Tag Archives: South Africa

A South African Winter Wedding at A Private Game Reserve: Jaimi & Adrian

Jaimi & Adrian are wedding photographers themselves so when it came to planning their own big day the photography was obviously a very important part for them. “Adrian and I met through a photographic project he did back in 2008 and we fell in love,” Jaimi told me. “He asked me to marry him on a misty morning in October 2009 in the Drakensburg Kzn. We got married on January 10th, 2010 and had a small ceremony at Tala. We renewed our love for each other and had our wedding celebration on June the 24th this year at our special love place … Tala Private Game Reserve.”

“As Adrian has been in the wedding industry for over 12 years now as a wedding photographer. We really wanted our day to be ‘us’ and a bit more rocker than the weddings we shoot every weekend of the year. We took all the ‘stuff’ we loved and piled it onto one day – from the clothes we love, to the passion we have to the fun we wanted for our family. It turned out awesome, it was personal, full of love, non stressful and just super rocking.”

“We had the most intense African storm at about 2pm in the afternoon and we almost thought our shoot would be hindered but we had the most awesome day thereafter, the sky cleared and Sam (our photographer) literally shot us in one location rotating us in a 360 degrees.”

“Our whole playlist scared our DJ, David just a little, but he trusted us and played it anyway and Adrian (not a big dancer) and I (love dancing) ended up being the last couple on the dance floor. Our first dance song was ‘Monuments and Melodies’ by Incubus and everyone just stood around us and we attempted a dance. It was incredible – I felt like it was just us.”

“As mentioned earlier, this was a renewal of our love from a year and a bit back, and we loved every second. We are so glad we had a videographer  (Lauren & Andrew) and Sammi Babe did a super job of the photos. Everything was just an overwhelming blessing having the most important people either side of us and everyone we loved at our long single banquet dinner table. We chose our own wine for the evening and a shooter table. We also had a DIY photo booth that made the party start on a high note.”

“Our theme was all about being us,” the bride concluded. “Adrian and I got together under rough circumstances and got married just 4 days after deciding we wanted to. We just needed this. This solidarity with our family. It was evidence of our love for all to see. Being a winter wedding in South Africa we had a sort of vintage-autumn theme. I did not like the idea of flowers so we did black candles, different height and size crystal candle stands and real autumn leaves across the whole length of gold taffeta table cloths.”

Beautiful…and check out the video too!

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A Vintage Themed South African Wedding ‘With a Twist’: Zigi & Warren

Oh South Africa you do have some beautiful light…and how lucky are Zigi & Warren to have had Shanna Jones Photography to capture it so magically?

“We wanted a different wedding that represented our style,” Zigi told me. “Something that was unique to us as a couple. Warren is into Cars/Bikes & Fashion. I am into Food/Art/design…and unfortunately cars too. We decided to do a Road trip to our destination (this is something we do often & is actually part of our lives). The plan was to do it over 4 days & 3 nights to ensure we really don’t miss anything, but also get the time to spend with the various groups of people. The plan was that the entire group would get to know each other by being in the same town for 3 nights. This would mean on the wedding night we can just hang!! Quite a few of our friends are muscle car collectors – so about 10 cars drove up (where others brought their off-road bikes to go into the mountains).”

Zigi looked stunning in her black and ivory dress, made of a collection of items that she put together herself. She explained, “I have always been a lover of vintage clothing & knew it should be a combination of old & new with a hint of black. I never imagined myself getting married in an all white dress; so decided to add a lot of black. My skirt was a 1930’s wedding dress (cut up to only be a heavy satin skirt) from the Cats Meow; my black velvet corset was made by my friend Cathy and my neck piece was an incredible find and really made my outfit. Barbara from the Cats Meow showed it to me on her camera & I was immediately sold. It was her private piece that she sent to London to be evaluated. It is a black 1880’s Victorian neck piece. My headpiece was made of net from dress makers collection, a diamante cameo and a blue hair piece for my ‘something blue’. Finally I wore gloves which were a gift from my friend, Maria.”

The inspiration for Warren’s outfit was “old English industrial era meets Clock Work Orange meets Oliver Twist meets Sherlock Holmes.” He wore an English tuxedo with single button long tail, a shirt from a second hand thrift store in Amsterdam and a Bailey Bowler Hat from the USA. His cane was made from R1 Rifle bullet shells and was borrowed from a friend.

“The theme of our wedding was ‘ with a twist’ and our guests all got involved in it,” continued the bride. ” The twist could be anything you like to add to your style – be it shorts with a jacket or a head piece….or red nails if that is daring to you? So each bridesmaid and groomsmen had their own outfit on…with a slight twist. The only critera the bridesmaids were given was to wear black and white and possibly vintage clothes.”

“It is also incredibly hot in Matjiesfontein in summer; which means that no flowers will last a day, especially if the table is outside. So we decided on paper flowers. We also didn’t want a cake, instead we decided on lindt chocolate shot glasses from Lindt with Amarula cream/fudge….a candy floss machine with candy floss & two ginger bread men right at the end.”

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Michelle & Trevor’s Rainy, South African, Homemade Wedding

“It’s like raaaain, on your wedding day…”

While a wash-out may be some couple’s worst nightmare, Michelle and her fiance Trevor certainly made the most of their rainy South African wedding…in fact they rocked that rain like I’ve never seen before! The wellies, multiple white umbrellas and incredible backlit portraits made me always wish my wedding had been so damp!

The wedding was held at the bride’s parent’s wedding venue, Willowvale Weddings. “6 months before our wedding date the reception hall was just a cow shed,” the bride told me. “In those 6 months my parents bashed and built the most fantastic space. There was still paint drying on the day – nothing like a bit of pressure!”

Continuing on from the ‘DIY’ venue (which is now open for all weddings) the day had a handmade and homespun feel. As Michelle explained, “We didn’t want the usual cookie cutter, draped-hall wedding, I was quite happy to elope but Trevor convinced me that I’d be happier if I shared the day with our closest friends and family (he was right). So we tried to make it as unique as possible, my Mom made my dress from pictures of dresses I sent her and it was EXACTLY what I wanted.”

“Our guests sat on hay bales for the ceremony, we didn’t have hymns (each of our sisters read a blessing instead) and we had a handfasting ceremony within our Christian ceremony.  Our men and maids didn’t matchy matchy.  We had a fingerprint tree instead of a guestbook, our table flowers were arranged in giant teapots, we both made speeches (he read an excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit about being made real and made me cry), our friends collected baby food jars for us to put candles in everywhere and the bunting made everything more fun!”

“Following wedding blogs gave me the guts to stick to my guns about some things (and made me realize that other things are just unimportant!) As well as helped me to show my Mom visually what I was trying to achieve from 9000km away!”

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Candice & Dave’s Budget-Friendly, Parisian-Themed Wedding

I’m coming over all Français today, with not one but two real wedding features with a French flavour. The first, Candice & Dave’s, took place in South Africa but had a distinctive Parisian infusion.

Photographer Jacki Bruniquel explained, “They were on a tight budget and really made the best of what they had and made their wedding ‘their own’. They had a Parisian theme running through the day as this is where they got engaged, but through in a bit of local flavour too. Friends pulled in to help and Candice made many of the details herself.”

“Candice and Dave live in Umhlanga, a seaside village near Durban South Africa, so they had their creative shoot and reception in their home town and included the icon of Umhlanga – the big red and white lighthouse. The boys all surf so we started the day with some surfing pics.  On the actual day this crazy storm came up and instead of getting into a sulky panic we just embraced it and let the wind take them away! Who says an Armageddon like storm is all bad on your wedding day?”

The wedding was held at The Breakers Resort at Umhlanga Rocks. The tight budget meant that the wedding was full of fantastic DIY elements, as Candice explained, “We did a lot of DIY! It was a good opportunity for all the bridesmaids to get together and hang out a bit. We made the: 1. hand fans, adding lace and tassels  2. the candy apples 3. the ring pillow 4. the aisle runner – This was so easy! We just bought a long piece of white fabric, stitched the edges and stenciled a pattern along the sides using fabric paint. We saved a lot of money and had fun in the process! The best part was creating the table centerpieces to look like Parisian street lamps. We sourced a whole lot of lanterns and had “lamp post” stands made for them. We then named each table after a street in Paris and had the street names hanging from the arms of the lamp post – It looked awesome, and each street was one that we had actually visited when engaged in Paris!”

“Because we were working to a budget, we had to decide what we couldn’t skimp on and what we could – priorities! One thing on top of the list was that we wanted all of our friends there to celebrate with us, as that is what this day is all about! So we needed a big venue, and our numbers were quite high. We managed to find a great venue that looked beautiful and had a great menu, but was really reasonably priced. Also we knew that the one thing you keep after your wedding day are the photos! We knew that a brilliant and talented photographer was the only way forward – Thanks to Jacki Bruniquel (Who is the best in our opinion), we now have the most beautiful memories to last a lifetime, capturing our characters so brilliantly and truthfully – wow. There were other things we could save costs on, hence all the DIY elements! But the result was that we got to have a wedding within our budget that was everything we wanted it to be!”

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Arnold & Melissa’s Festive Old World Carnival Wedding

Hold onto your knickers ladies (and gents!) because Arnold & Melissa’s South African wedding is gonna make you squeal with delight.

“We wanted to keep the wedding personal, real and down to earth,” the bride told me. “I am a wedding photographer myself, so I’ve been to so many weddings that the last thing I wanted was a traditional wedding. We love the outdoors and being out in nature, so we wanted the wedding to be outside, but also in a natural setting. We went to look at Beloftebos and immediately knew it was the right venue.”

“We both liked the idea of a festive old world carnival with lots of fun and playful elements, oh and with a Karoo (a bit like the outback in Australia, just more pretty and more magical) farmyard feel to top it off! We thought about the things we loved most and incorporated it into our wedding. We had stalls with gingerbeer, candyfloss, popcorn and ice cream. There was lots of picnic blankets and places in the forest for our guests to sit and relax, and even play with games like “kettie skiet” (catapult) – the guys made a stand with some old cooldrink cans that can be shot, this made for excellent fun and great photographs. The dancefloor was outdoors, under the stars with lots of bonfires and the whole forest was lit up by fairy lights. Our guests all dressed in “festive” clothes which also made the wedding much more relaxed.”

Melissa’s dress (complete with detachable bottom half for dancing at the reception) was by Gelieft. I’ve just been on their website and fallen in actual love with all their designs, be sure to check them out. Her bridesmaids wore dresses hand made by her Uncle. The couple really stamped their personalities onto their reception. They chose a cake made of cheese (which they put together themselves) instead of a traditional wedding cake, and the bride’s mother, aunt and a friend put together all the flowers and décor.

“Our wedding was special because everything was personal and reflected our personalities,” Melissa continued. “We did not do anything by the book but rather tried to be as creative as possible. We made the menu’s, tableplans, sighposts, games, tablenumbers etc. My mother, aunt and her friend Maurice did all the flowers. I ordered the ostrich feathers from Outshoorn for a bit of extra drama.”

“My dress was very special and I could not have asked for better designers than Theresa and Stephen from Gelieft. I told them that I wanted something amazing, different and dramatic and I don’t want to look like a bride. They made my dream dress and I felt like a princess in it. It was two dresses in one. For the ceremony I had a long dress and then I took the skirt off for the reception and had a whole different look.”

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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.”

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