These are the South African wedding trends on the rise

Even if you’re having a white wedding, there will be some bold colours for the reception. Picture: Supplied.

Even if you’re having a white wedding, there will be some bold colours for the reception. Picture: Supplied.

Published May 9, 2024


Weddings are a big occasion in South Africa, not only because they commemorate love between a couple, but they are also a chance for families to show off their traditional attires and culinary skills.

In many cultures, wedding celebrations are much more than just a one-day event. Some can be week-long celebrations which involve loved ones, food and fashion.

With this in mind, here are some of the biggest South African wedding trends:

Big, bold colour

Whether it is a white wedding or a traditional wedding, you can always add a touch of bold primary colours like deep purples and bright pinks to your second or third outfit.

And with Gen Z bringing back some of the styles from previous generations, several wedding parties are wearing dresses and suits in different colours.

Pastels are also still popular for both wedding attire and decor. However, this year, couples are using pastel colours with luxe, textured fabrics and materials. This could be pastel suede, tuille or bespoke pastel-coloured woollen, mohair or cashmere suits for either the main wedding outfit or reception attire.

A stunning gown by Rich Factory that can be worn at a wedding. Picture: Matthews Baloyi ANA/African News Agency.

Big-dishes with a twist

The days of serving canapés and mini burgers at a wedding are long gone. We are now returning to the culture of big dishes where people get to serve themselves in a buffet style.

There are also a variety of dishes for vegans, such as cauliflower wings and cabbage pizza, which is seen as a welcomed change from serving steamed vegetables at weddings.

Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront food and beverage manager, Colleen Laategan, said explained that an increasing number of guests are looking for variety when it comes to food, but they also want simple, nutritious and delicious dishes.

“They often begin with grazing tables, which are a sort of buffet-style set-up with foods that can be grazed on such as minty meatballs, creamy Bries and crudité platters with the most delicious yoghurt, tahini, miso, or umami-centric dips,” she said.

Most South African wedding menus include beef stew because it is a traditional dish. Picture: File.

Meaningful gifts

Nowadays, many couples send out a registry for the gifts they would like to receive. This method helps avoid duplication or buying someone a gift they already have.

Some even ask their guests to contribute to a gift card so they can buy the things they need for themselves.

This removes the challenge of not knowing what to buy as a wedding gift, while also ensuring that the couple will get something they like and will use.

A gift card is better than buying someone something they already have. Picture: Pexels.

Sustainable celebrations

To play their part in saving the planet, most wedding planners are now leaning towards using edible cups, knives, forks and plates as well as decorations which are made of organic materials such as hemp.

"Take-home decorations in the form of plants are another big trend this season because of their positive effect on the environment,“ Laategan said.

“Furthermore, planners advise couples to choose indigenous plants to preserve the region's natural fauna and flora. Organic edible wedding decor like herbs or plants that attract bees and other insects is also high on this year’s trends list.” she added.