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South Africa is just breathtaking, I can say that about a lot of places but SA continues to astound every single time you turn a corner, and then there are the infectious smiles to consider!
Home of the famous Garden route, Kruger national park, the World’s oldest mountain and longest wine route, what’s not to love! Plus, they produce some of the best Chenin Blanc you can ever wish to try which is only improved by sipping the golden liquid whilst watching the sun go down over a popular watering hole…bucket list tick right there!
The country’s diversity is off the charts and hard to explain…I love food so I’ll use that as an example. You can eat a Springbok steak on Cape Town Marina one day and enjoy tripe with a Xhosa family the next. You can eat the best Indian food you ever tasted outside of India and then some of the world’s best seafood…then there is the biltong, the Bunny chow, the Bobotie and the Braai. The list goes on and is never ending.
Like looking at a menu, when it comes to having an wedding in South Africa, you are literally spoiled for choice. You can have your wedding on an endless beach or up in mile high sand dunes. You can tie the knot in the brush amongst strolling giraffes and grazing zebra. You can wed on top of the world in the peaks of the Drakensberg mountains or even clinch the deal in a cage surrounded by sharks in the South Atlantic Ocean, or on the Cape itself next to a colony of penguins (watch out, they are a little stinky)!
If that all sounds a little extreme you can marry in a first class ranch with first class service and the most incredible food and wine, knowing that you are surrounded by some of the world’s most incredible raw beauty, or at a super modern luxury hotel in Cape Town or an Indian inspired palace in Durban. You really can have it all in South Africa.
There are a few limitations here with regards to the legal aspect of your wedding but all very easily overcome. Your marriage certificate must be signed in the presence of at least 2 witnesses and conducted in a religious building, in a public office or private home with open doors. If you wish to get married outside it is best to repeat the ceremony inside (with the doors open) just to avoid confusion as to whether you really are married! That aside the rest is pretty straight forward, it is all just a matter of deciding where to tie the knot!
We were lucky to experience several weddings in South Africa, all involving a different culture. From the Xhosa wedding, to the Zulu wedding to the Afrikaans, all were a delight and a privilege. We have never felt more welcomed than by the people in South Africa, nor have we ever known a genuine feeling of complete and utter joy during the celebration of our marriage. The singing and dancing uplifts you to another level of happy, the ululating a wonderful expression of true celebration from the soles of your feet to the air in your lungs.
The people exude warmth and happiness and if you are caught up in an embrace there is a danger you may never want to leave!
All singing, all dancing, all ululating; a wedding in Khayelitsha
The wedding in Khayelitsha was a blend of a modern township ceremony and a traditional Xhosa ceremony. We were welcomed into Lungi’s B&B and by all her neighbours in the township. Highlights included everyone singing and dancing and not wanting to stop and the genuine feeling of celebration throughout the township. We loved to see the children dancing and Lisa’s naming ceremony was something she will never forget.
Our wedding in South Africa - Cape Town
Xhosa ceremony on the Eastern Cape.
When we arrived at the hotel, we wondered how typically Xhosa this wedding was going to be but Fish River Sun pulled out all of the stops and the wedding was incredible. The traditions and cultures were so interesting and the whole day felt like such a celebration. Highlight – the atmosphere of the wedding was out of this world. The singing, dancing and rejoicing was soul lifting! Just what a wedding should be!
Our wedding in South Africa - Eastern Cape
A Zulu wedding in the Valley of 1000 hills.
Epic tour group 'Street Scene' planned for us to visit Isithumba, a local township in the hills where we were made so incredibly welcome by the whole village. They welcomed us into their homes, helped us dress for the nerve-racking ceremony and talked us though the way they celebrate a marriage. Highlight – Alex’s amazing dancing! He was asked to express the way he feels about Lisa in a dance in front of 20 Zulu warriors!
Our wedding in South Africa - The Valley of 100 hills, Durban
We would love to feature more weddings in South Africa right here!