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COME RAIN OR SHINE

From pristine beaches to the bush, we have some of the world’s most beautiful wedding destinations on our doorstep. But there’s so much more to planning an outdoor celebration than hoping for the best; you have to prepare for the worst.


You’ve always dreamed of saying your vows in the dappled shade of a gint baobab and dancing the night away under a starlit sky. As fate would have it, your big day dawns with heavy rain warnings. After a few unnerving moments, plan B is seamlessly put into place and your wedding celebrations go off witout a hitch. You’re happy you’ve long forgotten about the baobab and the open-air dance floor. But let’s say, apart from keeping your fingers crossed for luck, that there isn’t a solid plan B. Well Bridey, let’s not dwell on the negative but get down to the nitty gritty as the real key to outdoor wedding success is step-by-step planning.


Step 1

WEIGH UP THE LOCATION’S PROS AND CONS


IN THE BUSH

The pros:

Getting married in the dappled shade of a giant baobab; a romantic dance floor lit up by lanterns and candles; less stress as most game lodges are equipped to host weddings and know what they’re doing; no extra hiring costs as everything’s included in the overall package.


The cons:

Hot and sticky summer days with a good chance of thunderstorms in the afternoons; cold winter nights; mosquitoes and creepy-crawlies (avoid malaria areas, especially in summer); travel and accommodation costs.


AT A WINE FARM

The pros:

The choice of wine farms that offer all-inclusive wedding packages and experienced coordinators; the views; the vino at cellar price.


The cons:

The farms can be extremely hot and dry in the summer months; in the winter months the prices might be low (yes that is a pro), but you’ll have to allow for rain and cold weather; travel and accommodation costs.


IN THE GARDEN

The pros:


Getting married at your family home is a sentimental option; there’s no venue hire; more space and fewer guest list constraints.


The cons: Hiring everything from the podium to the portable loos; noise restrictions in the residential area; the cost of a good marquee (it can be more than a venue); dealing with the clean-up afterwards.


ON THE BEACH

The pros:

Saying your vows in the sand with gentle waves lapping at your feet; minimal décor required; breathtaking photographs.


The cons:

High chances of wind and/or rain mean extra hiring costs of tables, chairs and a canopy; hair messed up by the wind; pesky seagulls and sand flies; beach permit hassles; travel and accommodation costs.


“There is something magical about celebrating a marriage in the great outdoors, but a lot can go wrong…”


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