Karla & Murray
This rustic wedding took place both in the city and beside the sea, in stunning and sunny South Africa
PHOTOGRAPHY BY June Joubert Photography,
Whirlwind romances don’t come sweeter than this. From their very first date, sitting on the roof of Murray’s Land Rover drinking coffee and eating chocolates, to the picnic proposal on the beach of a nature reserve just six months later, Murray and Karla’s time together was magical.
“Even situations that would otherwise be tough were a breeze with Murray. It felt like the right time in our relationship to tie the knot. I was so excited!”
After finding that most traditional wedding dresses tended to be more over the top than Karla would like, discovering Black Eyed Susan transformed her bridal experience. “I tried on four dresses at their boutique and, although I’d thought I knew which dress I wanted after browsing their website, it was the ‘You Make Lovin’ Fun’ design that was the one. I felt amazing, elegant and comfortable.” The dress was made for the bride to achieve an immaculate fit.
“I decided to keep my accessories to a minimum, wearing earrings from Kathleen Barry Bespoke Accessories.” The subtle jewellery choices complemented their relaxed, rustic wedding style.
“We didn’t want our rustic wedding to totally break the bank, so I chose shoes that I’d be able to wear again.”
In a similar style, groom Murray chose a simple but modern suit. “He’s not a particularly flashy guy, so it suited him down to the ground. I couldn’t believe I was walking down the aisle towards him as his bride!”
Karla’s three closest friends embraced their roles as bridesmaids. “I wanted to give them dresses they’d be able to wear again, so navy, loose-fitting gowns were the perfect solution to complement their shapes.” The bridesmaids added slim belts and nude shoes to accessorise.
Anette from Jigsaw Hair Company skilfully styled the hair of the bride, bridesmaids and mother of the bride, with Anneke Basson applying their makeup.
“The makeup you choose is the second-most important thing for a bride, after choosing a quality photographer. Excellent makeup makes such a big difference.”
The couple’s close friend and pastor at their local church led their Christian ceremony, which included songs of worship, a sermon, prayer from their parents and a communion. “There was hardly a dry eye in the church as our parents prayed for us.
Our speeches were very special. My brother and Murray’s brother led toasts to both of our parents, while a good friend gave a speech about us as a couple. Having grown up in different parts of the country, we enlisted the help of additional storytellers, who each told a story about us. We had one friend each from school, one from university and one from recent years in our new hometown.”
“We added storytellers from various points in our lives to the line-up of speeches. It was a brilliant way to make our wedding more personal!”
Rather than choosing a specific theme, the couple embraced their love of rustic details, the ocean and botanical prints. “My cousin designed our stationery as a gift to us, featuring botanical designs, and we hired our tables and decorations from Party Design. Our rooftop venue was a transparent tent, so the city skyline and Indian Ocean views spoke for themselves.”
The trestle tables were simply decorated with arrangements of eucalyptus and white blooms for a rustic wedding feel, while greenery chandeliers, suspended from the ceiling, added height to the decorations.
Choosing to serve a naked wedding cake and chocolate brownies to delight their guests for dessert, The Pastryworks Bakery created a decadently sweet spread. The cake featured chocolate, carrot cake and vanilla tiers – offering something for everyone – and was prettily decorated with fresh figs.
Murray surprised his bride by planning their entire honeymoon in secret!
“We spent ten days in the Seychelles and a further four in the Cape winelands of South Africa. Having planned our wedding in four months, we enjoyed the well-deserved break. It was lovely relaxing on the fantastic beaches.”
“Don’t go into analysis paralysis when you’re planning. Make a decision once and move on to the next element. There are so many options for everything, you’ll wear yourselves out and not enjoy the process if you don’t. Simply choose the things you love and you won’t wish you’d done anything differently.
Likewise, choose the things you love most to spend the most on – foodies will love having the chef from their favourite restaurant cater for their big day, while shoe lovers will want those designer heels to walk down the aisle in. Everything else just needs to be good enough, but won’t matter if it’s not quite completely perfect.”
CEREMONY The Hill Presbyterian Church, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
RECEPTION VENUE Roof Garden Bar, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
DRESS Black Eyed Susan
GROOM For similar, try Slaters
ACCESSORIES Kathleen Barry Bespoke Accessories
DÉCOR Party Design
FLOWERS Flower and Gift
CAKE The Pastryworks Bakery
CATERING Fat Cats Catering
HONEYMOON Seychelles and South Africa