2020 Spekboom Project

Some of you may have heard of the Spekboom project and those who haven’t, you will soon find out about it. Read below on how we plan to do our part at 50 Shades of Hay to contribute to a better climate and environment and how you can as well.

Let’s start with a few facts about the Spekboom plant:

  • Out of all the plants in the world, the Spekboom has the ability to absorb the highest amounts of carbon dioxide, cleaning the air that we pollute on a daily basis.
  • It is a proudly South African plant – Local is Lekker.
  • Spekboom can live up to 200 years and can easily adapt to its surroundings, making it a relatively easy plant to grow.
  • It’s also edible and has great nutritional values.
  • Spekboom can handle all seasons.
  • The Spekboom plant requires half the amount of water that most plants require to grow and maintain making it very water wise which is perfect for ongoing water issues around South Africa.
  • It’s able to grow in poor soil, making it very resilient.
  • One hectare of Spekboom can sequester between 4 and 10 tonnes of carbon per year.
  • It’s an affordable way to combat climate change.

At 50 Shades of Hay, we have Spekboom growing all around the property, especially around the buildings, but we aim to grow more through 2020 and the following years. We have plenty of space and aim to utilise it to give back to the environment.

The current challenge is to plant at least 10 Spekboom plants this year. All around the country, South Africans are challenging each other so we want to encourage YOU to plant at least 10 Spekbooms this year and to encourage those around you to do the same. Remember they don’t need to be big, they can start in small pots around the house. Even consider giving them as gifts and encouraging that as a start of the challenge.

We aim to plant at least 10 additional Spekboom this year and you can hold us to it!

Come check out 50 Shades of Hay in the next few months to see how we are doing with the challenge 🙂

Our Weekly Wednesday Wedding Tips from April to August!

We’ve compiled the past few months into one big blog post, enjoy these tips and don’t forget to scroll down and read the earlier months tips!


11 April:

Play with doubles. Consider a venue that can hold the ceremony and reception, this way you can use one set of flowers for both. Double sided menus save paper. Jars and vases can be used in your home afterwards or little vases can be given as gifts to the guests. Another idea is to print/embroider their name onto their napkin and they can take it home afterwards.

18 April:

Use lots of inexpensive candles/tealights and fairylights to create a magical feel. Use lanterns and pretty candle holders as table pieces to minimize the flower use and thus the costs too!

25 April:

Opt for a buffet or food stations where guests can help themselves. This saves money where you don’t need waiters!


2 May:

Jugs or bottles of water on the table will help with thirst quenching and hopefully keep the bar tab lower.

9 May:

If you aren’t set on having fancy transportation and don’t need to travel between venues, then use your own car or ask a family member or friend to help out. Guests don’t always see the transport anyway!

16 May:

To save some money, you could opt for an equally as beautiful white dress instead of a wedding dress and if necessary you can add some ribbon/lace or accessories that make it more of a wedding dress.

23 May:

Buy second-hand decor to save some money! So many people buy wedding decor and end up using it once for their wedding and that’s it, you can always sell it or pass it on afterwards as well.

30 May:

Using new venues or service providers can save you some money! Some new venues have a lower price as they have less add ons. The same goes for service providers as they are just starting out and are looking for the experience as well. Being a newbie most likely means they don’t have a load of clients and can put more time into your special day!


6 June:

Always have a plan B in place for your venue. If your wedding is meant to take place outside, make sure you have an inside option as well, including the décor etc. You may even want to have a plan B venue list to keep handy just incase your venue has a problem at the last minute – this saves you a lot of time when it comes to looking up numbers!

13 June:

Choose your photographer wisely! Research it and consider engagement photos as well. This allows you to work with the photographer before the wedding and they’ll get to understand what you want.

20 June:

Spend time on your menu! Food makes up a great part of the reception and you don’t want your guests to go hungry! Hangry guests are never pleasant!

27 June:

A good eating plan is never a bad idea ever, but especially before your wedding! It’ll help you to feel at your best, but don’t overdo it, you want to be healthy for the wedding.


4 July:

Don’t go overboard on the makeup. You’ll need to wear heavier makeup than usual for the photos but you don’t want the orange fake tan or eyebrows that are too bold and want to jump off your face nor do you want barely there eyebrows! Remember that you’re going to look back at these photos in a few years time.

11 July:

A wedding is often seen as the bride’s show. She is the one who loves to plan and can easily get carried away. Don’t forget the groom! It’s his wedding too and there may be some areas that he’s really keen to get involved in.

18 July:

Create a personalized program on your own stationery to add a simple personal touch to the wedding. This will also be eye-catching and you can put the important details in there and ensure people read them!

25 July:

Use a wedding app or ask guests to use a specific hashtag so you can get and keep track of your photos.


1 August:

If you can afford it, a welcome basket for guests who travel from afar, is a great way of showing how much you appreciate them being there! These can include small things like a bottle of water, a few snacks and a list  of resources, like the nearest drugstore, grocery store, coffee shop etc.

8 August:

Greet your guests. This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s an important one. Personally greeting your guests goes a long way to show how much you appreciate them being there.

15 August:

Create the best seating plan that you can. Try and group as many people as you can with people of similar backgrounds or group them with people they know and get along with. This will ensure that they have a great time too.

22 August:

Have a signature cocktail or two. By serving one or two flavours chosen by the bride and groom, it’ll add a nice personal touch to the wedding. While choosing, also consider flavours that will cater for a wide variety of tastes.

29 August:

It’s important that your guests are comfortable. Consider offering something along the lines of a towel/cloth to guests between the ceremony and reception. Depending on where the wedding is, you can offer different things, such as cute umbrellas if you’re outside or blankets if it’s somewhere cold.

This sums up the published wedding tips from April to August! Feedback is always welcome and we love to hear about your tips too!

Spring Time!

This time of year brings with it some stunning flowers! Our field is filled with them and we’re loving the view 😍

Photography: Zoe Coss

Our Weekly Wednesday Wedding Tips of March!

Another month of “Weekly Wednesday Wedding Tips” has passed so here is the lot grouped together. Enjoy!

7 March:

Ask friends and family for help! If you have a talented friend who can design the invite or create something to your taste for the décor, then utilize their skills. This makes it fun for them to help you and adds a personal touch to your wedding.

14 March:

Use e-invites to save some money on the invitations, directions and details!

21 March:

Choose a venue that is beautiful without needing excessive décor. This may seem more expensive but where you save money on a venue with less built in features, you end up paying the balance in décor! (And we just so happen to know of the perfect place!)

28 March:

Borrow and share between friends and family. Veils and accessories can be used between anyone and if a friend has some décor you could borrow, ask and they could help you save some money! In reverse, if you have a friend who’s getting married and have something you think they’d like to use, then offer it to them.

Enjoying these tips or finding them useful? Let us know in the feedback section! For any queries about the wedding venue or BnB then don’t hesitate to contact us, we’d be happy to help 🙂


A puppy on the property!

The latest addition to our 50 Shades of Hay family, comes in the form of a puppy! Her name is Brandy and she is a rescue, adopted on 20 January 2018. She is full of energy and a super friendly pup that will greet you with love and licks!

Our Weekly Wednesday Wedding Tips of Feb!

As February draws to a close and so does our first month of weekly Wednesday wedding tips, we thought we would group the lot together. This way you know where to find them and it’ll hopefully save you some time! Continue reading below to catch up on February’s wedding tips:

7 February:

Prioritising is key! Instead of trying to save on a whole bunch of aspects that you like, rather choose three or so that you are passionate about and spend a little extra money on those things.

14 February:

This may seem like an obvious one for some, but in the hustle and bustle of all the “few days before the wedding” plans, things can be looked over. Make sure you have a small sewing kit stored somewhere nearby and with easy access, or have a bridesmaid keep it. Rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it!

21 February:

When it comes to guests and budgets, things can become a little trickier. To keep numbers down and save money, consider these before adding people to the list: inviting children, co-workers, inviting someone just because they invited you to their wedding, have you spoken to them in the past year, is their number saved to your phone?

28 February:

Remember, if there is a tradition or “expected” aspect that doesn’t work for you, then you don’t have to keep it! Go with what works for you, it saves money for other areas and keeps a smile on your face!

We hope you enjoyed these tips and feel free to comment and leave feedback. Check back in a month’s time for the collection of March tips!

Hello February!

Already in the second month of 2018?! Time is flying by and before you know it, it’ll be your special day! We thought that February would be the ideal month to start our ‘Weekly Wednesday Wedding Tips’, so keep your eyes peeled!

50 Shades of Hay – Site Viewing 7 to 9 November 2017

There is still time to make use of the open invitation to visit our new venue.  If this week does not suit you – please contact us to schedule an alternate date.                                                                           

2018 Wedding & Events Brochure Now Available

Our brand new 2018 Wedding & Events Brochure is now available!

Please contact Michele to get the full brochure and more information on:  bookings@50shadesbnb.co.za

We are getting excited about the upcoming Wedding season.  This new venue has just the right amount of rustic charm, while still remaining classy to host the perfect wedding.  Indoor and outdoor facilities allow for catering for a types of weather conditions.

Our current, 2017, Brochure is still available!  Don’t miss out the 2017 prices – dates still open for your end of year function.

Continual developments are taking place at the Venue and there is also something exciting and new taking place.

Just one of the many features to be enjoyed on 50 Shades of Hay, is the newly finished Koi pond.  These beautiful fish are therapeutic to watch and add to the beautiful surrounds.

The Koi pond is situated next to The Stables Venue.  It is between the Stables and the Clubhouse.