The magic of a safari wedding – and what it takes to get there
Destination venues create extra excitement to the occasion, be they beach or winelands, island or safari. The setting adds an element of romance – not only for the intimacy of the ceremony and exchanging of vows, but also for photographic opportunities and memories of the Big Day
Where do you start? Well, draw up the guest list to establish how big the event will be – this will help when booking a venue to ensure that it can accommodate the numbers. Make contact with a reputable wedding co-ordinator whose experience will go a long way in assisting you to find the most appropriate venue as well as ensuring that the big day proceeds smoothly.
“It’s important to work out a budget for the wedding too, as this will determine many factors,” says Delyse Wade from DW Coordinators, the wedding co-ordinator at Tala Collection. “On average weddings cost between R1 500 and R2 000 per person. Therefore, the more guests you invite the more costly the wedding will be.”
“The venue is a major factor for setting the theme and feel for the wedding, so choose wisely,” adds Delyse. “Your wedding planner should draw up time schedules and take care of the day’s stressors. Attention to detail is easily achievable with personal touches, such as a monogram of the bridal couple’s initials on napkins, coasters, menus and stationery – this is very popular in the States.
“A nice touch would be an “African safari” theme favour for your guests to take home to remember their safari experience, such as a rhino key ring,” suggests Delyse. “You want to create lasting memories for your guests and there is no better way of doing this than making a weekend out of the wedding so they can enjoy a game drive before leaving, a champagne breakfast with breathtaking views and quality time with the bridal couple!”
Don’t forget details like what time the sun sets; this could be important in determining the timing on the day so that the ceremony includes the opportunity for those once-in-a-lifetime photographs which take the lighting and backdrop into account. If you are in the bush and looking for potential ‘natural’ photo-opportunities find out if the venue has a location near a waterhole to increase the chance of having wildlife in the background of the wedding photographs.
Continuing the safari theme, meet the on-site chef and arrange for a menu tasting so that you can devise a menu which incorporates all the elements and ingredients to suit your Safari day. This is easily echoed in the décor too. If the tone of the occasion is extremely casual – set up the wedding dinner in the Boma (if there is one) around a crackling fire and under the stars.
Safari weddings are perfect for couples who are particularly fond of the outdoors and have an appreciation of nature. Bush venues lend themselves to a few days’ break before and/or after the wedding. The bride and her retinue can make the most of on-site spa facilities (if available) and beauticians or make-up artists can be arranged by the Wedding Co-ordinator to join them prior to the occasion for a Pre-Wedding Pamper Party.
Stunning African sunsets, wide open spaces, wildlife sightings in the background of wedding photographs – these can all be found at Tala Collection Private Game Reserve – situated between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. There are two idyllic wedding venues on this 3 000-hectare property – each with its own unique romantic atmosphere.
The Fig Tree Barn is a large farmstead building which has been creatively restored with handcrafted chandeliers suspended from the rafters. A beautiful stone chapel – situated nearby – adds to the fairy-tale atmosphere and is just perfect for the exchanging of vows. The dramatic Barn is ideal for a larger reception – with seating for 260 guests.
The essence of Tala’s wildlife is a dominant feature at the Acacia venue. The hilltop setting, the nearby Acacia Dam, and the exquisite views of animals arriving at the watering hole in the late afternoon – all add to the magic and provide stunning photo-opportunities.
Fairy-lights illuminate the acacia trees surrounding the wooden deck at night adding to the romantic atmosphere. Weather permitting; the deck is a popular option for outdoor wedding ceremonies and receptions.
When planning an out-of-town wedding – especially if it is out in the bundu – ensure that the lodge can provide for overnight guests. Tala Collection has a range of accommodation available that is also suitable for the wedding party’s preparations prior to the ceremony.
Once the wedding date has been booked and confirmed, setting up a meeting with Tala Collection’s wedding co-ordinator is a must to draw up a schedule for streamlining the wedding plans. Make wedding appointments fun to avoid getting stressed.
Include the event organizer as part of the team – he/she can take a weight off the bridal party’s shoulders – leaving the bride, groom and families to enjoy the day and create a myriad of memories for the future.
Contact Tala Collection’s wedding co-ordinator at 031 781 8000 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information or visit our website at www.tala.co.za
One lucky couple can win a two-night stay at Paperbark lodge, Tala Collection Private Game Reserve, valued at R3830. The prize includes breakfast and a game drive. To enter visit fill in the entry form below and hold thumbs.
Durban Get It Magazine – July 2017Durban July sets the scene with the Colour of Magic.