If you are in the process of planning a winter wedding in South Africa, we’d like to give you a virtual high five straight out of the gate. Good on you! Winter in SA, especially the Western Cape, can be such a beautiful time to tie the knot, and there are great savings to be enjoyed on off-season venue rates as well, of course!
However, getting hitched in winter has a few added challenges, what with the weather being a little unpredictable and all. So, to smooth the way for fuss-free cool-weather nuptial celebrations, we’ve gathered some insider tips from our seasoned Hazendal event planners.
Here you go!
1. Choose your venue with care
Okay, so this pretty much goes without saying, but if you want to get married in the Western Cape during the winter months, you need to be prepared with an all-weather venue.
Odds are you’ll strike it lucky and enjoy an endlessly blue, cool-yet-sunny beaut of a day on your wedding day, but on the off chance that it’s raining cats and dogs, you want to be prepared. The absolute ideal is an indoor/outdoor set-up that can be utilised in a variety of ways.
We're currently running a winter wedding special, you don't miss out on this exclusive offering, spots are booking out quickly. Take a look at what's on offer over here.
Additionally, it has to be noted that it's not fun (or easy) to travel in the rain. You’ll solve half your travel problems if you hold your ceremony and reception in the same venue. Then guests won’t have to travel between the two, which could take a while in bad weather.
TOP TIP: Since the majority of your winter wedding is likely to take place once the sun has gone down, try to arrange a visit to your venue in the evening so you can scope out the lighting, etc. It's also nice if you can take along your photographer so they can plan their shots.
We also have a variety of wedding venues to choose from, take a look over here to take a look.
2. Have a rain plan in place in case of bad weather
Listen, the odds are the day of your wedding with dawn brightly and beautiful even in winter, but just in case there is a smattering of rain (or a full-on deluge) on the cards, it's good to have a rain plan in place.
Discuss the matter with the event team at your chosen venue beforehand, and be ready with a contingency plan that includes a tent and heaters to smooth over any outdoor or open-air plans you may have.
3. Send out your save-the-dates nice and early
The off-peak season for most South African wedding venues like Hazendal falls between the 1st of May and the 30th of September. Often, this timeline will include a winter school holiday and one or two public holidays as well - a double-edged sword if ever there was one.
On the one hand, this is great, because many of your guests may have time off. On the other hand, they may also have planned getaways and celebrations of their own to coincide with this vacation. So, to be on the safe side, send out your save-the-dates earlier than you would think was completely necessary.
We've just launched a limited offer on our winter weddings, for bridal couples just like you. Don't miss this once-off opportunity to get married at the venue of your dreams.
4. Choose seasonal blooms
Most brides have a very clear vision (and super extensive Pinterest board or two!) when it comes to the flowers for their wedding. The thing is, if you get married in winter, you can save yourself a fair amount of money if you opt for seasonal blooms.
Unlike our Northern Hemisphere counterparts, we are rather blessed when it comes to South African wedding flowers in winter. Because our seasons are not as clearly defined, and we have a warmer climate year-round, there are still many lovely flowers in bloom right throughout the winter months.
This includes tulips, hyacinths, anemone, amaranthus, irises, daisies, gladiolus, foxgloves, camellias, delphiniums, azaleas, dahlias, cornflowers, and more!
5. Check that your photographer has winter shoot experience
Most of the top South African wedding photographers can shoot a winter wedding without batting an eyelid. However, just to be sure, always check in with your preferred service provider to ensure that they are fully prepared and able to deal with inclement weather if it should occur.
While outdoor pictures are of course lovely, especially if your venue grounds are stunning, indoor photo ops are not to be sniffed at either. It’s normally a good rule of thumb to take your family pictures indoors at winter weddings since there are normally older guests involved who may not deal that well with the cold. Also remember to schedule outside pics earlier on the day due to earlier sunsets, etc.
There you have it - five things to bear in mind when planning a winter wedding in South Africa. Now you know, so go forth and plan the joining ceremony of your dreams.
In fact, we made planning your wedding a breeze with this nifty month-by-month planning guide. Click the button below to download your own copy.