When the planning talents of Kraak are woven together with the irresistable gorgeousness of Vivid Blue’s photography, you can be sure that a stunner of a soiree is about to be served up to you on a platter! This chilled out gem of a wedding takes place at one of our all-time favourite venues, The Dairy Shed, and harnesses its rustic beauty for an al fresco celebration that showed the large contingent of overseas guests that we South Africans know how to throw a party. Think gourmet braai, gumboot dancers, and a jazzy African band to keep everyone on the dancefloor all night long. Zoe and Clinton are such a fun couple, and I love how this wedding combines all kinds of pretty (including a breathtaking Janita Toerien dress, sparkly pink bridesmaid gowns, and some showstopping florals) with their super fun, super laid-back vibe, to make a whole that it utterly, uniquely theirs.
I love a wedding that speaks to a couple’s personalities, and Pieter and Nanette made sure to do just that when they planned their wedding. The duo, who the bride says “love an adventure” chose to have their big day at a destination that’s an adventure in itself, the incredible Bordeaux Game Farm in Limpopo. Due to the gorgeous bush setting they kept the details relatively simple and natural, like wreaths of greenery on the walls and beautiful foliage runners on the tables. But throughout, there was this touch of drama and sophistication (“to represent my personality a little,” says Nanette!), like bridesmaids in cheeky crop top and flare skirt ensembles, and pops of colour on the tables. But the most dramatic detail of them all was the scenery, like the huge tree under which the couple said their vows, or those vast African skies just before sunset, captured so beautifully by photographers Page & Holmes.
Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m obsessed with bushveld weddings, and nothing has made my heart happier over the last couple of years is to see a new, luxury, fine art approach to safari weddings starting to emerge and become part of the portfolio of gorgeous South African wedding experiences. I mean, when you have a background like our wild landscape, the last thing you want to do is compete with it, but you do want to provide an experience for your guests that’s almost sensual, in that it’s about engaging every single sense. Rich, warm textures like leather and wood mixed with soft ones like silk, tulle and lace – a feast for sight and touch. Delicious cuisine served on and in five star linens, crockery and crystal. Palettes of muted pastels and soft neutrals that let those textures and natural beauty shine through. And when it comes to pulling off this look, I can’t think of a better team in KZN than the one I’m showcasing here today. These folks are some of my fave wedding pros of all time, including Joe of Oh Happy Day and Eileen of Bright Girl – they’re consistently creating some of the most beautiful wedding inspiration around and also happen to be the loveliest people to hang with on your big day. You can see why, when I knew this shoot was going down at Cheetah Ridge, I was glued to Instagram for updates, and when I saw the images they were even better than I imagined. So naturally, I picked a zillion of them to share with you. You’re welcome.
LONG HAUL. What a terrible term – it immediately sounds like a schlep: waiting around in airports for connecting flights, jetlag, airplane food… ugh. But when I think of long flights, I get excited, because at the other end of that journey? It’s destination: awesome. Think about it – no matter where in the world you live, if it takes you a while to get somewhere, it’s going to be amazing. And that’s why, when I had the chance to head to the Caribbean to spend some time with my Aisle Society sisters at Sandals South Coast last year, I jumped at the opportunity. Thanks to SAA, the flight was a breeze (more on that later), and I arrived in Jamaica full of energy and excitement. And what I found was that a few extra hours of travel were 1000% worth it. When you see not only the gorgeousness that is Jamaica (a place so lovely that everyone welcomes you home from the minute you step off the plane, even if it’s your first time there) but the incredible destination weddings that Sandals has created as part of their new Aisle to Isle experience, you’ll understand exactly what I mean! Whether you’re gathering a crew of family and friends, eloping just the two of you, or making it your dream honeymoon locale, you won’t be disappointed. Let’s check out the highlights of my trip, and keep scrolling for my top tips and necessities for long-haul flights!
Most couples meet, fall in love, and if they’re lucky, end up at the altar. But for today’s fun couple, the altar was where it started! That’s where Keristena met Daniel, it’s where he proposed, and of course it’s where they declared their undying, on a beautiful spring day in the Natal Midlands. Which is something to celebrate, and celebrate they did, in a carnival-inspired reception. Coloured candy floss, popcorn, live music and a photobooth were all part of ‘carnival hour’ as they renamed their cocktail hour, and then moved on to a receptio decked out in the perfect pastel palette of coral, mint and serenity blue (complete with matching blooms!). SO FUN! African Bear Photography were on the scene to capture it all!
This time of year I think we’re all missing the beach a bit, so I seriously can’t think of a better real wedding to kick off our 2018 lineup than Chantelle & Ricky-Jon’s (in fact, I’ve been keeping this beauty up my sleeve for that exact reason) – you guys, this is what beach wedding dreams are made of! Think soft, romantic details, watercolour stationery, a gorgeous tropical setting, fine art ocean-style decor by the supremely talented Absolute Perfection, bridesmaid dresses billowing in the sea breeze… sigh. The tables are simple but perfectly styled, right down to the calligraphed rock place holders and the textures of basket and driftwood – a fine art take on rustic beachy chic that I can’t get enough of. And on top of that, there’s an adorable love story and hilarious account of the proposal from the bride and groom – loved these so much I had to call my mom and read them to her! Aw! And let’s not forget the final cherry on this sundae of amazingness – the most romantic images from Grace Studios. Wow. Way to kick off an amazing year, right?
I really am such an old softie, you guys. Over the years I must have read thousands of real love stories and you’d think by now I’d be immune, but then I come across a gorgeous couple like Lena and Filip, who are clearly besotted and meant for each other, and read their story and see them full of emotion as they exchange vows and I’m gone again. Ain’t love grand? Although to be fair, grand isn’t a word I’d use to describe this wedding, which is earthy and natural and laid-back and fun in all the best ways possible. It took place in Lena’s father’s garden in Botswana, with the river as a backdrop, and the beautiful African wilderness surrounding them (those sunsets!). Lena rocked the most stunning bridal two-piece ensemble and a boho floral crown, while Filip was super handsome in his suit, and the two of them said their ‘I do’s under a beautiful floral and greenery arch, before a jazzy cocktail hour and an outdoor reception that went on all through the night, surrounded by family and friends from literally around the world. Sigh. And as if all of that wasn’t romantic enough on its own, Maryke Albertyn absolutely killed it with the photography, capturing all the joy and loveliness forever.
Cornel & Caronien’s wedding day was filled with colour, love, fun and beauty… and rain. Because that’s how it goes, doesn’t it? The unexpected shows up with the things you planned. But I’ll let you in on a secret: rainy day weddings are some of my favourites. It’s like everyone takes a deep breath, lets go of expectations, and just has fun right there in the moment. And come rain or come shine, that’s just what this sweet couple did, bringing their colourful wedding to life for their guests in a country reception that was bursting with fun touches, from fortune cookie favours to a live caricature artist to late night waffles to fireworks. That was one half of the equation, but the other was sheer elegance and romance, and this element is especially beautifully brought to life by Genevieve Fundaro‘s gorgeous pics. Look out for an extra post-wedding couple shoot reshoot when the sun came out again – an awesome idea if rain does show up to bless your big day!
When it comes to styled shoots, I’m definitely of the school of making models smile – I mean, who wants to see a moody bride or groom? But even if a model’s skills are Kate Moss-level awesome, there’s just no faking the real thing. And Nathan and Brendan’s big day is full of the real thing – smiles as wide as the sky, true happiness, and love. This adorable couple not only held their nuptials in fabulous Cape Town (LOVE me a city wedding!) but followed the natural ambience of an outdoor ceremony with the fun of a quirky modern reception space, which they filled to the brim with proteas and greenery. The best of both worlds, truly. And speaking of both worlds, I also loved how the couple managed to honour Indian wedding traditions, like mehndi and varmala garlands, making this a truly multicultural celebration. SBB faves Thunder and Love Photography captured all the love (and all the pretty) from this special day!
Nature meets luxury in this beautiful forest wedding at Die Woud, which is ending off our week in the prettiest way possible! Paul and Chloë wated an outdoorsy feel to their Cape wedding, and fell in love with Die Woud (who could blame them?). Natural elements like wooden tables and beautiful proteas, contrast with romantic twists like chandeliers and twinkle lights (oh, the lights!) and Chloë’s incredible Cindy Bam dress. Music was another super important part of the wedding, from the fun song choices for vital moments, to the bride’s dad serenading her (awwww!) to SBB DJ faves Silkmusic pulling out all the stops to get the dancefloor pumping all night long! Let’s get up close and personal with all the pretty captured by Jani B. Photography!