It’s not often we see a South African winter wedding wonderland – but today we’re spoiled to it thanks to cinematic photographer Dean Maber, putting KwaZulu-Natal on our wedding destination map.
Plotted in the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal is Orchards Wedding Venue, the scenic & ever-so-dreamy “Cotswold-like” wedding destination of Ang & Nash. The couple treated their friends & family to a stunning winter weekend getaway filled with live music, endless wine & good food, and picturesque rolling hills.
As if the backdrop of this incredible landscape weren’t stunning enough, enter Bride Ang – dressed in her custom-designed gown by Casey Jeanne we can’t help but instantly dub her as Bridal Musings royalty. With an elaborate & embellished sheer long sleeve top, dramatic & soft tulle skirt styled with a luxurious fur stole, we’re applauding Ang’s modern princess bride vibes.
As soon as we got engaged, we met with Joelene Botha of Oh Happy Day. She had planned and styled a few weddings which we loved, and we knew she would be incredible and that she was!
We wanted a ‘weekend wedding’ where our guests could escape for the weekend to celebrate with us, so we chose the Midlands in KwaZulu-Natal which is the equivalent to the Cotswolds in the UK. We immediately fell in love with Orchards Wedding Venue which is simply beautiful. It caters for indoor and outdoor weddings and has a quaint authentic charm to it where you feel as though you have your own country retreat for the weekend. There is accommodation for the bridal party on the estate which is beautifully decorated.
We had a party on Friday night and the wedding was on Saturday. We were going to get married outside by the river, but that weather that weekend was extremely cold, with snowfall nearby so we married in their beautiful white chapel, with glass windows taking in the surrounding countryside. Everyone at Orchards was incredible and together with Oh Happy Day we didn’t stress about a thing.
The Florals & Decor
As it was a winter wedding, we chose a warm and opulent colour palette. The colour scheme was plum, burgundy, blush, gold and navy. Our tables where laid with a crushed velvet navy for texture, gold cutlery, gold rimmed plates and candles.
The flowers were one of the highlights! They were lush and opulent peonies, orchids, roses, berries and various other flowers in plum, burgundy, blush pink, white and green. The standout feature was the 18-metre hanging installation which ran through the middle of the entire venue. It hung quite low which gave the guests a feeling of being in a forest winter wonderland. Not only was the installation made of your classic greens, but there were sticks and twigs and hanging white ornate orchids which gave it a real lush feeling.
We also added hanging bulbs from the installation for a romantic effect. We had the most incredible arch made with the same flowers in a round arch with extra detail in the top left and bottom right corner, it was breath-taking. Rowena Arnold the florist was outstanding.
A lot of our friends are musicians, so we had an open mic session during the canapes which was great and at the reception, we had a very cool band called The Black Lapels kick off the party.
The food was divine! Everyone was given a selection of their courses to choose from which were plated. We then did a massive dessert table for people to help themselves during the evening. Later in the night, our caterers brought our gammon and mustard rolls which were a hit for the party goers.
All in all, we ate, drank and were very merry!
Advice to Other Couples
If you can, budget for a wedding planner! This was our money best spent. It saved us all stress leading up to and on our big day and was worth every cent.
We highly recommend all of our vendors. For those living outside of South Africa, it may be worth looking at South African photographers and videographers, as their rates may be cheaper with the Rand and their quality of work, is incredible e.g. Dean Maber.
Another tip is that we negotiated a lot of the quotes that we received. Don’t necessarily take a quote at face value, it may be worth asking for a discount if possible as weddings are very expensive and often quotes may be inflated. We were pleasantly surprised with the discounts we received.