Wedding & Function
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The Plantation: The Eastern Cape's most Exclusive Function Venue & Country Retreat

The Plantation: The Eastern Cape's most Exclusive Function Venue & Country Retreat reviews_6_65.jpg

It’s daunting for an inexperienced student to have to interview someone for the first time. Let alone the owner of an award-winning wedding venue (as well as a function venue and country retreat). ‘What should I ask? How old will she be? Will she like me?’ are just a few of the questions that came to mind.

I immediately relaxed as I walked along the pathway leading to the reception area – a little building with wedding brochures, a glass table for consultations, a decoration made out of pictures and feedback from previous brides and grooms, and a display cabinet containing caps and shirts with the word ‘Bride’ or Groom’ on them.

The pathway is a dirt pathway, very natural, with trees and wooden banisters just gracing the top of your head. As the owner, Sarah, put it, “Something in the air is magic.” Perhaps it is the life-long commitments made there, the feeling of prospective happiness and love shining from the photographs, or the genuinely friendly staff just aiming to please – something makes you feel at home.

The Plantation was built in 2006 and is a family run business. Sarah’s mother has just helped make the new Japanese-styled garden to the left of the reception area. Because of this family orientation, The Plantation prides itself (among many other things) on making everyone feel like family. Whether it’s the bride and groom, or guests, or even caterers, all are welcome.

And you don’t have to have an engagement ring to get past the front door! The Plantation offers an ideal facility for productive corporate conferences and training sessions. It is also a country retreat, with 4-star luxury guest suites consisting of large elegant bedrooms, dining areas and private patios - not to mention, the newly installed air conditioning. “The Plantation is probably one of very few country retreats to have air conditioning!” jokes Sarah.

But if you are about to start a new life with that special someone, The Plantation is the ideal wedding venue to choose. It has won three VOW Wedding Awards this year, namely, the Gold Award for the Best Reception Centre in the Eastern Cape, the Silver Award for the Best 1st Night Honeymoon in the Eastern Cape, and the more recent National Award for the Best Reception Centre in the country. These awards have increased The Plantation’s popularity.

“We were known for being the best wedding venue in Port Elizabeth; but now to be well known in the country has definitely boosted our out-of-town clients,” says Sarah. She also mentioned that at least 40% - 50% of The Plantation’s clients are international.

Their smallest wedding, in fact, was for European immigrants with a party of just 5. There is no minimum on the number of guests they allow. However, the beautiful chapel (just a small stroll from the ballroom) can take 200 guests maximum - about 120 seated on benches and 80 sitting on the stands at the side. Despite the chapel being not completely indoors (don’t worry, it does have a roof!), the forest that surrounds it offers enough protection from any strong winds that may be blowing.

The Plantation proudly supports “going green” and even the Department of Forestry uses it as an example of how, rather than destroying the natural environment around one’s house or venue, one can incorporate it into the final design. Even though the chapel was not decorated when I saw it, it still had that magic feeling that encompasses the whole property.

Winning the previously mentioned VOW awards has in no way changed the way things are done at the Plantation. Sarah insists that they always make a great effort and exceed expectations, and the awards prove this. Recent additions include the air conditioning and a vintage, custom-made motorcycle and sidecar! “Brides should choose us because of the quality of our facilities. We have the top facilities in the country! The quality of our service, the food, the accommodation: everything is just superb,” says Sarah.

Bookings for The Plantation are usually made 9 – 12 months in advance. However, Sarah says she is always available for bookings, whether made a year and a half before or two weeks before the chosen date! So, whether you need a venue for a wedding, conference, or just a relaxing weekend, The Plantation welcomes anyone who drives through its gates – even if you’re just an aspiring journalist!