South African DIY Wedding by Katrina Massey Photography
May 16, 2012
DIY Inspired

This bride is what it's all about. She's happy, she's spunky, her soulful style literally jumps right off the screen. And she's adorable. The kind of bride that I not only want to gush over, but that I wish lived closer to so we could be very best friends. She even sewed her own freaking gown. I know. I love her too. Anyway, this wedding is just about as good as it gets and with photography by Katrina Massey,'s hopeless. Love that is. Oh and there is SO much more goodness in the gallery.

From the Bride... I totally started planning my wedding before I was even engaged. My husband and I dated long distance for a year and a half before we were finally in the same city. I am Canadian and he is South African; we decided to get married in South Africa because that's where we met. My family was so supportive throughout that process. They didn't bat an eye to come thousands of kilometers to be there for me on my day. Even though we didn't have a very big budget, they overwhelmed me with their support through the entire process. I have always wanted to have a "fabulous DIY wedding with an eclectic, whimsical and a little bit hippie theme." I'm so happy with what I got. My wedding dress was $100 from a one day closeout sale that I stumbled upon completely by accident with my mom one day. It was magical. Maureen Patricia of Queen Couture in Victoria made some alterations so that the dress fit my vision and my body like a glove! I also decided to make a second dress to wear at the reception. My dream dress has been the Vera Wang from Bride Wars but in case anyone hadn't noticed, Vera is a bit steep for my pocket, so instead, she was my inspiration and I started sewing. I bought $10 shoes from Costa Blanca and made a killer necklace from a 1920's vintage belt buckle and some '60s costume pearls. Double score. Two outfits: $400.

The flowers were an amazing score as well, we picked arum lilies from a farm two days before the wedding through a friend, free of charge. I also asked a few other friends and family members if they could donate some white flowers, greenery and lavender for the reception decor and my bouquet. I kept a crocheted doily that my great-grandmother made for me when I was eight and used it to wrap my bouquet — it was my little piece of home that I took with me when I got married. My bridesmaids and I also spent hours scraping labels off of wine bottles to put flowers and candles in at the reception. My parents, grandparents, fiance, my aunt and some dear friends made it a group effort to cut and sew the long table runners for the reception. This wedding was truly a community effort!

I designed and sewed my junior bridesmaids' dresses (one was repurposed; it was originally my own dress), and they looked completely fabulous. My bridesmaids wore whatever they wanted (within a color palette — my inspiration was the colors of a peacock feather) so I could rest assured they would be comfortable in whatever they wore. Our wedding cake was a Rice Krispie cake. I love the stuff and am not really such a fan of cake. Plus, it was cheap. My mom made it the day before the wedding. The cake toppers were a favor from another wedding that I reused. Because some people could only make the ceremony, we split up the speeches into two parts. Reece said his speech to me directly following the ceremony along with Mitch, his brother and best man. My dad and I, as well as my maid of honor, made speeches after dinner. I loved it because I knew Reece was so relieved to have his speech out of the way for the rest of the wedding! Our wedding was a continuous affair throughout the day. There wasn't really a lull where people didn't know what to do between the ceremony and reception. By the time the tea and treats had wrapped up at the chapel, the guests were invited to have drinks, cheese and hors d'oeuvres at our reception venue. We had some amazing friends who also provided live music and even wrote us a song that everyone joined in singing. By the time we arrived, everyone was already completely wound up, excited and ready to party. 

Photography: Katrina Massey Photography / Ceremony: Crab Apple Chapel in Dargle, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa / Reception: Hillhouse in Dargle, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa / Flowers: DIY from Friends' Gardens / Wedding Cake: DIY by the Bride's Mother / Table Runners: DIY by the Bride's Friends & Family / Wedding Dress #1: Bought on Closeout in Victoria / Alterations to Dress #1: Maureen Patricia Couture / Wedding Dress #2: DIY by the Bride / Bride's Necklace: DIY with Costume Pearls + 1920's Vintage Belt Buckle / Junior Bridesmaids' Dresses: DIY by the Bride