love shoot #49: rustic, rain & shine {zona & shane}

Good morning lovely readers,

I am super excited to share today’s wedding, as it’s so completely different to anything I have featured on Bijoux Bride before.  Yes, a wedding on a Tuesday! Never fear, I have something equally fab to share with you tommorrow :)

When amazing Duban-based, South African wedding photographer Jacki Bruniquel submitted the stunning images from her brothers wedding in Durban earlier this year, complete with tropical rain storms and jungle green decor of course I immediately wrote back asking for all the details!  Jacki’s images are full of colour, texture and amazing depth, capturing her couples day with creative flair.

Bride Zona’s rustic jungle theme compliments the surrounding Duban landscape beautifully, and really suits her & Shane’s laid-back and fun personalities!  I love the bridesmaids mixmatched green dresses, and the delicate rustic floral details.


Breaking with tradition for wedding blogs, it was the groom Shane, who came back to me with their story to share ~

We met at a mutual friends BBQ, or braai as it is known here, and just connected straight off the bat. We ended up having a huge party that night and we kissed for the first time at the end of the early morning. Zo and I dated for many years and have travelled all over the world together. I work on yachts and Zo has done a number of ocean crossing with me, we surf together and love the outdoors and adventure. She is my dream woman.

When I decided to propose, I surprised Zona with a weekend away to the Drakensberg mountains, she had no idea that I that I had the ring in my bag. My cousin, a Master Goldsmith, custom made the ring for me over the previous few weeks. I was going to wait to propose on the hike we planned to do on the Saturday but I was too excited and needed to get it over with. We drove down to a lake for sundowners. I set up a picnic with some wine, I suggested we take a walk. After a couple minutes Zo said to me ‘ Babe, what’s wrong? Why you so emotional?’ That’s when I dropped to one knee and asked her to be my wife. 

We got married at an amazing place called Umtumvuna River Lodge in Port Edward, South Africa. The place makes you feel like you on a tropical island somewhere. We are both very much beach, ocean and water people so getting married on the beach was perfect for us! Unfortunately the skies opened and the rain poured in just before we were due to go to the beach. The ceremony was promptly moved indoors, it was beautiful despite the rain. We got back into our wedding outfits few weeks later to do a reshoot of our couple shoot in the sunshine – luckily the photographer is my sister, so she was more than happy!


Zona did the bulk of the planning herself, she had help from various friends and family but although a little stressed did a great job. I just said ‘yes dear’ and arrived on time looking smart ..haha. Not quite, but it was a few months blur of wedding madness!!  I was more than happy for Zo to take the reins and decide on her perfect décor for the day. I am not the creative type to decide on napkin colour and flower combinations. I know she wanted a natural rustic vibe though.  We have travelled all over the world and even sailed across both the Indian and Atlantic Ocean together. We have so many photos that were used in the table layout and on the table was a ‘dice’ with the table number and different photos of us in different parts of the world. After Dark we also let two Rice Paper lanterns or ‘hot air balloons’ from Thailand into the air. These were bought from Thailand as we lived there at one stage.

What was your first dance, and how did you choose the song?

We did the Rumba to a song named in Spanish that roughly translates to ‘The Olive Ship’. We have never really had a song of our own so we had some help from our dancing instructor. We just liked the song I guess and it was great fun going to the dance classes.

Any advice for future brides (and grooms!)?

Don’t sweat the small stuff. It is inevitable that things will go wrong and not everything will be as planned … remember to keep in mind that marrying your partner is the most important thing not the flowers or the weather! Oh and make sure you have a good wedding photographer as the day goes so fast that you really want to preserve all those memories

How refreshing to hear about the day from the groom’s point of view!  Despite Shaun’s admission that he let Zona get on with the planning, it sounds like he actually had a lot of input into their day.  What do you think about including the groom in the planning?  Do you think we should speak to more grooms when featuring real weddings?!

I love Zona & Shane’s attitude to the rain, you know it’s the one thing you can never really control (especially here in the UK!) so it’s always worth having a Plan-B that you are happy with.  There is something so beautiful and atmospheric about the rain in this shoot, the cute parasol, puddles and the reflections of sunlight from the falling raindrops are actually super romantic.  Whenever it rains I will think of you, thank you for sharing your beautiful day!

Zona & Shane were lucky enough to also do a more creative couple shoot a few weeks later in the sunshine.  One of the perks of having a professional wedding photographer as a sister!  Join us tomorrow to see the gorgeous, sundreched results!


venue ~ Umtamvuna River Lodge

make up ~ Taryn Piga +27 (0)83 797 53 01

Hair ~ Sands International St Michaels, Melony +27 (0)39 315 76 36

Brides Dress ~ Ashley +27 (0)72 348 3052

Bridesmaids Dresses: ~Carol Clark

Brides Bouquet: Sandy at Designer Blooms

Brides Shoes ~ Custom Made by Diana at Teplov

Groomsmen Suits ~ Suit Yourself

Grooms Suit ~ Bought in Thailand

Table Flowers ~ Margie from Twisted Willow

Decor and Wedding Coordination ~ Nicole Dry from Umtamvuna River Lodge

Photography assistant and second shooting during the service and speeches ~ Natasha Schoeman

Thanks to Tyrone Bradley for shooting some of the guy’s pics


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.

love shoot: we’ve decided on forev

Morning my b.loved’s! How’s your week shaping up so far? In case you missed it


love shoot: out of the blue {melanie &am

Good morning my loves! I’m so happy to share Melanie & Thinus’ love shoot


love shoot #53: a secret garden {part 2}

A Secret Garden inspiration shoot with rustic details and touches of lavender {Part Two}


love shoot: love is beautiful {luisa &am

Morning gorgeous ones! I’m so thrilled to share the work of one of my favourite Sout