Unique & Decadent Wine & Ruby Red Wedding in South Africa: Holly & Chris

Words by Chris and Holly. Images by Andy and Szerdi.

We love personal touches and little quirky things which probably nobody else but us would notice :) But that’s what made our day so special to us.

We managed to arrange it all from the other side of the world, whilst in between moving house and both doing crazy work hours.

We chose our venue as who wouldn’t want to get married in the rolling hills of the KZN Midlands, surrounded by blue skies, bonfires, a few monkeys, and the sunshine? :)

To be honest, we put our trust in my parents and sister to choose our wedding venue as my family lives in South Africa, and Chris and I live in London.

The first time we saw the venue was actually the day before the wedding! Fortunately, we loved it!

Needless to say, they chose well:) But obvs we knew they would – they have skills of note and know us all too well!

I originally bought my wedding dress from Allure Bridal to use as a base (I liked the fabric). However, I completely redesigned the dress including changing the colour, adding layers of fabric, and added long sleeves. So it looked nothing like when I bought it!

I loved the lace and the scalloped edges. Other than that I actually hated the original dress, haha! But I had vision when I saw the fabric and thought I can make it my own :)

Other accessories were an Ivory Cathedral length veil, in extra fine tulle. Vintage Kurt Keiger’s shoes – they were lizard skin dyed deep wine red. These were handed down to me from my aunt so were very special to me.

I also wore vintage ruby and gold earrings that were kindly loaned out to me by my bridesmaid’s mom and my garter was hand made by my parents90-year-old neighbour.

Chris wore a navy personalised Moss Bros suit, with paisley lining and our initials and wedding date embroidered on the inside. He wore the suit with a wine red velvet bow tie, also from Moss Bros.

My Dad walked me down the aisle to Pachelbel Canon in D, played by our violinist and pianist.

There were so many memorable moments! However, if I had to say one thing, I have to say that the entire weekend that we were at the wedding venue was perfect from start to finish! It was a weekend filled with love and happiness.

Our wedding photographers were Andy and Szerdi of Knot Just Pics. These two are gorgeous people and extremely talented. Highly recommend them!

Go for them if you want a personal experience that is atypical and unique.

Dave the tree man really helped with our wedding decor! He made our ideas of bringing the outside in, a reality. If he had more trees we would have taken them all!

We also did some decor ourselves the day before. We gathered up some old jars, took some flowers from my parents garden, and Chris made some really cool photo bunting, and we proceeded to decorate the drinks area. We had so much fun doing this, and even received a comment at the wedding that “our florist” had done a great job in the drinks area, haha! Little things like this are what made the event so personal.

When it came to the flowers, we started with deciding on a colour scheme first and then went from there. Kim from Natural Nostalgia guided us through a selection of flowers and we chose from those.

Kim was very accommodating with constructing amazing statement pieces that really made a difference to our wedding. Namely the foliage arch over us in the chapel, and the giant branch with candles in mason jars above the bridal table. Incredible!

My personal advice is that weddings are actually super stressful, and can at times become quite exhausting and can put a lot of strain on not only you, but people close to you too, and even the strongest may have a bit of a melt down (erm, I may be speaking from experience!).

Sorry, not what you want to hear I know, I did pre-warn you! However, I was soooo lucky to have unbelievable support and patience from my now husband. He was so incredible throughout and I couldn’t have done it without him. So my advice is to find yourself a great partner who will always have your back… in wedding planning, and in life! The rest is easy:)

Words by Chris… We first met on Tinder!  Very modern, yes, but our first date was somewhat more traditional, we met for a coffee at a cafe in London. However Holly was going to a braai afterward, so this was followed by a trip to the shops to buy meat and booze!

We spoke about our love of food, the outdoors, travel, and active lifestyles…  and as they say, the rest was history :)

The proposal…

Well, this was a somewhat less traditional occasion… for those that don’t know, I (Chris) proposed via satellite phone from the summit of Peak Lenin in Kyrgyzstan, at 7100 meters above sea level. Due to the remote region, Holly and I hadn’t had contact for two weeks prior to the call, so Holly thought I was just letting her know I had summited and didn’t expect a proposal! Which made it all the more exciting and special:)

In case you’re wondering, my head was clear and I wasn’t delirious with the altitude and lack of oxygen! Holly did double check this when I called, but when I confirmed that I had made a proposal sign on the way up, she took my word for it and said YES… after almost dropping her coffee (it was 6 am UK time on a Monday morning and she was getting ready for work!).

We adore the rich red colours that have been brought into this beautiful boho chic wedding and the outdoors / indoors elements… just stunning!

wedding credits / photographer: andy and szerdi / wedding venue: the orchards / brides dress: allure bridals / grooms suit: moss bros / brides shoes: jimmy choo / grooms shoes: / bridesmaid dresses: asos / bridesmaid shoes: their own / hair & makeup: brides mum / decor & floristry: natural nostalgia / wedding cake: family friend

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  • Joshua Wyborn

    Absolutely beautiful! I adore the tonality in these photogaphs.

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