These days the bushveld is a highly sought after wedding destination and safari themed weddings are hotter than the African sun itself. Brides fly from all over the world to come and experience it. Hosting your safari wedding under a baobab tree, under a thatched roof lapa, on a riverbank or on a hill, it’s bound to be absolutely magical, when night-time falls, light up a big bonfire where guests can roast a marshmallow and socialise over a glass of good wine, while the crickets provide the background music. For entertainment hire a team of Zulu dancers, fire dancers or a Marimba band to entertain your guests in true African style. For favours, you can give your guests stylish sun hats, sunglasses or fans to protect them from the harsh African Sun.
1. Important Things to Know for Your Beach Wedding
In reality, planning a wedding in a non-traditional venue that also happens to be open to the public is anything but breezy there are lots of things to consider before setting your sights on the ocean, from permits to personal beliefs about sand (yes, that’s a real thing). So if you’re thinking about getting married on the beach, here are a few things to check on first:
2. PUBLIC OR PRIVATE BEACH WEDDING
There have been arguments over who has the right to sand for decades. But the bottom line is basically all ocean beaches in the South Africa are open to the public. That said, if you’re having a smaller wedding (fifty or fewer guests), you may be able to find a private property on a secluded beach with owners who are comfortable hosting events in their space and get pretty close to private. Start doing your research early.
3. CEREMONY OR RECEPTION
So before you start researching anything, figure out what you’re asking for. Permits vary depending on what kind of gathering you’ll be having, whether food and drink are involved, if you’re asking to rope off a particular part of the beach, etc. In general, the path of least resistance is to have your ceremony on the beach, and then move the party somewhere that’s better equipped to handle a party.
Beach rules vary by location check with the local government to see what regulations they have regarding events and gatherings. Some things to consider:
Are you having a big wedding or a small wedding? Some beaches have regulations about gatherings, so the more people you add to the guest list, the more you’ll want to check what those rules are.
• Most beaches prohibit alcohol consumption, so research your local codes to figure out if yours applies.
• Do you plan on doing anything dangerous? Like starting a bonfire? Some beaches prohibit bonfires. In general the rule is if it might be dangerous, check if there’s a code or permit requirement.
Sure, it might be lovely to get married with your toes in the sand. But can your wheelchair-bound Grandma make it to the ceremony to see you put said toes in the sand? Will your guests be standing? Are there options for those who will need to sit?
The beach can add a layer of difficulty when it comes to accessibility. So consider your guest list and figure out if any additional accommodations will need to be made so that no one misses out.
Waves are loud; beaches don’t necessarily come standard equipped with power outlets. So will your guests be able to hear you? Is your wedding small enough that you won’t need amplification? Or are you going to have to figure a portable power situation? Figure this stuff out in advance, or you may end up shouting to be heard in the rafters.
7. TIDES AND WEATHER
Always check the seasonality of rain in your area. If you’re getting married in a park, there’s a good chance that half the park won’t suddenly disappear and be unavailable to you halfway through the day. But that’s what happens at the beach. So make sure your ceremony start time won’t be engulfed by ocean.
8. HIGH SEASON OR LOW SEASON
Beach season varies by geography. In KwaZulu- Natal North Coast, the beaches are usually warm year round whereas in Western Cape, beach season is usually in summer. Figure out if your beach has a high season and a low season. Because there can be benefits and drawbacks to each depending on your wedding date. The upside to high season is better weather. The downsides are as follows: More crowded beaches