Get your Pinning fingers ready, because today’s South African Jewish real wedding is an absolute beauty, and we guarantee you’ll want to steal pretty much all of it.
Inga and Jonathan chose a simple, clean outdoor theme, with a colour scheme of green, white and gold accents. With the emphasis on greenery, rather than big florals, the couple created a stunning, into-the-wild aesthetic which still managed to be totally chic and fresh.
Beautiful bride Inga looked like a Grecian goddess in her boho-style gown and flower crown, and I think we can all agree that she steals every photograph!
Speaking of which, we absolutely adore the whimsical and romantic-look images taken by fabulous photographer, Astrid Bradley Photography. Not only is every detail shot perfectly framed, but the emotion comes through so beautifully that you’ll feel like you were there.
There are some smashing ideas in here, including a wishes jar on each table for guests to write in. As there were 18 tables, the couple plans to open one jar a year for the next 18 anniversaries. Now that is self control!
We’re also totally up for a big day dance off! So much fun!
We’ll leave you with Inga now for the full writeup of her and Jonathan’s spectacular wedding day, but before we do, with Yom Kippur almost upon us, we just want to wish the Day of Atonement to be a meaningful day for you, no matter how or if you are observing it. Shabbat Shalom!
A relaxed, refined atmosphere
Inga, the bride: We got married at Mpekweni Beach Resort. We chose this beautiful venue for a number of reasons. Firstly, it holds significance to us as we spent some of our first holidays, beach walks and sunsets as a couple here. We also got engaged in a similar spot not too far down the coastline. We were attracted to the relaxed and refined atmosphere Mpekweni effortlessly provides (which is significantly due to the incredible management of Colin and Nicollette Whitehead).
We are both family orientated, and this venue allowed us to keep the feeling of a close family gathering without having to forgo anyone on the guest list. Moreover, our wedding was a weekend affair, as we wanted to take full advantage of having all our loved ones close by and there are few competitors to Mpekweni.
A simple, natural and fun theme
In equal quantities of bravery and stupidity, we planned our wedding (which was is South Africa) from China without a wedding planner. Yikes, we know. As mentioned before, we are both so fortunate to come from big and close families, without which we our wedding would not have come close to what we had envisioned.
We never really had a distinct theme for the wedding, but it all revolved around a few keywords that we wanted the day to be about, namely: simple, natural and fun. Our colours were white, green and a splash of gold. We both love the outdoors, and so many milestones in our relationship have happened when we were camping, hiking or road tripping. As a result, we wanted natural greenery and imperfect bouquets to steal the show.
Chic, clean invitations
The invitation reflected a lot of what we wanted the whole day to be about. It was white with a green wreath, and not much else. Again, simple and natural.
It’s always the dress you least expect
The dress shopping saga started in China in Guangzhou at the largest wedding market in the world. As overwhelming as that sounds, it is that and then some. This is the first time in my life the phrase ‘spoilt for choice’ really had true meaning.
To make things slightly more challenging, my sole fashion consultant was my future husband, who spent most of the time giving blind advice from behind the dressing room curtains. Not ideal. After trying on countless dresses in the ‘style’ I had always imagined I would choose, I walked away with an ‘option’ which I would come back to buy another time.
Over the December holidays, we surprised both our families and traveled back to South Africa to spend the festive season with family. With all three of my sisters (#bridesmaids) at home, we made an impromptu decision to go wedding dress shopping. With no plans of finding a dress and more motivation to drink champagne in the morning, we stumbled across the dress that we all agreed was ‘the one’. In the small shop Pebbles Boutique in a little seaside fishing town, Mossel Bay, my wedding dress shopping (and shoes) was all sorted.
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue
I had a flower wreath in my hair. I wore by great grandmother’s diamond earrings (my something old), a rose gold bracelet I got at my hens party (my something new), a sapphire ring of my mom’s (my something blue) and a rose gold signet ring with my family crest engraved on the face.
It wasn’t really planned, and most of the jewelry was decided on the morning of the wedding.
I had bedazzled high heels, which were so fun right up until after our first dance. They were quickly changed for some gold sneakers for the rest of the evening. The caliber of my dancing skills almost single handedly rest on my shoe choices.
Hints of gold and a braided up ‘do
For my makeup, I went super simple with light browns and golds done by the wonderfully talented Ruth Swart from Rosy Glow Makeup.
My hair was braided and all up in a bun with a wreath and a few white roses, done by the up-do king, Sheldon Holms from Sculptures Hair Salon.
The handsome groom
Jono wore a navy slim-fit suit, complemented with all the toffee leather accessories including his belt and shoes. Paired with a crisp white shirt, he looked more irresistible than ever.
Sisters are doing it for themselves
I am so fortunate to have three amazing sisters and a sister-in-law who have always been the best support structure, my wedding day was no different.
They wore rose gold dresses which complimented the ‘splash of gold’ in our colour scheme. I chose the material and gave them free reign to decide on the design of there dress. Until I saw them in their dresses on the day, I had no idea how they were going to look. I have to give a special thanks to Sandra Lee Hensberg from From The Heart Sterling Silver Jewellery for the beautiful sterling silver necklaces she provided as a gift to my bridesmaids.
An outdoor chuppah
Our chuppah design was one of the easiest decisions of the day. As I have mentioned previously, we both have a love of greenery and the outdoors.
A personal ceremony
What we loved most about the ceremony was the person conducting the ceremony. Azila Reisenberger was a phenomenal addition to the proceedings, and managed to keep the ceremony Jewish, while at the same time making it relatable to all our gentile family and friends. She involved the crowd, and made everyone at the ceremony feel as integral to the proceedings as the two of us.
One example of this is the Seven Blessings, where she chose representatives from family, friends, business colleagues and extended family to each come forward and deliver the blessing to our union.
Eclectic musical choices
Our floristry consisted of fewer flowers and more fynbos (indigenous to South Africa) and greenery. We asked for a few specks of small white flowers which tied in with the rest of our decor (white table cloths ect).
Our fabulous photographer
We asked the incredible Astrid Bradley Photography to take our photos. Looking through her online portfolio, we both loved how she captures the emotions and finer details of the events she photographs. A quick glimpse of our photos will show you that she did exactly that.
A wedding cheese cake
Both Jono and I have a love affair with cheese. Cheese on crackers, cheese with preserves, cheese on cheese, we love it all! Hence our wedding ‘cake’ decision.
We asked Petro Lotz of Appetito to create our dream wedding “cheese cake” which was a beautiful tiered cake of cheese wheels drizzled with honeyed nuts and crisp grapes. We cut our cake directly after the ceremony and it was served as canapà©s.
A time capsule
A second special addition was the glass jars with the gold animals on top we had made to go on every table.
At every place, setting we had a card that read “leave a message for the bride and groom to read on their anniversary”. These messages were put into the jar on each table, one to eighteen. For our first 18 anniversaries will be open a jar and read the messages from our loved ones.
A dance off
My favourite unusual idea at our wedding was the garter toss. Instead of the usual “toss” we had a dance off. All the single men were called to the dance floor, given brown paper bags to put over their heads (we had drawn funny faces on them with a black marker) and were told to dance their hearts out.
Jono narrated the dancing, while I walked amongst the ‘contestants’ tapping them out until there was one man left standing. It was such a great way to get everyone involved and huddled around the dance floor.
Given the competitive spirit of most of the lads, they went all out. Everyone was in absolute stitches and it was such a fun way to mix things up.
Inga & Jonathan’s little white book
Photographer – Astrid Bradley Photography
Venue – Mpekweni Beach Resort
Bride’s Dress – purchased at Pebbles Boutique
Hair + Makeup – Sculptures Hair Salon and Rosy Glow Makeup
Flowers – Wimpie’s Flower Yard
Cheesecake – Appetito
Bridesmaids Gifts – From The Heart Sterling Silver Jewellery
Rabbi – Azila Reisenberger