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A Fairy-tale COVID-19 Wedding at Marataba

A Fairy-tale COVID-19 Wedding at Marataba

Any wedding you attend, or plan now will be quite different to one held before COVID-19 hit. Weddings tick all the risk boxes in the world of gatherings for the transmission of the Coronavirus. This means that couples have many more factors to consider when they start to plan their big day.

Initially the bride and groom had booked their wedding venue to be in the Cape Winelands, but COVID-19 abruptly cut their plans short. Shortly after inter-provincial travel restrictions were lifted, they visited MARATABA and just fell in love with the reserve and beautiful lodges!

Before COVID they had a specific vision for their special day, but after their visit to Marataba and a few brain-storming sessions with the Marataba team, the idea of a smaller and more intimate wedding started to look more tempting. And so their nuptial plans were once again set in motion!

The super fun and down-to-earth couple and their closest family and friends enjoyed a truly magical weekend. On the first afternoon, they gathered on the lawn for lunch, followed by the start of festivities next to the Matlabas River, where Marataba’s Miss Mara Safari boat is moored.

The kitchen crew prepared delicious treats and snacks for a picnic-style set up, as well as bubbly and all the garnishes that one might wish to add to a G&T sundowner. Guests took turns venturing out onto the water on Miss Mara, enjoying the reserve from a different perspective. On their return to the lodge a Boma dinner had been prepared, a favourite dining experience under the stars next to the fire pits, big barbecues, proudly South African trimmings, and great company.

The next morning the lodge team were forced to change the location of the ceremony due to gloomy weather, however, the big day came together perfectly. The main area of Marataba Safari Lodge was transformed into an idyllic and beautiful reception venue. Luckily, the rain stayed away, and guests gathered on the lawn for pictures, drinks, and canapés while the bridal party headed out into the bush for a quick photoshoot.

Guests settled in, speeches were made, jokes were cracked and tears glistened. Waiters topped up drinks and the incredible field guides assisted management and the kitchen team by serving a COVID friendly plated dinner. This perfect day ended with dancing, a dessert table and a satellite bar out on the lawn.

The Lodge took great care to ensure that guests were kept safe. They adhere to strict safety COVID-19 protocols, checking temperatures daily – not just for the staff, but all guests as well. Hand sanitizer is available throughout the lodge, as well as in game drive vehicles and every Luxury Tent and Eco-Suite.

Inevitably, big wedding celebrations lost to the Coronavirus will be disappointing, but plans do not need to be entirely halted as considering a smaller alternative in the bush could definitely be a game changer. One thing we can say with absolute certainty is that you will never regret your decision.

In the future, stories of couples who married during the Coronavirus-era will be the stuff of family legends and of toasts at anniversary parties. We hope you will come back to share these with us!

Source: MORE Family Collection
Words: Nerine Madden, General Manager of Marataba Luxury Lodges
Images: Nerine Madden & Dook Photography