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Tips for Planning a Cape Town Wedding

pano Delaire

Do you need a few Tips for planning a wedding in Cape Town, South Africa? Well, you’ve come to the right place! with its vast variety of venues and well established wedding industry Cape Town has become the wedding paradise for couples from all over the world.  The beauty, the weather and the exchange rate make it a very attractive option for those wanting to elope, make a holiday out of the whole celebration or ex pats looking to come home to get married.  The abundance of venues range from stately wine farms with a backdrop of majestic mountains to beautiful white beaches.  Extravagant or understatedly simple – what every your needs are you will find it here in South Africa.

The bulk of my weddings that I have photographed over the years have been international clients.  They range from weddings of 350 guests that fly in from all over the world to enjoy all that Cape Town has to offer to small weddings where the couple have eloped and I get to act as witness.  The nature of technology means that you can plan an entire wedding without actually being here.  Many of my Skype conversations with clients have been even more proactive then actual face to face meetings but mostly my clients just book me based on my work or reputation, many without even having met me personally.  I have been lucky enough to have a few wedding couples hire me for the entire week to document every aspect of their stay.  If you decide to do this make sure that you connect with your photographer and limit the time you spend with your photographer to just to a few hours  a day so you can have some alone time.

Destination weddings in South Africa:

There has never been a better time have a destination wedding in South Africa! No matter where you are from you are likely to get excellent value for money, far better than you do at home. I’m proud to say that our South African level of photography is among the best in the world. As with any industry we have different levels of photographers. Given that international currencies are so strong at the moment means that you may very well be able to afford a top level photographer in South Africa with ease.

If you have any doubts as to what you can get for your currency have a look at what your currency is worth below.

USD in ZAR (click to see current) (South African Rand)

GPB in ZAR (click to see current)

EUR in ZAR (click to see current)

AUD in ZAR (click to see current)

Currency perspective:

An average meal in a decent restaurant will set you back between R250 – R500 per person (R500 is expensive for us!), that includes drinks / wine. If you get the urge visit www.zomato.co.za  for even more food info. And finally a to use burgernomics! A McDonald’s Medium McChicken meal with a medium milk shake will set you back about R40.00 that’s $2.60, £1.84 or 1.34 How can you not come to South Africa!! have your wedding here too!! Your guests will LOVE South Africa! Oh and if you weren’t convinced yet!?!? We’re an awesome bunch of people!

World class Wedding Industry standards!

We have a world class wedding industry here in South Africa, as a photographer I’m continually aware of what other photographers are doing. I notice the backgrounds and styling and believe me The South African Wedding Industry knows it’s stuff! We are equipped to make your day awesome from beginning to end to the photos and video afterward.

Do you need a wedding planner?

This depends entirely on how much time and budget you have and how good you are at letting go and trusting somebody with the responsibility.  Top wedding planners are on the cutting edge of trends and have exceptional organizational skills that will arrange everything from a payment schedules, appointments, bookings, deliveries to the tiny little details that make your wedding unique to you.  They have relationships with service providers in the industry that have an excellent work ethic and reputation but not all their suggestions need to be adhered to.  When it comes to your photographer or videographer source your style independently so that your options are more vast than a small recommended suppliers list.

Wedding planners have a “list” don’t always let them choose.

For example, photography style is a personal choice and should not be left to the wedding planner most of them have a list  of service providers and they seldom deviate.  This could be great but it suits you but also means you may not be given a wide variety of choice either. Before hiring a wedding planner start by chatting to the various venues you have in mind and see if they recommend the need for a planner.  Some venues have planners who are part of their packages.

Choosing a photographer

There are a number of different styles and wedding photographer personalities in South Africa and you need to find the exact fit for you and your partner.  This is the one area where you should do your own investigation by using google, Pinterest and even Instagram, word of mouth etc.  Wedding planners and venues all have their preferred service providers who they have built up relationships with and while they all work well with the planners and venue staff, they also need to fit you and your favoured style.  It is very important that you actually get on with your photographer.  He or she can bring a huge element of fun and special moments to your day.

Style:

Firstly decide if you prefer a more traditional or contemporary photographer or more cutting edge creative photographer.  You get photojournalistic photographers who just capture the event as it unfolds and you get edgy, dramatic photographers who create art.  This kind of photographer’s style tends to be quite stylized and fashion like.   Remember it is an event so in the end the photographer should direct, stylize and make art in the couple shoot and the bridal and groom portraits and then turn to a more photojournalistic approach during the ceremony and remain as unobtrusive as possible.

Book your photographer early:

  • For popular times book your wedding photographer 9 months to a year in advance.
  • Weekday weddings, Sunday’s or winter weddings are easier at short notice.

Research your photographers online presence:

As with any industry there are scams or photographers who have just started out who steel images and showcase them as their own.  A lot of photographers have youtube videos of them shooting from behind the scenes or giving photographic tutorials or the like.  This as well as a large portfolio of weddings at well-known cape town wedding venues is a sure way to know you in good hands.  Have a look at what kind of presence the photographer has on his website.  Use your head and evaluate if the photographer is legit or not.  Seek references and get a feel for your photographer over skype or email.  You will soon find your fit.

Avoid hiring a family member or friend who is starting out and offers to do capture your day for free:

This can be tempting but relationships have been destroyed because of this very thing.  Even professional fashion photographers or landscape photographers who are brilliant at what they do are not a good idea.  You need a photographer who understands the fast pace and unpredictability of a wedding.  If somebody offers tell him or her that you would prefer to have them as a guest to your special day rather than being behind a camera for ten hours.  You want a specialist wedding photographer.

Choosing a venue:

Choosing a wedding venue is such a personal thing.  It depends on so many factors for example: amount of wedding guest, bush, beach, farm, wine farms, city, small and intimate, large and extravagant.  I could go on but here are a few top notch wedding venues with brilliant reputations and experiences that blow me away every time I work there.  Photographically they are all more than worthy.

Legal implications/marriage officer

It is stress-free to get married in South Africa.  All you need is a Marriage Officer (please see recommendations below), a couple of witnesses (I as the photographer have been one) and somebody who wants to marry you J

Marriage officers are usually very helpful with guiding you through all the legal details and are up to date with any document requirement changes that occur.  At the time of writing this article if you don’t have a South African Identity Document you will need to complete an affidavit called a BI-31.  Your marriage officer is a Commissioner of Oaths and can complete this with you.

Updated information directly from the Department of Home Affairs:  http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/civic-services/marriage-certificates

Documents required to enter into marriage:

On the day of the marriage a couple must present the following documents to the person officiating at the wedding:

  • Identity documents(for each person getting married)
  • If a foreign national is marrying a South African citizen, they should both present their valid passports as well as well as a completed BI-31 Form (Declaration for the Purpose of Marriage, Letter of no impediment)
  • If the wedding is for a minor (a person under the age of 18 years), the written consent of both parents/ legal guardian or the Commissioner of Child Welfare or a judge should be submitted on Form DHA-32 as well. If the minors getting married are under the ages of 18 for boys or 15 for girls, the written consent from the Minister of Home Affairs will also be required
  • If any of the persons getting married are divorced, then the final decree of divorce should be furnished
  • If any of the persons getting married are widowed, the deceased spouse’s death certificate must be submitted.

Here are a list of highly recommended marriage officers that are not only experienced and reliable but have a way with the couple and guests that turns the ceremony into a spectacular commemorative service.  Thought provoking, sentimental, personal and entertaining are a few of the descriptive words that come to mind when I think of these marriage officers.

Roger Horwood – rhorwood@netactive.co.za

Patrick Bouche – 0826418700 – patrickb@cybersmart.co.za

Peter Fox –  www.peterfoxcounseling.com

What time of year is best to get married in South Africa?

South Africa’s Summer months are from November till about March with average temperatures of 25 degree Celsius (77 Fahrenheit) and highs known to reach 32 – 38 degrees Celsius and beyond especially in the Paarl, Franschoek and Stellenbosch areas where there are an abundance of wine farm wedding venues.  The south east wind can be known to blow quite hard in summer months so make sure the venue is prepared for that.  Our winters are wet and chilly but there are some gorgeous winter sunny days.  The advantage of getting married in winter in South Africa are many.

Picnic Garden Wedding Ideas

Picnic weddings are a totally unique and fun way to celebrate your marriage. We love them because they can take on so many different forms: from the formal, featuring champagne and blanket-to-blanket food service, to the casual, where guests serve themselves from a DIY sandwich bar and a barrel full of beers. Because these outdoor weddings are nontraditional, they require lots of creativity and some careful planning. Read on for eight things to consider if you want to have a picnic wedding.

How to Plan a Picnic Wedding

Picnic Garden Wedding

Picnic weddings are a totally unique and fun way to celebrate your marriage. We love them because they can take on so many different forms: from the formal, featuring champagne and blanket-to-blanket food service, to the casual, where guests serve themselves from a DIY sandwich bar and a barrel full of beers. Because these outdoor weddings are nontraditional, they require lots of creativity and some careful planning. Read on for eight things to consider if you want to have a picnic wedding.

1. Location, location, location.

You can host a picnic wedding in pretty much any outdoor space: a local park; a campground; the beach; or even your backyard. But before you settle on a location, consider the logistics: Are there permits you’ll need to acquire? Your city’s website will have information on how to apply for and obtain the right permissions. Are there bylaws that will affect your wedding plans? Think noise ordinances, alcohol restrictions and nighttime curfews. Read your city’s website thoroughly or call the parks department to ensure all of the legalities are squared away before sending out your invites. If you’re having your wedding at home, be sure you inform your neighbors well in advance — and consider inviting them!

2. Stuff you’ll need.

A park or yard is a blank canvas for a wedding, so you’ll need to bring in just about everything, from decor to table settings. If your location features picnic tables, consider bringing in table cloths that show off your personality. Otherwise, figure out how many blankets you’ll need to accommodate your guests; consider putting families or groups of friends together, but be mindful of the size of each blanket — you don’t want anyone to feel crowded. You’re also going to need plates, cups, flatware, serving utensils and a table for food and beverages. Depending on the type of entertainment you choose, you may also need to rent a sound system.

3. Bathrooms.

This one’s a biggie: Whether your wedding’s in a park, at home or on the beach, the bathroom question can be a challenging one. If you host your wedding in a park or at the beach, you may have access to public restrooms. Check them out before your wedding and decide if they’re clean and functional enough for your guests. You may want to bring in your own toilet paper and hand soap in case what’s provided isn’t up to snuff. If you marry at a private home, the existing indoor bathrooms may be fine for a small wedding (about 30-50 guests), but if you’re hosting a larger group, consider renting a fancy port-o-potty.

4. Bad weather back-up plan.

Unless you live in sunny Southern California, perfect weather isn’t always a guarantee. If your picnic wedding will be held in a backyard, prep the house as a bad weather back-up plan. Even if you can’t have the same crazy dance party you’d planned outdoors, an indoor wedding full of music, food and good friends will be just as special. To prepare for bad weather at a park or beach wedding, you may want to rent a tent (though be sure you check with city officials about the legality of erecting a temporary structure). You could also prep up a back-up location, such as a private home, in case of inclement weather — that’s the nice thing about a picnic wedding, it’s so low key you can shift plans without too much upset!

5. The food.

Now the fun part: picking out your wedding food! You have infinite options at a picnic wedding: bring in a food truck; ask your favorite restaurant to cater; have a potluck; set up a DIY sandwich bar; do formal passed apps; or pack a bagged lunch for each guest. You’ll want to avoid serving foods that are difficult to eat — such as soups — and stick to finger foods or dishes like pasta salad that can be served and eaten with ease.

6. Guest comfort.

Depending on the season, there will be different comfort-related issues to tackle. If it’s the height of summer, bring in umbrellas and hand-held fans to provide a little shade and cooling. Is the ground hard? Scatter some pillows around your blanketed picnic area or rent a couple of sofas for additional seating. Will there be bugs in the air on your big day? Purchase some citronella candles or offer guests bug spray upon arrival. Remember to purchase enough water for the duration of your event and have plenty of ice on hand to keep drinks cool.

7. Decorations and details.

The beauty of a picnic wedding is that by choosing a location you love, you can keep your decor minimal — a few floral arrangements, garlands, bunting or twinkling lights are pretty and simple. We’ve seen couples put floral arrangements on each picnic blanket or just on the dessert table — the options are endless!

8. Entertainment.

The time of day, location and style of wedding you want to have will dictate your big-day entertainment. If you want to hire a band or play music, be mindful of local ordinances restricting amplified sound. If you’re having a daytime wedding, lawn games, badminton, volleyball and other activities are fun for guests. You could even do a craft (doubles as a wedding favor!) or set up a temporary tattoo station.

Thanks Rustic Wedding Chic for these things to consider.

Sacred Mountain Lodge can help you plan the perfect picnic garden wedding and you won’t have to worry about a thing!

Rainy Day Weddings

Reasons You Want Rain on Your Wedding Day (Seriously!)

Article from brides.com

Rainy Day Weddings

Rainy Day Weddings

Name your number one wedding fear. If you said rain on your wedding day, you’re likely in good company. Many couples — especially those who plan outdoor affairs — worry nothing more than a mere drizzle could ruin the whole day.

But, says Aviva Samuels, owner of Kiss the Planner in Palm Beach, Florida, “five, 10 and 25 years from now, the very last thing on your mind will be the weather on your wedding day. You are marrying the love of your life, and that is for a lifetime. In the grand scheme of things, rain is probably the least tragic thing that you will encounter.”

If you need some extra encouragement, however, to fully embrace the idea of rain on your wedding day, we get it. That’s why we’ve gathered seven reasons you’ll actually want it. And yes, we’re serious.

1. You’ll love your photos.

When you think of taking snapshots in the rain, put aside your visions of frizzing hair and stepping your peep-toes into puddles, and instead focus on the photo-op at hand. “Photos with umbrellas can be so cute that you might even wish for rain,” says Samuels. “Multi-colored or completely clear, there’s an artistic opportunity to take advantage of with rain.” In fact, if you fear rain is in your forecast, “consider silk-screening the bridal party’s names on the umbrellas so that the photo is even more cute,” Samuels suggests.

2. Rain gives you an excuse to cuddle.

As Nicole Harris, co-founder of One Last Frog in Southern California, reminds us, “rain is romantic.” Think of it this way: A light drizzle or a huge downpour will encourage you to cuddle close to your new spouse under the same umbrella — or find fun ways to warm one another up or dry one another off! Plus, Harris says, “the patter of the rain on umbrellas and the windows is the sweetest sound you’ll hear, and is a sound that is associated with romance.”

3. Your flowers could last longer.

You can’t wait to see your centerpieces, only to find that when you’ve arrived to your tented reception, they’ve succumbed to the heat and wilted. But that won’t happen on a rainy day, says Rhae Adams, owner and lead designer of Found in Nature in Kansas City. “Flowers are less likely to wilt in rainy conditions,” she says. “Overcast skies, cooler temperatures and humidity all generally make flowers happier than sun, heat and dry air.”

4. It’ll make for a great story.

Wedding day disasters may not seem funny in the moment, but one day you’ll love telling your children — or, heck, anyone who will listen — the epic story of how you battled a big storm on your wedding day to your grandchildren, Samuels says. “Everyone loves a good story, and if hurricane winds ripped your wedding arch down or a torrential downpour caused your updo to go south or makeup to melt, you can be the hero of the story that persevered and loved every moment of it, the good, the bad and the ugly.”

5. You could see a rainbow.

What comes at the end of an awful storm? “If it rains and the rain stops, the perfect rainbow backdrop can be created,” says Harris. And, she adds, “it’s free of charge, thanks to mother nature.” Who doesn’t love free decor?

6. It could be good luck.

Maybe in your mind, rain on your wedding day is the worst thing that can happen. A sign, if you will, that you have really bad luck. But, says Samuels, “in some cultures, rain on your wedding day is considered good luck, symbolizing fertility and cleansing. So whether you are superstitious or just prefer to look on the bright side, think of it this way: Who couldn’t use a little good luck on their big day?”

7. You can say bye-bye to that stuffy nose.

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, the last thing you may want on your wedding day is hot, sunny skies — the perfect conditions to kick your allergies into high gear and turn your nose and eyes red, says Adams. “Rain reduces airborne pollen,” she explains, “so if it’s allergy season, you and your wedding party will feel better.”

Winter Weddings

Inspiration Gallery for Winter Weddings – Hitched.co.uk

Don’t wait for summer to tie the knot!  Winter affords some wonderful opportunities for cosy, intimate weddings with a warm glow and rich colours.

Winter Weddings

 

Wedding Photo Ideas

Totally Fun Wedding Photo Ideas and Poses for Your Wedding Party

Say cheese and get ready to go a little crazy for the camera using our pick of totally fun wedding photo ideas and poses for your wedding party! Your special day is one of the few times that you’ll be dressed in your finest, looking all spiffy alongside your not only your new partner, but also your nearest and dearest too. So snap a few super cute and slightly silly pics with your loved ones to make sure that you have even more special memories to add to your photo wall after the big day. 

Bridesmaid Wedding Photo Ideas and Poses

Wedding Photo Ideas and Poses - Bridesmaids (3)

 1. L.O.V.E this fun wedding photo idea which uses bride and bridesmaids to spell out the word love.

Wedding Photo Ideas and Poses - Bridesmaids (2)

 2. Ka-pow, girl power! This cute shot shows off the rings off the wedding and engagement rings adorned by this group of gals.

Wedding Photo Ideas and Poses - Bridesmaids (4)

3. Here comes your wife! Quirky handheld signs make for a very fun bridesmaid wedding photo and can also be a fun DIY project to bond over before the wedding.

Photos by: Tony Gambino www.tonygambinophoto.com

 4. Peek a boo, I see you! Line your ladies up in a pretty row and have them turn around for a sweet series of pics that will be really cute framed in a row.

Wedding Photo Ideas and Poses - Bridesmaids (1)

 5. Girls just want to have fun! Capture a moment of carefree innocence like this by getting a little bit silly with your bridesmaids before the big moment.

Wedding Photo Ideas and Poses - Bridesmaids (5)

 6. Guess who? Snap a shot with your girls hiding behind their beautiful bouquets for a darling effect.

Wedding Photo Ideas and Poses - Bridesmaids (6)

7. How about a bridesmaid bouquet toss? Throw those pretty petals up in the air as your photographer snaps away – just make sure the ceremony is already finished in case your bridesmaids aren’t that great at playing catch!

Groomsmen Wedding Photo Ideas and Poses

Wedding Photo Ideas and Poses - Groomsmen (8)

8. Ermagerd! She liked it so she went and put a ring on it!

Wedding Photo Ideas and Poses - Groomsmen (10)

9. No Jacket Required! Pose the dashing groom in full attire just in front of his handsome crew, sans shirts, for a photo that really pops.

Wedding Photo Ideas and Poses - Groomsmen (1)

For more ideas visit – Confetti Day Dreams

 

Beach Wedding Ideas

Fun & Easy Beach Wedding Ideas – from Women Getting Married

If you’re planning a surfside wedding…first off, congrats! You’ve basically won the wedding venue lottery! Who wouldn’t want to get married next to crashing waves and a stellar view? While a beach wedding provides you with plenty of natural scenery and decor, there’s still so many fun things you can do to accentuate your location.

Whether it’s beach wedding photo ideas or gorgeous table settings, a beach wedding allows for your imagination to go wild, from colors to cakes!

Below are a few of my recent favorite beach wedding finds. When it comes to beach weddings I actually tend to gravitate towards accessories and decor that aren’t always nautical. Even though shells and sand will always have their place, don’t be afraid to go outside of the box when it comes to your beach wedding decor. Items that look out of place (like, say, a vintage country theme) on a beach can sometimes look the coolest!

beach wedding decor

Is there anything better than string lights? I love this simple yet romantic table setting.

beach cake

Forget the seashells and anchors and instead just to subtle touches of ocean blue throughout your beach wedding.

beach guestbook

This is so much more fun than a regular guest book. After your wedding you can put the messages into a book.

beach ceremony

Who wants to wear heels in the sand when you can go barefoot.

beach welcome bags

Add beach-worthy items to your Welcome Bags such as sunscreen, flip-flops, and sunglasses.

bridesmaids gifts

These kitschy but cute bridesmaid gifts are great for getting-ready

beach wedding

Candles, candles, and more candles!

beach wedding

Shabby chic and vintage-inspired ceremony touches look amazing at a beach wedding (and are a bit more unexpected than the nautical stuff)

beach wedding

Cute photo idea for your Thank You cards!

beach wedding

Beach balls are such a fun alternative to rice or flower petals.

beach wedding

Have little ones in your group? Wheel them in in this adorable beach wagon.

beach wedding

A beach wedding means lots of fun options for your dress. I love adding a bit of country chic to a beach wedding for something a little different.

Great Ideas For Outdoor Weddings

1. Provide pillows if you’re using uncomfortable outdoor seats.

Outdoor Weddings

Many Outdoor Wedding seats are wrought iron or wood, which can get uncomfortable if you’re sitting on them for long periods of time. The pillows also add an extra decorative touch.

2. Warn your guests ahead of time about appropriate footwear if they’re going to be walking in the grass.

Just a little note on the invite should be sufficient.

3. Or give your bridesmaids cement blocks to stand on so they don’t sink into the grass.

4. Provide guests with their own parasols.    

5. Offer ample options for ice cold hydration.

6. Offer individual insect repellent options.

7. Give sunglasses as wedding favors.

8. Put your wedding program on a fan.

9. Be sure to have snacks and water for the bridesmaids.

Between hair, makeup, and photos, your bridesmaids don’t have much time to drink water and eat, which is especially important on a super hot day. Plan a short break before showtime. You don’t want anyone fainting on you.

10. If it’s reeeaaally hot out, make sure your florist is misting the flowers to keep them cool.

For more great ideas visit BuzzFeed

56 Best Things To Do In Cape Town

The ultimate guide to what to do in Cape Town!  56 fabulous ideas from Rhino Africa………….

“1. Helicopter flights around the peninsula
Cape Town is a beautiful place to explore, but to do it from the air can be sensational. The easiest way to do this is to go to the V&A Waterfront where the steel birds take off daily. There is a range of different routes you can choose from, such as the Atlantico, Two Oceans, Robben Island and Full Peninsula. And there are different operators to choose from, although the two that we recommend are Cape Town Helicopters and NAC Helicopters.
Cost: R1,050 per person – R4,000 per person
Operating hours:  08h00 – 17h30 7 days a week

2. Zipline Tours in Hout Bay
Cape Town Ziplines is close to the CBD and easily reached on the Hop-on Hop-off City Sightseeing Bus. This is one of Africa’s longest and highest Zipline tours. The zipline is approximately 2.3km in total length, with single cables that stretch up to 500m and that soar 155m above the ground at their highest point.
Cost: The two-hour tour costs R480 per person and bookings for groups of six people or less can be done electronically via the company’s website (Saforestadventures.co.za).
Operating hours: Monday – Sunday: 09h00 (first tour departs) – 16h00 (last tour departs)

3. Tandem Paragliding in Cape Townparagliding-activities-cape-townHere’s yet another adventure in the air, and some might even say it’s the best. Tandem paragliding flights are mostly done from Signal Hill but they also occasionally take off from Lions Head inside the beautiful Table Mountain National Park. The Fly Cape Town paragliders either land in Camps Bay or Green Point after the thrilling ride down from the mountain. Just beware, it’s over much faster than you might imagine (7-20 minutes), and you’re definitely going to want to do it again.
Cost: R1150 per person per flight
Operating Hours: 07h00 – 19h00, weather permitting.

4. Learn to Surf in Muizenberg
Muizenberg is considered South Africa’s ‘best learn-to-surf beach’ due to its gentle and consistent breaks. Voted by National Geographic as ‘One of the World’s Best Surf Towns’, Muizenberg offers a great introduction to the wonderful thrill of surfing.
Cost: Gary’s Surf School charges R380 for one person for a two-hour lesson. The Surf Emporium charges R330 for one person for a one and a half hour lesson. For both, the price drops for larger groups.
Operating hours: Times change according to the tides. Contact the surf schools to arrange a time before you go.

5. Kayaking in Three Anchor Bay
Start your day surrounded by dolphins. Kaskazi Kayaks launches its tours from a small beach in Three Anchor Bay and embarks on a 3 – 5 km journey either towards Granger Bay or Clifton Beach. A range of seabirds can be seen on the trips but it is the penguins, seals, dolphins and whales that cause the most excitement. Trips are approximately two hours long. If you have previous paddling experience they can arrange half day kayak trips too.
Cost: R350 per person
Operating hours: The first tour departs at 07h30, next one at 10h00. Arrange beforehand to ensure tours are going.

6. Shark-spotting in Gansbaai and False Bay
Cape Town is one of the best places to come face-to-face with the magnificent great white sharks. Gansbaai is home to a larger population of sharks and home of the famous ‘shark alley’. False Bay, however, is where you are more likely to see (if you are lucky) the sharks breach the water – a genuinely breathtaking sight. A general rule of thumb,  winter months can be better in False Bay while summer months is better in Gansbaai. It is best to contact the different operators and see what their sightings are like at the time you are here.
Cost: R1500 – R3000 depending on season
Operating hours: Tours leave in the early morning. Gansbaai is a two-hour journey from Cape Town and is a day trip.”

And there are 50 more good reasons!  Read the full article at Rhino Africa.  Please contact the service providers mentioned to confirm prices and times etc.

So book your stay with us and explore the vast wonder of Cape Town – Things To Do In Cape Town

 

5 Tips for Choosing Your Perfect Wedding Venue

How do you choose the perfect wedding venue?  Here are some tips we found at The Bridal Guide.  Of course, Sacred Mountain Lodge ticks all the boxes!

“Selecting a wedding venue is one of the first (and biggest) decisions you’ll make as an engaged couple — it will influence your vendors, budget, décor, and even attire. Here, pro planners break down everything you need to know when weighing different options.

1. Estimate how many people you’d like to invite to your big day, since not all places can accommodate a wide variety of wedding sizes. Nearly every venue will have a guest count minimum: “Be sure to aim low in your numbers — it’s easier to add guests than to deduct,” says Diane Kolanović-Šolaja from Dee Kay Events. If your final attendance number winds up being smaller than you had anticipated and you have to pay for extra plates, she recommends asking the venue if they can throw in a couple more appetizers during cocktail hour or add extra time to the reception festivities.

2. Sit down with your fiancé and figure out how much you are willing to spend. Do your homework and find out what the going rates are in your desired wedding location. Online venue directories, such as The Venue Report, allow you to search by location, price, and venue type, among other criteria. Determining how much you can afford will help you avoid the heartache of falling in love with a place that’s well out of your price range — you don’t want to spend more than 50% of your total wedding budget on your venue. “Frequently, couples hire us after they find the venue, and we wish they would book us first before doing anything. Couples get so excited and want to lock in the date and place that they don’t think about all of the other expenses that they have to cover,” says Danielle Rothweiler from Rothweiler Event Design. Rushing into contracts before you have all of the figures in front of you may leave you “house poor,” and you’ll have to figure out what to cut out to compensate for overspending.

3. “Check out wedding planners’ and photographers’ blogs to see real wedding photos of venues you’re interested in visiting. Since they aren’t staged, you’ll get a much better idea of what things can (and really do) look like,” says Kristin Crawford, W Austin’s Director of Catering and Events. It can be especially helpful if you are unable to visit the venue during the season you’ll be getting married.

4. Choose your wedding date. “Wedding dates can be significant for a variety of reasons; some couples choose to wed on the day they met, their parents’ or grandparents’ anniversary date, or for auspicious reasons that numbers have in their culture or religion. Others may pick a specific time of year and season but not a specific day,” says Margo Fischer from Bright Occasions. If you can be flexible with your date and choose an off-season month, you’ll often be able to secure the venue of your dreams at a lower rate. For example, you’d likely pay less for a Friday wedding in February than you would for a Saturday in June. Time of year, day of the week, and your engagement length will all impact your negotiating leverage with vendors.

5. Since dates can book up quickly at popular venues, call around to check on date availability before going to see places in person. (If you’re not getting married on-site, a good rule of thumb is to check in with your place of worship first before booking the reception venue.)”

Wedding venue in Noordhoek. Garden Wedding Reception

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Why holidays are good for you

Here is an article from The Telegraph on why holidays are good for you!  Have a read and then make your booking with us!

Why holidays are good for you

“Now here’s a surprise: going on holiday is good for you. Not only do getaways make you feel better, they help you to manage stress, improve sleep patterns, reduce blood pressure, strengthen relationships, live longer… and they can even work wonders for the libido.

We have all experienced some (or all) of the above while taking time out from stressful lives, but now, in something of a first, scientific principles have been used to explore the extent to which holidays really do make us feel better, and why.

The results of the research, a collaboration between the long-haul travel specialist Kuoni, and experts in psychotherapy and health care, were announced this week. And, with more than a third of us currently not using all our holiday entitlement, they contain sobering findings for those who imagine they are too busy (or indispensable) to take a proper break.

The study centred on 12 people of varying ages and backgrounds leading busy lives. Three pairs were sent on two-week holidays – one a tour of the key sights of Thailand, one a volunteering experience with researchers on a ship in the Amazonian rainforest of Peru, and one to flop and drop on an island in the Maldives. The other three pairs remained at home and at work during the same period.

While there were fluctuations in the results, tests carried out by Christine Webber, a psychotherapist, showed that those who went away experienced significant upswings in mood and energy levels and returned feeling more relaxed and clearer in their life goals. The pairs who stayed at home had no such upswings and in some cases demonstrated deteriorations in their emotional and mental states.

There were clear physical changes too. Following tests involving the use of heart monitors and dietary controls, researchers from the Nuffield Health healthcare charity noted that for those who went away blood pressure dropped on average by six per cent, sleep quality improved by 17 per cent and resilience to stress improved by 29 per cent. Those who stayed recorded on average a two per cent increase in blood pressure, a 14 per cent deterioration in sleep quality and a 71 per cent reduction in ability to cope with stress. Despite the tendency to over-indulge while on holiday, those who went away also came back in better shape, with improved “waist-hip ratios”.

It wasn’t all plain sailing. One of those selected to join the Amazonian cruise found it too stifling and experienced a significant increase in stress levels; the two female friends who went to the Maldives had a battle to convince their hosts that theirs was not an amorous relationship (though one of them did discern a rise in libido while away).

There were surprises too. “You do not need to lie on a beach to relax,” said Christine Webber. “In the experiment, the couple which went on the busiest holiday – to Thailand – had the most long-lasting reduction in stress.

“More generally the findings have shown that most people feel happier, more rested and much less stressed because of their vacations. And these benefits can continue for months afterwards. Some of those involved in this project made very real changes to their lives on return.”

Still sceptical? You obviously need a holiday.”