Rain Farm Bush Lodge Wedding – Lisa + Shawn

In my last blog post I mentioned how Lisa had contacted me to ask my opinion about which was the best month to get married in Natal. I of course mentioned that June is called the champagne month by photographers because of it’s warm, sparkly light. A few months later Lisa got back in touch to tell me that Shawn had whisked her off on a surprise visit to Mauritius, to get down on one knee and ask for her hand in marriage, and so the planning for a Rain Farm Game Lodge June wedding had began.

When the morning of their June wedding day dawned there wasn’t much in the way of warm, golden light. It was in fact dark, grey and rainy! I felt rather relieved that we had done their engagement shoot a few days beforehand in the ideal conditions that I had gushed to her about! But at the end of the day there is more to a wedding than sunset photos and Lisa, being the very deep and sensitive person that she is, knows this all too well. The rain cleared in the end and the only real water works were Lisa’s happy tears!

Lisa and Shawn it was truly a pleasure to work with you both. We will never forget those red cowboy boots and I have so enjoyed your wonderful caring emails. Thanks so much for picking me!

Both Shawn and I love the bush and specifically wanted a more relaxed, natural wedding as far as possible. I also always pictured getting married in my home town in June as I always loved Durban winters, so when we found the venue online we actually booked it before even viewing it in person. We then sent my mom and later my dad to vet our decision and they both said it was absolutely breathtaking, and when we finally got a chance to make a weekend of our visit to go see for ourselves, we were blown away! Shawn got goosebumps and of course I cried – I do that alot πŸ™‚ It was everything we imagined and in fact had the exact feel we were going for. Oh and they had giraffe, my favourite!

Wedding planner: My wonderful mother – she worked tirelessly over the last eighteen months getting all of the admin together, as well as helping with all the crafts of tying bows to wine bottles and favours. With us both having pretty heavy work and study schedules, it was a relief to know she had everything under control and in her perfectly capable hands.

Decor: Darryl at Hire Standards – http://www.hirestandards.co.za/
I knew Darryl from school and remembered how he always had such good taste then, that and the fact that the business he started with Michelle Mann has built such a wonderful name for themselves, there was no question about who would help bring our vision to reality. He went above and beyond to source random items that we had envisioned (the window-frame seating arrangement display for one) and had such lovely ideas to create the finishing touches that we had not even thought about such as the tea-light votives hanging behind the main table.

Flowers: Neil at Simply Bliss Flowers – http://www.simplybliss.co.za/
Neil is amazing! We gave him random phrases like ‘unique’, ‘no architecture’ and ‘simply picked from a field’ and what he came up with was far beyond what we had imagined! We also wanted to keep the flowers predominantly indigenous, with all the succulents being grown by ourselves and family and friends all over Gauteng. Neil happily received our trailer full of succulents in pots, boxes and packets, as well as our homemade ‘stick tins’ and ‘twine bottles’ and quietly set out to create the most beautiful arrangements we have ever seen! So glad that we could still regrow some of the plants too, so that we can always have a reminder of our magical day.

Hair: Oh my soul, our hair! Drew Christie – http://www.facebook.com/DrewChristieEvolve – you are a hair god! We met with Drew the Tuesday morning before the wedding and he completely redid Shawn’s whole hairstyle, gave him styling tips to complement his bone structure, then proceeded to tame my mane into something sleek and smooth but not completely foreign to my usual style. He had the moms and grannies oohing over the styles he did for them for the day and we had possibly the most beautiful bridesmaids of any wedding we have ever seen (and we are not biased in any way, promise!). Highly recommend this amazing human! Not only is he so good at what he does, but spending time with him was fantastic too. We felt so at ease in his presence and genuinely feel as though we have gained a new friend!

Make up: Nancy Edmunds – nancyedmunds@live.com – 072 425 2764 – Fancy-Nance is a a true genius with make-up and complemented the beautiful hair with her careful selection of colours and placement on each person’s face, young and old! And it stuck even after all my happy tears πŸ™‚ I grew up with Nancy and have watched her grow into a beautiful and successful woman and will be forever grateful for what she did for us!

Brides Dress: Bridal Manor Pretoria – http://www.bridalmanor.co.za/
All the ladies at Bridal Manor were absolutely fabulous from the first to the last minute throughout the whole process of picking my beautiful dress. They were always quick to answer email queries, sympathetic to our busy schedules and always accommodated this as best they could. I strongly recommend them to anyone looking for a dress, they made the process blissfully easy and trust me, we had some shockers initially! πŸ™‚

Brides shoes: the shoes that created panic πŸ™‚ Bronx Westee Red – http://bronxwoman.com/westee/
I knew I wanted to be comfortable on the day and not have to moan about sore feet or carry a second pair of shoes around with me. Plus, with it being winter, I knew I would be warm and the fact that I hardly ever wear heels, they were the perfect fit, literally! And I get to wear them again, and again, and again!

Bridesmaids dresses: the uber talented Bianca Warren – www.facebook.com/pages/Bianca-Warren-Designs/212752735424316
My sister is friends with Bianca and so she happily took on the responsibility of coordinating everything from Durban. Armed with a picture I had posted to my pinterest account, they picked the fabric, coordinated fittings and collected the dresses and they came out absolutely beautifully! We really did have the most beautiful bridesmaids!

Groom’s Suit: Coquis Mens Outfitters – coqui@vodamial.co.za
The incredibly handsome groom was pretty apprehensive about the suit-finding process however the director, Christian, was incredibly helpful and had some wonderful suggestions and we were in and out in a matter of a mere hour. We would say it was a very successful hour.

Cake: Bernidene Fischer of Goodie Gumdrops – www.goodiegumdrops.co.za
I went to varsity with Bernidene and from the day she started posting pictures on facebook of the cakes she had baked for her son, before it became a business, I knew that one day, no matter what, she would make my wedding cake. We gave Bernidene complete free reign to create and the result was absolutely beyond our expectations – we will not get on to how it tasted or this will turn into a food blog! There is nothing this fabulous woman cannot do and you will not be satisfied with the taste of another cake again once you have had a bite of one of hers. Thanks so much again my friend!

DJ: Vivian Westergreen, you are a legend! – http://www.topjocks.co.za/DJProfile.asp?ID=3
We danced all night (even Shawn albeit kung-fu style), split pants, rocked to ACDC, broke it down to Eminem and all-round had a right royal ‘jol’! He even got in some Afrikaans there for us gautengsters, and the force of the langarm was strong! We had noticed on some of Jax’s prior blogs that he came highly recommended but boy, that did not do him justice. We did not want the night to end, neither did our guests, and we are already scouting around for a reason to bring him up to Gauteng so we can party like that again.

Vocalist: Sandy Bigara – http://www.sandybigara.com/ – oh my gosh we love this woman!
With the whirlwind of the day and being whisked off on our gamedrive photoshoot, we unfortunately did not get to spend much time with Sands, but her voice echoed through the beautiful valley and so we were able to enjoy the ‘cocktail hour’ as much as our guests. Poor Sands had a teeny car malfunction the day before the wedding but come hell or high water this amazing person made miracles happen, arriving early and demurely stunned us and our guests with her angelic voice both during the ceremony and afterwards at the pool area. So thankful we got her to agree to be a part of the whole day, everyone loved it.

Minister: Reverend Rod Briggs – http://www.hatchesmatchesdispatches.co.za/matches.html
What an awesome ceremony! When we met with Rod we indicated that we did not want something too long, serious and to be frank, boring. His humour was perfectly timed, perfectly appropriate and he was so sensitive to our needs (yes, I cried, alot – but they were happy tears I promise) and tailored an amazing ceremony after only having met us once before. He came recommended on one of Jax’s earlier blogs too and we are so glad we followed that.

Although we have mentioned the vendors here, we cannot not acknowledge the effort made by our wonderful guests too. Everyone travelled from all over South Africa, some from the UK and others from Australia, and we want all of you to know that the day could never have been as wonderful as it was without each and everyone one of you. Friends and family, we love you so incredibly much and your presence was the greatest gift that you gave to us that day. Those of you who were unable to make it but sent us wishes and love in all forms, we felt it, absolute love surrounded our whole day and we thank you for that too.

Last but not least, Jax and Liz πŸ™‚ Our lives are fuller knowing you, and your amazing talent will forever remind us of the fabulous wedding day that we had! Thanks so much for putting up with us and all the ‘kittens’ πŸ™‚ xxxx