The Eastern Cape province of South Africa is home to the coastal metropolis of Port Elizabeth, also known as the Friendly City. This, together with Despatch and Uitenhage, make up the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropole. Although having earned itself a small town reputation, Port Elizabeth has continued to boom and develop. Today, it boasts a unique combination of a seaside village feel with world-class amenities and highly demanded tourist attractions.

Port Elizabeth is situated midway between Durban and Cape Town and has a busy airport and is the unofficial starting point of the Garden Route, which stretches to Cape Town. It is also equipped with many guesthouses and visitor activities and attractions. This means that it is another great destination in which to have your wedding and honeymoon. This coastal hub is known for its temperate weather conditions all year round; not suffering from the extreme changes experienced by places that are further inland.

Whether you are looking forward to a beach wedding, garden wedding, bush wedding or formal do inside a glamorous banqueting hall, Port Elizabeth has the venue and the accommodation for you. The following are a few of the most popular choices for ceremony and reception venues:

  • Bushbuck Ridge – a romantic tree house with fairy lights and soft draping can accommodate up to 90 guests and boasts views of the valley. Alternatively, there is a far larger venue perched atop the rolling hills of Maitland’s, which can seat approximately 120 guests. In addition, this game lodge is equipped with its own chapel and guest accommodation (including a secluded honeymoon log cabin).
  • The Beach Hotel – three different venues and gorgeous views of the Indian Ocean make for a stylish affair.
  • The Sea Otters Lodge – this is situated in the exclusive seaside suburb of Kini Bay and can accommodate up to 60 guests.
  • The Pine Lodge Resort & Conference Centre is another venue perched on the sand dunes. This lodge can cater for relaxed garden weddings, champagne breakfasts or opulent receptions for up to 300 guests.
  • La Cigale – the chapel is nestled within indigenous forest, giving your wedding day the mystical splendour it deserves.
  • Singa Lodge – within the upmarket Summerstrand suburb, Singa has been designed and furnished in a distinctly Eastern style.
  • King’s Tide Boutique Hotel – with several luxurious venues, each designed to meet your needs and desires, King’s Tide is perfect for your elegant event.

Port Elizabeth is famous for its stretches of pristine coastline and warm ocean waters. However, those who plan to do more than soak up the rays on their honeymoon (or for guests who stay on in Port Elizabeth after the affair), here are some great sights and activities:

  • The Donkin Heritage Trail
  • The South End Museum
  • The Sacramento Trail
  • Addo Elephant Park
  • The brand new 2010 FIFA World Cup™ stadium
  • The Ron Belling Art Gallery (specialising in war planes from the Second World War)
  • Bayworld Oceanarium and Museum
  • The Boardwalk Casino & Entertainment Complex
  • The Seaview Lion Park
  • Kragga Kamma Game Reserve

Photo Credit: www.warrenwilliams.co.za