What Makes SA Weddings Truly Unique

We are incredibly lucky to live in a country which offers such an incredible abundance of beauty. It’s not surprising that many overseas guests fly here to tie the knot in South Africa. Just take a look around you – there is an endless amount of natural beauty. We are surrounded by the crisp, clear Atlantic and Indian Oceans on the Western and Eastern coastlines, offering breathtaking beach wedding settings for couples looking to exchange their vows on the sandy shores! In addition to this, South Africa offers sky-cutting mountaintops and rolling green lawns, vast expanses of Karoo veld and dense coastal forests, hardy vegetation, wild-spirited game reserves and lush vineyards – there is no shortage of backdrops and scenery. We most certainly live in an ideal country to get married in – and there are so many gorgeous elements of SA weddings which make them truly unique and special in their own way. From the food to the entertainment, we are going to list some amazing features of SA weddings!


Image source: Pexels

1. Food, Glorious Food

It’s no secret that South Africa has an array of incredible foods to choose from. The Western Cape is jam-packed with fine dining restaurants, wineries and incredible culinary experiences. We South Africans love to stick to tradition when it comes to food, and that is why you will find most families and friends having a braai every Sunday afternoon. Let’s not forget to mention all the desserts that granny used to bake for us growing up – milktart, koeksisters and malva pudding. It’s awesome when South African’s incorporate traditional South African food into their wedding – a taste of home! Here are some foods that make a South African wedding truly unique: Bobotie samosas (we highly recommend you add this to your list of canapes! Bobotie samosas are familiar, easy to eat and delicious!) Additional South African canapes may include: chicken or beef kebabs and mini rooster bread! For the main course, we love the idea of having a spit braai, accompanied by a potato bake, pumpkin fritters and a selection of fresh salads! To end off the night, we recommend a dessert station with milk tarts, peppermint crisp tarts and brownies!


Image source: Taste

2. Flowers

It’s not uncommon to find Proteas and fynbos at local weddings. They create endless accent colour combinations. Ranging from dusty pinks and champagne to dramatic deep oranges and purples. In addition, no one wants to walk down the aisle holding a bunch of wilted flowers. What’s amazing about fynbos and protea is that they are amazingly hardy and long-lasting, both in and out of the water. Dried fynbos and Proteas can also be used and add a distinctly rustic feel to your special day. We also like the idea of incorporating these traditional flowers into your wedding day because of the environmentally friendly factor. They are not ‘forced’ grown in tunnels or controlled environments. They are either grown in orchards or harvested from the wild on privately owned lands (both require permits and is strictly controlled). Also, they require very little water, which is an important factor to consider as since the Western Cape is experiencing a water serious crisis.


Image source: Pinterest

3. Entertainment

A unique feature of South African weddings is the entertainment. There is nothing more exciting than having the sound of marimbas dance through the air during pre-dinner drinks, and African dancers moving in the background. Modern uses of the marimba include solo performances, woodwind and brass ensembles, marimba concertos, jazz ensembles, marching band (front ensembles), drum and bugle corps, and orchestral compositions. Contemporary composers have used the unique sound of the marimba more and more in recent years – a perfect way of incorporating a traditional South African sound into your big day!


Image source: Pinterest 

4. Scenery and Venues

As previously mentioned, South Africa has more than enough wedding destinations to choose from – from gorgeous venues on the beach, to the charming Dutch-styled architecture on the Cape vineyards, to experiencing the warm African sunset at a traditionally styled lodge. Every province offers a unique South African experience. Below are some of our favourite spots:

Cape Town is the city of fair skies, gorgeous beaches, magnificent gardens and an extensive list of cape town wedding and reception venues. Let’s not forget the gorgeous vineyards in Stellenbosch or having Table Mountain as a backdrop for your wedding photographs. By selecting the Garden Route for your wedding, you can depend on some of the gorgeous scenery and ‘drop dead’ photo moments to augment whatever wedding plans you make. With the Eastern Cape as your destination, you are spoilt for choice. The coastline in this part of the country is a paradise, with warm waters and idyllic beaches. Gauteng, the ‘place of gold’, is a vibrant metropolis with so many different options, that it should definitely not be missed. The sun always shines in Gauteng, with a cosmopolitan, multicultural mix of people that give the city of ‘Jozi’ its own particular brand of culture!

Check out our awesome venues!


Image source: Vivid Blue Photography 

5. Drinks

Is it really a wedding without the array of excellent wines, the brandy, also famously known as “klippies en coke” and the springbokkie shots to get the night going? Food and alcohol is a massive part of your wedding day, and South Africa truly offers the best of the best when it comes to our cuisine and alcohol. We have plenty of wine that has been rated as top wine in the world. Wine enthusiasts travel from across the world to try our unique taste – farms such as Rust en Vrede, La Motte, Lanzerac, Lourensford, Tokara, Delaire Graff and Groot Constantia are a great choice if you are struggling to choose which wine you should on your wedding day.


Image source: Shutterstock

6. Style and Fashion

Another unique characteristic of South African weddings is all the fabulous guests you’ll spot there. South Africans have a great sense of fashion and style and they’ll be sure to dress up for the occasion! Traditional African weddings will most probably feature shweshwe – a fabric which we are obsessed with! Shweshwe is a printed dyed cotton fabric widely used for traditional South African clothing. Originally dyed indigo, the fabric is manufactured in a variety of colours and printing designs characterised by intricate geometric patterns. Due to its timeless popularity, shweshwe has been described as the denim, or tartan, of South Africa.


Image source: Vogue

More Helpful Resources:

  • Have a look at our Traditional African Wedding Dresses board on Pinterest
  • Find some amazing Self Catering Wedding Venues in our blog here
  • Check out Which Wedding Flowers are In Season in Autumn in South Africa here

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