We asked South Africa wedding planner Fiona Gordon to explain which areas in South Africa are her favourite for weddings and why.
How did you decide to become a wedding planner?
I have never thought of myself as a 'wedding planner' as such (although I suppose I am in a way, as I do get involved in all sorts of aspects of the organization of your wedding - whatever is necessary) but mostly we handle the logistics of your destination wedding - flights, car hire or transfers, accommodation, further honeymoon arrangements (perhaps you want to travel in Africa to other destinations, like the tropical islands off of Mozambique after the wedding, and we include tours and activities etc.). We package your destination wedding vacation with specific wedding packages that have been put together by our preferred hotels. We choose these packages based on the lodge/hotel's location and ambiance. Lodges on the beach, or safari lodges in the most awesome and remote locations. We work with wedding coordinators on the ground, who are usually a part of the hotel's staff compliment, who have long standing relationships with suppliers for photography, hair and make-up etc. We assist couples as well as wedding parties with the wedding from start to finish.
What's the best part about being a wedding planner?
I really enjoy the 'romance' of being on safari, and it's a pleasure to share the natural spirituality of nature and the wilderness with others. Getting married in the 'bush' is something unique, memorable, special - it really ticks all the boxes.
Which areas of your country do you enjoy organizing weddings in, and why?
South Africa has both great beaches and wonderful remote wilderness, but I particularly enjoy the opportunity to showcase a 'wild' coastline. Many of the secluded and remote beaches are actually at the edge of a wilderness area and guests will have a long coastline with vegetated dunes and simply sea and sand and natural beauty. But I do love safari weddings, perhaps it's because I simply love the African wilderness and with every opportunity I have personally, I take the family into the 'bush'. Safari weddings are the ultimate romantic indulgence.
What's the most unusual wedding you've organized?
I suppose safari weddings are pretty unique for most couples/people.
What's the most popular type of wedding you organize?
Beach weddings and safari weddings.
What advice would you give couples wanting to get married in your country?
Summer in South Africa is characterized by high temps and humidity, particularly in certain areas. Late afternoon thunder showers are common place, but they don't last long - usually the storms are wonderful - big bursts of rain, a display of thunder and lightning - which is always pretty exciting, and then it's over. So if you are planning on coming out during summer, a morning wedding is best - if you are getting married out in the open and are braving the elements (beach wedding) you need to ensure you have a game plan if the weather suddenly changes.
April through to September is top months for weddings as the weather is warm during midday, clear blue skies and not to humid. However, South Africa is quite a vast country and therefore it is best to check with us first as to 'which area' is best during specific months.
Also remember with a beach wedding, very often the noise of the waves and wind will drown out the words of the minister/musicians/wedding anthem, so just to bear this in mind, particularly if you have a small group of friends with you - they will not hear the minister on really windy days as his voice will be carried away by the wind and the sound of the sea and surf.
Fiona runs Intriguing Africa
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