Real Wedding at Shepstone Gardens {Luisa & Simon}

What is it about proteas, you guys? Is it something innately South African in me, that falls in love with them every time I see them and even more so when I see and smell one up close, hold it in both hands, marvel at its size, sturdiness, delicacy? Maybe, but then the whole world is currently falling madly in love with our national flower. When I started in weddings, there were already lots of SA brides using them, and I used to get comments about how unique the bouquets I featured were, but now I see them in weddings from all over. I like to think that maybe, just maybe, myself and my fellow SA bloggers and photographers and brides may have a little something to do with spreading the word about this gorgeous flower, in all her many guises. You’re welcome, The World. Anyway, what’s got me musing on all this is today’s lovely wedding, which has pincushion proteas at its very heart. I love these spiky blooms – especially when paired with the kind of no nonsense prettiness of shiny tin vases, fynbos, and the rich green of a spring morning in the bushveld as they were in Luisa and Simon’s wedding. The look contrasts perfectly with the easy elegance of their Shepstone Gardens venue, reflecting the ‘opposites attract’ nature of our bride and groom’s relationship. Andrea Carlyle was there to take these gorgeous pictures.Read More

Real Wedding at Isiphiwo {Mankoana & Nzuzo}

I do love me a good theme wedding, and as South African wedding themes go, today’s might be the coolest. For our overseas readers who don’t know, Sophiatown was an area of Johannesburg that was ultimately destroyed under apartheid, but that in the 1940s and 1950s was a cultural hub for musicians, writers and artists, full of of jazz and blues and politics and colour. Something like 1920s Harlem. Mankoana and Nzuzo wanted to bring that same colour and energy to their wedding (while still maintaining an elegant, sophisticated overall look), so they included punches of bright pinks and purples as well as music and dancing. It must have been SO FUN! As with all my best weddings, it’s all about a couple who finds a way to express who they are and have a great time with their guests. Love it. Andrea Carlyle was there to capture every lovely moment (and an extremely gorgeous bride and groom) with her camera.Read More

Real Wedding at Umtamvuna River Lodge {Anna & Robbie}

I know many of you out there are probably fans of Paulo Coelho. I have to admit, I’m not, but the first time I read The Alchemist I had just broken up with my first love, and it gave me comfort. Years later, I published an educational edition of the book, so I read it again, and even though this time it wasn’t my thing, I did appreciate the whole idea of life being a journey and how sometimes random things conspire to point in a particular direction. It’s an amazing feeling when that happens, and I couldn’t help being reminded of that story and feeling when I read today’s couple’s ‘how we met’ story, which really is like a journey of signs. Very cool. Of course, all love stories end in a celebration, and Anna and Robbie’s ended this chapter in a wonderful wedding at Umtamvuna. I adore their laid back style (and Anna’s amazing Temperley London dress!) as well as their literary theme (having played Toad of Toad Hall in my younger years I’m particularly delighted by the Wind in the Willows slant!), and especially Andrea Carlyle‘s epic photographs capturing the stormy skies. So much loveliness.Read More

Real Wedding at Ivory Tree Lodge {Claire & Andrew}

Today’s wedding is special to me in so many ways. First of all, the bride and groom happen to be dear friends – Claire is another of my Minerva girls, from our time at varsity. She’s one of the most strikingly beautiful women I know, and she also happens to be lovely and whip smart – someone whose opinion I really value. She and Andrew returned to SA from their home in Singapore for their Pilanesberg wedding (I was also lucky enough to attend), which was seriously so much fun. I think one of the things that really struck me was how well it flowed – from the ceremony looking out over the breathtaking African bush (so much in the wild, in fact, that we had rangers patrolling the perimeter with guns throughout) and the sundowners which followed (such a wow moment), to the canapés on the lawn, to dinner and speeches and then a long session on the dancefloor, everyone was moved on quickly and unobtrusively, and it really contributed to the success of the day I thought. Another thing was the entertainment – they had a choir for the ceremony, bagpipers and a drummer throughout (including the dancefloor!) and a sax player for the reception. The pipe and drum were from Transvaal Scottish, which was my grandpa’s regiment in WW2, and since I inherited my love of the wild from him too, it was particularly special for me. So all in all, one of my all-time-favourite weddings! Andrea Carlyle was there to take the gorgeous pics (and to listen to my friends and I talk nonsense in the jeep while we chased a lion sighting on the way to the reception!). And stay tuned, because in a very short while I’ll be sharing Claire and Andrew’s video (with a very brief spot-the-Gaby cameo appearance from me!).Read More