I always feel like I’m opening a village fete at the start of the year, like I should be standing in front of this feature in a big hat and a Sunday dress, with a comically large pair of scissors. I declare this wedding season OPEN! Well, I do. It’s our first real wedding of the year, and I can’t think of a better way to begin than with this dramatic, drop dead gorgeous celebration from Roxanne Davison. Jessica and Brent were inspired by red roses, and art (specifically still life) and a touch of Baroque opulence in creating the design for their Midlands wedding, and wow, is it a showstopper! I love everything, from the fruit and flower-decked tables, to the bridesmaids in Spanish-style black lace, to the bride’s amazing Casey Jeanne gown. And I spy one of our favourite venues too, with some of the couple shoot taking place at the incredible Crystal Barn, part of the SBB Collection of venues. So much pretty in one place, beautifully captured by Roxanne. Let’s do this!
You all know how much I love the details at a wedding, but when I’m putting a feature together and curating the images, I have to tell you, it’s the faces that stick with me. The moments of pure elation written all over the faces of brides and grooms and families and friends witnessing the ceremony, and pure love between the couple in those quiet moments out of the storm when they’re having their photos taken… that’s what gets me every time. And there were SO many of those moments in Nonto and Lebo’s wedding! I think the image of the bride as she reaches the top of the aisle, so full of emotion, is one of my all-time favourite pictures. It’s clear what an awesome couple these two are, and their grand romance deserved nothing less than a grand occasion to celebrate it, complete with opulent luxe florals in shades of blush and champagne, rich fabrics, twinkle lights, and a touch of on-trend copper (love this colour combo by the way). But like I say, as fabulous as the wedding is, it’s the expressions of love and joy that will stay with you, beautifully captured on film by Thunder & Love Wedding Photography.
I’m so delighted to be sharing today’s wedding with you all, I feel like I might break into song (I won’t, don’t worry). Zoë & Mike’s big day is the quintessential country wedding, filled with bunting and lace and proteas and hundreds of origami cranes. It has the sweetest love story, the prettiest blush palette, and a dreamy Robyn Roberts lace gown. It’s relaxed and rustic, and full of love and laughter. It’s all these wonderful things. But it’s also a chance for me to show off one of my absolute favourite venues, Cranford Country Lodge. Cranford is part of the SBB Collection – our growing collection of the venues we recommend because they each have something truly special. For Cranford, that something special is a feeling of authentic country charm, the warmest of farm welcomes, genuine hospitality. With a mix of spectacular rural scenery and rustic chic ceremony and reception spaces, it’s also gorgeous, which makes it pretty much the perfect Natal Midlands wedding venue. The kind of place that feels like a home. For a couple like Zoë & Mike, who wanted their guests to share in their laid back, intimate vibe, it was perfect. And with Kate Martens there to shoot these lovely images… well. Take a peek for yourself.
Weddings filled with flowers are my absolute weakness, which won’t surprise you if you’ve ever seen my eyes light up in a florist’s shop (seriously, all the heart eyes). Today’s wedding is like a whole garden of blooms, and even though it took place on a chilly winter day, the lush florals brought the outdoors indoors, to incredible effect. Add a heavy helping of luxe – vintage candelabras, dark wood and mercury glass, little copper animal favours and a wall of mirrors – and you have the most gorgeous combination. I’m especially loving the palette of rich burgundy, soft peach and blush, elegant emerald, and glittering gold. From the bride’s jawdropping 3D floral gown to the candle-filled reception, Candice and Byron’s big day was a rare beauty, perfectly captured by the Knot Just Pics team. Sigh.
Surf’s up! This laid-back, beachy wedding took place at a local surf lodge – the perfect venue for a couple who first started noticing one another during early morning sessions. With this natural coastal setting in place, they set about infusing their ‘I do’s with soft blooms (including the bride’s sweet flower crown!), rustic elements, and nods to their love of sea and sand. With an intimate guest list and long trestles set up under the trees while paper lanterns swung in the breeze, Alice and Joel’s wedding has the feeling of a family dinner in the garden rather than a buttoned up formal do, and it’s no wonder, as all the details (including the customisation of Alice’s dream dress) were a labour of love by the bride’s mum and other dear family and friends. It really makes you smile, and happily, Christie Long was there to capture all of the love!
Can you smell the salt air? A breezy colour palette of sea blues and greens makes for a soiree guaranteed to evoke the ocean, even if you’re not throwing a toes-in-the-sand beach bash. When you add in elegant florals, a to-die-for lace gown, and bridesmaids in gorgeous Gelique gowns for that extra touch of mismatched blue, and the whole wedding becomes that much more beautiful – a fusion of coastal and chic that we adore. Lightburst Photography was there to snap these dreamy pictures that make Sam and Darryn’s happy day come alive, including the most romantic, windswept beach portraits you can imagine.
Working in the wedding industry, I’m lucky enough to regularly come across some of the most creative, interesting, and downright nice people you’ll ever meet. And maybe it’s just my opinion, but I think industry weddings are some of my absolute favourites. Maybe that’s down to a combination of the fact that they know immediately who their go-to dream team of suppliers is (and trust them to work their magic) and the fact that when you’ve seen a hundred other people’s weddings, there’s a simplicity to your choices that really lets the love shine through. And shine through it definitely does in today’s wedding – when I first saw Bron and Dean’s breathtaking pictures by Kikitography pop up on my Facebook feed I couldn’t take my eyes off them! Boho country foresty perfection, not least thanks to Bron’s incredible gown and the backdrop of gorgeous Camp Orchards in KZN. You may know Bron from her work behind the camera as the owner of Vanilla Photography, very much a SBB fave, but it turns out she’s just as radiant in front of the lens, along with her handsome groom. Add in some of the most perfectly mismatched bridesmaids and groomsmen, and organic-style greenery arrangements by the wonderful Carolyn of Adore Weddings, and it’s a treat for the eyes and for the soul.
Where do I even start with this incredible wedding? Everything about it is elegant and beautiful, and deeply personal. And to be honest, those were some of the qualities that struck me about The Venue Fontana when I first came across it, researching wedding venues for the SBB Collection (which is how I came across Cameron and Dina’s wedding in the first place). Although it’s gone on to be a huge hit with KZN couples this season, at the time The Venue had hosted precisely one wedding, and this was it. Cameron and Dina are high school sweethearts whose romance blossomed into a lifelong love, so when choosing a venue for their nuptials, there was no better place than Dina’s family farm, which held so many memories for the pair (including the place when Cameron proposed). Of course, the fact that there was no actual wedding venue on the farm was no problem for this dynamic family, who jumped in and custom built the most perfect place imaginable, a mix of rustic barn style, rough industrial elements and Italian sophistication. It’s a magical place, and this wedding was the labour of love that started it all. From ceremony to gorgeous reception, it was a day filled to the brim with family, tradition, joy and romance, captured exquisitely by Vanilla Photography. I could go on about it all day, but I’ll let the pictures (and Dina) speak for themselves. (Better yet, make a plan to visit The Venue, and experience its heartfelt welcome in person!)
Set amid the emerald hills of the Natal Midlands is this wedding, which defines ‘organic elegance’ to a T. My first glimpse of Kyllie & Tom’s big day was a pic of the bride and her maids – I was completely won over by the mix of wild natural and chic formal style, and when the lovely Bron of Vanilla Photography sent over the rest of her incredible images I knew my instincts had been right on the money! With the amazing Carolyn of Adore Weddings decking out Netherwood in swathes of greenery and white blooms, from Delicious Monster centrepieces to green runners and chandeliers (not to mention the bride’s fabulously oversize foliage bouquet), the organic part of the equation was definitely covered, and combined with Kyllie’s amazing feather-embellished Pronovias gown, the suited-and-booted groom’s party, and that classic monochrome palette, it’s beautiful from start to finish. Special mention to the one spot of bright colour – a Smarties wedding cake! This fun, personal detail is what SBB weddings are all about.
If there were ever a pair to give us #CoupleGoals, then it would be Kelsi & Tim. They’ve already been through more than many couples do in a lifetime, after a near-tragic car accident three years ago left Kelsi with over 20 broken bones, and a long road to recovery, where she had to learn to walk again. Tim was there by her side all the way. Today, Kelsi still struggles with constant pain, but you wouldn’t know it from the positivity, devotion and joy that radiate from the couple, especially on their wedding day. It’s a reminder of what really matters – the love and commitment at the centre of a marriage, which eclipses all the pretty details. But, as it happens, those pretty details are also in abundance, with the flower-loving duo choosing a bright palette of yellows and pinks and oranges and creams, with touches of copper to add a sophisticated edge. And speaking of sophisticated, the lovebirds rocked their own looks – Tim in a velvet blazer, and Kelsi in an exquisite custom-made gown from SBB fave Hanri Lues. And let’s not forget photographer Katie Wisdom, who was on the scene to take these beautiful photos!