Wilderness Glam Wedding Inspiration

Happy Monday, lovely ones! Spring has sprung, the sun is out in Durban and it has me wanting to get out of my winter cocoon and out into nature. Which is pretty appropriate, since this month on SBB, we’re all about wild beauty – everything from boho to desert chic to game lodge weddings and back again. And there’s really no better way to kick that off on a South African blog than to head into our own wild place, the breathtaking bushveld, for some inspiration. I absolutely ADORE aloes, so the first thing that struck me about this gorgeous shoot from Charl van der Merwe (commissioned for the rebrand of the Mohatjane venue) was the backdrop of tall aloes, and of course, the bride’s incredible dress. There’s a lovely marriage here between earthy and glam: a palette of mixed neutrals with a touch of shimmery copper; succulents and seed pods with elegant white orchids (and a gold-foiled, orchid topped cake); a rustic wooden table laid with vintagey luxe decor; a table for two in the bush and a serving of champagne. It’s basically the perfect inspiration for an elegant safari-style wedding!

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Organic Bushveld Wedding by Rianka’s Wedding Photography

I think we all know by now that the South African bushveld is my happy place – everything about it makes me calm and joyful, and grateful for this beautiful country I get to call home. So safari-style weddings are kind of my wedding happy place too, especially when they’re pulled together as beautifully as this one! Chris-Marie and Heinrich chose to marry on the family farm near Pretoria and literally built their venue in the middle of the bush from scratch – laying the floors, making the tables, digging up the aloes that they used as decorations. A little oasis of wedding elegance in the middle of nature – and that’s just what their wedding reflects: natural, earthy goodness. There are so many details here to love – the hanging wreaths of greenery, the little stations built to make guests more comfortable (or well-watered) along the way, right down the bridesmaids unique (and gorgeous) skirt and top combos. And as if I couldn’t love it all more already, there’s a dash of copper glam to complement all those beautiful neutrals in the palette. Rianka’s Wedding Photography took these gorgeous pics – and there’s a bumper lot of them today! Too many pretty details to narrow down – and why would I? Like I say. Happy place.

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Rustic Riverside Lowveld Wedding by Kim Tracey

I always ask my brides and grooms if there were any details of their weddings that were proudly South African (after all, SBB is all about bringing you the latest inspiration with an African twist!) but when it came to Brenna & Tom, the feeling of being out in the African bushveld was such an integral part of their big day that it couldn’t be boiled down to a few details (although they had those too, from proteas to enamel mugs and braai canapes, even Amarula ice cream for dessert!) They were married on the banks of a river on a Lowveld farm, with crocs and hippos in close attendance, and their guests enjoyed traditional G&T sundowners before the reception, taking in the glorious scenery before dancing the night away under the stars. It was a fitting celebration for a down to earth couple, and they decorated it simply but beautifully, with pretty rustic touches and the most gorgeous (and delectable-looking) naked cake. Kim Tracey was on the scene, and took these absolutely lovely pics!

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Dreamy Safari Wedding at Karongwe Game Reserve by Rensche Mari {Lizel & Guy}

You don’t need me to tell you again how much I love the South African bushveld – as Ernest Hemingway said: “I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up and was not happy.” This wedding has everything I love about the bushveld – the soft, dreamy colour palette, the rustic setting, amazing animal sightings, colour, laughter, joy – and most of all, the sense of serenity that only comes under a great big starry African sky. Of course, a wedding like that needs a photographer to do it justice, and Rensche Mari does just that – these pics are super gorgeous, and show off every pretty detail of Lizel and Guy’s beautiful big day. Grab a G&T and enjoy!Read More

Rustic Fynbos Wedding at Makinky Manzi by 5 Talents Photography {Jean-Marie & Jaques}

I can’t think of a more proudly South African theme for your wedding than fynbos, and that’s exactly what today’s bride and groom chose, basing their entire wedding design on their love for Cape fynbos, right down to protea seed favours. Here’s the twist though – the wedding didn’t take place in the Cape, but rather in the North West, creating a gorgeous fusion of the best of two of our prettiest provinces. This is rustic handmade wedding design at its best, in creamy neutral colours, along with shades of soft pink and a touch of gold. 5 Talents Photography took these golden images, to commemorate Jean-Marie & Jacques special day!Read More

Bushveld Black Tie Farm Wedding by Peartree Photography {Sandra & Murray}

Last week, an impressive little envelope landed in my postbox. The kind of paper you want to run your fingers over, with an old-school wax seal on the back. Inside was a thick letterpress invitation, an extra that today’s lovely bride Sandra shared with me ahead of our feature today. The dress code: strictly black tie – full length dresses for the ladies, tuxedos for the men, and white frocks and flower crowns for the little madams. That invitation really set the tone for Sandra and Murray’s chic wedding, introducing their guests to a world of ballroom formal and Out of Africa safari style that took place right on the couple’s farm in the Free State. I just adore everything about this look, from Sandra’s red-lipped mantilla-ed bridal style to the orchid laden tables, all with the most incredible bush backdrop (all captured beautifully by photographer Wil Punt). And today, we’re extending the invitation to you too. The pleasure of your company is requested… PS You can see Sandra and Murray’s awesome safari engagement shoot here.Read More

Safari & Orchids Wedding at Garden Route Game Lodge by Nelis Engelbrecht {Luzanne & Jean}

Today’s wedding is such a happy mix of some of my favourite trends. There’s a little bit of floral print (love those napkins) and pop of pink colour against a palette of neutrals in the flower choice (orchids, such an elegant bloom, and a personal choice for the bride). There’s a touch of sparkle (amazing bridesmaids dresses alert!), and a whisper of lace (ditto for the wedding dress!). There’s a bit of rustic, a hint of vintage, and of course a safari feel thanks to the Garden Route Game Lodge location. And even though it’s an eclectic mixture in some ways, it totally works. Like the wedding equivalent of ‘these are a few of my favourite things’. (That song’s going to be in your head for the rest of the day now, SORRY.) The lovely Luzanne and her hubby Jean pulled off a fabulous weekend fete, and photographer Nelis Engelbrecht, was there to capture every perfect moment.Read More

Gorgeous Game Lodge Wedding at Bonamanzi by Fiona Clair {Melissa & Keenan}

You guys don’t need me to tell you how much I love the African bushveld, it is my BEST THING. So of course I have a soft spot for couples who share that love, and as soon as I saw Melissa & Keenan’s wedding I knew that they were just that sort of couple. Long-distance lovers who now live in beautiful Kwazulu Natal, they planned a game lodge fabulous wedding complete with a chic bush ceremony arch, zebra bridesmaid robes, and just about every variety of protea. It’s super joyful and beautiful, and super South African, which makes it the perfect wedding to kick off our super SouthBound year! The phenomenal Fiona Clair was on-scene to capture these gorgeous pics.Read More

Intimate Scottish De Hoop Wedding by Illuminate Photography {Stacey & Stuart}

Well, here’s something new – I’ve had grooms contribute to the questionnaire before, but never had a complete he said/she said view of a wedding. It just shows what a strong partnership Stuart and Stacey have, and how much their wedding was a mix of their personalities and backgrounds. Stuart is from Scotland, so beyond the traditional kilts (and let’s be honest, men look faaaabulous in kilts!) there was Highland-style dancing, merrymaking and bagpiping unfer the night sky. Bringing up the South African end, there was braaing, kuiering and gorgeous natural fynbos covering the tables. It’s like Rob Roy meets Jock of the Bushveld, in the perfect fusion of two lives and families. The lovely Tabitha of Illuminate Photography was there to capture every special moment.Read More

Rustic Strelizia Kuthaba Bush Lodge Wedding by Dreampix Photography {Helen & Johan}

As a huge fan of our indigenous flowers, I have always wished more strelizias popped up in wedding design (that’s ‘bird of paradise’ flowers to you overseas readers) – they aren’t as versatile as proteas, sure, but they’re another bloom that immediately makes me think of home. And that’s not the only homegrown touch that Helen and Johan incorporated in their gorgeous, rustic, South African-inspired wedding – from Karoo style details like tin windmills and enamel cups, to a boma reception, this is truly a sunny SouthBound wedding. My favourite moment though? Johan picking up a guitar and singing to his bride during his speech. Not a dry eye in the house – it doesn’t get much more romantic than that! Kobus of Dreampix was there to capture every colourful moment (as he was for the couple’s farm engagement shoot, previously featured on SBB).Read More