real wedding: contemporary green & pink south african wedding {kate & nicky}

There is one very special part of b.loved that makes all the hard work and late nights worthwhile.  Getting to know, see and hear all about your real weddings, and the part (however small) b.loved has played in making your day extra special, is truly amazing, humbling and emotional!

South African bride-to-be Kate got in touch with me last year while planning her wedding, after spotting the ‘love’ signs that featured in my very own wedding.  Wanting to source her own version in South Africa, I was delighted to be able to help and hear all about Kate’s plans for her wedding full of yummy DIY details.  Fast forward to a few weeks ago, and I received a wonderful email from Kate telling me all about her marriage to husband Nicky.  I am delighted to be able to share their wedding with you today, our very first b.loved real bride from inspiration to reality!

“Hi Louise, I thought I would just pop you an email to say thanks!  I sent you an email last year asking for advice for my wedding, to find a “love” sign like the one in your beautiful wedding – an Icon of Style! In the end I had a lady in Pretoria make one for me out of white PVC using a laser cutter…but your enthusiasm and support really urged me on when I thought I might be going a little nuts and overboard with all the details and DIY!  It truly was the best day of my life, and I felt very b.loved. Thanks again for all the inspiration, and for working so tirelessly to inspire us (even married) girls every day! Kate “

Kate and Nicky chose a soft and pretty pink and green theme, tying in perfectly with the natural environment of their wedding venue.  They decided to do a ‘first look’ and couple shoot before the ceremony, giving them the opportunity to spend some quiet time together, take some fun pictures with their photographer Estefania Romero, and leave plenty of time to mingle and celebrate with their guests after they exchanged vows.  This is becoming a more and more popular way to make the most of your wedding day, rather than disappearing for an hour or more while your guests enjoy a cocktail hour or entertainment without you!

A girl after my own heart, Kate obsessed over the perfect details for their day, from bespoke laser cut signs, a fun table plan, and quirky prop-filled photo booth, every element was carefully considered and then created by the bride herself and her willing family & friends.  The soft pink lillies, roses and succulent displays on the reception tables added to their days feeling of romance and love.

Nicky and I are one of the 80% of couples who meet at work! We met on the very first day of our articles in Jo’burg. It’s quite funny because both our parents met in Joburg too, so it’s the City of Matchmaking for us. At first I thought, who IS this arrogant, loud guy? Then on the Friday night we went to a local club with a group of new friends and he maintains I kissed him and he had no choice whatsoever. Luckily his baby blue eyes and kind nature won me over, and the initial impression was only to get my attention. We are now best friends and have spent only a week apart in three years (worst week of my life). The proposal was like a fairytale: a 4-star bush lodge, an early morning hot air balloon ride and a sparkly ring. The only downside was that the balloon basket was too small to go down on one knee! So Nicky has been down on one knee to re-enact the proposal about 30 times since then to make up for it. My ring also has a special story: my Granny gave it to us. Without her, on an article clerk’s salary, we would still not be married! Or I would have a Lucky Packet ring!

We got married in East London, South Africa, where I grew up and where my parents still live. The church was the one I went to as a teenager, and my cousin was the minister who married us. The ceremony was really meaningful because he knew me from a little girl and he gave a hilarious sermon using mountain biking (which we both love) as a metaphor for the trials of marriage. There was a bit about using lubrication. Everyone was laughing! The Blue Lagoon overlooks a beautiful river estuary and Nahoon Beach, where my dad used to surf as a teenager. East London has so many wonderful memories for us, but is quite overlooked as a wedding venue. We had such a great experience with all the people in the wedding industry there, I just want to tell everyone about it! Everyone is so interested in you personally, and wants to make your day special.

Our guests came from as far as China and the UK, and all over South Africa so we wanted to show them a great time in my little home city, we wanted to make sure our guests had a party! We also wanted it to be a small and relaxed wedding so we didn’t have bouquet or garter throwing and only a few short speeches. Our families love to dance, my Mom especially, even Nic’s grannies were letting it loose on the dancefloor!  I wanted a clean and simple look with lots of pretty flowers. The colour scheme was shades of green and pink, with lots of white. We wanted to be environmentally friendly where possible, and made a lot of things ourselves.  Mom and her team of friends (who I said should start a corporation they are so efficient and talented) collected glass bottles of every imaginable kind for the tables. We landed up with nearly 300. Even one of my macho uncles said to me at the wedding, can you believe a chutney bottle can look so nice? We are a bit of an eco-couple so being able to recycle all the glass appealed to us. My husband made the seating plan from scratch, with help from my Dad in his workshop at home. Nicky also made all the table numbers and painted many, many coats of white to get them glossy and perfect for my exacting standards! He was the most helpful and involved groom, as if I could be more of a fan :)  I wore my Mom’s veil, and she spent hours hand sewing tiny roses onto the band as the originals disintegrated around 1995! My mom’s friend Kim was my wedding co-ordinator, she organised all the flowers and a team of friends helped set up on the morning of the wedding. My husband and I love Frankie’s sodas so we ordered over a 100 straight off their website and our family drank them over Christmas and on the day of the wedding. They were a hit!

I am the biggest blog addict, you should see my Google Reader subscriptions! I even started my own blog so that everyone could share in what was happening.  Every day I would check up on b.loved, The Pretty Blog and Cap Classique and I looked at blogs from the US and UK for fresh ideas. I still can’t shake the habit of my daily fill of pretty things! I also looked at a lot of wedding photographer’s websites (Christine Meintjes, Lizelle Lotter, Zara Zoo, Jasmine Star and many many others) for ideas from other DIY weddings. One thing I have to say is how wonderful wedding bloggers are. I asked  b.loved for help finding my beloved “love” signs and Nicola from The Pretty Blog did a green and pink inspiration board for me. They are always willing to help a hopeless accountant with design ideas. They warmed my heart!  My photographer Steff is now a friend and not just a supplier. She is so talented and an all round sweet person. I love that she moved to East London from New York to be with the love of her life, she is a true romantic and that shows in her photos. 

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

Our song was “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You” by Van Morrison. I grew up listening to music from that era, and the words are so meaningful to Nicky and I. “Ease my troubles that’s what you do” was really applicable during some wedding planning moments! We cried nonstop during our first dance, it was so special.

Do you have any advice for future brides?

Don’t be afraid to do something different. Having our wedding in a town no-one has heard of made it unique and special. Don’t forget your guests, involve them in your wedding, they make such an effort to come and want to feel a part of your day. Details do matter! Guests notice little things like welcome drinks and table decor and personalised guests cards. All the hard work on these little things always pays off. Oh and small weddings don’t mean you don’t have a lot of friends! They can be a wonderful way to make a budget go quite far and really spoil the special people.

If you need ideas or advice for your wedding, please get in touch, I’d love to help!  b.loved also offers a fully bespoke wedding design and styling service for brides-to-be looking for a more hands approach.  We can help with inspiration and ideas, sourcing props and suppliers to full on the day styling, transforming your ideas to reality.  If you would like more information on b.loved styling check out our website at or get in touch with me [email protected] for pricing and further details.



Photographer ~ Estefania Romero

Dress ~ Bride and Co., Johannesburg

Shoes ~ Hush Puppies

Veil ~ my Mom’s from the 80’s, modified by her with hand sewn roses

Bridesmaids Dresses ~ Bride and Co., Johannesburg

Stationery ~ Tadaa

Venue & Catering ~ Blue Lagoon Hotel

Flowers ~ Wimpie at The Flower Yard

Decor & Props ~ Etsy & In Good Company

Hair ~ Headlines 

Makeup ~ Joanne Rust (+27 (0)83 326 5313)

Music ~ Gus Mauer (+27 (0)843997389)

Videographer ~ Fab Video


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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Looks like you had a great day, the signs are a nice idea I haven’t seen before and I like how you were eco-friendly using recycled glass, it really makes the day personal when you do it your way.