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Rustic Chic South African Warehouse Wedding at Blue Bird Garage

Illumniate Photography described this wedding as a “big feast of Pinteresting loveliness”, and I do believe they hit the nail on the head with that description. Because I could (and probably will) pin every single image sitting in this gorgeous gallery. It’s sweet rustic touches mixed with a fabulous urban setting, and the result is pure perfection. See it all here.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Warehouse
Styles
Rustic

From Illumniate PhotographyI love the simplicity of the look of this wedding, yet the careful thought that went into the detail. Keziah (the bride) is one of the most creative people I know, so as you can imagine her wedding was one big feast of Pinteresting loveliness! To name just a few of the cute quirks, she D.I.Yed hanging plants; used wooden school chairs to seat the guests; and used vintage newspapers as placemats. I also loved how involved Craig (the groom) was in the whole planning process.

Keziah and Craig chose to mix it up a bit by having their ceremony in the evening. They had a special “first look” in the forest with some close friends and family before the ceremony, and this was followed by some bridal party and couple pictures around the forest. It was so nice to know that there weren’t any guests waiting for us, meaning we could take our time.

The ceremony and Reception were both held at the Blue bird garage – a warehouse-like spot where a popular market takes place on Friday evenings which they converted into a perfect wedding venue!

Candles were lit and lights were strung and a most beautiful, spirit-filled atmosphere was in the room. What really stood out for me at the reception was the love that Craig and Kez have for their family and friends and people in general. What a beautiful thing.

Photography: Illuminate Photography | Wedding Gown: Sharon McLean | Cake: Gimmene | Catering: Basics Catering | Make Up: Jill Sangerhaus | Hair: Fringe | Wedding Venue: Blue Bird Garage | Candlestick Hire: Function Hire 4 U | Flowers And Wreaths: The Rose Café | Sationary: Marieke Goncalves

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Adventurous Safari Wedding in South Africa

The only thing that could possibly top a rehearsal dinner in the middle of the South African wild, is a wedding following suit. This gem is overflowing with the raw beauty of an African safari coupled with impeccably crafted details at the hands of Afresh Event DesignNineteen Eight Five, and Wedding Concepts. Now throw in image after stunning image by Mike Falco For Christian Oth Studio and you have a gallery not to be missed.

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
LodgeOutdoor

From The Bride…While Jon and I got ready with our family and wedding parties, the guests were treated to an early morning game drive at sunrise. After our preparations, we boarded the safari jeeps once again for the ceremony at Inkwazi Hide, a large, wooden deck under a 200-year-old Acacia tree overlooking the Sabie River. A local African choir sang Zulu praise songs as I walked down the aisle and we were greeted by our officiant who spoke on themes of friendship, adventure and nature (punctuated by hilarious hippo grunts coming from the river). When we were pronounced man and wife, our guests surprised us by loudly trumpeting on Vuvuzelas. Afterwards, Jon and I snuck away for a few photos and our guests were treated to signature cocktails while taking in a glorious African sunset on a deck overlooking the river. When it was time, guests journeyed towards the candlelit reception dinner.

Memorable Moments…True to our adventure theme, some of our most memorable moments from the wedding were the unplanned and unexpected ones. Our 2-year-old ring bearer not only dressed up as a lion cub, but also burst out with spontaneous roars as he walked down the aisle. A curious hippo joined us during our couples shoot on the riverbed. And despite the demanding travel and early morning safaris, guests rallied and still managed to dance the night away. One of my favourite moments was during the last song of the night, Toto’s “Africa.” As the lyrics blared “I bless the rains down in Africa” at 3am, it started to pour and we all rushed outside to dance in the rain.

Local flavor…Since the locale was so rich in raw beauty and splendor, we wanted the African landscape to be the focus and also tried to stay true to local elements and flavors. Waiting for guests in their lodges on arrival was a handmade Guide Box, filled with South African favourites like rooibos tea and Amarula liqueur. Also included were some clues for an adventure-filled weekend: a compass, an Acacia twig, and a Field Guide with information on local customs, wildlife facts and useful Shangaan phrases. To ensure that the florals would hold up under the fierce African sun, we opted for a combination of King Proteas, succulents and feinbos. As guests enjoyed local wines from the famous Stellenbosch region, a group of traditional Zulu dancers set the African rhythms in motion by teaching guests tribal dances.

Personal details…We wanted the wedding to be not just a celebration with family and friends but also a heartfelt thank you and show of appreciation for their constant love and support throughout the years. We tried to achieve this through personalized details. These ranged from surprising guests with their childhood photos on their seating cards (a great conversation starter) to calligraphy on the place cards with goofy nicknames and individual welcome “telegrams” that described our favorite past adventures with the guest.

In gratitude…In the end, it was a true “Wild At Heart” wedding adventure. A bottomless THANK YOU to Kim and Michael for helping to create and document our dream wedding. Jon and I were so grateful to begin our new chapter together with such an incredible adventure with our family and friends.

Photography: Mike Falco For Christian Oth Studio | Event Design: Afresh Event Design | Floral Design: Nineteen Eight Five | Wedding Dress: Reem Acra | Invitations: Lara's Designs | Catering: Lion Sands | DJ: DJ Rene | Wedding Venue: Lion Sands | Beauty: Mist | Planning: Wedding Concepts | Travel Logistics: Travel Concepts

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South African Safari Rehearsal Dinner

This rehearsal dinner goes out to all those wild at heart. Capital A Adventure was an underlying theme that was woven throughout this South African safari wedding starting with a rehearsal dinner amongst the wildlife and the stars. Have a look at the gorgeous imagery captured by Mike Falco For Christian Oth Studio and stay tuned for the stunning wedding coming up next!

From The Bride…Why Africa? Jon and I met in NYC through a mutual friend and over the course of our 8-year relationship, our favorite moments together are ones where we felt like we were on an adventure. So when it came time to plan our wedding, we wanted to cultivate that sense of curiosity and wonder by hosting a safari wedding out in the untamed African bush. We settled on my native South Africa and after five months of intense planning, 75 of our closest family and friends from different corners of the globe set out for our “Wild At Heart” wedding adventure.

Into the wild…After a long day on the road, our guests arrived at the Lion Sands Game Reserve, in the heart of Sabi Sands. All the arduous travel paid off as the remote locale allowed our guests to experience the majestic African landscape in all her unbridled splendor. After a refreshing afternoon tea, the guests hopped into jeeps and set out on their first safari game drive. The guides did not disappoint and fearlessly took everyone off-roading in search of the famed Big Five game. The wild encounters included four lions feasting on a freshly killed buffalo, a baby elephant tripping over its trunk, a pair of rhinoceros brothers napping together in the shade, and a mother leopard teaching her cub to track with a playful game of hide and seek.

Rehearsal Dinner in the Bush…After the eventful game drive, the jeeps brought the guests into an unprotected clearing where a casually elegant bush dinner awaited. The guests shared their experiences from the first day around a campfire and savored local meats such as kudu, ostrich and biltong. Glowing fireflies, oil lanterns hanging from trees and the dramatic Milky Way up above helped to illuminate this surreal evening.

Tea ceremony…After the relaxing dinner, our loved ones gathered around us in a protective circle as Jon and I served tea to our parents and elders to express our gratitude. A particularly poignant blessing from my 87 year-old grandmother resulted in moist eyes all around. I loved that the emotional moment was an unexpected melding of two cultures: a traditional Chinese ceremony taking place in the African bush, illuminated by a campfire and lanterns (with a few hyenas looking on as well).

Photography: Mike Falco For Christian Oth Studio | Event Planning: Wedding Concepts | Wedding Coordinator: Wedding Concepts | Floral Design: Nineteen Eighty Five | Stationery: Lara's Designs | Catering: Lion Sand's | DJ: DJ Rene | Accommodation & Travel Logistics: Travel Concepts | Beauty: Mist | Decor & Lighting: A Fresh Event Design | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Lion Sand's

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KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, South Africa Wedding at Caversham Mill

Intimate and simply gorgeous, this Bride’s vision for a “summer camp for grown-ups” came to life in the prettiest of ways. With a stunning South African setting and love pouring out of every pretty picture by dna Photographers, this gallery is as good as they get. See it all here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
OutdoorTent
Styles
Elegant

From The Bride…I have rented a five-bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for the past eight years, and five years ago, when one of our roommates was moving out, I posted an ad on Craigslist. I received the following response: “Hi! My name is Chris Shirley. I am a 23 year old Structural Engineer. I currently live downtown and am moving out of my current apartment on 1 June. I work on 45th Street. Your apartment looks great. I would like to meet up with you and check it out.” He moved in on June 1, and after a summer spent going to the beach, camping out for Shakespeare in the Park tickets, and walking my dog around Central Park, we fell in love.

Christopher proposed in Central Park three years later, and we were married in City Hall with my mother and our best friend as witnesses. We told only our close friends and family, but Christopher wanted to keep our City Hall wedding a secret, because he feared that no one would fly half way around the world for our real wedding if they knew we were legally married. I managed to keep it secret for two months, and then posted this on Facebook: “Christopher Shirley & I got married on November 23, 2011 at NYC City Hall. We weren’t going to announce it until after our actual wedding ceremony, but I’ve waited over 2 months and I have no patience left. We’re married and I love the boy!”

Christopher is from Johannesburg, South Africa and we love the South African countryside. We wanted to hold our wedding ceremony at his family friends’ home and Country Inn, the Caversham Mill in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. Luckily, Christophers mother is an event planner, because we both work full-time and are in graduate school part-time. I emailed my mother-in-law a million photos from Style Me Pretty and told her we wanted “summer camp for grown-ups.” We wanted to go river tubing and midnight swimming, and romp around the hills with our best friends. We wanted to sing loudly at night, and take our friends on a game drive to see the Big 5 after the wedding. We also needed a vegan wedding, which was difficult but not impossible to pull off in South Africa. We are both vegans and animal rights activists, and to hear our meat eating friends proclaim that our wedding menu was so delicious they may actually consider going vegan was pretty incredible.

The rest, as they say, is history. My mother got her very first passport and flew 14 hours to South Africa. Our best friend married us under three beautiful old trees, and we had the most amazing time with friends and family who flew in from five different countries and four different continents to celebrate our marriage with us.

Photography: Dna Photographers | Venue: Caversham Mill

South Africa Wedding from Tasha Seccombe

One of my favorite aspects of blogging for SMP (besides, well, everything) is the opportunity to pour over gorgeous weddings from all across the world. I like to think of it as virtual vacations to the most incredible places imaginable. And today’s destination adventure takes us to an ever-so-serene apple farm in South Africa. It’s every bit as sweet as it sounds, and with just one look at the gallery of images from Tasha Seccombe, this stunning locale will definitely take place on your must-visit list.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Farm

From the Bride…When Douglas and I got engaged, we both new that finding a venue for our wedding would be a challenge. We wanted a memorable wedding that would suit the people we are, what we enjoy, and include the things we both love. Our first choice was a beautiful farm. We believed that a serene, natural venue, would lend itself to a beautiful and relaxed wedding. We eventually decided on a family friends’ apple farm – Windermere – from which I have some great childhood memories. This was the start of a wonderful year of fun wedding planning (we would need to bring in everything from cutlery and tables to gas ovens and chopping boards) and interacting with some of the loveliest people in the Elgin valley.

We met Nadia Strauss from 4 Every Event, who is calm, level-headed and down to earth, and whose strong presence meant we always felt everything was under control – it really was. She did not at any point push her ideas onto us, and allowed us to express our wishes and showed us how they could evolve. We put together a mood board to capture the day. This was going to be the inspiration for every detail of the wedding. It took a long while to get these images together, to find the right pictures and make sure we were both happy with the final result. We wanted a country wedding, and we are both lovers of good food, good wine and fine dining. The marriage of fine dining and a country wedding had to be perfect. It was not to be shabby-chick or rustic, but rather an elegant, natural country affair, with a bit of the old world. Nothing was to be contrived or plastic, but real and wholesome. Quality was very important to us. There were a few key elements that would make this wedding special – flowers, trees, wood, bees and honey. We wanted lots and lots of flowers, lots of nature – an indoor-outdoor dining experience in the garden. The honeybee became our symbol of Mother Nature and everything would pivot around this idea.

We found a wonderful stationer – Lara Friday. We sent her our mood board and she was brilliant in interpreting what it was that we wanted. An elegant apple tree and a honeybee would bring together our simple, natural country theme. The colours were easy to decide on – creams, whites, sage greens, light browns and a hint of lavender blue – all found in a meadow. Our wedding day was a hot, still, sunny day. When I arrived at the church I thought I was stepping through the entrance of a magical, sunlit, wooded garden. A stream of rose petals led the way to the altar and a sea of smiling faces greeted me with warmth along the way. After the ceremony, Douglas and I drove off in a styling vintage car, which added to the old world flavour. The farm was breathtaking. The pre-drinks area was perfect for people to mill around under the trees and relax with some fresh homemade lemonade. The marquee was situated under big trees and we were lucky that it was warm enough to keep all the sides open, allowing us all to wine and dine in the outdoors while the stars came to life above us.

Nadia had interpreted the décor and flowers perfectly. The flowers were to look as though they had been freshly picked from a meadow that day. The tables were to look soft, elegant and natural which was achieved using a rectangular wooden basket brimming with flowers for the centerpiece and wood stumps to complement the theme. Each table had a different configuration, adding to the simplicity and natural feel. Jars of orange blossom honey were given to each guest.

My favourite touch was the cream lanterns hanging above each table. These were a special request I had made, and in them sat white candles of all different sizes, bringing a warm glow to the dining area, along with the wooden oak flooring below. Lanterns were to be used anywhere and everywhere in favour of normal lights to enhance the warmth and magical feel of the night. The food, provided by chef Gordon Manuel from South Hill, was outstanding and served very professionally. The wine, from the local boutique Highland Rd and Belfield wine estates, complemented the poached fillet risotto perfectly, and we finished off the meal with a slice of orange and almond wedding cake and berries drizzled with honey. The eating did not stop there, however, as we served cheese boards and much later on, gammon rolls for those who were still hungry. We partied late into the night and into the early hours of the morning, until the sun rose.

I will never forget my wedding day – the décor, the suppliers, the guests, they all added to what was the most memorable day of my life. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I can thank Tasha Seccombe, our photographer, for capturing some of the most natural photographs from the day, and whose eye managed to capture the mood perfectly, so that all I need to do is browse through and remember each and every happy moment.

Wedding Photography: Tasha Seccombe | Cinematography: Vicky Goslin |  Floral + Event Design + Planning: 4 Every Event | Ceremony Location: Paul Cluver Chapel | Reception Location: Windermere Farm | Catering: Gordon Manuel | Stationery: Lara Designs | Cake: High Tea | Hair + Make-up: Lianne Kakebeeke | Wedding Dress: Robyn Roberts

South Africa Wedding from Adene Photography

We have to admit, here at SMP we do love a good getting ready montage. Ok fine, we are downright weak in the knees at the sight of one. Especially when the room is a perfect pale blue that blends sublimely with the bridesmaids dresses like watercolors on a canvas. On top of that, nothing compares to playing dress up with your closest friends before you walk down the aisle to marry the love of your life. In honor of this, I had to showcase these sweet-as-pie moments from Adene Photography that show a bride and her bests getting ready together. And as you peruse the gallery, take note of the gorgeous venue against the South African landscape…sigh.


From the Bride… I always wanted to get married in the Cape Wine Lands (South Africa) with its majestic mountains and beautiful vineyards.  I met Jozef on a blind date and it was love at first sight. Jozef was from the Cape Wine Lands and after dating for 2 years of dating, while we where sitting on a bench watching the sun set over Cape Town, he went down on one knee and asked me to marry him! We started with the wedding arrangements immediately and decided to get married at the Beautiful Kleinevalleij wedding venue at the foot of the Bains Kloof Pass in Wellington (South Africa).

We wanted our wedding to be very romantic and classic – timeless. The color scheme was dusty pink and light grey to create a classic romantic feel. Our all white venue complimented this perfectly. We wanted the King Protea (South Africa’s national flower) to be central through out the wedding. The King Protea is a lovely light pink color, which complemented our theme perfectly. We wanted all the flowers to be in glass to create a sense of elegance. Everything turned out amazing and the look and feel was exactly what we had envisioned. I was fortunate to have Adene from Adene Photography to, capture the all our special moments on the day. She did an amazing job, and made everyone feel completely at ease and relaxed throughout the day. Everyone tells you that you won’t remember much from the day due to all of the excitement, but I made a conscious decision to take in every moment and I remember every detail and feeling like it was yesterday!

I will never forget the wonderful day in the Cape Wine Lands where I promised everlasting love and devotion to the love of my life in front of my close family and friends. I fall more in love with my husband every day and still can’t believe how amazing it feels to be married and to have the opportunity to spend my life with my sole mate. 

Wedding Photography: Adene Photography / Wedding Venue: Kleinevalleij in Wellington, South Africa / Floral Design, Décor + Coordination: Sylvia of Special Events / Wedding Cake: Maggi of Edible Art Cakes / Wedding Stationery: Chrizanne of Sugar Bird Stationary / Wedding Dress: Elizabeth Stockenstrom / Bride’s Accessories: Lily Blue / Hair + Makeup: Helga Bridal