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Intimate + Romantic South African Wedding

I deem this couple not only beautiful, but also pretty darn smart. They chose a fantastic location for their wedding celebration but also had the bright idea to bring Louise Vorster with them to Northcliff Hill to capture some of the most romantic images I’ve ever seen. Between these pics and Orpen Films’ creation, I’ve been lulled into a wedding trance that I’m in no rush to leave. Join me in the VAULT right this way!


From the Bride… Wes and I met and fell in love almost 10 years ago. When we got engaged, I knew there was no other place I would rather get married at than Morrells Boutique Estate in Johannesburg and it only took Wes one look to agree. We focused on making our day personal and true to us as a couple and opted for an intimate day with only our nearest and dearest. I loved that both our amazing moms had their moment of spotlight they so deserved as they walked down the aisle before the bridesmaids and were seated by the groomsmen.

We made sure to have a few minutes to share with our guests during cocktail hour before moving off for the pictures. This was so special to us as everyone had a chance to greet and congratulate us personally and we got to soak it all in, have a drink and enjoy the moment. During cocktail hour, we served his and hers choice canapés and cocktails and had French music in the background, which really helped to carry the romantic and cheerful mood through the day. Toward the end of our couple portraits, we drove up to a nearby hill, where we have had many dates throughout our relationship, for some sunset shots. To be able to reflect on everything that brought us to our wedding day at such a meaningful place was truly a special moment.

During our reception, we opted not to have a dance floor as neither of us are big dancers anyway and we wanted to create a cozy, intimate, and relaxed celebration. We served desserts and hot chocolate outside in the olive grove where we were surrounded by fairy lights and crackling fires, while listening to our amazing and talented musician friends perform some very special songs for us – one of which was an original song specially written about us! Our wedding day truly was everything we dreamed of and more.

From the Louise Vorster Probably one of my favourite weddings to date: Wes and Ilse booked me for their special intimate wedding at Morrells Boutique Estate, and they couldn’t have chosen a better venue. With Ilse’s incredible style, this venue met all of their requirements to have a unique wedding with friends and family. They had the best in the industry contribute to this day, from custom made jewelry to flawless makeup. I had such a great time shooting with Orpen Films and to top everything, we even snuck away for sunset photos on Northcliff hill.

From Jacelyn of White Lilly BridalWhere to start with this gorgeous bride and her dress! I feel so incredibly lucky to have created this gown for such a beautiful and kind woman with such confidence and an innate sense of style. With her bright smile and the twinkle in her eyes, I knew from our very first meeting that I had to create a dress so special, to capture her confidence in a modern yet romantic way and reflect her personality and style! It had to be something soft with a light, bohemian feel to it. The colour was key as Ilse wanted a very specific nude tone, which we developed and dyed specifically for her. The dress was made up of the most luxurious pure silk georgette and a very soft, delicate French lace bodice with sleeves. Simplicity, when coupled with the most beautiful fabrics, is never plain, but rather a mesmerising beauty, leaving an impression that can’t be forgotten.

Peruse more Destination Weddings here!

Photography: Louise Vorster Photography | Videography: Orpen Films | Wedding Dress: White Lily Bridal | Cake: Chocola-J | Jewelry: Lorean Jewellery | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Hoiden Bridesmaids | Makeup: Dandily Studio | Hair: HairRush Studio | Groom's Suit: Suit Supply Africa | Wedding Venue: Morrells Boutique Venue | Groom's Shoes: Aldo | Sleepwear: Anna-Louise Sleepwear

Rustic Chic South African Wedding

There are so many beautiful layers to this day, it’s hard to know just where to begin. Set at the Bordeaux Game Farm in South Africa, this couple opted for a fun palette of marsala, mustard, dark powder blue and sap greens against soft pinks and gold, and truth be told? It’s a total breath of fresh air. Rensche Mari captured all the details of the day, including the Bride’s “something blue” Manolos, and the darling bow tie station for the gents, and you better believe The Vault is filled with all that plus so much more.

Rustic Venue

From Rensche MariThis wedding was the first wedding at the new Bordeaux Game Farm venue in Polokwane, South Africa. The venue, co-designed by Louise (the beautiful bride), also a photographer, was built with a clear vision in mind – simplistic clean design with modern colonial touches like an arched porch decorated with ferns and bamboo reed-chairs over looking the beautiful African game farm, geometric tiled entrances and bathrooms and a spacious honeymoon suite with a panoramic view of a waterhole with wildlife roaming in the early mornings and late afternoons to get their water for the day. This is one of those venues you just cannot help to fall in love with.

Even though the styling of this entire day was beautiful, a couple of favourites stood out for me; Louise & Eugene had their furry companions, Zoë the Whippet and Nyala the Beagle at the wedding as part of their entourage, there was a tie station, Louise’s grandmother made all the ties as gifts for the men, Manolo Shoes (yay) a-something-blue worn by the bride and lastly, even though it was a very windy day, celebrations with friends and family was what this bride & groom appreciated most.

Eve from Splendid Wedding Company embraced the challenge of traveling to the Bordeaux farm with just a toolbox in hand. Louise sourced and styled her wedding, and needed someone who could bring her floral vision to life. The flowers were meant to have an unstructured quality yet in a well thought out and elegant manner. The flower palette was made up of larkspur, red robin, copies, ranunculus, wax, chrysanthemums and lots of penny gum. Even though every arrangement is different in size and structure, they bind the reception into a visually pleasing affair.

The fine art invitation suite was inspired by a combination of elements; from bespoke faux brush hand lettered calligraphy to bohemian watercolour botanical illustrations and map to convey a soft and romantic feel. The autumn colours such as marsala, mustard, dark powder blue and sap greens are combined with soft pinks and elements of metallic gold to create a romantic yet fresh elegant effect, these colours can also be seen throughout the wedding day.

Photography: Rensche Mari | Event Coordination: Bordeaux Game Farm | Event Design: Bordeaux Game Farm | Floral Design: Splendid Wedding Company | Wedding Dress: Kobus Dippenaar | Invitations: Chrystalace | Jewelry: Lorean Jewellery | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Zanne Couture | Catering: Bordeaux Game Farm | Grooms Attire: Trenery | Venue: Bordeaux Game Farm | Cake And Dessert: The Bird Cage | Coordination and Styling: Bordeaux Game Farm | Cutlery : Crystal & Vine | Dog Bo Ties & Pocket Square: My Bro Tie | Groom's Cufflinks: Paloma's Nest | Invitations And Stationery: Chrystalace | Ribbon: Silk & Willow | Ring Box: The Mrs Box

Romantic South African Safari Engagement Session

All I want to do in life is go on a safari in Africa and see animals in their natural habitats. In fact, I’m slightly obsessed with elephants (so much so that I “adopted” two this past spring), so it’s no surprise I’m obsessed with this South African couple’s engagement session from Rensche Mari—just look at this face! From the elephants to the curious meerkat and rich, romantic color palette, this shoot is pure magic.

From Rensche MariThis shoot was a safari engagement – the beautiful couple is getting married on a game farm (owned by them – and a brand new venue with beautiful views and game drives). They wanted to have a similar feel for their engagement so we went to another venue to get some wildlife in the images – their venue will only be ready in September 2015.

We wanted the shoot to have a romantic feel but also have some fun at the same time with really beautiful stationery and signage from Chrystalace, we got a dress from Silver Swallow and added in some silk flowers (unfortunately we could not use real flowers as the elephants tend to eat it  (I also had a similar experience with camels recently and know its not always a good idea to temp them with the real thing), some props and of course, what would a safari shoot be without an elephant or two – and a cute meerkat – he was following us around like a dog.

Photography: Reem Acra | Photography: Rensche Mari | Dress: Silver Swallow | Stationery: Chrystalace | Venue: Adventures With Elephants | Vendor: Elephants Adopted At (to Fit With Travel Theme)