Emily Hardman relays her humoristic story of pulling a wedding together in five, yes five days, in the New York Times below.

She summarizes the experience and decision-making process: “… I asked myself: Will it help strengthen my marriage and the promises we made to each other? If the answer was no, I didn’t waste any more time. I now appreciate applying this to other areas of life. Is where we go to dinner eternally significant? If not, it’s not worth arguing over. Do party favors for the barbecue you’re giving matter? Probably not. Enjoy the path of least resistance. If it truly represents the most important elements of your life and relationship, put time, energy and creativity into it. If not, do yourself a favor and skip the stress.”

At Kloofzicht Lodge & Spa,  brides can save up to 25% on their venue hire with last minute bookings. Super spontaneous brides who book one month in advance earn 25% discount on venue hire, while those who feel more comfortable with 4 months notice earn 10% in venue hire discount.

Knowing the planning that goes into a wedding, it is my modest opinion that brides who can put a wedding together in one week should not pay any venue hire at all – just for being so brave. Having said that, more miraculous things have happened and with our list of trusted bridal suppliers you may well be able to put it all together in one week!

Short notice wedding specials large

Thinking about it? Click here for some very practical ideas how to make it all come together in 30 days.


Sometimes spontaneous last minute decisions can be the best decision ever. | Tel 011 317-0600





Three luxury bush camp estates planned for Askari Lodge in Magalies.

Located on the magnificent Plumari Private Game Reserve at Askari Game Lodge & Spa, and ringed by the breathtaking mountains of the Magaliesberg, Ukuphila is set to become a leading destination for Gauteng investors and bush enthusiasts alike.

Giuseppe Plumari, CEO of Steyn City Properties and owner of Plumari Private Game Reserve has a dream: to create and share a space where families can take time out from the bustle of Johannesburg and experience the glory of nature together. It’s a dream based on his own experience as a young father, when he would bring his children to his farm, the Plumari Private Game Reserve to have a break from city life.


The establishment of Ukuphila, a development presenting 75 luxury homes in three well- appointed  camps, has brought that dream to fruition. “This is a first,” says Plumari, noting that the 4 000ha reserve is one of the only Big Five game farms in Gauteng. What’s more, at only an hour’s drive from Johannesburg, Ukuphila is easily accessible, even for those who can snatch only a day away – holidaymakers would have to drive for at least three hours to experience a game viewing destination offering an experience of the same quality. “What makes this place truly special, however, is the fact that most Big Five reserves in the area don’t allow children. In contrast, Ukuphila is all about family. We love the fact that children will learn about nature here; hopefully, we will play a role in nurturing a passion for conservation amongst the next generation of South Africans,” says Plumari.

He reports that careful thought has been given to the planning and construction of the new private bush camps at the game reserve so that it has minimal impact on the land. This pertains to the aesthetic of the homes, too: DBM Architects, who were charged with creating a look and feel for the homes, have applied their ample experience in lodge design to come up with an organic, earthy style which sits softly on the soil.

DBM Architects’ Wynand du Plessis explains that the design takes inspiration from the Transvaal farmhouses of old, which have been reinterpreted in a more contemporary manner. “Ukuphila’s homes aren’t drastically different from the charming old houses in surrounding towns like Hekpoort – think thick stone walls, corrugated iron roofs and wraparound stoeps,” he comments, “but the use of modern materials, like exposed timber trusses and rough-hewn wooden beams, freshens the look.” The design is not only ideal for the environment; it’s also particularly well suited for the climate.

The homes have been positioned to ensure prime views and privacy and may be configured to suit each homeowner’s specific taste. Thus, although architectural guidelines are in place to protect the integrity of the estate and the environment, certain elements may be adjusted; homeowners may select their own colour schemes, for example, and may specify the number of rooms.

The homes – which measure up to 360m² on erven of up to 1 125m² – are designed around a central entertainment hub with open plan kitchen, dining room, lounge and bar. “This forms the core of the house, making for special family moments,” Du Plessis says. The hub opens out onto a wide veranda which is literally part of the bush, thanks to the absence of fences and gates. Again, homeowners can customise this space with the addition of a fire pit or infinity pool.


The bedroom pods, separated from each other by courtyards, lead off the entertainment hub. Each boasts its own separate entrance, outdoor shower, en suite bathroom and wooden deck. The modular design of the hubs is a special feature, making it possible to isolate part of the home – perhaps to be used by different families holidaying together, or maybe to be rented out to other holidaymakers, creating a passive income stream for homeowners.

The homes are found in three groups of 25, in small nodes especially chosen for their sweeping views. The sites – Kudu Creek, Thorntree Hill and Magaliesview – have their own singular character and atmosphere, since the sheer size and diversity of the Plumari Private Game Reserve means that it is possible to experience many different types of vegetation and scenery during one game drive.

Although game drives are one of the major attractions at this one-of-a-kind reserve, other pastimes are available. Outdoor activities such as target and clay pigeon shooting are on offer. A world class equestrian centre is planned, while Poplar Country Village – another future attraction – will feature a microbrewery and artisanal food market. A breeding programme, established for such rare species as golden wildebeest, adds an extra dimension to an already special destination.

Guests will, moreover, be able to enjoy the four-star facilities of the luxurious Askari Game Lodge, located on site. These include a restaurant, pool and spa facility and, for those who have to mix pleasure with business, a fully equipped conference centre. The property also has its own chapel, making it ideal for weddings. Another highlight is the Plumari Museum, with exhibits tracking the history of the area, from the earliest inhabitants of the Magaliesberg to the brave Voortrekker Boers who established the first farms in the region.

The presence of Askari Game Lodge is significant for another reason, too: it is possible for homeowners to add their bush homes to the lodge’s pool of accommodation, providing yet another avenue for revenue.

“This place has always been a haven for my family, and we are looking forward to sharing its peace and the wonders of nature with others who love the bush as we do,” Plumari concludes.



Press release issued  November 2016 on behalf of the Plumari Group by Marie Yossava | Grapevine Communications |

For further information, contact Daniela McCormick on 011 431 4092.

For images, contact Christa Badenhorst on


On this sultry,  I’d-rather-stay-in-bed- with hot-chocolate Friday morning, we share a blog from Date Night SA who has single-handedly changed the face of date nights all over South Africa. As you sip on your morning coffee and read through all the brilliant reasons for a date night below, picture the myriad of options within the Guvon Hotel group – ranging from the Big 5 in Magalies, to riverbanks and dams at Glenburn Lodge & Spa  and hot-air ballooning over Kloofzicht Lodge & Spa. If you have the inclination or desperate need for a date night like I do at the moment, then we have the venue.


Happy reading, with thanks to Leilanie Kuter and DateNightSA:



1) A date night is an opportunity to communicate, and this communication may help couples “deepen their understanding of one another and the relationship.” Communication is important because “individuals continue to change,” and over time, “as they and their relationship develop, they experience new challenges and problems,” Wilcox and Dew point out.

2) Date nights are valuable for their novelty. Researchers are discovering that “couples who engage in novel activities that are fun, active or otherwise arousing – from hiking to dancing to travel to card games – enjoy higher levels of relationship quality,” the report notes. In this way, couples counteract a tendency to take each other for granted. Couples, it says, “may be particularly likely to benefit from a regular date night if they use it as an opportunity to do more than that old standby: dinner and a movie.” And couples are encouraged to choose activities that represent “a balance of each partner’s interests, rather than tending to do things (novel or not)” that reflect the same partner’s preferences each time.

 3) The report says “date nights may strengthen or rekindle that romantic spark that can be helpful in sustaining the fires of love over the long haul.”
4) Date nights may strengthen a couple’s sense of commitment to one another. The report says, “Partners who put one another first, who steer clear of other romantic opportunities and who cultivate a strong sense of ‘we-ness’ or togetherness are markedly happier than are less-committed couples.”
5) Date nights are a way to relieve stress. They allow a couple “to enjoy time with one another apart from the pressing concerns of their ordinary life.” Date nights also may serve couples as an opportunity “to extend emotional support to one another in times of trial.”
Wilcox and Dew wonder if date nights are most beneficial when they focus on fun and engaging activities, and “steer clear of marital challenges or other stressful topics” such as family finances. The authors hope future research addresses this point.
Reference: For Your Marriage. Visit for more interesting articles on marriage and date nights.  (Credit: original post :October 20, 2016, updated with Guvon Hotels images)
See our specials page for wonderful Spa and overnight specials, perfect for that date nights out or call Central Reservations to make your Last Minute Special booking:  08611 48866





With so many wedding venues around, its quite difficult to make a final decision. Fairway Hotel on the Randpark Golf Course has just made it easy for you: To assist you in making the perfect choice in venue for your wedding, The Fairway Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort has the pleasure of inviting you for a Sunday Lunch for up to six people to experience our wonderful ambiance, the excellent service and the fabulous food.Fairway_Almost Mr & Mrs_Signature_2016_1

The accommodation at Fairway Hotel ranges from hotel suites to double storey golf villas and presidential Suites.  – something for every taste and budget. We would be delighted to welcome the bridal couple for an overnight stay, including breakfast on us! Discounted rates are available for wedding guests who choose to stay over on your wedding night.

To view some real life wedding which took place at The Fairway, visit our Pinterest Board with some super ideas and beautiful bridal photos.

Please contact Stefanie from our wedding department who would love to show you around on Tel 011 478 8000 |




Glenburn Lodge in Muldersdrift and Umbhaba Lodge in Hazyview, Mpumalanga have teamed up to offer three romantic five night honeymoon prizes to brides and grooms who book their wedding during May, June or July 2017 at Glenburn Lodge & Spa in the Cradle of Humankind.  A winner will be chosen each month.

With three spectacular wedding venues to choose from, brides are spoilt for choice for weddings from 60 to 250 guests.

Glenkyle overlooks an impressive waterfall, and is situated on the Blaauwbank River, while Glencove is nestled on the Crocodile River in a beautiful country garden setting. Glenwillow is situated at the foot of the majestic Zwartkops Mountain in the Bush Willow Tented Camp. (click here for our image gallery)

Winter wedding savings include: 

  • No venue hire  in June & July
  • 50% venue hire discount in May and August (Glenkyle & Glencove only)
  • One complimentary night’s bed and breakfast accommodation for the parents of the bride and groom (max 2 rooms) the night before the wedding,
  • Complimentary toasting bubbly
  • Complimentary lit fire in the venue

( and the chance to win a honeymoon)


The Honeybee wedding package  (valid 2016 and 2017) is ideal for couples who prefer the no-fuss route when it comes to décor, as the R390pp includes the menu as well as décor items.


After tying the knot at Glenburn Lodge & Spa, it is off to Umbhaba Lodge for five days of rest and relaxation in the beautiful town of Hazyview, a small farming town in Mpumalanga, South Africa which has been named after the shimmering haze that occurs during the heat of summer.

Just 5 minutes from the Phabeni Gate of the Kruger National Park,  this is the ideal departure point for Big 5 excursions, sightseeing at the majestic Blyde River Canyon, God’s Window and Bourke’s Luck Pot Holes. The Kruger National Airport is minutes away. This venue is very popular as an expat destination wedding for families who want to celebrate both their wedding and honeymoon with friends and family who traveled from far.  (click here for our image gallery) 

Please contact our banqueting department on 011 668 1600 / for a wedding site inspection.

Terms and conditions:

  1. Competition only applicable to weddings booked over May, June and July 2017
  2. Prize must be taken up within the week after the wedding Sunday to Friday
  3. Wedding must be paid in full prior to the competition draw date
  4. Competition draw; 1 April for May wedding / 1 may for June wedding / 1 June for July wedding
  5. Excludes long weekends, public holidays, peak holiday periods
  6. Alternative dates may be granted by the general Manager upon request
  7. Please note that this prize has no cash value and is not transferrable between Guvon Hotels
  8. Beverages, travel expenses and sundries are for winners own account
  9. Excursions such as Game Drives at neighbouring properties are for the winners own account
  10. Winners have to make their own arrangements getting to and from Umbhaba Lodge
  11. Photographs and guest feedback may be used by Guvon Hotels for promotional purposes |




Its wonderful to start your Friday (yes, read: weekend) with a stack of breath-taking wedding photographs. Remember and Patience got married at Umbhaba Lodge in Hazyview recently, and the photos tell the story of an sophisticated couple with a taste for the finer things in life. We invite you to take a journey with us through the beautiful wedding of this special couple:

Photo credit:  | Click here for info on Umbhaba wedding packages |



To view all the photos, pleae have a look at the photographers blog:

Wedding enquiries at Umbhaba Lodge: Tel 013 737 7636

Perfect proposal spots. Waterfalls and wooden decks.

I can imagine that a bunch of guys are busy giving themselves peptalks, with Valentines just a few days away: “Yes you can do it. Ask her. It’s now or never!” Or perhaps being a leap year the Cinderella slipper is on the other foot. I know a bunch of gutsy girls and I have faith in you: Just do it!

PKP_6747 Glenburn (Medium) - Copy

Glenburn Lodge & Spa has just sent me two beautiful photos – wouldn’t you love to propose on this wooden deck or on the hanging bridge with monkeys chattering in the background and the river murmuring beneath you. Yes, I thought you would like it.

Call Shanè Vermaak on Tel 011 668 1600 – she can make it happen for you!

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Glenburn Lodge & Spa is a proud member of the Guvon Hotels & Spas portfolio


With wedding season upon us, my mind has been wandering off to all the amazing ways one can propose nowadays. As always, Pinterest is an amazing source of brilliant ideas. (If your husband to be is not a Pinterest fan yet, gently nudge him in the right direction). But the cutest ever are the doggy proposals. If that doesn’t melt his or her heart, nothing will:

Dog 3  Wedding proposal dog   Dog 4

For more images see

At Askari Lodge we call in the help of our two resident elephants to do the honours. Imagine the stories you can tell you grandchildren one day! A romantic game drive for two may also clinch the deal. Give Askari Lodge & Spa a call today if you have wedding bells on your mind – Tel 014 577 2658/

Will you marry me_Askari | Tel 014 577 2658 | Wedding co-ordinator: Andre Nieman.


With everyone bright-eyed and full of hope for a brilliant new year, it just seems appropriate to bring out the bubbly for a wedding celebration. Want to see what’s in store for you ? Ben and Elizbe recently celebrated in true style:

Kloofzicht Lodge offers 50% discount on January 2016 weddings, a complimentary honeymoon suite and less 20% for wedding guests’ accommodation

Chantell is waiting for your call and would love to show you around: Tel 011 317  0600 |  Lodge January wedding special



Dreaming of honeybees symbolizes wealth, good luck, harmony, creativity and bliss.  With this in mind, Glenburn Lodge launched the Honeybee Bridal Package at the Wedding Expo, with loads of savings and add-ons for the busy bride, at R390 pp.

The bridal package (sumptuous menu and select décor items included),  is available at the Glenkyle wedding venue which accommodates up to 250 guests, as well as the Glencove venue which takes up to 110 guests. Glenkyle overlooks a spectacular waterfall, and is situated on the Blaauwbank River, while Glencove is nestled on the Crocodile River in a beautiful country garden setting.  Glenburn Lodge weddings

The Honeybee package includes the following:

  • Menu
  • Welcome drinks – Juice

Décor included in this package:

  • Silver underplate for each guest
  • Solid silver bowl (11cm x 13 cm) 2 per table
  • Silver Candelabra  (H 80 cm x W 53 cm) 1 per table
  • Fish Bowls (H10 cm x w 8 cm  2 per table
  • Chrystal Votive with tea light candle 6 per table
  • Rectangular mirror (100 cm x 40 cm) 1 per table
  • Silver Table Runner 1 per table
  • Glenburn Lodge White table cloth
  • Glenburn Lodge white napkins
  • White Chair covers
  • Chapel confetti stands x 2 (H 81 cm)


|HORS D’ OEUVRES |(Served during Welcome Drinks)

Assortment of Cheese & Biscuit Canapés


Seafood cocktail with a Marie Rose Sauce.  Presented on each table: Tossed chef’s salad


Pickled brisket, sliced and served with a Monkey gland Sauce, Oven baked chicken, napped with a Wholegrain Honey & Mustard Soya Jus. Herbed Potatoes. Panache of Seasonal Vegetables. Savoury Mushroom Rice with Olives


Please choose one of the following: Malva pudding with Vanilla Crème Anglaise  OR Chocolate mousse In a Brandy Snap Basket

Filter coffee/tea

Terms and conditions:

  • Venues: Glencove and Glenkyle
  • Days valid for: Sunday to Friday (Excluding Saturdays)
  • Excludes venue hire –Normal rate. Less 50% venue hire Sunday – Thursday
  • Validity period: 1 January 2016 – 31 December 2016
  • Minimum numbers – 80 Guests (Surcharge for less than 80 guests will be charged)
  • Deposit and Payment policy: paid venue hire secures the booking
  • Menu extra add-ons – OPTIONAL EXTRAS: Mixed Dessert Platter per Table (Max 10 Guests per Table)
  • Bite Sized Sweet Treats . (Mini Greek Milk Tart, Mini Granadilla Tart, Mini Pecan Nut Tart, Mini Koeksisters & Mini Chocolate Brownies)
  • Décor listed is the only décor Glenburn Lodge will supply. If you wish to have other décor please contact a décor company directly for more options.
  • This promotion cannot be used in conjunction or combined with any other offer available at the time nor can package items be substituted

To arrange a site visit, please call Lee-Ann Alves on Tel 011 668 1600 or email

For further info on Glenburn Lodge or to down load the wedding portfolio, see