If it’s always been your dream to recite your vows on the shoreline of a pristine beach, South Africa offers an assortment of amazing spots for your nuptials. But because your wedding backdrop forms part of the country’s natural landscape, there are a few logistical challenges to keep in mind. Here, we help you suss out the big ones.
Municipal rules say that you’ll need a permit to host a wedding (or any other event) on the beachfront, which often comes with a fee. This is a crucial expense to add to your budget and should be done as early as possible to ensure you meet all the necessary deadlines.
Consider the time of year and season of your proposed date. While the winter months (generally May to September) can be colder, the summer months do mean beaches will be more crowded as tourists and holidaymakers flock to our shores.
The behaviour of the tide should be your guideline for setting a time for your ceremony. Bear in mind that even if the tide is low, strong winds will necessitate moving your ceremony indoors so ensure you have a backup plan for the day too.
It goes without saying that summer is the most popular beach wedding season so expect to spend some time in the outdoor heat. To prevent yourself and your guests from baking in the sun, have a few umbrellas or a gazebo installed. These can be beautifully ornamented with anything from wire hearts to ribbons to strings of shells.
Being sprinkled with confetti as you take your first steps as husband and wife will undoubtedly be one of the most utopian moments of the day. Remember that when you’re at the seaside, biodegradable confetti is a must. Can’t find any that’s biodegradable? Bubbles are a cute substitute that will be enjoyed by both kids and adults.
Yes, we know that Cinderella looked ravishing in her wedding ball gown but then again, she never got married on a beach. A lightweight dress minus the layers of tulle, along with sandals or even going barefoot, will not only be more practical for oceanside weddings, but can create a whimsical and angelic look.
7 Dress code
While you can’t completely control what your guests will wear to your wedding, you can help them avoid the worst by specifying which type of attire would be fitting. Like you, the ladies would be better off foregoing full-skirted evening dresses in favour of flowing cocktail frocks while the gents should opt for shorts suits in bright colours. The gentlemen would look dashing and be more comfy in shorts suits or chinos, instead of tuxedos, to match the relaxed vibe of your ceremony.
Facilities for caterers may not be in abundance near the beach, so choose menu options that can be served cold. Think oysters, salmon skewers and fresh green salads. Yum! If you like to keep things hot, consider a spitbraai or a separate venue that’s close to the beach where the ceremony will be held.
If you’re planning on clinking a few glasses of bubbly with your feet in the water, think again as consuming alcohol on South African beaches is forbidden. Try booking a beach venue with an indoor reception area that has sea views and where your gueats can still enjoy a tipple.
The sight of glowing lanterns floating away into the dazzling night sky is utterly romantic while a fireworks display above the waters is sure to wow your guests. But as these activities do include the use of fire, they may be ruled out by certain municipalities. Be sure to check with your local authority when applying for your permit and opt for more eco-friendly entertainment options such as a band or friendly games of beach volleyball for your guests.
Photography Sweet Ice Cream Photography/Unsplash, Pixabay