WEDDINGS

Courtney & Matt’s natural farm wedding

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From Vancouver to Durban via the Cayman Islands and Australia – if ever there was an International wedding story it’s this one!  Canadian Courtney and South African Matt, tied the knot in the beautiful surrounds of Matt’s family farm, meaning they were able to personalise their day exactly as they wished.  Their exceptionally talented family and friends contributed their time and skill to create the beautiful details and love-filled atmosphere of their nature-inspired wedding.

This outdoor loving couple combined their favourite colours – the colours of nature – with a pretty mint green which keeps the palette summery and fresh.  They used succulents and flowers, including the stunning King Protea (the spiky white and pink one!) that were all grown locally, including some on the family farm itself!  The combination of flowers, amazing barn venue and elegant details helped to create a relaxed, rustic and pretty day.  Even Courtney’s BHLDN dress embraced the natural theme, with pretty organza appliqué’s literally floating as she walks.  And as if a BHLDN gown didn’t make you love her enough, she also chose to dress her ‘maids in pretty mint BHLDN frocks which matched the colour of her shoes.  Love.

Get your pinning fingers ready ladies, here comes the pretty!

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Courtney says ~

We couldn’t be from points further apart on the globe. Matt is from Durban, South Africa and I’m from Vancouver, Canada.  Our paths crossed when we were both living in the Cayman Islands and Matt stopped by my place to pick up a mutual friend’s surfboard that I had been borrowing. A few months later we went on their first date together; surfing!  On a trip to Vancouver, from Sydney Australia where we now reside, Matt proposed on an amazing powder day at the top of my favourite run at Whistler-Blackcomb. He dropped down on both knees, because his snowboard was still attached and I said “of course!”

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We were married in the Midlands in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa. This is an area inland from Durban and is know for its farms, rolling hills and beautiful scenery.  The wedding ceremony was held at the Crab Apple Chapel. A small, ivy covered private chapel atop the Midland hills.  The reception was an obvious pick – The Glades, Matt’s parent’s farm. Matt’s mom had recently converted and renovated the old pig barn for another family wedding. You couldn’t imagine a more beautiful venue with more perfect views.  Because it was on the family farm, we were able to plant a tree beside the barn, a tree grown from seed by Matt’s father, to mark the day our wedding day.

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My dress was from BHLDN, I didn’t try on even one dress until this one, already purchased online, arrived in the mail. It fit perfectly. This was the dress for me!  The way the silk detail is attached around the skirt made the dress look covered in fluttering leaves as I walked.   I wore a pair of mint green shoes from BHLDN – I just had to have them! My engagement ring and the wedding bands were made by Cape Town based company Hello, I Love You owned by Matt’s long time friend Nick Martin and  I wore a diamond necklace borrowed from my sister.  She made the branch and bud hair pieces were meticulously handmade from gold and silver wire with crystals and freshwater pearls, and made the bouquets {How amazing is Courtney’s sister?} I’m most at home in a wetsuit on a surfboard, so my signature hairstyle is usually salt encrusted locks and makeup is waterproof SPF 30!  As a result, it was my lovely and talented friend, Fiona, who was responsible for the hair and makeup. “Natural” was the theme and Fiona did an amazing job.  The bridesmaids wore green dresses – our favourite colour.  The groomsmen wore navy suits, white shirts, pocket squares and brown shoes to match Matt who also wore a blue tie.

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The greatest inspiration for our day was the beautiful surrounds of The Glades, and other inspiration was found on blogs like Ruffled and 100 Layer Cake, and Pinterest.  Our talented friends at Lula and Bella created elegant, nature-inspired invitations with hand drawn maps that set the mood for the wedding that the guests could expect.  Gabi, my sister-in-law, from Vanilla House in Durban contributed décor inspiration and sourced all the decorations and designed the floral arrangements. We picked white and shades of green and brown – the colours of nature, as we wanted the colours and feel of the indoors to blend with that of the outdoors

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It was all hands on deck for our wedding, we made so many details!  As well as the things my sister made me, family and friends arrranged the flowers and the stunning wooden box arrangements on the main table as well as the tree branch menu holders and table numbers. They also made the lawn games enjoyed during the cocktails and canape’s and my dad and brother built the photo booth – lashing together old weathered fence posts for the frame and sewing the muslin curtaining. It was a highlight of the reception! 

Our flowers were succulents from the farm, featured along with other white and green blooms and lace.  A special treat of white king proteas were on the main table – the protea is a signature flower of South Africa

photography

Our photographer, Christy-Lee of Pickle Photography, was recommended by Fiona, the hair and make up artist who is also a talented photographer in her own right!  She perfectly captured the day, her relaxed and efficient technique made everyone at ease and brought the memories of the day to life.

favourite moment

My favourite moment was saying to Matt the vows we wrote together.  Matt’s favourites moment was as I walked down the aisle because, he says, he “knew he was marrying the right women.”

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first dance

Whole Wide World – by Wreckless Eric – a song about a boy traveling the world to find the girl for him, with one option being finding her where the Caribbean sea is blue, lying on a sunset beach underneath the tropical sun…It can happen!!

advice

We just wish that every guest they invited could have made it, but they were completely spoiled with, literally, a perfect day and wouldn’t change a thing.  Get help. Family and friends are talents and more than willing to lend a hand, lighten your load and be a part of your special day.  Savour the day. You will be shocked at how quickly the time on the day will go. Find each other every hour or so, step back together and observe the moment, the guests and the magic.

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Do you think Matt’s mum would lend me her barn? What a stunning venue!!

***
Suppliers:
Photographer: Pickle Photography // Dress: BHLDN // Accessories: Hello I Love You, and borrowed and hand made // Shoes: BHLDN // Bridesmaids dresses: BHLDN// Groomswear: Hugo Boss, Country Road  // Florist: Vanilla House and Fresh Flowers  // Cake: Matt’s aunt – made a selection of the most sensational desserts including the biggest carrot cake every made and a chocolate mousse cake that will make you cry because it is so overwhelmingly delicious // Stationery: Lula and Bella // Hair & Makeup: Fiona Claire // Venue: The Glades Farm // Music: DJ Benny  // Planner, Coordinator & Stylist: Gabi of Vanilla House and The Glades
Louise

Louise

After a decade-long career in corporate interior design, I took a giant leap of faith, left the security of an office job, and founded B.LOVED in 2011 as a platform for romantic and beautiful wedding inspiration. Thanks to a whole lot of creativity, hard work and passion, my gamble paid off and B.LOVED became one of the leading wedding blogs in the UK.

You’ll also find me working as an Editorial Stylist, where I design and curate beautiful photoshoots for wedding and lifestyle brands, as well as contributing as a founding member of bridal inspiration hub Aisle Society, and running wedding industry community the B.LOVED Hive from our super pretty base in London. Yep, I definitely have the best job in the world.

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