Thirteen couples from around Western Cape tied the knot during the annual mass Valentine’s Day wedding ceremony on Robben Island. Saying “I do” in a prison and sharing the wedding altar with strangers is just too impersonal for me, but these couples thought the World Heritage Site was the perfect setting for getting hitched. One of South Africa’s major tourist sites, the island located around 12 kilometres south of Cape Town has become a major tourist attraction since the end of apartheid in 1994. This is where most political prisoners such as Nelson Mandela was incarcerated. Sponsored by the Department of Home Affairs couples are given an opportunity to marry for a small fee.
Although the 30 minutes ferry ride from the V&A was bumpy, the view of Table Mountain and the blue sea was worth it.
Red and white was the popular colour of the day. Most brides stuck to the traditional white gown and veil, and some dressed in summer dresses, as if they were taking a stroll to the mall.One of the grooms had simply thrown on some shorts and didn’t bother with the shoes – perfect for an island wedding.
The love birds were married inside a rustic church, built in 1841, which was packed with friends and family members, as Home Affairs officials conducted the brisk wedding services, 10 minutes each, one after the other.
We were also given a tour of the island. It was a great way to spend Valentine’s Day,romance all around