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.
There are bush weddings, and then there is this pretty as a picture game lodge celebration in shades of blush and candy pink, captured to perfection by Charl van der Merwe. Picture a classic affair, overflowing with lush blooms, with touches of gold, its glam elegance contrasting with the rustic scenery. Then imagine a beautiful bride in a breathtaking illusion lace gown, flower girls in froths of rouge, groomsmen in stylish navy, and a handsome groom whose eyes light up at the sight of his wife-to-be. It’s the dream, isn’t it? Well, with Leona and Christopher’s big day, it’s a reality. And while we don’t have their story to share with you today, these romantic images really do speak for themselves.
You know what I love to bits? This couple. Seriously, Dominique and Jason are so much a pair after my own heart, a twosome who love the South African bushveld and know how to throw a great party. Oh, and let’s not leave out Dominique’s love of shweshwe, which she used throughout their gorgeous wedding. Throw in a team of awesome wedding pros making the big day happen in the heat of Limpopo summer (including fab photographer Liesl le Roux), proteas, little gold safari animals, and a dreamy dress, and you have a wedding that’s as SouthBound-fabulous as you can possibly imagine! Game lodge brides and grooms take note – this is how to do a bush wedding oh so right.
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!
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.
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!
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
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
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