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ISS UE 12 | 2020‒2021








Your guide to finding the perfect setting in KwaZulu-Natal to tie the knot

Our wedding pros share their top tips, global trends, and style advice

Find trusted and talented service providers in our wedding directory

bontent₤ 8

Off to a Great Start

Wedding planning 101 Marriage Meander Journey Money matters Cheers to the bachelor years Country Pursuits Gwahumbe Game & Spa Tala Collection Game Reserve: Segway Tala Collection Game Reserve: 4X4 Trailblazer Adventures



Weddings around the world

The Hatchery Bonamanzi Bayala Private Safari Lodge and Camp The Grand Exotic

Correspondents’ Corner



Choosing your wedding venue


Location | Midlands

20 I Do

Wedding ceremony dos & don’ts Marriage Officers: Dream Ceremonies 10 Things to know before tying the knot J Leslie Smith & Company Inc

Kerriston Country House Waterwoods Qambathi Mountain Lodge Dargle Forest Lodge Harrington House Highgate Wine Estate The Hilton Bush Lodge Lythwood Fordoun Calderwood Hall


Location | Tala Valley / Mid Illovo

Gwahumbe Game & Spa Eden Lassie | Daleliteful Décor Tala Collection Game Reserve Sweethome


Location | Upper Highway

Talloula Gracelands Farm Barker Manor

Photo: Beyond Measure


Location: North Coast & Northern Natal


Location: Drakensberg

Cathedral Peak Hotel Wits End Sani Valley Nature Lodges


Location: Venue information



Finding the right caterer Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine Hamblin’s Catering Eat with Love Grace of Bakes Where to start when choosing a cake Lauren Lee Cake Couture Artisan Bakes


The Write Style

By invitation only Fuchsia Fine Event Stationery Our Wedding Website Handmade by Janine The Copy House Creative Laser Studio | Candles and Décor ISHK 2021 stationery trends

Photos, left: Barefeet Photo, right: David Weeks Photographic



Effortless beauty Kiss & Make-up Strawberries and Cream Charelle McAllister Makeup Artistry Dios Gracia Makeup Artistry Solé Salons & Spas

The 5 senses wedding experience Emily Lockhart Spotted Owl Studio Petals CountryCo. Natural Nostalgia The flowers of the future Farmgirl Flowers Muirhead’s Hiring Laurie Kohrs

All Made Up


All Dressed Up

124 Sights

Choosing a great photographer and videographer African Bear Bailee Guy Weddings Barefeet Beyond Measure Courtney Dale Photography David Weeks Photographic Laura Jean Photography Wild Olive Videoccasions



Creating the perfect soundtrack for your wedding DJ Greig DJ-K Sound Mechanix René Tshiakanyi


Just the Two of Us

Hints for a happy honeymoon Bayala Private Safari Lodge and Camp Isibindi Africa Lodges: Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge | Kosi Forest Lodge | Thonga Beach Lodge Leopard Walk Lodge Sani Valley Nature Lodges Umngazi Hotel & Spa Nambiti Plains


What to wear in 2021 What to wear under your wedding dress Bella Bride Meliza Mary Lauren Judith-Anne Oh huntress The groom’s getting ready guide Turn up the style dial Suit Yourself HIS Apparel

Setting the Scene


Photo: Beyond Measure


Dote from ye Edito≤ You’re engaged – congratulations! Anyone who has ever planned a wedding will tell you that it is a deeply personal affair, and it marks the start of a busy but thrilling journey. So where to begin? Right here amidst the (virtual) pages of this year’s Marriage Meander publication, of course! We will share valuable insights that will make your planning that much more fun and efficient. We understand the importance of using trusted resources and, over the years, we have developed several tools to help you save time that you can now spend preparing for your future together. Our website will keep you updated with events, relevant information and inspiration. Our WedPlan mobile app provides useful tools, tips, and reliable contacts. And why not join us on a Marriage Meander Journey for an inspiring wedding planning experience. In this year’s book you will find contact information for some of KwaZulu-Natal’s most spectacular venues along with a bunch of exceptionally gifted wedding professionals who will make sure that every element of your day is perfection personified. Grooms, check out our suggestions for bachelor parties with a difference and familiarise yourselves with the handy checklist in our Groom’s Guide to Getting Ready. Brides, feast your eyes on the 2021 wedding dress trends featured in our All Dressed Up section and enjoy the Weddings Around the World feature we have collated for your reading enjoyment. And together as a couple, we encourage you to read the words of wisdom in our various editorials covering topics like budgeting for your wedding, and planning for your honeymoon. As a lockdown bride-to-be (aka lady-in-waiting) myself, my fiancé and I are so looking forward to being able to share our joy with friends and family at our own intimate wedding celebration. But more than that, we cannot wait to start our journey together as husband and wife. When creating your own dream wedding, remember that as long as love is at the centre of your celebrations, everything else will fall into place. Before I sign off, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to the previous editor and owner of Marriage Meander, Nikki Sinclair, for entrusting this beautiful business and publication to me. Over the past twelve years, Nikki has cultivated a wonderful spirit of integrity, trust, and generosity within the Marriage Meander family and it is a rare privilege to have stepped into a business that places relationships and kindness at the forefront of every decision. In the short time that I have been in the driving seat, I can attest to the fact that the service providers within the wedding industry, many of whom are represented in the pages that follow, are an incredible bunch of resourceful and resilient people – full of heart, talent, and passion for what they do.

Enjoy your planning – and most importantly, your happily ever after.


CacquF PAGE 5


2020 has been a tough year for the wedding industry but let me reassure you, brides and grooms of the future, 2021 is going to be nothing short of (I can’t think of a better word than this…) amazeballs!

Publishing details EDITOR IN CHIEF

Jacqui Cochran


Karen Schmidt







Tiara Creative karen@tiaracreative.com Jacqui Cochran 082 718 5311 African Bear Marriage Meander Co. Managing Member Jacqui Cochran jacqui@marriagemeander.co.za Content created by the Marriage Meander Co. with editorial submissions supplied by and credited to various advertisers within the publication. The Marriage Meander KZN publication is published annually and distributed via Marriage Meander’s various online and social platforms.


The Marriage Meander Co. endeavours to provide clients with content that is relevant and accurate, giving credit to our various contributors wherever possible. We are, however, dependent on the information supplied to us by our advertisers and to this end, we cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions once final sign-off has been received and the magazine has been published.


Copyright applies to design concept, text, covers, titles, and distribution of the 2020/2021 Marriage Meander KZN book. All rights reserved. Reproduction, in whole or in part, is forbidden without written permission from the publisher.

Main photo: Wild Olive Photo | Circular photo: African Bear



Main photo: Bailee Guy Weddings Circular photo: Courtney Dale Photography

Off to a


Great Starll

“I think 2021 will see weddings returning to their heart: making treasured memories with friends and family. We will see this reflected in décor elements that are full of meaning, personality, and significance. And we will see some very excited couples ready to just have fun!” – Anne Hedley, Studio Petals


�edding plaZink 101

If you are recently engaged and starting to think about all the things right place. For some couples, planning a wedding is fun and exhilar article aims to give you a quick overview of your wedding to-do list planning journey. Let’s start by saying that there is no mandatory timeline for planning your wedding. If you give yourself three months to plan your event, you will get it done in three months. But for most couples the ‘average’ engagement period is around twelve months, which is why we have structured our suggestions around a one-year lead time. If you need to fast-track your planning, you can make the necessary adjustments to the below timelines.

Do a ‘big picture’ brainstorm

12‒18 months prior to the big day •

Photo, above: Barefeet Circular photos: Laura Jean Photography

Start off by agreeing what you both want your wedding to look like. It’s fine to get ideas and inspiration from other weddings that you have ogled online but make sure your vision reflects your personality, preferences, and style. You don’t need to come up with a detailed and specific plan at this stage but you should have an overall style (and theme, if you wish to have a themed wedding) that fits you as a couple. Then work on a rough guest list – this is very important as you can’t even start looking at available venues until you have an idea of how many guests you are going to have and there is no point in looking at venues that are the wrong size. Next, finalise your budget.

Gather your planning crew 12 months prior •


Are you a DIY bride or do you have a team that will be assisting you? Our advice – rope in some trusted people to help, but remember that it is your wedding day, listen to their advice and ideas but make sure it is your wedding day. And don’t underestimate the value that a wedding planner can add to your special day. A professional planner will help you avoid making costly mistakes and guide you through your selection of flowers and décor, and because they’re in the business they will often help you to source other trusted suppliers that they know will offer good value and professional service for your wedding day. They will also help you stay on top of deadlines so that you can enjoy the lead-up to your big day, knowing that the details have been taken care of!

Circular photos, clockwise from right: Wild Olive Photo, African Bear, and Courtney Dale Photography


By Gail Cornhill, Spotted Owl

s you need to get done before your big day, then you are in the rating while for others, it feels daunting and overwhelming. This and help steer you in the right direction as you set out on your •

Book yourself and your fiancé/mum/bestie on a Marriage Meander Journey, where you will have the opportunity to visit four stunning venues and meet a range of experienced wedding professionals, who will help get your planning off to an inspired and organised start.

Lock in the essentials 12 months prior • • • •

Choose a date and secure your ceremony and reception venues. Book your marriage officer. Good people are hard to find and Home Affairs have really complicated procedures these days. Read the contracts! Choose your wedding party and invite your nearest and dearest to be part of your celebration.

Dive into the details 8‒12 months prior •


• • •

Start researching and shortlisting suppliers for all the other aspects of your wedding – caterers, stationers, dressmakers, photographers, videographers, DJ’s, musicians, makeup artists, hair stylists, florists, cake makers etc. Start dress shopping. Set up a gift registry. Finalise your guest list, appoint a stationer, and send your Save the Date.

The midway mark 5‒7 months prior • • •

Once you reach the halfway mark, you should be ready to finalise and order your wedding invitations. Shop for your wedding rings. Plan your honeymoon. If you have booked international travel packages for your honeymoon, renew your passports (if necessary) and research any other travel requirements such as visas and yellow fever injections. Photo, above: Wild Olive Photo | Circular photo, left: Barefeet


�edding plaZink 101

• • •

Order gifts for parents, bridesmaids, and groomsmen if required. Finalise your menu with your caterer and book a tasting if possible. Arrange to view a mock table setting with your florist and décor people so that you are able to envisage what it will look like on the day and you can make any changes that might be necessary.

The final lead-up 1‒3 months prior • • • •

Write your vows before the final whirlwind sets in. Book makeup and hair trials anytime during this period but leave your final dress fitting for as close to the wedding as possible to allow for any last-minute weight changes. Fit and rent suits for the day if required. Check in with all your suppliers (or wedding planner) to make sure that everyone is clear about your expectations of them for the day e.g. is the DJ in possession of your song list, does your cake maker know how you want your cake to be decorated, does your photographer know who should be included in family portraits, etc. Draw up an order of events, it doesn’t need to be minute by minute but it helps to know when things are going to happen – are you cutting the cake after the ceremony or before dinner, will your new husband speak after the starters? Share the programme of events with the relevant service providers. Discuss the photographs you want with your photographer and designate someone who knows your families to be responsible for ensuring that all of the people needed for family pictures are called when needed. Supply your stationer with your final seating plan and on-theday stationery requirements to allow adequate time for printing.

of the bride is driving the bride and bridesmaids to the church, how will the mother of the bride be getting there? Who will tidy up the gift table at the end of the reception and deliver the gifts to the bridal couple – and when? Who will return suit rentals? Reconfirm details with all suppliers and make them aware of any last-minute changes.

You’re married! Now what? Post-wedding planning •

If you are heading off on honeymoon, arrange for someone else to return any rented items e.g. suits, décor, vehicles etc. and make sure that you have organised someone to feed your pets, water your plants, take care of any other home-related chores so that you can switch off and enjoy every moment of your time away! Send thank you notes to guests for gifts received, along with any service providers who helped to make your day special. If you are changing your surname, remember to get your personal documents (ID book, driver’s license, passport etc) and various accounts updated accordingly.

Counting down the days 1‒2 weeks to go! • • • PAGE 12

Let your reception venue, florist, décor provider, and caterer know your final numbers and make sure you have catered for your service providers. Book final haircuts for the groom in the week leading up to your wedding – but not the day before! Plan your final travel / logistics requirements e.g. if the father Photos: Wild Olive Photo

Laura Jean Photography

You’re engaged... now what? Journey Join other newly engaged couples (bring your fiancé, mum, or bridesmaid) for a fun day exploring four selected wedding venues and sampling their food! At each venue, you will get to meet talented and experienced wedding specialists who will share tips, demos, and insights to help you plan the wedding of your dreams. You will go home feeling excited and inspired – with some goody bag gifts, special offers, new friends, and a wealth of information!


Dates and bookings: visit marriagemeander.co.za or email jacqui@marriagemeander.co.za


Photo, above: Wild Olive Photo

Circular photos, clockwise from top: Laura Jean Photography, Barefeet, and Bailee Guy Weddings



doney Mayer₤

By Jacqui Cochran, Marriage Meander

An exquisite wedding is entirely possible no matter what your budget and you don't want to go into debt just because you want your wedding to be the most Instagrammable day of your life. Here are our tips to help you manage your matrimonial money matters. Create a budget – and stick to it

Before you start planning, you and your partner need to decide how much you are prepared to spend on your wedding and establish who else is contributing. Although it may be an awkward topic to broach, the conversation needs to happen. Bear in mind that whilst your parents may wish to contribute, they may be out of touch with current wedding costs. Be open and transparent about your anticipated expenses so that all parties are on the same page.

Start saving straight away

While tradition dictates that the bride’s parents pay for most of the wedding, this is not always possible and these days, many couples foot the bill themselves. As soon as you get engaged, open a savings account and deposit 10‒20% of each salary into this account. If you want to up the ante, analyse your monthly expenses and see what luxuries you can cut back on to help you save more. These changes will have little effect on your day-to-day but, after a year, the extra cash will cover some awesome wedding essentials. Saving for your wedding together gets you into good habits for your marriage.

Pick your priorities

Be savvy

There are heaps of creative ways to reduce your spend if you are willing to invest a little energy and creativity! Do your research and shop around to make sure you get the best

How much to allocate to each category

Here is a very general guideline to get you started. Chat about what is important to each of you and if you want to spend more in one area, you will need to reduce expenses elsewhere: 45‒50 % 10‒12 % 8‒10 % 8‒10 % 8‒10 % 6‒8 % 4‒6 % 2‒3 % 2‒3 % 2‒3 %

Venue and Catering (including cake) Photo and Video Wedding Planner and Miscellaneous Décor and Flowers Bridal Wear and Suits Music and Entertainment Hair and Makeup Stationery Gifts and Favours Ceremony

Try to earmark 5% for unexpected expenses and if you're paying for your honeymoon yourselves, remember to budget for that as well.

How to stick to your budget

You need to have a system to track your spending and Marriage Meander has created a useful tool to help you do this. Download our free ‘WedPlan’ App on Apple or Android devices and use the Budget Tool as soon as you start planning. Revisit your spending plan on a regular basis and adjust if needed. Make wise decisions. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of your wedding which may lead to overspending. With each financial decision, ask yourself, “Is this the wise thing to do?” Setting – and sticking to – your wedding budget will feel like a huge accomplishment and eliminate much of the stress surrounding your special day. Photo: Courtney Dale Photography



You and your fiancé should discuss what is most important to each of you. If you are a foodie, for example, you may want to splash out on a meal that your guests will be raving about for years to come. Your partner might want a smaller wedding with just your inner circle so that you can spend more on your photographer and videographer. You will both need to compromise on some things, as wedding costs tend to get out of hand quickly. On average, couples tend to spend 10‒15% more than originally planned, so set your total budget below what you really can afford.

bang for your buck. Plan ahead and take advantage of special offers when they present themselves. Be clever about your décor and bulk up displays with less expensive greenery and non-floral items that are more cost-effective. Get crafty (or enlist the services of the DIY divas in your bride tribe) and make your own guest gifts instead of buying them. Choose a dual-purpose venue that can host both the ceremony and reception.

Cheers to the

Bachelor yearg

The origins of today’s bachelor party date back much further than y early as the 5th century B.C. It is believed that the ancient Spartans Spartan soldiers held a dinner in their friend's honour and made toa Since then, bachelor parties have become somewhat more raucous affairs. These days, the mention of a stag night often invokes scenes from the movie ‘The Hangover’, which, whilst entertaining to watch on Netflix, let’s face it, most grooms are not up for that level of insanity. The planning of a bachelor bash typically falls on the best man or the groom’s brother. If that honour lies with you, here are a few things to consider: 1.

We know that being organised is usually left to the bride and her tribe but this time it’s your turn to ‘suit up’. Plan well in advance so that your invitees have enough notice to make themselves available for the event. Be organised before the event so that when the day arrives, all that remains is to let loose and enjoy.


Plan something that the majority of your guests will be able to afford and enjoy.


This event is about the groom so make sure it’s the kind of party he would choose for himself.


Club together and cover the groom’s costs. Make him feel special and think of ways to make this a meaningful and memorable bonding experience.


Final warning: don’t do anything you may regret the next morning. Final instruction: absolutely do have the time of your life!

Country Pursuits

Now that we’ve covered the basics, we’ve got some ideas to help you plan a bachelor event that will leave the groom and guests with lasting memories rather than simply a hangover. PAGE 16

By Jacqui Cochran, Marriage Meander

you would expect. The tradition is rooted in ancient history — as s were the first to celebrate the groom's last night as a single man. asts on his behalf with, one assumes, a Spartan sense of decorum. Take a look at these fun, outdoorsy adventures in the KZN area: • • • • • • •

Clay shooting Segway safari White water rafting 4x4 fun Mountain biking Fishing Hiking

Happy adventures!


Photo, left: Barefeet Photo, above: Laura Jean Photography

Gwahumbe Game & Spa


Inject some adventure into your

Bachelor part≍

Chris Allan Photography

031 781 8000 | info@tala.co.za | www.tala.co.za

Photos: Tala Collection Game Reserve by Chris Allan Photography


031 781 8000 | info@tala.co.za | www.tala.co.za Chris Allan Photography

Join us for a white water rafting adventure on the Umkomaas River or Lion’s River, where every day is a Saturday!



Trailblazer Adventures

www.trailblazeradventures.co.za 072 430 1247 / umko@trailblazeradventures.co.za


c cl “Make sure that the registration table is big enough for signing the register and use the bride’s bouquet to prettify the area when signing.” – AJ and Beulah, Dream Ceremonies


Main photo: Wild Olive Photo Circular photo: Laura Jean Photography


Photos: Laura Jean Photography | Photo, top right: Barefeet


Wedding Ceremony

cos and con’t₤

By AJ and Beulah, Marriage Officers, Dream Ceremonies

There is so much more to your wedding ceremony than just showing up on the day and saying, “I do.” The ceremony is the most important part of your day because not only does it set the tone for the whole celebration, it’s also when you actually tie the knot from a legal perspective. Here are some of our top tips to help you plan a memorable ceremony: Reach out to your marriage officer well ahead of the big day so that you can communicate your vision for your special day with them. This will result in a ceremony that feels personal and reflects who you are as a couple.


Consider the practicalities of your ceremony location. Don’t pick a spot that is too far from your reception venue. Ensure that there is adequate and comfortable seating for your guests. You may have your heart set on an outdoor ceremony but make sure you have a backup plan that caters for wet, cold, or windy weather.


The duration of the ceremony is important. It should be meaningful for you as a couple and at the same time, hold the attention of your guests.


If you want your guests to be fully present during the ceremony, request that they turn their phones off and refrain from taking photos and videos during the ceremony.


Choose your music wisely, especially the songs to be used before, during, and as you exit the ceremony.


Think about asking a special friend or family member to do a reading or poem, or even sing a song but make sure you pick someone who is confident and equipped for the job.


Chat to your marriage officer about the tone and content of your ceremony. Would you like it to be joyful, celebratory, and light-hearted, or reverent, quiet, and sacred? Chat about your beliefs and how you would like these to be reflected in your ceremony.


Your marriage officer should share a detailed order of service with you prior to the wedding. If you opt not to do a formal ceremony rehearsal with your marriage officer, make sure that you share this information with your bridal party so that everyone knows what to expect on the day and no one is caught off guard by the proceedings.


Your vows should be meaningful and from the heart so set aside time to work on these. We recommend that you either

repeat your vows after the marriage officer or have them printed on a card rather than trying to remember what you want to say. Even if you have practiced, your nerves might get the better of you and it is important to focus on each other when exchanging vows. 10. It is important that your marriage officer is well informed about all the legal regulations surrounding your wedding day. Your marriage officer will complete the marriage register, which will be signed and witnessed on the day, issue you with a SA marriage certificate, and will then register your marriage with Home Affairs within the stipulated timeframe. Most importantly, remember that this is the day you have been waiting for and working towards for months and possibly even years. Cherish each moment.


We offer: • Registered marriage officers • Legal documentation for SA and international

• A variety of ceremonies • Travel to venues in KZN • Renewal of vows • Christenings



AJ & Beulah | www.dreamceremonies.co.za 082 921 6475 | beulah@dreamceremonies.co.za


10 Things to know before

dying ye Knoll

It may be considered the least glamorous aspect of planning your f matrimonial match-up are properly addressed are just as importan 1.

There are two legal aspects which require your attention: a) A decision about which matrimonial property regime should apply to your marriage (i.e. in community of property or out of community of property). b) Ensuring that your will is updated.

Photo: Courtney Dale Photography



Unless you conclude an Antenuptial Contract (“ANC”) prior to getting married, your marriage will automatically be in community of property. If your marriage is in community of property, both spouses equally own their assets and are equally responsible for one another’s debts. This may result in far reaching, and often unintended, consequences down the line.


An ANC can provide you with protection against being held liable for your spouse’s debts.

By J Leslie Smith & Company Inc.

forever after, but ensuring that the legal requirements of your nt, if not more so! Ten things to think about before your big day: 4.

Failure to conclude an ANC prior to your marriage will result in a very costly application to the High Court to change your marriage from one of in community of property to out of community of property.


Consult with a qualified attorney, referred to as a notary public, who will be able to best explain the options available to you in terms of your ANC.


An ANC assists you with preparation for life together as a couple; it is not preparation for divorce.


Don’t believe what you see on TV – South African law is nothing like Hollywood! Seek advice from a professional law firm to help you choose the option best suited to you and your spouse.


There are two types of ANC: a) Without application of the accrual system b)With application of the accrual system Understand the difference between the two and match it with your needs.


Update your wills before you get married. If you don’t, your new spouse will not automatically inherit your estate.

10. Updating your will may require more in-depth estate planning, especially if you have a large estate or are involved in more complex economic activities. You may wish to consider the creation of a trust in your will to provide for any minor children you may have. A duly experienced attorney is best placed to ensure that your will conveys your wishes correctly.


Photo, left: Bailee Guy Weddings

Photos, top and circular: Laura Jean Photography Bottom: David Weeks Photographic


Main photo: Icehotel wedding in Sweden by Asaf Kliger | Circular photo: Wedding in Germany by Christian Manthey


With travel having been so limited in 2020, we thought we would include a feature on weddings around the world to appease our wanderlust ( just a little) and to give you some snapshots into what is trending on the wedding front in other parts of the globe. The contributors in our Correspondents Corner aren’t all wedding pro’s (they are a mix of event planners, marketing specialists, photographers, chefs and entrepreneurs) but we loved their creative insights and hope you do too! PAGE 27


�eddings around ye Worlk

Snow-white weddings in


More than half of all weddings in Sweden are held during the warmer, brighter months of May, June, July, and August, when temperatures rise above 20°C. But for some couples a white wedding is about more than a traditional white gown and involves a trip to the very northern parts of Sweden. During the harshest winter months, temperatures can average around ‒15°C, with occasional lows of about ‒30°C. The dry, crisp air and vistas of snow provide a romantic and striking backdrop for a wedding. Icehotel, made of ice and snow, in Jukkasjärvi, offers couples a snow-white wedding in every sense. It is not unusual to invite guests for a full weekend, to a magical destination wedding starting with a ceremony in the Ice Gallery, followed by champagne toasts in the ice bar, a wilderness dinner next to a ‘Just married’ ice sculpture, romantic first dance with the possibility of seeing the Northern Lights high above your heads, and ending with a wedding night in a luxurious suite made of ice and snow. Other popular activities during the wedding weekend can include sauna rituals, ice sculpting competitions, or reindeer racings. A frozen fairytale dream come true… By Kristin Viklund Photos courtesy of Icehotel, Sweden Photographer: Asaf Kliger



Simple civil ceremonies vs all night parties in


All German couples that wish to marry, start their wedded bliss off with a civil ceremony in a courthouse months or even a year before the big wedding. Very often this courthouse nuptial may be their only celebration. The ‘brautpaar’ (bridal couple) gathers at a ‘standesamt’ (registry office), dressed in smart clothes with a handful of close family and friends. Once the forms are signed, a ‘sekt-empfung’ (sparkling wine reception) follows. This day can sometimes be a grand affair but is often low key, especially if the couple plan to host a second celebration. For those who choose to host a special big wedding celebration, this includes the reveal of a traditional white wedding dress during the service, and a reception party with food, cake, drinks, music, and dancing. The guests often arrange surprises for the bridal couple in the form of songs, poetry recitals, dances, or gift presentation riddles/games. Gifts are usually monetary but are presented as cash origami arranged in elaborate dioramas or three-dimensional figures. The couple is sometimes given a task to complete together such as cutting a log or cutting out a heart from a bed sheet, the myth being that the winner establishes dominance in the marriage. German wedding reception parties often go on through the night until the morning with guests and the bridal couple sometimes ending their celebrations with a communal breakfast! By Prini Petal Civil ceremony photos: Christian Manthey Photography




Intimate country weddings in regional

bustralij Quaint little towns along the great Murray River in regional Australia lend themselves to the most picturesque wedding venues. From high banks, to sandy river beaches, the shade of hundreds of Eucalyptus trees, native animals, rolling green golf courses, botanical gardens, old woolsheds and barns, or vineyards and orchards, this region has it all. April, May, October, and November are the more popular months in this area due to excellent weather. The general trend for weddings is smaller, more intimate gatherings of close family, relatives and friends. The more unique and unconventional, the better. There is also a definite focus on greener, eco-friendly weddings. Food still plays an important part at weddings, with an array of grazing platters, dessert bars, food trucks, and spit barbecues. Some still opt for the more traditional sit down, plated meals. Many wedding couples are using Celebrants (wedding officers) for their outside locations. Celebrants are willing to personalise the ceremony to the couple’s specific requests and will more readily travel to their destination of choice.


Pastel colours aren’t disappearing, but they are being combined in much more unique and interesting combinations. We are also seeing lots more rich, vibrant, and adventurous colour palettes coming to the fore. Photographers are using drones for great aerial shots and are keeping photos more candid and natural with fewer posed photos being taken. If you ask me, country and riverside weddings are a must!

By Hazel McDiarmid Photos courtesy of Rachel Emmily Photography


Enhanced nature experiences in

bolorado, ∆Sb Wedding trends in Colorado continue in the direction of sustainable, natural, earthy, informal, and intimate. Cosy, smaller groups are becoming the norm with cell phones and even shoes being more routinely ‘left at the door’. Upscaling and recycling continue to dominate the décor scene but these themes are now spilling over into other areas like bridal and bridesmaid’s dresses. Some brides are choosing to repurpose wedding and bridesmaid’s dresses previously worn by a mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, favourite aunt, or older sister, adding a richly sentimental note to the day. Brides are choosing natural hair and make-up, and some are even opting to go barefoot or wear light, flat sandals. Wildflowers, succulents, and herbs like rosemary, lavender and thyme are finding their way into bouquets and floral décor. More greenery and less traditional flowers are being selected, and these are being locally sourced within the wedding venue area. Potted plants, seedlings, tea and seed packets are finding their way into favours and table décor, as earthy, sustainable wedding themes are intensifying. Bridal parties are seeking ‘an enhanced nature experience’ with nature being invited into as many aspects of the wedding as practically possible. Couples are choosing to tie the knot next to a river, beside a waterfall, in a forest clearing, or in a much loved neighbourhood park – even if it means hiking for a kilometre to get to their desired location! The natural environment, unique vistas, or flora and fauna are being used as the primary backdrop instead of trying to enhance a constructed venue.

By Kirsten Le Roux Photos: Wildcrafted Photography PAGE 34


Eco-friendly nuptials in the

∆nited Kingdol With the current single use plastic and pollution crisis on our planet, many brides are making a conscious decision to show some love for the planet on their special day. Helping to make eco-friendly nuptials trendy, Princess Eugenie and her anti-plastic, eco-friendly royal wedding to Jack Brooksbank is earning her the spot as the most sustainable bride in royal history. With so many decisions to make, couples have plenty of alternatives to consider, to ensure their day shows eco love too. Here are a few of decisions favoured by royal princesses Eugenie and Beatrice. Consider a pre-loved gown like Princess Beatrice did. She borrowed one of her grandmother’s dresses and gave it a bit of a modernised tweak to personalise it. She also borrowed one of the Queen’s tiaras and chose to wear a pair of shoes she had owned for over ten years. If you’d like a brand-new creation, consider an ethical designer who takes into account organic, sustainable materials. Feeding your guests seasonal, local produce not only gives your guests delicious fresh cuisine, but also supports local farmers and businesses. Using seasonal blooms from the area where you will be getting married and choosing local service providers for all aspects of your wedding not only cuts down your carbon footprint by reducing travel and transport, but also shows support and love for local businesses too. It’s a win-win.

By Trudy Baxendale Photos: Trudy Baxendale Photography



�ocatiol “Popular wedding venues can get booked up more than 12 months in advance. When you visit your shortlisted venues, have a few potential dates mapped out so that you can ascertain their availability for your preferred date(s) as early as possible.” – Jen Ortlepp, Harrington House


Main photo: Bailee Guy Weddings Circular photo: Wild Olive Photo



Eour wedding venuk If you are planning your wedding, you already know that choosing the most important chapters of your love story: The Wedding Day! finding the perfect venue. Get a good handle on your budget and the number of guests you anticipate hosting before you start exploring options that aren’t suitable. Make sure you understand exactly what is included in the venue hire fee and the cost per person. Some venues will quote a rate to hire the reception hall and charge per head for catering, while others may give an all-inclusive cost per person, incorporating the venue, catering and various services. Generally, the venue hire includes the use of tables, chairs, basic linen, cutlery and crockery but in some instances these will need to be hired separately. Some venues may even include the use of specialised chairs and a limited selection of décor. Don’t be shy to find out these details up front, as it will avoid unnecessary disappointment when extras are added after you have paid a deposit. And remember you can still find a beautiful venue on a budget!

Photo, above: Wild Olive Photo Photo, circular: David Weeks Photographic

An important aspect to keep in mind is the inclusion of a chapel. Most venues have a chapel nearby, but if this is not on the property, it may result in additional costs. If the venue does not have a chapel, you could erect a marquee or stretch tent on the property but you will need to check with the venue if they will permit this. The setting might be ideal for a garden or outdoor ceremony but remember that you cannot control the weather and you’ll need to have an alternate option. Your venue should suit your personalities and complement the style of wedding you want to create, whether informal, natural,

Photo: Laura Jean Photography


Photo: Bailee Guy Weddings


Jacqui Cochran, Marriage Meander

the right venue is a biggie as it provides the backdrop to one of Read our suggestions and we will get you on the right path to

modern, minimalist, formal or opulent. When choosing the location for your wedding, remember that you are bringing your friends and family together in one place to celebrate with you, so consider the practicalities of the venue versus making a statement just to be unique. If your reception is more than an hour away and guests cannot easily return home, determine whether there is enough accommodation on the premises, or close by. If you are planning a destination wedding, factor in proximity to airports, ease of road travel, ample accommodation and an entertainment programme for the rest of the week-end

Photo, above: Courtney Dale Photography Photo, circular front: African Bear Photo, circular back: Barefeet

The level of service you receive when being shown around a venue is usually indicative of what to expect on the day. Most venues will have staff on hand to show you around and answer questions but it’s always recommended to make an appointment for a site visit. Once you have booked, most venues are happy for you to make follow-up appointments throughout your planning to show your venue to key family members or friends, to discuss the details of your day or to meet with additional service providers on-site. And whilst it is a good idea to visit your venue a few times ahead of your big day, keep in mind that venues are often busy with other functions and will appreciate you being respectful of their time as well as their other brides.

We wish you heaps of fun as you set out to find your dream venue!


The selected venues within our portfolio have been divided into five areas in KZN. We have provided a map of each area to help with your planning and a summary table of all the venues at the end of this section listing venue hire fees, maximum number of guests, whether the venue has a chapel or permits outside catering etc. If you don’t know where to start, join us on a Marriage Meander Journey when we visit a selection of our stunning venues and introduce you to some of our talented and trusted service providers who will give you tips and ideas to help with all aspects of your planning. Details can be found on www.marriagemeander.co.za. Photo: Beyond Measure


Photos: The Hilton Bush Lodge (above) and Lythwood (right) by Laura Jean Photography

didland₤ With its lush hills, dappled forests, and flowing rivers, the Midlands is a treasure trove of enchanting wedding venues. With so many world-class venues to choose from, this is the place to look if you have your heart set on a wedding in the countryside. Only a 4-hour drive from Johannesburg and about 1½ hours from Durban, the KZN Midlands is the ideal destination to bring families together. PAGE 42


www.kerristoncountryhouse.com 082 440 9092 f slaterfarms@slater.co.za

Nestled in the KZN Midlands with breathtaking views, an onsite chapel, and luxury accommodation in an 8-bedroomed Victorian-styled home, Kerriston Country House is perfectly suited to an intimate wedding. Kerriston Country House

Photo: Santie Kori

An upmarket wedding venue–the epitome of style and elegance www.waterwoods.co.za • 082 891 5975 • admin@waterwoods.co.za

Photo: Candice Christie



Boutique and bespoke wedding venue Welcome to Qambathi Mountain Lodge, an authentic, beautifully designed venue nestled in the Kamberg Valley. The perfect choice if you are planning an intimate destination wedding for up to 50 guests.

082 774 8164 or 066 002 4852 | hello@qambathi.com



Photos: Qambathi Mountain Lodge


With our unique glass chapel nestled among the pine trees and modern barn-inspired reception venue overlooking the valley below, Dargle Forest Lodge offers a picture-perfect wedding venue that echoes timeless beauty.

Dargle Forest Lodge chapel

www.dargleforestlodge.co.za bookings@dargleforestlodge.co.za | 083 234 0436

Dargle Forest Lodge


Harrington House by Kate Martens Photography



info@highgatewineestate.co.za • Cathryn 082 345 5706 Highgate Wine Estate by Wild Olive Photo

Hilton Bush Lodge by Laura Jean Photography


Lythwood by Courtney Dale Photography (above and above, right) and Laura Jean Photography (circular photo)

From a romantic garden ceremony to formal banquet; a quaint rustic chapel to free-spirited glass-enclosed elegance–we have a number of venue options. Together with our extensive wedding planning tools, we are your secret to a great wedding!

Alison: +27 (0)33 234 4666 | weddings@lythwood.com | www.lythwood.com Main photo: Darryn Sykes. Inset photos: Darryn Sykes, Dean Demos, and Brandon Wyness.



Create the wedding you’ve always wanted

Photos: Fordoun by Courtney Dale Photography


Host Your 2021 Wedding for only R38 000! Our unique Heritage Package allows you to host your dream wedding with us for only R475.00 per person. A minimum of 80 guests is required. This includes your chapel and venue hire as well as a two-course menu. Hosting a smaller wedding? This package is R640.00 per person for 50-79 guests. Enquire now: weddings@calderwood.co.za


Everything you need and more...


Photos: Calderwood Hall by Videoccasions


Photo: Gwahumbe Game & Spa by African Bear | Circular photo: Tala Collection Game Reserve by Laura Jean Photography

dala Vaxem / MID ILLOVO

Tucked away in the rolling, green hills of KZN, is a hidden gem known as the Tala Valley. The Mid Illovo area offers the air of a distant wilderness escape yet is conveniently located 40 minutes from Durban and 20 minutes from Pietermaritzburg, making it a popular choice when accommodating guests travelling from both cities. Book your wedding at any of our showcased venues and enjoy warm hospitality, excellent cuisine, and exceptional photo opportunities. PAGE 52



Photos, above and right: African Bear

Gwahumbe Game & Spa


Eden Lassie

Contact Judy on 083 552 9134 | edenlassie@sai.co.za | www.edenlassie.co.za

Let us make your wedding day an unforgettable one! Our venue has a breathtaking view and is set in tranquil gardens which make for beautiful photo opportunities. With our dedicated in-house décor team you can relax throughout the entire wedding planning process. Your special day with us is sure to be one that dreams are made of.


Contact Dale on 084 514 3769 dalegait@sai.co.za




Daleliteful Décor at Eden Lassie

Photos, left and centre: Tala Collection Game Reserve | Photo, right: Laura Jean Photography

Photo: Casey Pratt Photography


Host your dream wedding at Tala Collection Private Game Reserve and let the splendour of the African bush provide a beautiful backdrop to a day of lasting memories... Our Tala Team will ensure that Your Dream Wedding will be one to treasure 031 781 8000 | weddings@tala.co.za | www.tala.co.za PAGE 56

Photo: TCM Photography

Exclusive country weddings loaded with elegance

082 953 7911 • info@sweethomeweddings.co.za www.sweethomeweddings.co.za


Photos: Sweethome by Long Exposure



Main photo: Talloula by Courtney Dale Photography | Circular photo: Talloula by Beyond Measure

Known for its endless hills, leafy suburbs, and rustic beauty, the Upper Highway area has made its mark on the wedding landscape. Situated in the hills above Durban, it includes the suburbs of Hillcrest and Kloof as well as the surrounding areas. Although the area has developed rapidly, it has retained its quaintness and sense of tranquillity. Our select venues are varied in their offering but each one takes pride in a personal, hands-on approach to your perfect day. PAGE 59


∆zer Highwam

Photos: Talloula by Wild Olive Photo

We know what you want in a wedding venue, and we can’t wait to show you our fresh, stylish venue. A clean palette with white open trusses, glistening crystal, and an infusion of flavours expertly cooked to perfection awaits you. Our Garden Conservatory makes the perfect spot for your I DO moment!

Photos: Bright Girl

chapel . venue . dĂŠcor . garden spa


031 777 1586 | www.talloula.co.za 61 Old Main Road, Bothas Hill



A CONSERVANCY AT THE FOOT OF A MAJESTIC MOUNTAIN. www.gracelandsfarm.co.za info@gracelandsfarm.co.za | 031 054 5018 Bride photos: At Gracelands Farm by Wilma Towell Photography Circular photo: Gracelands Farm


COUNTRY CHIC WEDDING VENUE 083 463 7704 | info@barkermanorkloof.co.za www.barkermanorkloof.co.za

Barker Manor


Photos: African Bear

Dory Coasll


KwaZulu-Natal’s North Coast is epitomised by stunning beaches, scenic sugar cane fields, and a moderate climate all year around. Our captivating coastal properties offer the ability to stage a unique and visually spectacular wedding. The further north one goes, the more tropical the weather, with splendid summers and warm winter days. If the adventure of a safari wedding appeals to you, consider one of our magnificent destination wedding venues near Hluhluwe. PAGE 62


Bride & Groom photos: Little Things Photography

Rustic and unique weddings… that’s what we’re all about at The Hatchery! Timeworn buildings, sand dunes and long grass set against a backdrop of the stunning Amatikulu lagoon and beach. www.thehatchery.co.za


Photos: The Hatchery by Little Things Photography


035 004 0016




Photos: Bonamanzi


Photo: PeppermintPix

At Bayala we’ll help you create the wedding of your dreams. Your choice of celebration venues include our intimate boma area, the lush rolling lawns beneath Zululand’s iconic acacia trees, and our tastefully decorated safari lodge. Wilderness watering holes and majestic bush panoramas offer extraordinary photographic settings in which to capture your memories of the day. An award-winning Big 5 game reserve, Bayala is the ideal destination-wedding venue.

www.bayalagamelodge.co.za (035) 562-0498 | judy@bayala.co.za Photos: Bayala Private Safari Lodge and Camp by PeppermintPix


Weddings at The Grand Exotic are a sumptuous feast for the senses

www.thegrandexotic.co.za | 076 435 6090 | thegrandexotic@gmail.com Photo, left: The Grand Exotic

Photos: The Grand Exotic by Luca Barausse Photography



Our colourful and captivating venue, conveniently located in Sheffield Beach, offers a spectacular backdrop for a unique and enchanting wedding.

Photos: Wits End by Laura Jean Photography

crakensberk The Drakensberg is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular regions in South Africa, with a panorama of peaks providing a breathtaking backdrop for your celebration. The ‘berg is lush and green from spring through to the start of autumn but boasts deliciously golden hues in winter making it a visual extravaganza all-year round. If you have travelling guests, the area is conveniently situated between Gauteng and Durban and offers the sensation of a real escape. PAGE 68


Photos: Cathedral Peak by Beyond Measure


Photo: Sani Valley Nature Lodges

Intimate weddings at a unique and tranquil destination. Blending luxury, nature and wildlife. LOCATION | DRAKENSBERG

033 702 0203 / 082 561 3275 / info@sanivalley.co.za / www.sanivalley.co.za


�enue informatiol AREAS AND VENUES




MIDLANDS Calderwood Hall Guest House

Up to 250



Dargle Forest Lodge




Fordoun Hotel & Spa



B&B | SC

Up to 400


Bridal suite


From R10k


Kerriston Country House








Qambathi Mountain Lodge


R10K +


The Hilton Bush Lodge



B&B | SC






Local B&Bs


R14 250







B&B | SC

Harrington House Highgate Wine Estate


TALA VALLEY / MID ILLOVO Eden Lassie Gwahumbe Game & Spa Sweethome Tala Collection Game Reserve





Gracelands Farm








Bayala Private Safari Lodge & Camp



DB&B & Game drive

Bonamanzi Game Reserve



B&B | SC


The Grand Exotic



Local B&Bs

Up to 150




N/C with 15 rooms booked

Full Board

Sani Valley Nature Lodges



SC | B&B | DB&B

Wits End Mountain Resort




The Hatchery

DRAKENSBERG Cathedral Peak Hotel


DB&B: Dinner, Bed & Breakfast | B&B: Bed & Breakfast | SC: Self Catering | RC: Recommended Caterer/s








CHC Catering









R600‒R1 900






RC | In-house




R1 000



Garden | Courtyard












R1 500

In-house | Outside

From R300

Garden | Forest


From R600

RC | In-house




From R500




From R500

CHC Catering


Chapel | Garden

From R800



Gazebo | Garden


From R495





From R613

RC | In-house







Garden | Verandah












From R1 200


From R350

Bush, included


From R1 200


From R350

Bush, included



Garden | Dome





Garden | Deck


From R1 210





From R950



Forest | Mountain View


From R350



R2 500


– 32



daste₤ “A good start to selecting your menu is choosing seasonal dishes, which means that your food should taste better, ingredients will be readily available, and the menu will be more cost-effective.” – Sherree Hamblin, Hamblin’s Catering


Photo, left: Courtney Dale Photography | Photo (above): Barefeet



dhe Right Catere≤

Hiring a caterer can be intimidating because we all know what an i caught the garter, or what song the couple chose for their first dan We chatted to internationally acclaimed chef, Jackie Cameron and asked her to share some important tips for couples who are starting the hunt for their wedding caterer. Read her suggestions below to make sure you don’t commit any foodie faux pas.

Research your wedding venue

Some venues only offer inhouse catering, which is fine if you love their menu and style of cooking. But if you have your heart set on a particular dish, or caterer, make sure your venue permits outside catering.

Set a budget and be open about it

To avoid disappointment, your budget should be discussed before you take a step further. Being open about cost allows your caterer to manage your expectations. Your caterer needs to be confident and experienced enough to say no if what you want can’t be achieved within your budget. If you are promised the moon on a silver platter, for a ridiculously inexpensive rate, you may be in for a nasty surprise when either the food, or the bill, arrives. Remember ‘too good to be true’ usually is…

Dish up the details on your foodie ‘loves’ and pet ‘peeves’

Tell your caterer what dishes you enjoy, and how you would like them presented. Got a wedding menu board on Pinterest? Share it! Make sure you are upfront regarding foods to avoid – either

IS A BESPOKE MENU AND CREATIVELY PRESENTED FOOD IMPORTANT TO YOU? Then engage internationally acclaimed chef Jackie Cameron. Jackie caters for, and hosts, weddings at her impressive venue in scenic Hilton – and is equipped to cater at a venue of your choice. Your menu will be personalised and plated to perfection!

www.jackiecameron.co.za 076 505 7538 | jackie@jackiecameron.co.za


By Jackie Cameron, Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine

important role food plays at a wedding. People may forget who nce, but they'll remember their meal – for better or worse.

because of food allergies that you or your guests may have, or because you just have an aversion to certain fare.

Include a vegetarian option

A vegetarian option on your menu is important. Not everyone will remember to notify you of their dietary requirements, and this gives you some wiggle room for any surprise vegetarians who reveal themselves on the day!

Don't settle until you find your soulmate

While you won’t be spending your forever-after with your caterer, you will be working closely for months, so make sure you have the right match. You want someone who understands your vision for your special day and who will pull out all the stops to make sure the food is remembered, for all the right reasons, for years to come.


Photos: Barefeet


Our experienced team will handle all your catering, serving, décor, hiring, and planning requirements Hamblin's Catering offers event planning as part of our standard catering services. For your wedding, we aim to have a co-ordinator who will work with you from the start of your planning, and will be there to assist with co-ordinating on your special day until dessert is served. Our creative, tasty food and personal but professional approach is the reason our clients keep coming back to us! Make an appointment at our One Stop Shop to view our hiring and décor options and discuss your catering requirements.

www.hamblinscatering.co.za • 033 345 2009 • info@hamblinscatering.co.za 3 Clough Street, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal

Hamblin’s Catering by Laura Jean Photography


Hamblin’s Catering

072 149 8685 www.eatwithlove.co.za belinda@eatwithlove.co.za Eat with Love


For the love of cake! 082 501 8667 | graceofbakes@gmail.com Grace of Bakes


Where to start when

bhysing a Cakk

By Lauren Bezuidenhout, Lauren Lee Cake Couture

A gorgeous wedding cake is often the centrepiece on your wedding day and it usually holds pride of position at your reception. Cutting the cake together is a significant moment as it’s one of the first activities a bridal couple will do together not to mention that it’s a highly photographed moment. Here are a few suggestions to help you turn the cake of your dreams into a sweet reality.. When is your cake is going to be served?

If you are going to be serving your cake with canapés, or instead of, you will need to cater for all your guests and the chances are, they are going to be hungry. However, if you are serving it at your reception, it's typically not advisable to cater for everyone as your guests would have eaten by then and the party would have started so not everyone will partake in cake.

What is the overall style of your wedding?

If your wedding is an elegant and sophisticated affair, you will want to echo this in your cake design. Picture smooth, clean lines with fondant and exquisite, handcrafted sugar flowers. If you are planning a vintage, rustic, or boho event, consider a naked cake complemented by beautiful, freshly picked blooms.

Do you want your cake to make a statement?

If you have always dreamed of a grand, six tier cake but don't wish to cater for that many guests, ask your cake designer about doing dummy (polystyrene) layers as this will help you achieve the desired look but will also help keep costs down and reduce cake wastage.

Does your cake complement your theme and décor? So, you have been pinning up a storm on Pinterest and the cakes you have selected are stunning but are they the perfect match for the colours, style and décor you have chosen for your wedding? When chatting to your cake designer, fill them in on details such as the theme colours, wedding stationery, and table décor you have chosen. A professional baker will weave all of these design elements into your cake, making sure that it not only satisfies your taste buds, but also looks like the show-stopper you have always imagined for your special day.


Photo, above: Lauren Lee Cake Couture by Derryn Schmidt Left: Lauren Lee Cake Couture

Main photo: Roxanne Davison Photography

www.laurenleecakes.co.za 079 544 2388 | laurenleecakecouture@gmail.com Artisan Bakes


Photo: Beyond Measure

Photo: Courtney Dale Photography


Main photo: Laura Jean Photography | Circular photo: Beyond Measure


�rite stylk



“Your wedding invitation is your guests’ first look into the kind of day you have planned. Use this opportunity to write them into the next chapter of your love story.” – Janet Haw, Fuchsia Fine Event Stationery


cnvitation onlm


Ideas from Janet Haw, Fuchsia Fine Event Stationery

Your wedding stationery gives guests the first glimpse of your wedding ‘personality’ but with so many options to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start! A wedding stationery specialist will guide you on your choices and help you find the right solutions to match your brief and your budget. Here are some of the key elements to include in your wedding stationery suite: Save the Date

Your ‘Save the Date’ should be sent at least 6 months before your big day and can be a useful way to whittle down your guest list before distributing your official invitations. The most practical ‘Save the Date’ is digital, but there are some fun alternatives like scratchoff date cards, magnets, luggage tags or personalised macaron bomboniere boxes.


Send these out 3 months ahead of the wedding. Invitations set the tone for your wedding and give your guests the honour of accepting. You can hint at your colours and theme, and include information like RSVP, directions, accommodation options and gift registries. When it comes to design, the world is your oyster.

Wedding website

Create your wedding website at least 4 months before. A wedding website can serve as an alternative or an add-on to your wedding invitation and is particularly appealing because it usually comes with an online RSVP system that’s easy to use. A wedding website also enables you to share additional details about your personal love story. Couples that set up a website often include the link on their printed invitation for reply purposes.

Welcome poster

Welcoming your guests to your wedding is a nice touch and can be used to guide guests to the chapel upon arrival. Usually placed on an easel, they can be dressed with foliage and other decor items. Your poster might include a programme for the day, a special thank you, or a request for an ‘unplugged wedding’ where guests are asked to turn off their phones prior to the ceremony.


A printed programme with a clear and concise order of service helps your day to flow smoothly and makes sure that guests know what is happening when, and where they need to be throughout the day so that no one misses your special moments.

Seating plan

A seating plan is vital for any wedding. A large print placed on an easel or in a frame is the more traditional format but you can get PAGE 84

creative: stringing cards on twine, etching into perspex or using vinyl on a mirror or piece of acrylic. If you are ‘theming’ your wedding, then you may want to incorporate this into your seating arrangement. For example, a travel theme could have a world map with guests assigned to cities or countries.

Place cards

Place cards are an extension of your seating plan and guide guests to their seat at the table. Depending on your theme and budget you can get really creative here, from foiled or embossed card, laser cut wood, etched acrylic… the options are endless!

Table number cards

Table numbers (or names) are one of the more practical details of your reception but they definitely don’t need to be boring! They should be legible and easy for your guests to spot on the table and enhance – rather than detract from – your wedding décor.

Menu cards

Your menu card should also be seen as an extension of your décor and theme. The menu card can be combined with your table number, or form part of your guests’ individual place cards. Alternately, make a statement by designing a customised menu card in the form of a circular underplate, a gorgeous pennant laid neatly on your side plate, or a smaller version tied to your napkin.


Throwing confetti invites guests to add their ‘hooray’ to your celebration, whether you choose to throw rose petals, fresh flowers or greenery. Personalised confetti cones are popular, as are organza bags, but you can also have open-ended envelopes made up in a semi-transparent paper with a message such as “When Ryan and Jax pass your way, toss the confetti and yell Hooray!” printed on the front. Branded bubble confetti also makes for some lovely photo opportunities. We hope these ideas inspire you to have fun with your stationery planning! And if the myriad of options feels a little overwhelming, book a consultation with a wedding stationery professional and let them guide you through the process.

Photos: Barefeet


Main photo: Courtney Dale Photography | Circular photo: Wild Olive Photo

Laser Cutting & Engraving of Wood, Perspex, Fabric & Leather Invitations • Cake Toppers • Guest Books Programmes • Seating Plans Table Numbers • Keyrings Fridge Magnets • Coasters

www.creativelaserstudio.co.za Tanya: 083 762 9205 | info@creativelaserstudio.co.za | 65 Victoria Road

We specialise in décor and floral set-ups, hiring, lighting, candy stations, photography and much more. Yvette: 084 262 2849 | 033 345 1936 | candlesanddecor@lantic.net www.candlesanddecor.co.za PAGE 86

Dtationery trend₤


Here are some 2021 trends to look out for but remember to stay true to your own tastes. Personalisation

This emerging trend is a celebration of all that is unique about your story as a couple. Many engaged couples are looking to artists and illustrators to create bespoke wedding stationery such as a handdrawn map of their chosen wedding destination. Illustrations and water colour paintings are great ways to express your individualism and they elevate your invitation to something more of a keepsake that you and your guests will want to hold on to.


Adopting a green and eco-conscious approach is a global phenomenon, which is making an impact on the stationery landscape too. Brides and grooms are becoming more insistent that the materials used for creating their wedding elements are kind to the environment, such as bamboo card, recycled paper and vegetable-based ink.

Botanicals and florals


The minimalism trend has made its way to wedding invitations and couples are ditching the frills, fuss and fancy fonts and opting instead for a clean, contemporary look paired with high quality paper to create an elegant impression. Also look out for customised monograms featuring bride and groom initials. PAGE 87


Wedding stationery with floral and botanical prints isn’t new to us but is now trending more towards greenery, with a less classical look. Imagine a whimsical watercolour of eucalyptus leaves, myrtle and delicate asparagus fern. Or a wild, tropical mix of palm, banana and monstera leaves. We are also seeing an advance towards Victorian-era artwork and vintage nature-style illustrations, of anything from citrus fruits to birds to the anatomy of a rose.

Main photo: Charelle McAllister Makeup Artistry by David Weeks Photographic | Circular photo (back): Barefeet | Circular photo (front): Wild Olive Photo


dade uL


– Samantha Wickham, Strawberries and Cream



“Make-up is a magical thing but it can only do so much. Make sure you have a great skincare regime and drink lots of water in the weeks leading up to your wedding to keep skin hydrated and looking its best.”

Cffortley beautm

If lockdown has taught us anything, it's simplicity. The focus right n looks and feeling authentically you. It gives us a sense of freedom w place on ourselves and ‘just be’. If ever there was a time to look afte Professional Make-up Artist Make-up, Hair Styling Airbrush Make-up Make-up Lessons & Workshops

Alana-Jane Halgreen 082 357 5714 alana@kissandmake-up.co.za www.kissandmake-up.co.za

Kiss & Make-up by Wild Olive

But don't confuse simple with basic, boring, or safe. Instead it’s raw, vulnerable, intimate, and romantic. If you’re adopting a minimalist approach with your hair and makeup, focus on the basics. The condition of your hair and skin should be your number one priority. Your lifestyle plays a huge role here so consider your water intake, food, vitamins, stress levels, and exercise.

The ‘no make-up, make-up look’

No matter the texture of your skin, your foundation can look natural. The purpose of foundation is to even out skin tone, not hide our skin. Instead of a full coverage foundation, try a lightweight, sheer foundation and invest in a great concealer to spot-correct any blemishes. Your colour choices are key. A professional make-up artist will colour code you to bring out your natural skin tone, which is one of the most important parts of any makeup application. It creates harmony with the skin and brings the whole look together in a more natural, cohesive way. A little colour on the cheeks makes the skin look young, revitalised and healthy. Cream blush is my ‘go to’ product when adding colour as this best imitates the skin. The use of too many powdered products will leave your skin looking unnatural. Lift your complexion with a pop of cream highlighter for a natural glow. Be careful when using powdered highlighters as they can leave an obvious strip of light in photos and may enhance the skin’s texture. Keep eye makeup simple. Use soft shimmers over the lids and inner corners and neutral matte shades to shape the outer eyes. Try a soft feline flick on your lids for an ultra-feminine look that instantly defines and lifts your eyes. A good eyelash curl and some mascara will do wonders and to turn it up a notch, add a few Individual false lashes to the outer corners. Brows are not overdone or over manipulated. The natural shape of your brow is enhanced and the whole look is natural and balanced. For youthful, plump looking lips, opt for cream lipsticks. Matte, long lasting lipsticks have their place but make sure your lips are well


By Alana-Jane Halgreen, Kiss & Make-up

now is on natural beauty: natural products, natural when we remove all the demands and expectations we er ourselves and love who we are, it is now. exfoliated and hydrated before applying. Try patting lipstick on your lips with a finger to get a natural finish and avoid that irritating build-up of lipstick around the inside of your mouth. It will also keep that sticky feel away. No matter what area of the face you are working with, work in light layers, building slowly and allowing layers to dry and blend well to soften all the edges.

Care-free, crazy-free hair

Knowing your hair’s texture is so important. Many women have no idea what type of hair they have and, as a result, they fight with it on a daily basis, when all it really needs is a little understanding and cooperation. Much like knowing your skin type is crucial for implementing an effective skincare regime, determining your hair type can play a significant role in the efficacy of your daily hair care routine. There are many factors that determine your hair type. These include hair density, diameter, porosity, greasiness, elasticity, and curl pattern. Chat to your hair stylist or do an online analysis to work out what type of hair shampoo, conditioner and products to use, and what kind of cut your hair needs to perform and look its best. Certain haircuts add volume and structure, which can make an impact to your overall look on your big day.


Working with healthy, natural hair is the smartest decision you can make for your wedding look. If you have curly hair and it's a humid Durban summer’s day, it won't matter how hot you make the flat iron! Those curls could be back within an hour. Instead of trying to conceal what you were born with, play up your natural assets. Loose curls, ponytails, and low buns are trending at the moment. Hair is not over-styled or over-done. Finish this romantic style off by adding a delicate hair scarf, flowers, or a clip. Be effortlessly and beautifully you! Photos: Olivia Rebecca Photography | Hair & Make-up: Kiss & Make-up Dresses: Brit & Bride


Bridal & Beauty Make-up Lashes • Nails • Spray Tan Permanent Make-up Internationally qualified makeup artist You can visit me at my studio in the Midlands or I can travel to your wedding venue. www.screamakeup.com samanthawickham333@gmail.com 064 631 1450

Photos: Juné Joubert Photography


Strawberries and Cream



... Makeup should never be used to hide yourself. It should be used to enhance your natural beauty.


xoxo Angelene: 076 815 8892 | diosgracia99@gmail.com BRIDAL | PERMANENT MAKEUP

Dios Gracia Makeup Artistry by Laura Jean Photography


Solé Salons & Spas by Laura Jean Photography


Main photo: Wild Olive Photo | Circular photo (back): Barefeet | Circular photo (front): David Weeks Photographic

creyed uL


“Keep an open mind when you go dress shopping and be willing to try different styles and shades. You may be surprised by the gown that makes you look – and feel – like a princess.” – Yolandi Milne, Bella Bride PAGE 94


�hat to Wea≤ in 2021

– Jacqui Cochran, Marriage Meander

Bridal wear trends for 2021 have definitely been influenced by 202 will put you in the wedding dress of your dreams: Minimony ensembles

Many couples are going ahead with a minimony (mini ceremony) now and planning a sequel wedding down the line. Brides will save their showstopper gowns for the big reception and wear something simple and modern for their intimate micro wedding. Look out for simple trousers, jumpsuits, short dresses and kaftans.

Statement Sleeves

The statement sleeve has been on the fashion agenda for the past year and if the style blogs are anything to go by, this look is here to stay. But don’t fret – we aren’t talking about the puffy Princess Diana wedding sleeves of yesteryear. This season’s sleeves are ruffled, floaty, off-the-shoulder, and all about tasteful romance. Long sleeves will gain even more ground in the cooler months, and the best news is that they are incredibly flattering for less than perfect arms.


It’s not surprising that bows have stolen the bridal spotlight after being dotted all over the red carpet and taking Insta’s fashion threads by storm. High impact dresses will boast oversized bows whilst other dress designers are weaving bow details into their designs in a subtle way for a more romantic look. If you’ve had to postpone your wedding until 2021, the addition of a bow is an easy way to update your look to a new season.


20’s lockdown. Here is our round-up of 10 style statements that

Tiered, ruffled and ethereal skirts

A tiered skirt adds a sophisticated boho element to a bridal look, so get ready to indulge your inner romantic with this frilly, feminine detail. The focus of this season’s skirts is on fluidity and movement, which means we will see lighter, effortless fabrics such as tulle, taffeta and organza.

Modern lace and mesh

Our love affair with lace will never end but this year, you will see less vintage and more modern and geometric lace. Mesh will continue to steal the show with its romantic and alluring touch.

Capes and removable elements


Heaps of brides had to move their 2020 weddings to 2021 and may find themselves wearing a dress that was created for a completely different season. If you are left wishing you had sleeves, consider a cape or cover-up. Detachable trains, sleeves, overskirts, belts, and jackets will feature, giving you the option to wear two dresses in one day. Continued on next page... Photos with thanks to our bridal attire suppliers: Bella Bride, Lauren Judith-Anne, Meliza Mary, and Oh huntress. Also to the following photographers: Andre Swart, Lilly Leigh, Little Things, Luca Barausse, Roxanne Davison, and Sally Mackay.


�hat to Wea≤ in 2021

Continued from previous page

Party-style sparkle

Look out for big-day bling in the form of over-the-top sequins, beading, and metallic embellishments. Perfect for evening nuptials, this trend is daring but sophisticated. A tip from the pro’s: if you're planning a showstopping shimmer-and-shine gown, pare down your accessories and let your dress do the talking!

Whimsical Pastel Shades

Look out for coloured wedding dresses in pinks, blues, nude coffee, and blush. You need to be a confident bride to step away from the tradition of a white dress but this is the year for brides to express their playfulness, sense of adventure, and individuality.

Interesting backs and notice-me necklines

Backs take the plunge and become more interesting. Unusual features, bows, and completely open backs add that extra element of seduction. Dramatic high, square, scooped, and one-shoulder necklines will also take centre stage in 2021.


Sustainability is more of a movement than a trend but it’s encouraging to see that designers are recognising the importance of being kind to the planet in their choice of fabrics and ethical design practices.

Photos with thanks to our bridal attire suppliers: Bella Bride, Lauren Judith-Anne, Meliza Mary, and Oh huntress. Also to the following photographers: Andre Swart, Lilly Leigh, Little Things, Luca Barausse, Roxanne Davison, and Sally Mackay.


WHAT TO WEAR UNDER YOUR WEDDING DRESS The key to a wedding dress that fits you like a glove is the right undergarments! Your everyday bra and panties are likely to underperform in this situation so make sure you have the right underwear to suit the shape, style and intricacies of your gown. Remember: fit before fashion! Once you have chosen your dress, you will know what type of bra is required. If you are wearing a strapless gown, a supportive, extra-grip, strapless bra will stop you from needing to yank your dress up every few minutes on the dance floor. A strapless corset bra is even more resistant to slippage as it wraps around your waist. If your dress is backless, your best bet is a bra with adhesive cups. Or, chat to your seamstress about sewing cups into your dress! If your dress is figure-hugging around your lower body, you may need to invest in some shapewear that starts at your natural waist and extends just above the knees. You’ll want a pair that keeps your flabby bits at bay, but at the same time doesn’t create new problems like ‘muffin top’ or ‘VPL (visible panty line). Make sure you try your undergarments on with your dress before the big day to check for any visible seams and wear them to your alteration appointments. The perfect fitting undergarments will make you even more confident on your big day.



Photos, from left: Barefeet Beyond Measure Wild Olive

Brands represented: Maggie Sottero, Sottero and Midgley, Angela Bianca, and Private White Label.

Come to Bella Bride for a selection of exquisitely hand crafted, imported and custom-made wedding gowns. I look forward to helping you find the perfect fit.



I married my Prince Charming in the summer of 1999 and my journey to find the perfect wedding dress was not as easy as it is today. There were very few options available and I ended up having my dress made, which was great but I would have loved having more options to choose from. Nearly a decade later, I became the owner of a small bridal boutique. Needless to say, I fell in love with all the beautiful wedding dresses and Bella Bride has been my little bit of heaven ever since. I offer a completely personalised service where you have my undivided attention and commitment for the duration of your appointment. It is my passion to make you feel comfortable and understood, and to match you with the most beautiful bridal gown options to fit your budget, figure and, most of all, your dreams‌ PAGE 100

www.bellabride.co.za | WhatsApp 074 131 5415 | info@bellabride.co.za

Based in Westville, Durban. By appointment only.


COLLECTION | PRE-LOVED BESPOKE | ACCESSORIES Based in Durban North, by appointment only



There is nothing more rewarding than dressing a woman for the most important day of her life. The awe and wonder of a bride seeing herself for the first time in her dress is a moment of pure radiance. Being a part of your wedding is a privilege that my team and I do not take lightly. I ensure personal attention to every detail from the moment you step into my private studio. As a qualified fashion designer with years of experience as an image consultant and stylist, I am passionate about styling the female form. My aim is to enhance your individual shape, personality and sense of style. The end result – a beautiful, confident woman, ready to walk down the aisle and say ‘I do.’ I have travelled the world in search of the most gorgeous wedding dresses and fabrics. I am extremely selective with my pre-loved stock, only bringing the best of the best into my studio.

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Bridal photos: Andy & Szerdi Photography | Décor & Flowers: Natural Nostalgia


www.meliza.co.za | info@meliza.co.za | 072 200 2621

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Photos: Roxanne Davison Photography

www.laurenjudith-anne.co.za | info@laurenjudith-anne.co.za | 078 318 0976

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Based in Kloof, Durban. By appointment only.



Hello lovely brides and lingerie lovers. I am a South African, dachshund obsessed, tea drinking ‘sew-aholic’ with an unwavering infatuation with the luxury lace aisle. I have a serious love for lingerie, bridal gowns and generally anything created with delicate textiles.

Most days, I can be found in my studio with a hot ‘cuppa’ in hand (very important part of life to make me a happy person), embellishing garments by hand, surrounded by our fur babies, each of whom you will come to meet and know individually, should we work together.


I completed my degree in Fashion and Textiles with Durban University of Technology in 2015 and I have been immersed in the bridal scene ever since. Being a total pattern and sewing junkie, I personally fit and complete all of my gowns so that no detail is left unturned. My favourite part about my work is being involved in creating each gown from beginning to end and really getting to know my lovely brides throughout the journey.

“ just want to play wiy fabric c and make beautiful yings…” PAGE 105

Based in Durban. By appointment only.



I've always been a creative, artistic and crafty person and growing up on a farm has had a major influence on my style. When I work on a customised wedding dress for one of my brides, I strive for real authenticity and that special, hand crafted appeal that makes you feel something inside. I'm emotionally invested in every dress I stitch because I want my brides to feel 100% comfortable in their own skin on their wedding day. Their dress should be an expression of who they are and what they love about themselves. I want my brides to feel confident in everything they do from walking down the aisle, to indulging in the delicious menu they picked for their big day, to throwing it down on the dance floor! They shouldn’t need to worry about their dress for a moment. Warm, nostalgic, calm and dusty afternoons punctuated with cups of tea are amongst my favourite things… and if you decide on an ‘Oh huntress’ dress, I look forward to spending some of those afternoons working on a design specially for you.

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Photos: Andre Swart


www.ohhuntress.co.za | hello@ohhuntress.co.za | 062 003 4386

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crym’s Geying Ready Guidk – Jacqui Cochran, Marriage Meander

These days, grooms are much more hands-on when it comes to the planning and decision making surrounding their wedding but even if you are one of those grooms who are happy to let your lady lead the charge, we encourage you to take note of our handy hints so that you can make sure you are on top of your manly mandates! Set a budget

Decide how much you and your other half are able to contribute, add any parental contributions and tally the number. Then stick to your budget throughout the planning process.

Draw up a guest list

Focus on people who've been there for you as a couple and who will continue to support you and be part of your lives in the future.

Choose your ‘bru crew’

The bride has her tribe and you’ll need a best man and possibly some groomsmen too. Remember that your best man is usually the one who arranges your bachelor party and says a speech at the wedding so choose wisely.

Get a haircut

Schedule this for the week leading up to the wedding but don't leave it for the day before when there are always a million lastminute things to take care of. (Handy hint: This is not the time to try a new style or a new stylist!)

Look after the rings

On the day, you are quite literally ‘lord of the rings’ and it’s your job to make sure the rings are accounted for and presented at just the right moment!

Select your attire

Chat to your significant other about your wedding colours and theme so that you are on the same page when you go shopping for your outfit. You can either purchase or hire your outfit. Hiring is a great option if you have a limited budget and if you will rarely have the opportunity to wear your suit again. Take a look at our style guide on the next page for tips on what to wear.

Book the honeymoon

Plan and pay for your trip well ahead of time. If it’s an international destination, do your homework about visas and vaccinations and don’t forget to pack the passports.

Write your speech (and vows)

Whatever happens, do not leave this to the eleventh hour. You may be a great public speaker in normal situations but weddings tend to be emotionally charged and you will want to have some notes prepared and printed to ensure that your speech and vows are meaningful and memorable for all the right reasons.

Show some extra love for your lady

Support your bride-to-be through dress dilemmas, catering calamities and general wedding woes. The chances are she is juggling a lot of balls to make sure your day is perfection personified and she will probably need reminding along the way that she’s doing an amazing job. PAGE 108

Photos: African Bear | Barefeet | Beyond Measure | David Weeks Photographic | Derryn Schmidt | Laura Jean Photography

TURN UP THE STYLE DIAL These days, the possibilities for men’s wedding attire are endless – from completely casual to seriously swanky! Here are some notes on what is trending internationally for 2021: Suits are leading the charge ahead of tuxedos and tails.

Suit pants worn without jackets are gaining in popularity – especially for relaxed summer weddings.

Jackets are being replaced with waistcoats or striking braces which means you’re free to roll up your sleeves.

Many modern grooms are opting for a Boho look so expect to see vintage touches, eccentric accents, bright colours, non-matching tops and pants, unconventional textures, and more natural fabrics.

Black, grey and blue suits are timeless and will never go out of style but in 2021 we welcome some bright and juicy colours to the fashion procession – watch out for burgundy, marsala, violet and olive green.

If a bright suit feels over the top, pair a classic suit with patterned braces, tie, and pocket square. PAGE 109


Photos: Wild Olive Photo

www.suityourself.co.za | 082 234 6906 | admin@suityourself.co.za | 20 Gainsborough Drive, Athlone, Durban (the old DHSOB

PAGE 110


dob &barolyl We first got involved in the business three years ago but Suit Yourself has been styling grooms since 2006. At the start of 2020, we bought out the previous owner and founder, Wade Wingfield, who emigrated to Australia. Wade is a good friend of ours and we are determined to continue his legacy, with the support of our experienced store manager, Brendon Rose, whose familiar face has been part of the Suit Yourself family for ten years. When we got married in 2005 there weren’t as many styles or colours to choose from and Rob suited up in a classic black suit for our wedding. If we were getting married today, our navy Carducci Slim Fit Suit, currently a popular choice with grooms, might have been a contender in the style stakes… When it comes to pairing the groom and his entourage with the right suits for the big day, we encourage our clients to wear a style and colour that makes them feel comfortable and confident. And with such a range to choose from, you are bound to find something that not only suits your own personal sense of style but also complements the colour and theme of your wedding and keeps your missus happy too! What we love most about our business is seeing the happy faces of our customers! We don’t often have an occasion to dress smartly these days and your wedding day is one of the few opportunities where you get to turn up the style dial. We have suited up a few celebrities over the years and whilst it’s always a proud moment to see our suits in the media limelight, we treat all our clients like VIPs. PAGE 111


B Clubhouse)

Based in Durban North. By appointment only.

Shirts • Ties • Bowties • Pocket Squares • Braces



Hi guys and welcome to HIS Apparel! In the early stages of our journey, being a mom to two stylish sons, I spent countless hours crafting outfits they had requested for their wardrobes. It all culminated when Steve, our eldest son, was preparing for his wedding and after searching numerous stores to find what he was looking for, came back empty-handed and frustrated. I soon found myself having to create outfits for the groom and his groomsmen – the beginnings of what was to become HIS Apparel. In the seven years since starting our family-run business, our daughter, Meg, joined the mix, my husband's admin brain regularly saves the day, and our eldest son continues to wear the brand and give us marketing advice. Sadly we lost our second son, Andy, in a tragic accident in 2016. We pride ourselves on quality fit and quality finish. We spent a year on our shirts alone – trying them on countless body shapes and tweaking our pattern, to ensure the best fit all round. We are passionate about working with local industry and I'm proud to say that all our garments are locally produced. Our love for connecting with people is the drive behind our brand and we look forward to helping you find just what you're looking for, for your special day! PAGE 112

www.hisapparel.co.za | 082 780 0051 | hisapparelsa@gmail.com

Photo: Derryn Schmidt Photography


Photos of Bride & Groom and the groomsmen: Chantel & May Photo

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Main photo and back circular photo: Beyond Measure | Circular photo (front): African Bear


dhe Scenk “Don’t get too carried away with Pinterest and inspiration pictures. Ask a décor and floral stylist to help bring your theme together seamlessly and weave it together in a beautiful yet functional way.” – Kimberley Lomas, Natural Nostalgia PAGE 114


Photos: Kate Martens

Meticulous planning meets creative vision

www.emilylockhart.co.za | 084 468 9890 | info@emilylockhart.co.za

Photos: Barefeet

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Speak to Emily about your wedding planning, dĂŠcor hire, and floral artistry needs and let her turn your dream into a skillfully crafted reality that you and your guests will forever remember.

The 5 Senses

�edding experienck

By Emily Lockhart

When designing an event, the first and most obvious consideration is ‘sight’ – and how things look. But ensuring that our other four senses – sound, touch, smell, and taste are also engaged, is guaranteed to make sure your wedding day leaves a lasting impression on you and your guests. Visual

When choosing the theme colours for your wedding, don’t just follow trends. Your colour palette should resonate with you and suit the venue and its seasonal surroundings. A spring wedding, for example, lends itself to colours such as watermelon pink, peach blush, and mint green which feel fresh, romantic, and happy without being overpowering; while a winter wedding invites the use of bolder, warmer, and richer hues like burnt orange, marigold yellow, and moss green. Lighting is key in creating the right ambience from twinkling fairy lights to candlelit tables, dimmable chandeliers, dance floor colour pops, and outdoor string bulbs beneath a starry night sky.


Since it is a known fact that we eat with our eyes first, it is a good idea to discuss with your caterer not only what dishes to include in your menu, but also how they are presented. Consider creating a bespoke cocktail especially for your wedding and remember to pair wines with your chosen menu. Add a palate cleanser in-between courses to refresh the palate. Pick food that complements the theme of the wedding, for example, a casual seafood grill is perfectly suited to a relaxed beach wedding whilst it may feel a little out of place at a glamorous, formal, city venue.


Flowers are not only visual stunners but can also add exquisite perfume to your celebration. For next-level scenting, enlist the services of a professional perfumer to customise a scent especially for your wedding and deliver little bursts of your chosen scent using a bubble machine. This is a sure way to leave a lasting impression upon each of your guests. You can infuse table candles with the fragrance and complete the experience by gifting guests with their own bespoke scented candle as a wedding favour.


Music is a powerful tool for influencing energy and mood. Think about how you want your guests to feel as you walk down the aisle, whilst your guests are mixing during canapés, when you enter the reception venue, and throughout the celebration. Chat to the musicians, performers, and DJs you have enlisted and describe your perfect soundtrack for your special day: when you want to create moments of prayerful reflection or gentle romance, and when you want to lift the mood with some upbeat, party energy.



The sense of touch begins from the moment your guests open your wedding invitation and builds throughout all the tactile experiences of your day: such as the soft petals used in your congratulatory confetti cone, the fabric used for your table cloths and napkins, and even the temperature on the day. To ensure your guests are comfortable, make provision for possible weather influences by having extra brollies on standby if there is a chance of rain, handheld fans for summery days, and blankets to keep guests warm in winter.

Photo, above: African Bear | Circular photo: Barefeet

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Photos: Vanilla Photography

Décor • Hire • Flowers


Making dreams come true

b espoke f low ers 082 411 1110 | 033 266 6454 info@petals-midlands.com www.petals-midlands.com


Photo: Andy & Szerdi Photography

082 445 2577 | 031 785 1874 | gail@spottedowl.co.za

FLORAL DESIGN, DECOR HIRE & PLANNING 072 954 7762 | 033 330 5621 | info@naturalnostalgia.co.za www.naturalnostalgia.co.za

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Photo, above and top circle: Laura Jean Photography Photos, bottom two circles: CountryCo. by Chels & Co. Studio

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Flowers of ye Futurk

By Sandra Trethewey, Farmgirl Flowers

The Coronavirus pandemic's impact will influence many wedding trends for 2021. I think there will be two clear directions when it comes to pla postpone their wedding until bigger weddings are allowed. Others will opt for elopement or micro-weddings, scaling back their guest list, and c will have much more sentiment and meaning, where personalisation and presentation will be a focal point. Creating an experience from the min So, what wedding flower trends can we expect to see in 2021/2022? There will undoubtedly be a carryover from 2020 due to the postponements, as brides will keep their original style and ideas. I think that the floral wedding buzzwords will be light, natural, ethereal, delicate, and sustainable. Couples are making a conscious choice to use locally grown and sourced flowers to cut down on their carbon footprint. They want sustainable floral arrangements. There is a 'back to nature’ trend, a real organic feel to florals, big open garden roses, naturally styled, with lots of texture and unstructured, wild, and loose arrangements. Styling sees earthier, more neutral tones created with a mix of bleached dried flowers and grasses such as pampas grass, bunny tails or wheat sheaves, and seed pods—all sustainable and eco-friendly. Expect to see nude, muted colour schemes with neutral shades, golds, creams, and muted florals with subtle colour variations. We will see less bold colours and more subtle undertones such as peach and soft

pastels. Green and whites are timeless and will always have their place, but I think that white might stand aside for buttery tones. The use of natural textures, fabrics, and pairings used cleverly will complete the look. Just because your wedding may be small, your flowers certainly don't need to be!

Words of wisdom for the DIY Bride My advice – do not try and do it all yourself. Round up a team, as flowers take time, effort, and energy. Get all your flowers done the day before your wedding.

You will need to find a flower farm or florist to supply the stems. Planning is paramount. Contact your supplier 8-12 weeks before your wedding date to check what is in season. You will need to calculate all the stems you need and place your order. Take note of payment procedures and request confirmation. Aim to collect your flowers a day or two before the wedding. Collect them in a closed vehicle with an air conditioner, especially in our South African summers. At the venue: make sure you have lots of buckets, half-filled with clean water, and add a flower preservative. Flowers need to be kept in a cool place. Create a working area and place a large canvas or plastic sheet on the ground under your work tables. You will need oasis or chicken wire to add structure and support to your vases, tape to secure it, a few pairs of sharp garden secateurs, and a team of people to help you. Always have a toolbox of pins, cable ties, wire, pliers, florists’ glue, tape, a hammer and some nails. Encourage your team to work neatly. Otherwise, when they're all tired, you're going to be left cleaning up a huge mess. A clean-up team is always a win and worth every cent.

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Photos: Farmgirl Flowers by African Bear

anning. Clients will either adopt a 'bigger is better" approach and celebrating with their closest loved ones. These smaller weddings nute guests arrive. Choosing a Floral Designer

Floral artists pride themselves on their unique style and will create something specially for you. Take time to research who you would like to design your flowers and choose someone that you connect with. Once you find someone you would like to work with, the first step is to send an enquiry to check if they are available on your date.

How does the quoting process for wedding flowers work?

Most floral artists will only quote after an initial consultation, as every wedding is unique. If your date is available, the creative process starts, usually with a chat over a cuppa or an online meeting if you are further away. Here, your designer gets to understand your vision by going through all the details of your special day. This part of the process is fun and exciting! After this, your floral designer is likely to provide you with a moodboard or storyboard, and once the design process has evolved, a quote will follow.

Can I see what my flowers are going to look like before my wedding?


You can request a mock-up if you would like one. These are paid for separately and are yours to take home and enjoy. As flower availability can change from day to day, your floral designer cannot promise that your mockups will be the same as the finished product on the day. The purpose of a floral trial is to simulate the ‘feeling’ and personality of your wedding flowers rather than selecting specific flower types, which may not be available for your big day. Setting your heart on a specific flower can lead to disappointment so keep an open mind and remember that your designer is using a fresh, delicate product, that is seasonal and grown naturally. Some creative freedom always yields the best results. I may be biased, but I believe that flowers are the best way to make a statement at your wedding!

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While our competitors strive for Quality, Punctuality, and Excellence, we Guarantee it. Marquees | Draping | Lighting | Furniture | Linen Quality Décor | Cutlery | Crockery | Glassware | Games “Thank you so much for your time and professionalism. It’s so good to know that there are still businesses that do not put money first but truly care about their clients/customers. I am deeply touched.” Vanessa: 033 394 3933 • order@muirheadshiring.co.za www.muirheadshiring.co.za • Facebook:/muirheadshiring

Contemporary and Elegant Furniture for Hire for Weddings, Parties, and Events 072 062 7078 | laurie@bundunet.com | www.lauriekohrs.com | Nottingham Road, KwaZulu-Natal Midlands

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Photos: Beyond Measure


Above photo: Courtney Dale Photography

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Main photo: Barefeet | Circular photo (back): Bailee Guy Weddings | Circular photo (front): African Bear

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Dight₤ – Karen & Jono, Videoccasions PAGE 125


“Allow your photographer and videographer to frame the shots, guide you on what looks best and capture that special, intimate look between you and your spouse, or the spontaneous snort-laugh with your friends. Remember, that's why you hired them!”

Choosing a great

dhotographer anE Video

You may think that your wedding day will be etched into your memory inevitably fade. You owe it yourself, your far-flung loved ones unable t most out of your wedding photos and video. Book early

When considering which photographer to book, you and your fiancé will need to decide on the photographic style that appeals to you. You may want formal, posed shots, candid, fun pictures, or something with a more journalistic, documentary feel. Often your photos will be a blend of these approaches but if there is a particular style that you are fond of, be sure to communicate that with your appointed suppliers.

Pick professional partners

Bailee Guy

Choosing an experienced wedding photographer and videographer is essential if you don’t want to be disappointed. Not only will their professional cameras and lenses ensure you receive quality images and videos, but they will have the technical skill, experience, and artistic ability to capture the mood and fleeting moments of the occasion. Their knowledge of light and their ability to adapt quickly to different situations and weather conditions will make a big difference to the end result. They will also have backup equipment in case of any emergency. This is really important as you won’t be able to replay the day if batteries die, equipment fails, or if there are other technical disasters. Do your homework and view previous work that your shortlisted candidates have done. Check to see what their previous clients have to say about them.

Set up a meeting

It’s important that you meet with your specialists before your wedding to make sure you feel comfortable with them. They will be tracking your every move on the big day and you will want to make sure that you have a good feeling about them and that they inspire your trust and confidence. If a face-to-face meeting isn’t possible, a Zoom call or video-chat will give you some insight into their personality and offer you the opportunity to ask questions that might otherwise not be covered in written communications. David Weeks

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Dawn Oosthuis from Beyond Measure by Derryn Schmidt


By Jacqui Cochran, Marriage Meander

y forever, but so much of the day passes by in a blur making it impossible to absorb all the details and, with the passage of time, memories to attend, and future generations to record the memories of this momentous occasion in a timeless way. Here's our take on how to get the

Book an engagement shoot

Having a pre-wedding engagement shoot is an ideal opportunity to get to know each other and see how your photographer works with you as a couple. It will ensure you feel relaxed and confident on the day, knowing that you are in good hands. Plus it will result in you getting some stunning photos, which you can use for your Save the Date!

How to handle the Shot List

When compiling a list of photos and footage that you want your photographer and videographer to capture, don’t try to incorporate every possible combination of grandparents, siblings, friends-that-arealmost-family, cousins twice-removed, etc. List the most important photos and appoint a responsible family member, or friend who knows both your families, to round up the relevant people for each photo when they are needed.

Timing is everything

Your photographer will be able to guide you on how much time to allocate to each part of the day to avoid delays – from getting your hair and makeup done and getting dressed to having group photos, your creative shoot and cutting the cake. Try to allocate more time than needed, so you don’t feel rushed and you’ll enjoy the day more. Refer to the Marriage Meander website for a suggested timeline to make sure that everything runs smoothly and you won’t have to rush or skip any part of the day to stay on schedule.

Laura & Malcolm Harris from Laura Jean Photography

The small print

Most photographers and videographers will insist that you sign a booking form or contract, which will stipulate their payment terms and postproduction details such as the ability for them to use photos from your wedding in their marketing materials, and so on. These documents are not just for the benefit of the supplier; they also give you peace of mind that your chosen professionals will honour their commitment to capture your memories on your chosen date. When documenting the details, make sure that you understand how many images you will receive, how these will be presented (e.g. have you opted for a digital-only package, or a leatherbound album?), whether you require additional prints, albums or DVD’s for parents, how soon you can expect to receive the final product, and so on. Remember – quality work takes time and your service providers will spend many hours after the event editing and crafting the final masterpiece.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

Don’t try to manage every outcome on your wedding day and don’t let the little things get you worked up. Remember the real reason for being there: to celebrate the start of your marriage. On this rare occasion, you and your fiancé will be surrounded by treasured family and friends who have all come together to share in your joy. Relax, be present, and enjoy every moment. Photos: above right: Etienne & Claire Koenig from Wild Olive


Weather warning

One thing you can’t control on your wedding day is the weather. At certain times of the year and in some locations, you can have three seasons in a

day! You may be fantasising about a garden, forest, or beach ceremony, but having an alternate undercover ceremony and reception venue will give you peace of mind. If there is the slightest chance of rain or a cold front, arm yourselves with umbrellas, gumboots, and jackets. A skilled professional will know how to create magic in any environment. In fact, some of the most breathtaking footage is captured in rain, wind, or misty conditions.

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www.africanbear.co.za «» 061 181 0910 «» connect@africanbear.co.za

Photo: Bailee Guy Weddings at Calderwood Hall

www.BaileeGuyPhotography.com | 074 882 8471 | hibailee@gmail.com Photo: African Bear

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We are travelling story-tellers specialising in photography & film o www.barefeetvideography.com

info@barefeetvideography.com o (072) 823-4100

Photo: Beyond Measure


Photo: Barefeet

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Photo: David Weeks Photographic

Photo | Drone| Video

Bold Visionary Shoots www.davidweeks.co.za 072 213 9272 | pix@davidweeks.co.za Photo: Courtney Dale Photography

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Photo: Wild Olive Photo

w w w. w i l d o l i v e p h o t o . c o . z a - 0 8 3 2 9 1 8 3 0 6


Photo: Laura Jean Photography

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Photos, top row: African Bear, and Bailee Guy Weddings | Circular photo: Laura Jean Photography | Middle row: Barefeet, and Videoccasions | Bottom row: Courtney Dale Photography, Wild Olive Ph

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083 320 3711 | info@videoccasions.co.za


hoto, Beyond Measure, and David Weeks Photographic

Contact Jonathan & Karen Wedding productions & live streaming

Photo: Videoccasions

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Dound₤ “Having music before your ceremony not only creates a lovely atmosphere upon guests’ arrival but can also help signal to guests that it's time to be seated and start quietening down ahead of the bride’s arrival.” – Heine Klopper, DJ-K

Photos: Barefeet

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Photo of Greig: Colin Browne Photography

www.djgreig.com | info@djgreig.com | 083 799 2510

Photo: Wild Olive Photo

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Creating the

derfect SoundtracL

By Jacqui Cochran, Marriage Meander

for your wedding

Picking the right music for your wedding is an important task. Music creates atmosphere, cues key moments in the day, and elevates or calms the energy of the space. When it comes to creating the right soundtrack to your day, there's a lot to consider. But don’t worry, we’ve got some sound advice (pun intended!) to help you plan the perfect playlist for your special day. Don’t discount your options until you’ve researched them

Live performances can be incredibly engaging and personal, whilst the services of a DJ will result in you hearing your favourite songs played just the way you like to listen to them. But don't dismiss either option out of hand simply because you think a band will automatically be out of your budget or a DJ will be cheesy or noisy. If finances allow, you may want to consider a combination of the two. Many couples choose to have the accompaniment of live musicians during the ceremony and canapes, with the DJ taking over for the reception. When choosing your supplier, make sure they have a good reputation, professional equipment, and plenty of experience with weddings. Ask friends, family, or the team at Marriage Meander for recommendations, or try to get to an event where your performers are playing so that you can get a real feel for their style.

Consider the parameters of your venue

Your ceremony and reception venues will naturally have repercussions on your sound dynamics. If you are going to be in a really large building or outdoors, think about the acoustics. Bear in mind, that if you are having a religious ceremony, there may be restrictions on the type of music played (think about the appropriateness of certain song lyrics within the context of a house of worship). It’s a good idea to discuss your song choices with your marriage officer well ahead of time to make sure that there aren’t any awkward moments on the day. Most guests arrive 20 to 30 minutes before the start of the ceremony, but the wait will seem a whole lot longer if everyone is

Don’t neglect key moments in your day

Most couples focus on the music to be played at their reception, and the song for when the bride walks down the aisle, but spare little thought for musical accompaniment at other key times of the day. In the point above, we have highlighted the importance of your prelude music, which will be played as guests arrive. The music played after your ceremony, during canapes / tea / cocktails is also really important as it transitions guests from the significance and tradition of your wedding ceremony to the light, upbeat energy of your reception. And don’t forget dinner time! Nobody wants to munch in silence so make sure your musician plays some relaxing, happy, background music to keep everyone in the mood.

Communication is key

Communication with your musicians is essential and ideally, you should meet with them before your wedding. Chat to them about the songs that absolutely must be played (including your Walk-In number, First Dance, and Cutting the Cake songs) as well as any tracks you would prefer to avoid. And whilst we encourage you to share your wish list with your musicians, remember that if you have hired a professional, you can relax and let them do their job on the day. They will undoubtedly have far more experience than you in reading a crowd and will ensure that the dance floor is full and your guests are having a great time.


Avoid the sound of silence

sitting around in uncomfortable silence. Ask your ceremony musician to start playing at least 20 minutes before your intended start time, which will generally signal guests to be seated. A slight increase in volume just before the bride makes her way down the aisle encourages guests to quieten down.

Circular photos: Barefeet (back), and David Weeks Photographic (front)

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... Because a perfect day needs a perfect soundtrack 083 782 0642 ^ heinek93@gmail.com www.djksa.co.za

Photo, above: Beyond Measure Photo, right: Wild Olive

Photo:: Wild Olive

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Singer | Songwriter www.renetshiakanyi.com


Photos: David Weeks Photographic Photo:: African Bear

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Photos: David Weeks Photographic

Just the

dwo of U₤ “Your honeymoon together is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Therefore, it is so important to remember to capture and record the memories of this truly special time together. Taking daily photos, fun videos, and even writing down the highlights of each day in a travel journal will help keep the special moments forever close to your hearts.” – Brenda McCann, Umngazi Hotel & Spa PAGE 140


Hints for a

cazy Honeymyl

By Jacqui Cochran, Marriage Meander

After the rollercoaster of planning a wedding together, it is important to take a break and spend some sweet and soulful time just the two of you. When it comes to choosing where to go, everyone has a different take on their dream holiday. It’s often an opportunity to go all out on an overseas trip, but keep in mind that South Africa is one of the top honeymoon destinations in the world. There are many hidden gems and a memorable, unique, and romantic holiday lies right on your doorstep.

Kosi Forest Lodge

PAGE 142

Some things to consider: •

Start planning early and book well in advance to secure the venue(s) you have your heart set on. Pay deposits to confirm your reservations as popular destinations fill up quickly, especially in peak seasons.

Try to stay at least two nights in your first location. After the adrenaline and excitement of the wedding, take some time to unwind. As newlyweds, you won’t want to get up early, rush through breakfast, and get packed up and ready to check out at 10 am!

Don’t be preoccupied with what others say a honeymoon should or shouldn’t be, and don’t try to copy someone else’s itinerary. Your honeymoon is all about the two of you and you should spend it visiting places and doing things that you are both passionate about.

Chatting to a travel agent can be helpful as they will be able to assist with tailoring a package that suits your budget and preferences. For a DIY booking, take a look at the amazing destinations featured in our Marriage Meander portfolio, which will ensure your honeymoon is unforgettable.

Some local luxury lodges, usually frequented by overseas travellers, are offering amazing specials for SADC residents making this a great time to book a local honeymoon.

When budgeting, remember that the total expense is more than just your travel and accommodation costs. Unless you book an all-inclusive package, you will need to factor in things like car hire/ transfers, meals, drinks, activities, and tips.

Wherever you decide to go, let them know you are honeymooners – they will often throw in some extras to make your time even more special.

If what you’d like most as a wedding gift is a great honeymoon, set up a honeymoon registry and invite your friends and family to contribute towards your ‘honeyfund’. • You don’t have to go away on honeymoon straight after the wedding. If you delay your trip, it gives you more time to save up and plan. If you are heading off right away, it is a good idea to relax for at least a day after your wedding before starting your honeymoon.

Affordable luxury within an award-winning Big 5 game reserve

www.bayalagamelodge.co.za (035) 562-0498 | judy@bayala.co.za

Wherever you choose to go, make moments matter and have a fabulous holiday during this time that is ‘exclusively yours’ – you will want to remember it forever.


Umngazi (above), and Nambiti Plains (circular)

Bayala Private Safari Lodge and Camp

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From pristine beach getaways to luxury bush adventures, Isibindi Africa’s wilderness lodges will fufill your safari dreams. Our lodges are considered spaces; always rooted in the environment. When you travel with Isibindi Africa Lodges you join us on our journey to save the planet for our children's children. The founders of Isibindi Africa Lodges, Brett and Paige Gehren, both come from a strong conservation background. This has and always will be our authenticity. Read more about the projects we support here: www.isibindifoundation.co.za

JOURNEY WITH PURPOSE www.isibindi.co.za res@isibindi.co.za | 035 474 1473

Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge is the only private lodge in the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, providing guests with exclusive luxury and outstanding service within South Africa’s oldest national park. Each luxury room or villa is stylishly decorated and includes a spacious bedroom with impressive views from the bathroom, outdoor shower and outdoor deck. Activities include game drives, wild bush walks and rejuvenating spa treatments.

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Surrounded by ancient sand forests, Kosi Forest Lodge is situated within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa's last unexplored wetland wilderness. Our eight thatched forest rooms provide an authentic ‘back to nature’ experience. Explore the pristine wetland environment by vehicle, guided canoes and boats and be rewarded by an abundance of birdlife, exciting animal sightings and breathtakingly peaceful scenery.

Thonga’s 12 thatched eco-sensitive rooms are positioned for maximum privacy and minimal environmental impact. Make your journey all the more memorable when you indulge in a spa treatment, track mother turtles laying their eggs, explore the reefs with a snorkel or SCUBA dive, or go on a guided forest walk.

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Thonga Beach Lodge, the unspoilt gem of KwaZulu-Natal’s Maputaland coast, is situated in South Africa's first World Heritage Site, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.

Come let the spirit of Africa touch your soul

Romantic Honeymoon Destination www.leopardwalklodge.co.za | 035 940 0801 | info@leopardwalklodge.co.za Leopard Walk Lodge

At the foot of the famous Sani Pass, our luxury lake-side honeymoon lodges offer 5 star seclusion and views of the southern Drakensberg

033 702 0203 / 082 561 3275 / info@sanivalley.co.za


Sani Valley Nature Lodges

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Photos: Umngazi

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Photos: Nambiti Plains Private Game Lodge

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darting word₤ In a year where our world was genuinely turned upside down, something that has stood out so beautifully for me are the moments of humility, authenticity, and gratitude. It is only fitting, therefore, that I express my heartfelt thanks to Karen Schmidt from Tiara Creative for helping me give birth to this first-of-its-kind digital and interactive Marriage Meander publication. Karen, thank you for sharing your creative talents so generously with me, and with all the Marriage Meander venues and service providers that you have represented so magnificently within the pages of this book. To our engaged couples, I encourage you to reach out to the amazing suppliers listed in our guide as they will bring such joy, passion, and experience to your wedding planning journey. I would like to leave you with this parting thought from one of my favourite authors, A.A. Milne: “When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?” “What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?” “I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet. Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said. Just like Pooh and Piglet, may your adventure together as a married couple include delicious, honeycoated breakfasts, and excitement for what each day holds.



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Main photo: Laura Jean Photography | Circular photo: Barefeet


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Marriage Meander KwaZulu Natal 2020/2021