real wedding: natural & blush bushveld wedding {meliska & andre}

This morning I am so excited to share this wedding with you!!  Sent by photographer Stella Uys, it’s absolutely everything I dream an African wedding should be.  Meliska and Andre were married at a beautiful venue in the middle of the South African bushveld (safari country to you and me!) in a ceremony full of love and raw emotion and elegant, rustic style. Meliska looks absolutely stunning in her bespoke Lady Marmalaide fishtail gown, with simple accessories perfectly complimenting her understated style.  The sweet little touches in their outdoor ceremony, lanterns hanging from the trees and pashmina’s for the ladies feeling the African winter chill make it so much more romantic.  And then a quick journey in a 4×4 to the reception venue, so beautifully styled in the natural colours and a hint of blush pink, making the most of the beautiful seasonal King Protea to tie together their theme. Oh, and a herd of elephants joined in too.  Magical.

Uh-huh, this is one incredibly stylish bride! I had a tough time selecting just a few shots for this post, every single one is pure perfection. I’m sure there are quite a few gracing the walls of Meliska and Andre’s home!

Meliska beautifully describes their day ~

Andre & I met in December 2009. I was working for his dad and he was still studying. He popped-in to say hi one day and I remember thinking- “ Wow- who’s that??”. He started working at the company the following February. We soon became good friends, the friendship blossomed &  14 months later he whisked me off to the amazing Shepard’s Tree Lodge in the Pilansberg. After a dusty game drive, on our balcony overlooking the bush and decorated with petals and flickering candles, he went down on one knee. Sobbing- I said yes!!

Andre loves the bushveld. His dad often travelled into the plains of Africa with him as a child, so naturally his is where his passion lies. One which I have come to appreciate & share with him. We knew we wanted to get married in the bush. I fell in love with the ceremony area of Askari Game Lodge in the Magaliesburg. It has everything, a little bit of fairy tale, style and bushveld. It was the perfect venue. We set the date for 4 August 2012 which left us with a little more than 5 months to put the wedding together. It was an unconventional morning wedding, making it easy for guests travelling from far to either return home safely before dark or then stay over at their discretion.

I was never the girl that dreamt of my big day so I had no idea where to start the planning. Planning a wedding is the easiest thing if you have no expectations. Our colour scheme; white, hessian & grey; evolved from everything we loved- nature, simplicity and everything raw & natural.  I love DIY projects and Andre is quite the handyman so he was more than happy to be involved. I used wooden crates we had at home, sanded them down & made stencils to match whatever was inside. They were filled with petals and pashminas. I wanted a chandelier for the ceremony area but couldn’t find the right one. I found instructions on the internet on how to make your own from cardboard and Andre spent two weeks finishing it. It looked beautiful. Andre’s sister did an amazing job with our cake and his  Aunt spent 4 days baking macaroons which was a huge hit with the guests. Everything made with love just tastes better.

The ceremony area was my favourite. The Autumn coloured leaves contrasted beautifully with the crisp white Chinese lanterns overhead and white Wimbledon chairs. Each lady received a pashmina to warn off the August chill. Something special for Andre & myself – we decided we didn’t want an aisle. All friends & family would sit together as one. We made a sign that read- “today two families become one so pick a seat & not a side”. It was breathtaking standing next to the love of my life in front of all our loved ones knowing that each person there has played in intricate role in forming & shaping us to be the people we are today. We had a saxophonist playing to entertain the guests and followed the mood through to the pre-reception.

Our guests were transported by game drive vehicles where we served cheese boards, popcorn and drinks. It was amazing having everyone we loved  cared for chatting & laughing in the late winter sun. The atmosphere was palpable. We only did the couple-shoot after the whole day’s events which worked out perfectly as we got to spend time chatting to guests & enjoying the outdoors.  Lunch was served, speeches were done and we cut the cake. Before I knew it the day was over & it was time for our photoshoot.

The moment I will always cherish was walking down the aisle, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face & Andre was waiting for me wiping his tears. That’s what I love about him, his tenderness, caring & protective nature. He really is the most amazing person I have ever met in my life,  I still can’t believe I’m the lucky girl that gets to spend forever with him.



Photographer: Stella Uys // Venue: Askari Game Lodge // Wedding coordinator: Michelle du Plessis  at Le’atelier // Saxophonist: Friedel Knobel // Stationery: SYLA inc // Flowers: Flower World // Décor: Rentals Village and By Word of Mouth // Cake: Le’atelier // Hair: Annie Aspeling, Pretoria // Make-up: Bella MakeUp, Johannesburg // Dress: Lady Marmalaide // Shoes: H&M // Grooms Attire: Woolworths


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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