Wherever you are in South Africa, winter can be a magical time of the year to host a wedding.
The Cape rains create a lush green winter landscape and thoughts of cosy log fires. The north is dry and crisp and great for an outdoor ceremony and a warm indoor reception. The best months in Kwazulu/Natal are April to September, when the weather is mild with little humidity.
Ten Things to Consider when Planning a Winter Wedding
Winter is low season, so venues, accommodation and honeymoons are less expensive.
Choose a venue that is warm and inviting rather than somewhere with a spectacular garden and lawns, as your guests will mostly be indoors. Log fires create a cosy and romantic atmosphere and especially if there is a view of snow-capped mountains.
The days are shorter so make the most of the darkness with log fires, plenty of candles and fairy lights. A magical send-off is for guests to form a passage holding sparklers as the bride and groom leave.
Rich colours work well for winter. Jewel tones add warmth and elegance. These go well with metallic touches of gold, silver, brass or rose gold, and dark foliage.
Instead of throwing rose petals over the bride and groom try a mix of dried autumn leaves.
- Wedding Dresses
Whether your dream dress is strapless or sleeveless, a faux fur jacket or wrap adds elegance and glamour. It’s also practical and can be removed at the reception.
Layered separates are a popular trend at present or a statement cape which can be sewn onto the dress, or worn over the dress and be removed later.
- Bridesmaids Dresses
A winter trend for bridesmaid’s dresses is velvet. This makes a warm statement and lends itself to rich jewel colours. Long sleeves are stylish and classic while keeping you warm at the same time.
Now is the chance to go bold with your make-up. There will be less natural light for photographs so ask your make-up artist to accentuate your make-up according to your skin tone, with bold lipstick, eye liner and eye shadow.
Everyone loves comfort food and winter is an opportunity to serve these classics. South African favourites like Malva Pudding, Cape Brandy Pudding and fruit pies are always popular. Serve elegant warm soups in shot glasses, hot pots and artisanal breads. Caterers have clever ideas to give those nostalgic foods an interesting twist.
- Hot Chocolate Bar
A fun trendy alternative to a gin station is a hot chocolate or coffee bar. Have jars of mini marshmallows, cinnamon sticks, star anise, orange peel and cream liqueurs for guest to add to their hot chocolate.
As always, it’s your wedding, and whether you go with the current trends or not, it’s your choice. It’s your dream day, so go with what makes you happy.