boasts a private balcony overlooking the beautiful forest-like gardens.
  2. Mountain View Suites – The thirteen en-suite Mountain View Suites that overlook the Drakenstein Mountains and Estate Vineyards is the perfect hideaway for guests wanting to take in the immaculate views from their private balcony.
  3. The River Manor is nestled in the Vineyards overlooking the Simonsberg Mountains; this Boutique Guest House consists of four double en-suite bedrooms. the perfect space for the groom and his party to get ready in.
  4. The Manor House consists of six double en-suite rooms, with spectacular Vineyard and Mountain Views from the communal areas. Built-in a Cape Dutch Style, with immaculate gardens and a circular fountain at the entrance – this boutique guest house is the pinnacle of luxury accommodation and very apt bridal preparations location.

 

BROWSE TOP CAPE TOWN VENUES

 

If you want to see more about Molenvliet that is our No 1 in our Top 3 Wedding Venues in Stellenbosch?  Here are some of the events we have covered at this amazing Cape Winelands Wedding Venue.

  1. Jonathan & Nicole – Summer wedding
  2. Sulezi & Mutsa – Luxury wedding coordinated by Otto de Jager
  3. Lwanda & Tiro – Coordinated by Wedding Concepts
  4. Cisco & Lani – No seating plan – lounge setup
  5. Annual White Celebration 2014 – Luxury Wedding Industry Party
  6. High Profile Wedding – High Profile Wedding featured in Munaluchi Bride
  7. Allesandro & Delmarie – Italian pilot marries South African blonde
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