Debbie & Ra’s Colourful Eclectic Wedding

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Good morning my loves!  Are you ready for some colour? Event designer Debbie wanted to create a memorable and unique day, with lots of colour, eclectic style and a boho twist.  It shouldn’t work, but it so does!  Gorgeous lace details, cute nude bridesmaids dresses and dreamy bouquets with a shock of yellow!  Their reception has more than a hint of Eastern flavour, with bright colours, chintzy fabrics and an bold mix of florals, all captured by photographer Abby Anderson.

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We met at Red Bull when we were students, both of us worked there, and it was through working together that a friendship blossomed into a romance. The first time I went to Ra’s family home, I walked past ‘the wall of fame’. (Ra has two brothers, and together the three of them are amazing athletes with fantastic achievements.) Ra swam for South Africa, so the majority of his photo’s on the wall were of his swimming and water polo teams. While looking at all these photos of achievement, I noticed one photo in particular that caught my eye as it looked very familiar. I thought to myself “Yes, I do know this photo because I have it too!”. There we are, top row, three people apart…same swim team 1993. Obviously Ra progressed into a South African champion, but it must have been fate that ten years later we would meet again and another ten after that we would be engaged…

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At a friend’s wedding a month before we got engaged, the groom had walked into the reception wearing his Adidas sneakers (a quick change from his smart shoes at the ceremony). Obviously we were all amused by this quirky change of shoes, and it was just then that Ra whispered to me, “At our wedding one day, I’ll be the guy rocking the trucker hat”. Lying on the couch one evening I caught Ra’s reflection in the mirror…shirt, tie and trucker hat! I said, “What are you doing?” He got down onto one knee, said some very special words I will never forget and then asked me to marry him. I of course said, “YES”. Having been together for so long, it was always going to be a tough task for him to surprise me, but this was just perfect.

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We got married at 401 Rozendal in Stellenbosch. As I work in the events industry, it was very important that we got married at a venue I did not know and had never worked at before. 401 Rozendal appealed to us on so many levels, from the moment we saw it we knew this was the venue! The building has so many unique spaces and is beautifully designed. Inside it has a lot of raw and exposed brick with a beautiful wooden floored loft (where we had the ceremony), along with a big brass bell. All this is then covered with a modern shell. Everyone commented on how the venue spoke so true to us as a couple. The venue reflected Ra and everything inside, the décor reflected me, a match made in heaven!

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Gerrit van Rooyen made my dress, I designed it. All credit must be given to Gerrit who was so patient with me (I changed the design about 100 times.) In the end it was just perfect; I loved the lace, especially the exposed lace on the back and the cute bow that Gerrit added.  I wanted something unfussy for my hair, at the last minute we added some of the flowers from my bouquet, it worked perfectly. Make-up was easy, my very good friend, Carolyn Cowley did my make-up, she is the best in the business. My bridesmaids wore beautiful Zara dresses that complimented my dress and suited the feel of the wedding perfectly. The boys wore the same suit as Ra, but darker grey, their yellow buttonholes picked up on my beautiful yellow Onthidium bouquet.

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The events company I work with, also own all our own furniture and decor, so I had a field day. I worked closely with our creative director, Johan Shepherd. He knows my style very well so it was loads of fun brainstorming and conceptualising with him, especially as I was the client for a change. I always had a picture in my mind how everything would look, Johan is a genius, and he captured everything so perfectly, it honestly took my breath away.  

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Abby was introduced to me through a colleague; I saw some of her work and loved it. Abby did our engagement shoot, which was so amazing it was a no brainer who would do our wedding!

favourite moment

This is an impossible question to answer!!

first dance

We did not end up doing a first dance. But, Robin Thicke – Blurred Lines definitely became our wedding theme song

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Photographer: Abby Anderson // Dress: Gerrit van Rooyen // Accessories: Something Borrowed // Shoes: Dumond // Bridesmaids dresses: Zara // Groomswear: Armani // Florist: Joan Bloom // Cake: Ammalize Buchanan // Stationery: Urban Fluid // Hair: Anneline Black // Makeup: Carolyn Cowley // Venue & Catering: 401 Rozendal // Music: DJ Rene and my uncle, Aubrey Meyer // Coordination: Red Hot Events


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.

I'm also a co-founder at The Brand Studio, where I design and curate beautiful photoshoots for wedding and lifestyle brands, as well as running wedding industry community the B.LOVED Hive where I support and nurture wedding pros building industry leading businesses. Yep, I definitely have the best job in the world.

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