Nicole & Peter’s non-wedding wedding {Part 1}

off-beat south african wedding

This week’s real wedding is a step away from the usual ‘pretty-pretty’ weddings I share on b.loved.  Despite the groom being a wedding photographer himself, they planned an off-beat wedding.  Bride Nicole admits to not looking at any wedding blogs, magazines or Pinterest while planning their day.  Yet it is filled with personal touches and was planned with a family-orientated, DIY approach.  They combined their love of family with their love of their surroundings, booking a gorgeous Lodge near their home to accommodate all their guests under one roof, and celebrated until the early hours of the morning.  Their friends and family helped to create gorgeous floral arrangements using local flowers, proteas and foliage which picked up on the red accent colour of their daughters outfits.  Their day was captured by friend of the couple, and photographer, Jacki Bruniquel, who’s artistic alternative style is the perfect match for their celebration!

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Here’s Nicole with the details ~

I proposed while we were on holiday in California. I had a vision of Peter on his deathbed, holding my hand telling me he wished he had just married me! When we first got together, 11 years ago, we both had the same feeling around marriage – that it wasn’t for us. Years later, I suddenly had a deeper understanding of this contract of love between two people.  I knew I couldn’t expect him to be on the same page, so it was up to me. I bought myself a ring (yes – for me not him), with an intention to propose at Hollywood Bowl. Well, it all went so terribly pear-shaped that I now call it the anti-romance proposal. And all I can say is that our 7 year, who thankfully is a lot more sussed than us on matters of the heart, when she saw how badly we had botched it up  corrected it by taking the ring away from me.  She took her father behind closed doors and showed him how it needed to be done by having him practice on her. So, it was re-done at her direction, next to a river, standing under the willows, with him on one knee after asking my father for my hand, so that all could be made right (as it is in fairy tales).

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What I loved most about my dress was the suggestion by my mother to buy it online from an American outlet. She knows that I am a terrible shopper, and this way she could try them and be able to guestimate the fit. So my fitting was via Skype – with my mother in my wedding dresses.  Choosing it was interesting too – I made a wide selection of purple’s, blue’s, orange’s and yellows, then asked Peter to choose. His favourite was the only white dress in the entire selection. Me, wear a white dress for my wedding??? Well, the thought hadn’t even occurred to me! My sister-in-law is a cosmetics queen, so she offered to domy hair & makeup for me. Peter had photographed a wedding where the bride had a brilliant green on her eyes which I just loved {see it here}.  My cousin took care of my hair – merely by rubbing a really expensive Redkin hair product on freshly washed hair.

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We got married at Zensa Lodge in Scarborough, a seaside village we often frequent, 15 minutes away from home. The venue was perfect because it allowed us to be together with our family and friends, several of whom had travelled from overseas to share the occasion with us. The kids had their own space, so they were free to do their thing (two pools, sauna, trampoline, tree-house, chickens to chase and a family room (with DVD player) where they could all sleep over together too). It allowed us to really make the most of being all together by having our wedding as a weekend event. We wanted to have a really homely feel – and Zensa lodge has a central hub built around their kitchen that is as close to the living area of a home as you can get. The lovely outdoor area meant we had the space to bring in our own loungers to seat our guests in a relaxed way so there was never that formal wedding feel about it at all.

family orientated south african wedding off-beat south african weddingoff-beat south african weddingoff-beat south african wedding

Check back later for Part 2!


Photographer: Jacki Bruniquel // Venue: Zensa Lodge // Hanging garden & Bride’s bouquet: Opus Studio // Brides Dress: Macy’s  // Brides shoes: Green Cross // Wedding Rings: Fire Petals // Marriage celebrant: Patrick Boucher // Cake: Louise // Catering: Free-Food // Tea / Coffee stand: Coffeeright // Wedding Décor: Theme Creations // Music: Lisa Bauer & Max Starcke // Crockery: Vintage Cherry // Masseuse: Linde Wilson


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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