Weddings in the wild – whether on a game farm or a pristine beach – have an irresistible allure for many, but it’s just as well to be aware of some cautions (and precautions) you need to consider.
In order to marry on a public beach you do need to obtain permission from the City Council. Allow at least a week for the permit to be issued. It is also important to bear in mind that the drinking of alcohol is not permitted on public beaches and the fact that most beaches are public areas means that your wedding service is open to any passersby who happen to be on the beach.
If you are using the services of a wedding coordinator, he or she will be able to acquire the necessary permit for you. As the weather in Cape Town can be unpredictable, it is always advisable to have a Plan B in case you do have inclement weather. It is also advisable to speak to your Marriage Officer regarding the legalities of marrying outdoors, as he may request that you repeat your vows and sign the register indoors.
If you are travelling into the bush for your wedding or honeymoon, we recommend that you check in advance whether you need to take malaria tablets, as this is advisable in certain regions. For information regarding areas where you are at risk, visit www.travelclinic.co.za.
Whilst it might seem very romantic to marry on top of Table Mountain, this can be fraught with unforeseen problems. The weather is the major factor to be taken into account, as when the famous Cape south-easter blows at gale force, the cableway does not operate. Since this is the only means of reaching the summit – besides physically climbing the mountain – you do run the risk of your wedding being put on hold for another day. Alternatively, you could be halfway through the ceremony when the cloud comes down and you have to leave the mountain!
Nevertheless, if this really is your dream, the venue they offer is most suitable for small wedding parties (up to 15 people) and despite the possible drawbacks, the bonus is of course the magnificent views. We recommend, however, that you contact a function coordinator, who will be able to organise it all for you. Incidentally, as it is always several degrees cooler on top of the mountain, remember to take warm clothing with you, regardless of the weather at ground level.
- Definitely one of the more beautiful venues for a wedding!
- Perfect for Tented weddings, as there are no electrical or water cables to peg into.
- Can be highly secluded, depending on the beach chosen.
- The definitive “relaxed” wedding!
- Sand! Can be a nightmare for catering and bar services!
- Weather can be very unpredictable at the beach.
- Many beaches do not allow Glass or alcohol to be served on the sand.
- Privacy – you will have no control over a public beach.
- Logistics costs are very high – no power or running water on the beach.
The Must Haves:
- A permit! Unless a private beach is being used, you must have a permit to use the beach for a wedding. These are usually available from the local council and should be organised well in advance.
- Power – a small generator (Preferably a semi-silent) will need to be used for any lighting, sound or catering that needs to be done.
- Flooring – although not a must, most furniture does not remain stable on sand. It is also far easier to clean a carpet than the beach itself!
- A good local knowledge of the beach! No faster way of ruining the party than an unforeseen high tide!
- Look for venues at the beach, but not on the sand – ie: a grass area above the beach.
- Have the ceremony on the beach and move to a venue nearby for the reception.
- Make sure you use suppliers that have prior experience of working functions on a beach.
- Ensure that you are aware of weather patterns for the time of year you are looking at – available from the SA Weather Bureau.
- Security is a great idea for a beach function! Allows you to relax knowing that security is not a concern!
- Make sure the beach is your ideal venue, for both of you!