Elephant Leisure in Citrusdal is a long-treasured destination for the traveller who seeks the road less travelled and some solitary bliss. The perfect place for a weekend wedding. There is just too much joy, emotion and excitement crammed into too few hours and that’s why they encourage their guests to consider a weekend celebration on their beautiful property.
Situated at the foot of the Olifants mountains it boasts majestic views of the Olifants river valley and the Cederberg. As company, you’ll have a multitude of bird species happily singing their songs for you, while a lazy breeze may rustle the fynbos and trees.
Here are the weekend wedding “must do’s”:
1. Location location location
A destination or weekend wedding will take extra planning and travelling for your guests. Make sure the location of your ideal wedding venue is practical for everyone.
2. Give your guests ample warning
Even if it is just by a Save the Date email or an informal verbal warning, make sure the people you want there the most knowledgeable about your wedding plans long in advance in order for them to plan and budget appropriately.
3. Create your own wedding website filled with information about things to do in the area, nearby shops, shuttle services (if necessary), what to pack, a detailed schedule of events, alternative activities and services available.
4. A thoughtful and necessary touch is to put welcome packs in the rooms, filled with essentials for the stay, such as suntan lotion, water, mosquito repellant, a sarong for the ladies and a hat for the gentleman, flip flops…
5. If you are inviting children supply babysitters, entertainment and special meals. Teenagers can be counted in with adults.
6. Consider hiring the services of a wedding planner who knows the venue or at least the area and its service providers. This will take a lot of stress off your shoulders!
7. Plan events for the whole weekend. Your guests are travelling far and it is your duty to ensure they are comfortable and cared for during their stay. Weekend weddings include an informal “rehearsal dinner” on the night before (Friday) – this can be a really fun evening where guests can unwind and get to know each other. The next day would normally be the wedding day (Saturday) and to finish the celebrations offer a brunch the morning after before everyone leaves.
8. If you are hiring musicians, a photographer/videographer and a DJ, you’ll be responsible for their travel expenses and accommodation. They don’t have to stay at the same venue but make sure that their accommodation is practical and nearby.
9. You don’t have to pay for your guest’s accommodation or travel, but if you can, do consider paying for the guests that cannot afford it and who are really important for you to have there.
10. If you have guests that are staying at nearby venues, provide a shuttle to transport them to the special events during the weekend. Make sure everyone has a schedule of events and knows when the pick-up times will be.
Lastly, do not spend a fortune on decor and flowers. A venue such as Elephant Leisure is beautiful already and doesn’t need much. Make it special in other ways, such as touches to the rooms (eg, a bottle of wine from the area in the fridge), fantastic food and memorable moments and activities.
Images: Forever September Photography