An elegantly rustic destination wedding infused with pops of rich Marsala has SBB written all over it. So no surprise, when I spotted this lavish little number via photographer Genevieve Fundaro, I couldn’t wait to share it with you all! It’s a day filled with pretty, from the long wooden tables decked with proteas and copper details to the naked cake, to a harvest table groaning with treats, to bride and groom Kerry and Shane’s Hollywood glam knockout style. And it’s full of love too – the usually tough groom had a definite moment when he saw his beautiful wife-to-be walking down the aisle towards him (aw!). There’s so much here to love, and Genevieve has captured it all beautifully as ever.
Shane and I met through mutual friends at a braai. After a couple of dinner dates and connecting at social events, Shane asked me to be his girlfriend and that’s where our love story began. Five years later we got engaged and started planning our wedding.
Every year on our dating anniversary we would go away. On our five year anniversary, we decided to go to Franschhoek and do the wine route. On our second day we went to Haute Cabriere Winery on a wine tour. While we had a break just before lunch, Shane expressed that he needed to get a jersey from the car and left me waiting on a bench overlooking a beautiful dam and the Franschhoek mountains. I turned around to ask Shane to take a photograph with me and he was on one knee. It was the most beautiful proposal with such a stunning backdrop. Definitely a day we will never forget!
We got married at the Rose Pavilion, Bosky Dell Farm, Plettenberg Bay. We had decided that we wanted to have a destination wedding and my dream was always to get married in Plettenberg Bay. I had spent most of my teen years from the age of 14 holidaying with my family at our home away from home and we just had so many happy and nostalgic memories there. We explored about five venues in Plett but the last venue we visited immediately struck a chord with us as well as my mother. We didn’t even know it existed. I was looking for a venue in nature, a departure from the coastal beach theme of Plettenberg Bay. It was so unique and matched our style so perfectly. An elegant rose farm with a beautiful pavilion, and romantic indoor/outdoor ceremony room, it was just perfect backdrop drop for us to say I do.
We definitely envisioned a romantic feel. We loved a rustic/forest theme, bringing in a few DIY elements. We wanted to bring a bit of nature indoors using tree stumps and trees slices on the tables and installed hanging twigs entwined with twinkle lights above the dance floor, and hanging glass vases with white flowers above the tables. Dimmed café light bulbs and reflecting glass created the perfect ambience and lighting. We wanted our wedding to be simple with a mix of modern and rustic. We used ivory and wood as our base colours and added a touch of glamour with rose gold and gold décor items and a touch of Marsala in our stationery. It was very important that we made our Wedding unique to us and our style. We wanted to dress more formally and look more glamorous than we ever have.
My favourite wedding detail was the hanging flower basket above our heads at the altar in the ceremony room. This created a wow effect as you entered the room and it made for great photographs of our first kiss as husband and wife. I got the idea from Pinterest. I also especially loved the twig-like nest entwined with twinkle lights installed above the dance floor, for our first dance. This is where I got to bring my love for natural elements indoors and it was something I insisted on having. It made for a grand entrance and it turned out better than I could have ever imagined. Give your wedding a personal touch.We personalised our wedding by creating a custom monogram, which we used on our wedding stationery, in our wedding décor and on the dance floor.
Shane has always been a handyman at home. We love making our own décor and I have always loved to be creative so it seemed only fitting that we introduced some DIY elements into our wedding décor. We handmade all of our candle holders and candelabras from copper pipe. We sprayed Consol jars and glass bottles gold and used them to hold flowers and candles. We made paper planes, which guests were told to throw as confetti. We hand made all of our sign boards and directional signage and hand cut all of our table runners.
My wedding gown was nothing like I expected it to be in my head – it was not the style I thought I would ever choose and it came as a big surprise to me when trying it on for the first time, After visiting De La Vida Bridal couture I narrowed my dresses down to two and couldn’t decide which I liked more. I brought my team of bridesmaids in and they helped meto make the final decision. I decided on a gown called Sisina from the St Patrick Pronovias collection. (The name of the dress also really resonated with me.) An ivory one shoulder trumpet style gown with draped bodice and detailed lace appliques cascading down the one side of the dress. It had a long train with asymmetric edged frills flowing off the skirt. I felt really comfortable in my dress and I was so happy with the way it looked.
I had five bridesmaids. I always wanted my bridesmaids to feel comfortable in what they were wearing. I wanted to choose a bold vibrant colour for them as I wanted them to stand out and feel amazing. I chose a beautiful Marsala (deep red wine colour) for their dresses; they had a sweetheart neckline and they were full length for a more formal feel. Their dresses fitted like gloves and they looked amazing. (I also incorporated this colour in their bouquets, in some of the wedding stationery and on my lips and nails.)
I chose mainly white flowers for the reception area. Beautiful white proteas for my bridal bouquet with succulent sprayed gold in the middle. I wrapped my late grandmother’s blue and gold rosary around my bridal bouquet to add to the traditional ‘something old, borrowed and blue.’ The ceremony room and outdoor canapé area was scattered with deep red proteas and red rose petals.
The moment I saw Shane at the end of the aisle bawling his eyes out. I was trying to compose myself thinking he wouldn’t be crying so I had to try to keep it together. There wasn’t a dry eye in the ceremony room. So significant because I had never seen Shane cry (he has always had this tough guy exterior) and I was not expecting to see him so emotional. It was the most indescribable moment because he really wore his heart on his sleeve.
Proudly South African Details
We used proudly South African Protea flowers. Our dinner was based around Ubuntu. Dinner was served on shared platters encouraging friends and family to pass food around and to socialize and share their meals amongst each other. Our wedding favours were locally made – bottled honey for the ladies, and a local honey-like dessert wine called Mead specially sourced for the men.
The best decision we made in planning our wedding was to have a destination wedding (although we got a lot of flack for it in the beginning). We created a weekend of festivities and everyone got involved. Our guests were able to let loose more than usual, there was more of a carefree vibe because they were in holiday mode which made our wedding day and night carry on to the early hours of the morning and was definitely one for the books.
Advice for Future Brides & Grooms
Keep guests entertained while you are taking photographs. This is very important. We had live music and many lawn games (a real hit for our guests) to keep them occupied. Take your guest list seriously, consider and reconsider each and every person on your list. Make sure that the people on your list play a significant part in your life and seat them next to people they know. It doesn’t matter what your budget is, big or small, it will be to be the BEST day of your life, so take it all in. Your wedding day is just the beginning.
You can see more from this wedding on Genevieve Fundaro’s blog.
Venue: The Rose Pavilion | Catering: Nguni Restaurant | Photography: Genevieve Fundaro | Co-ordination: Cheryl Dempster of Big Day Event | Flowers & décor: Pippa’s Flowers | Stationery: Smith Design | Video: Stuart Brink Films | Cake: Plum Tree Cakes | Bride’s dress: Delavida Bridal Couture | Bride’s accessories: Jimmy Choo (shoes); Swarovski (earrings); Lorean Jewellery (hair clip) | Hair: Greenhouse Salon & Spa | Makeup: Bianca Roode | Bridesmaids’ dresses: Bonart Fashions | Groom’s attire: Frank Bespoke (tux); Zara (shoes); Polo (cufflinks) | Groomsmen’s attire: Woolworths (suits); Zara (ties) | Hiring: Events and Tents | DJ: DJ Mike | Entertainment: India Band