Elbie & Derek’s Opulent & Eclectic DIY Wedding

I love Elbie… love love love! She is the hair & make up genius behind many of my photo shoots, including the Mad Hatter Beach Shoot, the Tattoo Revolution magazine shoot and my rainbow hair for the Big Fat Wedding Blogger’s Photo Shoot! Elbie is one hell of a cool chick, so when I heard the she was getting married in South Africa this March I pretty much laid claim to blogging her wedding before she’d even had the chance to tell me anything about it!

Elbie married Derek at Glen Skye, a farm owned by her uncle and aunt in the Eastern Free State, SA. Elbie’s Mum pretty much organised the whole affair as both Elbie & Derek now live in London. She even made her daughter’s dress based on a Dior pattern! I was particularly excited to see how her dress ended up, as we’d had long conversations in the run-up to the wedding about what it was going to look like.

She explained, “My Mom orchestrated the WHOLE wedding for us. We planned the wedding over the internet, she would send me pictures of the dress progress, and I’ll send her drawings of what was in my head.”

“The dress was made by my Mom, after I showed her a fabulous couture gown I liked – she had to design and make it with only ONE fitting of a mock-up a year before the wedding!  She is a little bit magic and we both were VERY relieved when I tried it on for the first time and it was PERFECT! There were about 18 metres of hoop in that gown, but it was surprisingly light! She also made my hairpiece, using beads to make little flowers, and adding gemstones and a piece of a broken tiara that belonged to my grandmother, Elbie Senior.”

With her custom dress Elbie wore shoes Irregular Choice and Doc Marten Dee boots for the evening. The lucky bride also carried a Vivienne Westwood handbag that Derek gave to her as a wedding gift!

“My Mom also made the bridesmaids dresses, the cake, the flowers, the décor, (every table setting was a little bit different, shoe of my great-grandmother were sprayed silver for Elbie-ness- my Mom’s quote ) and they MADE most of the steel ‘props’ with my dad (they do that for a living)” Elbie continued. “The wedding arch and birdcage were made by them, and the groom made the cake stand as well as the princess and the frog cake topper in bronze!!!  The parasol was a last minute addition, a present given to me by my mom-in-law and her 4 sisters.  My bouquet’s flowers wouldn’t open in time, and the parasol worked beautifully!”

“We spent two weeks before the wedding to prepare everything, from making signs to spray-painting hydrangeas (a trick I learnt while working on the Wonderland project.) Oh, and a valuable DIY lesson – never throw anything away.  My Mom is a creative genius who could make things out of nothing. We’ve exhausted ourselves (and my poor father and my then-fiancé), because everytime they thought everything was sorted, we’d come up with a new idea!”

The evening reception was also a special one, with Elbie fulfilling her childhood dream of singing to her new husband, ” When it was my turn for my ‘speech’, my talented brother accompanied me on keyboard so that I could serenade my groom with ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ – by Journey, not the Glee cover!  (there’s a pic of him staring at me in shock/wonderment!)” she told me.

“We had so many people helping us out, borrowing stuff or giving it for free, we really got a sense of community there,” the bride concluded. “We had our relaxed, but opulent wedding. I have never dreamt of a white wedding, and wanted a festive, overgrown, eclectic day.”

HUGE love and congratulations to my girl Elbie and her husband Derek and thank you SO MUCH for allowing me to share your awesome day with the readers of Rock n Roll Bride today.

Photography Credit: Ruan van der Sande
Venue: Glen Skye, SA
Bride’s Dress: DIY (Mother of the bride)
Bride’s Headpiece: DIY (Mother of the bride)
Bride’s Shoes: Irregular Choice and Doc Marten Dee boots
Groom’s Outfit: River Island
Entertainment: White Feather Productions wfstudio@gc-tech.co.za
Catering: Granaat Spyseniering granaat@gaffie.co.za
Hair & Make Up: DIY (Elbie Van Eeden)


  1. I totally adore this one because I love Elbie she is the sweetest and most talented ever. But, the details are all fantabulous! Mahoosive congrats and many, many happy wishes to you and Derek xxx

  2. My GOD I LOVE this wedding, this may be my fav ever on your blog!! I was lucky enough to meet Elbie at the big fat bloggers photo shoot and she was telling me about her day then…well words could not describe, I totaly love it. he dress is amazing, how clever is her mum, as for the details, the candy station, the centre peices, the flowers……gorgeous!!…….but not as gorgeous as Elbie! amazing. I’m actually working with her on one of my weddings in August, I can’t wait!!! Congratulations xxx

  3. Elbie you are such a darl, you look amazing! What a lovely beau you have too. Beautiful setting and your eclectic style is just how I imagined. And what a fabulous Mother you have too… that dress that dress!!!! Congratulations to you both :)) xxx

  4. You look completely amazing, and your day is just perfect! I love the setting, the details – you both look so happy! Gorgeous wedding 😀

  5. Beautiful. It’s so lovely that people can get married outside in some countries. I love the table arrangement with the shoe. And such great taste in wedding shoes! 😀

  6. Elbie, tell your mom she needs to call me! 😉 I am well impressed – what a talented mother, father, and groom! I love how the entire celebration looks like it was an expression of your personalities. Congratulations, sweetie! M. x

  7. You look completely amazing, and your day is just perfect! I love the setting, the details – you both look so happy! Gorgeous wedding 😀

  8. This wedding just gives me butterflies in my tummy it’s so gorgeous! Love the photos, the setting, the amazing dress and headpiece (woooop for Elbie’s mum!) and Elbie and Derek make such a beautiful couple. Hurrah for eclectic opulence! xxx

  9. I have little tears in my eyes, I have been so excited about seeing this wedding and seeing THAT dress.

    It’s gorgeous and Elbie looks so happy with her new handbag, I mean husband.

    Beautiful details and beautiful bride, perfect.

  10. Thank you so so much for everyone who took the time to comment, it’s a bit overwhelming!! It was the most precious day for us, it was a lot of work, but a great project, and the most spectacular party I could’ve imagined (headbanging to Rammstein, amonst others!)

    Thanks again.

  11. Elbie is the cutest bride I have ever seen, her mum is a genius, that dress is a work of art, the setting is stunning, and the photography is fantastic.

  12. kirsty mitchell

    Ahhh Elbie, you know what I think …. love you girl, you look so amazing x

  13. Wow! I LOVED your pictures, they ooze happiness, love and the attention to detail was amazing…oh and you looked so beautiful..of course! XXX

  14. Antonia Stevensen

    This wedding is so beautiful and so unique! And what a handsome loving couple..looks so romantic. Congratulations to both of you.

  15. Wow this is the most fantastic wedding i think i have ever seen. Just discovered Ebbie on Twitter and then found the winter wonderland shoot with Kirsty Mitchell Photography – AMAZING!!!

  16. dawn

    Hi Elbie,
    You don’t know me, but I know your brother Carel-Piet, we have done business together. He is very proud of you, and I can see why! You are beautiful, and the wedding looks absolutely amazing. I wish you and your lovely husband, a long, loving, prosperous life adventure and that it is everything you dream it to be.

  17. Can I just say *Wow*! Congratulations Elbie – you both look so happy! I love the flowers, and they are just like you said they would be back in November – wild and beautiful! Hope you both had an amazing day and are very happy together! xxx

  18. Louise

    I simply can’t get enough of these pics!!! Elbie, WOW!!!! Stunning, mind-blowing, amazing, breath taking, gorgeous…just doesn’t quite give credit to your amazing wedding!!!


  19. Wena

    Ai my Kind, ek het sopas weer na die fotos gekyk; kan ons nie maar weer trou speel nie????!!!!

  20. Awww!!

    The previous comment was by my (magical) Mom, she just had another look at the pictures, and wondered if we can ‘play’ wedding again!!!

    I love you Ma!

  21. Elbie you are a warm, happy and delightful woman and that comes out in bucket loads in your wedding pictures. You look stunning and the look of love between you and Derek is magic.

  22. Stacy Browne

    Ah wow – big congratulations to Elie and her husband. Have admired her work these last few years and we can see with her amazingly clever mum where she gets her creativity and talent. Xx


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