When most people around the world say winter visions of sub-zero temperatures, snow storms and long dark days come to mind. (Well that’s what I think of international winters anyway)
As much as my opinion may be biased, as you learnt I’m more of a summer lover, South African winters are nowhere near that drastic and may actually be the perfect time to have your wedding!
You must remember that South Africa is a pretty big place and has a variety of climatic conditions. So don’t go jumping to any ‘standard weather’ conclusions as we have some significant temperature differences between our east and west coasts. (It has something to do with the fact that we have two different currents moving up and down either coast.. but I flunked geography so let’s not go there)
The average temperatures in our main regions.
Winter traditionally falls between the months of June – August (count May if you are cold adverse like me) and you can generally expect the following from our three main regions:
- The interior, around the Gauteng province has dry, sunny but crisp days and cold nights, sometimes with heavy frosts.
Average Johannesburg temp in July is max of 17 and a min of 4 degrees Celsius.
- The East Coast, around the Kwa Zulu Natal province is hot and humid and offer fantastic winter weather with sunny, warmish days and virtually no wind or rain.
Average Durban temp in July is max of 23 and a min of 11 degrees Celsius.
- The West coast, around the Western Cape province gets most of its rain in winter, with quite a few days of cloudy, rainy weather. However, these are always interspersed with wonderful days to rival the best of a British summer.
Average Cape town temp in July is max of 18 and a min of 7 degrees Celsius.
While the Western Cape gets most of its rainfall in winter, the rest of the country is generally a summer-rainfall region. The high mountains of the Cape and the Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal usually get light snow in winter.
What flowers can you expect to be in season over winter?
So if like me you have become used to anything being available in the shops anywhere and in any season (Bananas don’t grow all year round? Who knew?) Here is a list of flowers actually in season during South African winters:
- Iris, Daisy, Gladiolus, Tulip, Camellia, Hyacinth.
- Daffodil, Azalea, Dahlia.
- Lavender, Corn flower.
- Stralizia, Fynbos, Wild grass, Azalea, rustic woods and barks.
- Phalanenopsis orchids.
The PRO’S to having a South African wedding in winter:
- For one, the main South African wedding season is from September to April so you will be having your wedding “off-peak”.
- Generally speaking, peak-season weddings are more expensive than off-peak season weddings.
- If you are coming to South Africa especially for the Safari experience winter is a good time for game watching, as the veld is not as thick as it is in summer and the lack of rain means animals are more likely to congregate around water holes and rivers. (this means you will actually see them, they do that camouflage thing pretty well otherwise)
- If you are an ocean fairy and want to include some extra special guest to your celebration the southern right whales hang around off our coasts from about mid-June to the end of October.
- Winter is a good excuse to have rich hearty comfort food on your menu. (like you needed an excuse)
- If you are going through that ‘wedding stage’ where everyone is or has just been married most of the guests will have attended a couple of weddings in the summer. The fact that yours is in the winter means they (and their wallets) have had time to recover.
- An extra bonus for guests is they get to travel in off-peak times, saving on the accommodation and transport costs attached to them attending your wedding.
- Wedding venues, even popular ones, tend to have fewer bookings during off-peak seasons – and often with an off-peak discount.
- As with venues, the same general rule of availability applies to other wedding suppliers. Perhaps if your dream team of wedding suppliers is booked during the summer months they will be available during winter.
- You will get some beautifully dramatic winter backdrops from your venue. Plus no melting makeup, no sweaty pits and a much softer (prettier) light for your photo session.
- You get to choose a venue with an amazing fire place and serve hot chocolate and sherry instead of (or alongside) your champagne.
The CON’S to having a South African wedding in winter:
- If you decide to travel overseas instead of staying home for your honeymoon you will be leaving our off-season to go into Europe’s summer peak season. That’s fun for the beach lounging and tan but not so fun for the budget.
- Your flower options will be slightly less as it is winter, but as we listed above there will be some great winter alternatives available.
- If you are going to import out of season flowers you may be faced with a little more hassle factor and cash to get them to you.
- It will be colder and people won’t be able to wear those slinky little cocktail numbers to your wedding. (Or they might but will be regretting it by 7pm.)
- If you are looking to head to the Cape it may be wet and most probably windy.
- It will get darker sooner so you won’t be able to have hours of couples photos before the sunset. (But maybe that is a good thing..Have the couple shoot in the morning and go have a party with your guest straight after your wedding instead.)
- An outdoor wedding, even one under a tent with heaters may be painfully cold. Even with heaters I have seen the cold kill the mood and cause the less drunk guests to head home earlier. You may need to look for a four walled structure to have the reception part of your winter wedding in.
I would love to know which pro listed above would make you have a winter wedding? Or which con just totally sealed the deal on a summer wedding for you?
Have you been won over by the winter wonderland wedding or are you forever a summer siren bride? Tell me in the comments below.
Lots of hot chocolate laced love
*As always these are my words but because weather and the season aren’t really my specialty I used some external internet sources to fuel the facts behind this post. The internet is full of amazing (and not so amazing) information, so please before you go take this post as golden do your own research and base your decisions on what you find to be true.
You’re smart and I know that.