styled shoot: contemporary african bridal

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When photographer Eddette Steynberg of Purple Apple Studios mentioned she had an African-inspired shoot she had recently shot in the bush near Johannesburg, I leapt at the chance to feature it!  Of course you all know by now how much I love Africa, the sounds of the bush, the unusual flora and fauna, oh and the relentless heat of the African sun, so it was a given I was going to love this shoot.  What really captured by imagination though was the combination of traditional African ideas with new, contemporary ones.  Styled shoots are meant to push the boundaries, so we’re not suggesting you turn up to your wedding in full African regalia, I hope you can take away something from this shoot that you may want to use in your own wedding, whether it’s a bold use of colour, statement necklace or striking bouquet.

The shoot focussed on two looks, the first shot out in the bush, contrasting hot orange against the rustic colours of the surrounding landscape.  Traditional beaded necklaces and indigenous florals were combined with a contemporary dress and makeup.

Make-up artist Jonice describes the look ~

“I was inspired by nature around us, using earthy colours and a dramatic contouring shadow to make the eyes stand out. I wanted the lips to look like juicy fresh fruit. For the cheeks I used an orange/bronze colour to give warmth to the face”

Dress designer, Anene Ferreira created a dress compliement the natural beauty of the African landscape, with an unusual embroidery design to the skirt.  Moving away from the traditional, mass-produced look she wanted to create a dress noticed for it’s individuality.

The incredible hairstyle with loose braid mimics the raw texture of the dress, capturing an ethnic feel with a feminine touch.

Describing her unique African bridal bouquet, florist Lisinda from Vintage Orchid said ~

“I wanted to incorporate the rustic African feel and stay true to my roots by using Protea Pin Cushions in warm orange. Berries of any form always lend added colour and texture. This uniquely unstructured hand bouquet was loosely tied with rugged raffia and an added bold green water lilly leaf gives a truly unique twist.”

The second look is inspired by this stunning contemporary feathered dress also by Ane Ferr. The drama and volume of the dress was complimented with statement hair and makeup, incorporating netting and texture with smoky eyes accentuating the brides features, contrasting with the safari neutrals of the beautiful venue.

A few words from the photographer ~

I loved arranging this shoot with these talented wedding vendors and was fortunate to have two gorgeous models on hand, Anri and Leo-Mari. The idea behind the shoot was to integrate a traditional African wedding theme with out-of-the-box thinking when it came to the dress, styling, bouquet, hair and make-up! I challenged the ladies to come up with totally unique concepts based on the venue, theme and settings I gave them and felt extremely blessed that they were all so involved excited to be part of this project.

Eddette is a South African photographer based in the UK.  Her creative, artistic style is perfect for couples looking for someone fun and relaxed to shoot their wedding.  To see more of Eddette’s work check out her blog or visit



Dresses ~ Anene Ferreira

Make up ~ Jonice De Villiers

Hair Stylist ~ Lente Oosthuizen

Florist ~ Vintage Orchid

Models ~ Anri & Leo-Mari

Venue ~ The Blades


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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Lisinda Opperman

How wonderful to have this featured as this truly was the brain child of my very talented photographer, and friend.. Eddette from Purple Apple Studios! Absolutely loving what we do can be seen in our work and we truly hope that this will inspire future brides to above all.. have fun!!

James Maxwell

Loving this shoot. I think it takes the conventional notion of a beautiful bride and actually gives it a very strong twist.
It has something to do with the greater connection visually and stylistically to the earth and the surrounds.
Often shoots are just a juxtaposition of nice scenery and a pretty dress (with bride)
But the rough bush and chaotic grass gives it a great look.
Brilliant work.
Loves it!

Ilse du Plessis

Love the boldness of the orange beads! I’ve just started to plan my own wedding – we often forget that while the traditional “demure” wedding look often subconsciously dictate our choices, we do get to go wild and adventurous with our wedding design. Thanks to Eddettte and her team for this inspiration.