With about 2 500 kilometres of pristine coastline, South Africa is one of the hottest destinations for a beach wedding. Whether you are thinking of the trendy beaches of Cape Town, with the Twelve Apostles or Clifton rock formations in the background; or you prefer the rugged, unspoilt wildness of the Transkei coastline, South Africa certainly does not disappoint.
A beach wedding in South Africa combines the very best of romance and a gorgeous setting, and is flexible enough for couples looking for that Boho-chic element, or those that want absolute class and elegance.
With hundreds of beaches, there are plenty of options for the perfect beach wedding in South Africa.
The Western Cape has the elegant beaches of Llandudno, Camps Bay, Clifton, or Noordhoek. For something on the wild side, Melkbosstrand or Milnerton are ideal. In the Eastern Cape, there are the pristine beaches of Port Elizabeth (like Kings Beach, Pollock Beach or the utter beauty of Sardinia Bay), as well as the gorgeous Kidds Beach in East London.
The Wild Coast has a distinctive tropical look and feel about it. The black cliffs of the Coffee Bay tumble to turquoise waters and cream-coloured sands, while wild cows and donkeys amble past. Port St John’s has similar appeal and promises breath-taking backdrops.
The beaches of KwaZulu-Natal are wonderfully scenic; and they include the likes of Hibberdene, Margate, Umzumbe, Ramsgate, Lucien and Trafalgar, which are all Blue Flag beaches. For something a little different, Kosi Bay and Sodwana Bay are just lovely.
Tips for your beach wedding in South Africa
- Apply for a permit from the city council of the city in which the beach is situated (your wedding planner may be able to do this for you).
- Be prepared for the other people on the beach to watch your wedding, take photographs, and walk within fairly close proximity.
- Check the tide and weather patterns for the time at which you want to get married (the time of year and the time of day). For instance, Cape Town can be very windy between October and December, while Port Elizabeth tends to get windy almost every afternoon.
- Ensure that there is a nearby spot with ablutions.
- When choosing a beach wedding, an alternative in the case of bad weather is absolutely essential.
- Choose a wedding photographer that has done beach weddings before and can make the most out of your gorgeous venue.
- Spend plenty of time on several beaches at around the time you would like to be married to ensure that you understand the conditions (like walking distance, sunlight, sun direction, parking availability, how easy it is to walk on the sand, and so on).
- Remember that the official signing of the register has to happen in a room or an indoor venue after the ceremony. It is not legal for these administrative processes to be done on the beach.
With a little extra planning, a clear vision and a good sense of adventure, your South African beach wedding will be a spectacular event.
Happy Wedding Planning!