There are no words for this next wedding that was sent to me by Julie at Sweetwater Portraits. It’s beautiful in a way that I can’t put my finger on. It’s thoughtful, it’s unique, it’s exciting. Perhaps it’s the story that the bride told me about her day, or the incredibly vibrant colors. Everything about this wedding just makes me smile…

Unique_wedding_by_sweetwater

From Julie…

This is the lovely, genuine wedding of Tierney Echelmeier and Greg Norris near Philadelphia. They met in South Africa (Greg’s home) and every detail of their wedding was infused with South African customs, colors and designs. As you can imagine, with the African influence it was wonderfully colorful and the fact that Tierney is a self-professed “crazy lover of Crayola.” Wait until you see the girl’s dresses…they’re wildly fun.

From the bride, Tierney…

We are still in total and utter amazement that it took travelling 10, 000 miles across the globe from the United States to Durban, South Africa to meet one another…. absolutely meant to be, without any doubt in our minds!

We met in church. YES! We did…. it actually does happen! We think it’s pretty funny, but we are also very proud that our faith played a huge part in bringing us together. The reason for my journey to KwaZulu Natal, South Africa was to serve for a year doing volunteer work as a nurse in an AIDS hospice, among countless other life-giving and eye opening experiences. Amidst the pure joy of my everyday work, Greg and I began to share our life stories over a few months. Within hours of our 10- hour first date, we knew that there was a deep spiritual connection, that we each embodied exactly what the other had been looking for, and that someday, in our near future, we would be married! So in the crazy fun planning of our wedding in the United States, it was crystal clear from the very beginning that we would incorporate unique aspects of each of our cultures in the biggest day of our lives!

Woza Moya, meaning “Come Spirit of Change” in the Zulu language, is the name of the inspirational gift shop affiliated with the AIDS hospice, where village women, either infected or affected by HIV/AIDS, used their creative talents to change their own poverty- stricken reality. Being a crazy lover of Crayola myself, total euphoria was the intense feeling I got whenever I walked into this beautifully sacred space of colour— incredible necklaces, beaded bracelets, hand painted fabrics. I knew these amazing women would play a part in my wedding…

Having had the incredible opportunity to attend the Durban Fashion Week fashion show of Karen Monk-Klinjstra, a South African haute couture designer, well known for her eccentric designs and impeccable use of vibrant colours and distinctive fabrics, I started to dream that one of her skirt designs from the show would be for my bridesmaids…. So my sisters (both Maids of Honour, one 8 ½ months pregnant!) and my six bridesmaids wore a Karen-Monk Klinjstra design— wide vertical panels all shades of green silk (my favourite colour = LIFE) with multi-colored inverted pleats all around the skirt with a small touch of funky vibrant chartreuse tulle at the hemline for a girly flair….

All girls wore hand beaded bracelets within the colour scheme from Woza Moya, made especially for the wedding and shipped over. A South African jewellery designer with a small boutique in the West Village in New York City had picked each bead and created the earrings, each pair unique for each girl for the wedding. And to top it all off, each of the bridesmaids wore their own variation of a leopard print shoe!

More to come from this beautiful wedding!

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