by Elmarie Leonard June 14, 2017.
I have done 300 beach weddings the past 15 years on the West Coast of the Western Cape. My focus is Saldanha, Jacobs bay, Yzerfontein, St.Helenabay and mostly in Langebaan on the Langebaan lagoon. This is a destination wedding area and have many options when choosing an ideal venue.
Langebaan is only an hour’s drive from Cape Town and St.Helenbay and Paternoster is about two hours drive from Cape Town.
The ambiance is simplicity, nature, driftwood and a huge variety of Fynbos during the different times of the year.
The following advise for choosing a beach venue:
Flowers- go natural and indigenous;
If you are worried about hair blowing then a beach wedding is not advisable;
Have good karma- from experience I observed that the brides concerned with everything, but their groom and the gathering of family on that day, usually had the worst weather; Those who enjoyed the family gathering and live by Ce la Vie, normally got the best weather; This is just my own observation and own opinion;
Choose a venue suited for a Plan A and B in case of bad weather, which can be windy or meaning rain; or harsh sun in mid-day. This is very important:
Our rainy months are mid-May, June, July, August and September to mid-October, like severe storms and rainy weather;
November, December, January can be very windy.
January, February and March can be very hot.
April and first week of May, mid-October can be champagne weather- it always rains the week after Easter weekend, so avoid Easter weekend and after.
Weather is however unpredictable, so have a good weather service to check Plan A and B the week before. Use websites like www.windgure. Langebaan or www.windguru.Saldanha,
www.windguru+town to give you an hour to hour forecast a week before. It is 95% accurate.
Check when is sunset and work two hours back for the ceremony and allow another hour for the service and another 30 minutes for guests to arrive.
So if the sunset is 19:00- work back two hours till 17:00 for pre-drinks, and ceremony starting at 16:00 and guests arriving at 15:30. The reason for this is that the sun on the West Coast can be very harsh till about 15:00-15:30.
Best times for photographs on the West Coast is normally from 07:00-10:00 and then form 17:00-18:30.
Hire the best photographer you can afford with knowledge of the venue and area, as this will ensure great photographs; The West Coast Light is a challenge for any photographer; Ask for references and other wedding albums taken on the West Coast.
by Elmarie Leonard