When planning your wedding, choosing your wedding venue is probably THE most important decision you will need to make...
In this interview with Where's My Wedding, Alda Burger, our in-house venue coordinator, shares her experiences of being a venue coordinator, what she loves about Hidden Valley and she also gives top tips and advice for couples who are looking for the perfect wedding venue and planning their special day!
How would you describe Hidden Valley to someone who has never seen it?
Hidden Valley is true to its name. A hidden, “gem of a place”. Situated on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain near Stellenbosch, the modern architecture makes use of natural elements of rock and wood, surrounded by the indigenous valley and slopes of vineyards.
Couples probably fall in love with different aspects of your venue, but what is your favorite feature of Hidden Valley?
The view and amazing food! The sweeping views over Stellenbosch Valley all the way to Table Mountain are truly breathtaking and spectacular! With a menu exclusively created by award-winning master chef Bertus Basson and prepared in Overture Restaurant, an Eat Out Top Ten winner among other things, guests can expect a culinary feast!
We realise there are always changes to plan, but could you describe your typical routine on a wedding day for us?
We get off to an early start with the team arriving at 8am. Tables and chairs are set up. I personally oversee the décor setup by suppliers. Guests are welcomed on arrival and ushered to different areas throughout the day (ceremony, pre-drinks, reception). I act as hostess and see to it that the programme is followed according to the timeline. At the end of the evening, guests are greeted and at midnight we start clearing with the team.
Are there any plans for renovations or new features to the existing venue and estate?
There are quite a few exciting new projects that will be implemented in the near future – extra parking will be created and plans are in place for a floating deck to be built over the dam. Overture Restaurant will also be upgraded during winter 2017.
Share one of the most memorable weddings you have hosted since you have been the venue co-ordinator.
It’s difficult to single one out as every wedding has something that makes it special. However, I once had a wedding with a very special ring bearer – a cheetah from the Cheetah Outreach Programme. We’ve also had a wedding in which a falcon played the role as the ring bearer.
When and why did you decide to become a venue and wedding co-ordinator at Hidden Valley?
I started my career as an events manager at a wine farm in the Swartland. I’ve always wanted to move to the “city” to further my career. I applied for the job as events manager at Hidden Valley Wines and started in September 2013. Now going into my fourth wedding season at Hidden Valley Wines, I’ve co-ordinated about 75 weddings since I started here.
What advice would you give to couples selecting their wedding venue?
If you are planning an outdoor ceremony, the venue should have a good “Plan B” option in the event that the weather doesn’t play along on the day. Good food is also of the utmost importance and the venue or caterer should deliver food of outstanding quality.
What advice would you give to couples who are planning their special day?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Good food, good music and good company are the key ingredients to ensure a truly memorable wedding celebration.