Suzanne and Jamie had a real wedding abroad at Buffelsdrift, Oudtshoorn, South Africa in February 2008.

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WHERE: Buffelsdrift, Oudtshoorn, South Africa

WHEN: February 2008

PHOTOGRAPHER: Melanie Mare

About the couple

Suzanne moved to Cape Town five years ago and met Jamie on set. “I was the producer, he was focus puller,” she says. Jamie proposed at sunset among the sand dunes. “As we sat sipping Champagne, he asked me to marry him,” Suzanne says. “He was amazing – he thought of everything!”.

The bride’s outfit for her real wedding abroad

Suzanne opted for Cape Town’s Paul Van Zyl, who she spotted at fashion week. “He was without a doubt my number one choice,” she says. “It was the perfect dress.” Paul came up with an off-white, empire – line lace and satin gown from Paul Van Zyl Couture.

“During the service, we lit a candle in memory of three very important people who weren’t with us that day.”

The groom’s outfit

To keep cool in the South African heat, Jamie opted for a lightweight, linen/cotton suit in cream. He accessorised with a light blue linen shirt and finished his look with a classic Panama hat.

Finishing touches

“During the service, we lit a candle in memory of three very important people who weren’t with us that day” A family heirloom is the ultimate emotional accessory for your wedding day, and Suzanne’s accessories held a particularly touching story. “My mum’s twin sister passed away six years ago due to breast cancer,” says Suzanne. “Her daughter, Sophie, is like a sister to me. When she asked me if I would wear her mum’s watch on my wedding day, I was unbelievably touched. This was my most special accessory”.

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The bridesmaids

Suzanne had two bridesmaids for her real wedding abroad – her cousin, Sophie, and her best friend, Mandy. “They found it difficult to find dresses in London suitable for the 40-degree heat,” Suzanne says. Luckily, the designer in South Africa made satin, ankle-length gowns in dark oyster with chocolate piping.

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The ceremony

Suzanne and Jamie’s memorable ceremony took place on a game farm in Outdshoorn. “The minister was very funny and helped everyone relax,” Suzanne adds. “As we were finishing our vows, two rhinos walked to the water’s edge in front of us. It added to the ‘natural’ spirit of the day”.

The reception

Also on the game farm, the room for the reception was elegant and sophisticated, decked out in slate and wood, with pearl – cluster mobiles and fairylights. “it was beautiful,” says Suzanne

“We spent our wedding night in the Presidential Suite and were upgraded for the whole holiday!”

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Big day details

Pieter of Serious Hair was Suzanne’s saviour! “He did my hair, designed the bouquets, oversaw the décor and even made the wedding cake!” Suzanne’s bouquet was made up of irises, gerberas and roses.

The menu

With the help of Buffesdrift’s chef, the couple opted for soup to start, followed by a buffet of popular South African fare with salads and a carvery, then a choice of dessert.

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Favours for all

“At the ceremony, each lady was given a natural, wooden fan trimmed with satin ribbon, pearls and crystals. All guests also received five almonds as well as a lucky bean, a crystal for luck and a pearl for wisdom, all in a golden wire casket”.

“We spent months ahead of the wedding threading beads for the reception. The effect was beautiful”

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The entertainment

“We spent months ahead of the wedding threading beads for the reception. The effect was beautiful” “We had the most amazing DJ – DJ Brooks from Oudtshoorn,” Suzanne says. “We had briefed him in a meeting before the wedding and he really took on board all of our ideas and comments. He made the evening so magical.” Their first dance was to a song by opera quartet Il Divo

The cake

“Pieter’s cake was spectacular,” says Suzanne. It was a delectable three-tier chocolate creation, iced in white chocolate and dressed with fresh, frosted red forest fruits.

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Bride’s top tip

Suzanne and Jamie’s weekend celebration included two evening dos and two breakfasts, as well as the ceremony. “Your wedding passes so fast, it’s important to spend time with everyone”.

Special moments

The couple came up with an imaginative guest book alternative… “We asked guests to write a message for us on small pieces of colourful cotton,” Suzanne says. “These were pegged on a line in the form of Tibetan prayer flags and, in the future, we’ll use them to decorate our home”.

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The honeymoon

Suzanne and Jamie spent their wedding night at Buffelsdrift in the honeymoon safari tent, and they were soon off on a further adventure! “We took three weeks off work for a road trip in South Africa and 10 days in Mozambique,” Suzanne says. “We relaxed, scuba dived and read books.

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