Many couples share a passion for something – for Nicole and Jason, it’s a continent. Their love of Africa echoes like a drumbeat throughout their relationship. It’s what first brought them together, after a friend introduced them and they discovered a mutual love of travel, adventure and wild places, and it’s what inspired their sophisticated safari wedding at the family’s private game reserve, complete with a custom-built luxury campsite for their guests. Over the course of the weekend, friends and family were treated to game drives, bird watching and sunset drinks in a river bed lit with oil lamps and fireflies – all this before the main event, an open air bush ceremony and Out of Africa-style reception in an Indian silk tent, complete with vintage suitcases, canvas director’s chairs, and naturalist curiosity centrepieces. RENSCHE MARI has done the most beautiful job of capturing this wedding and we were thrilled to include it in Issue 9 of MAGNOLIA ROUGE MAGAZINE.
Gorgeous bride Nicole shares, “On a clear and starry night, Jason gathered his courage and popped the question under the tree in our garden with a ring he’d secretly carved out of vegetable ivory. Within seconds of putting the ring on my finger the heavens opened and we sat kissing and crying together in the rain. African legend says that rain is a sign of blessings from above, and that night we felt infinitely blessed!”
“Knowing that we had no music arranged for our open air ceremony and our love for all things Africa, Jason’s brother arranged a very special surprise – as I walked down the hill towards the aisle, Ladysmith Black Mambazo (a famous choral group from South Africa) appeared and sang one of our favourite Paul Simon songs.”
Emma & Tony had been to Italy before but never the Amalfi Coast, so when they made the decision to elope overseas the beautiful town of Positano was at the top of their wish list. Italian photographer ROCHELLE CHEEVER spent the day with them and documented their beautifully intimate celebration.
“Our wedding day was just the two of us so everything about it was purely about Tony and I. I was worried I would miss my family and that would taint the day. I did think about my family a lot on the day but we just had so much fun that there wasn’t any point in time that I regretted having eloped. We both agree it was THE most amazing day of our lives. Thanks to ROCHELLE, we get to relive the very special moments again and again. Moments like when Tony saw me for the first time, when he said “I do” and I said ‘Si, I do”, our first kiss as husband and wife and those other special moments we shared during the day when we were just blown away by love!!”
WHAT WERE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DETAILS? I wore a necklace my sister gave me before I left Australia saying “love always” and diamond earrings my mum bought for me to wear on the day. I also wore my beautiful late grandma’s sapphire dress ring. She gave it to my sister before she passed away and my sister leant it to me for the day. She was extremely special to me.
We also wrote our own vows and had them written into a card to give one another after the ceremony. We wrote them together and built them around – why we love each other, why we are so good together and what the wedding rings mean for us.
TELL US ABOUT FINDING YOUR DRESS: As you so often hear, it was in the first shop I went into. Everything in Johanna Johnson is devine so there were a few dresses I could easily have fallen in love with. This day I had my mum and two sisters with me. When I put the dress on everyone loved it. But then, we all realised; in the store there was a song playing. It was my grandmas song “What a wonderful world” by Louis Armstrong. We all started crying, it was like grandma was there with us and just confirmed that dress was the one for me.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO COUPLES PLANNING THEIR WEDDING? Make the day about you and do what will make the two of you happy. Don’t do things because you think it will make others happy. Have fun!
Chris & Carlan planned the ultimate destination wedding choosing Hvar in Croatia after falling in love with it – and it’s people – on a previous visit. In was on this island in the Adriatic sea that they realised they were meant to be together, so they enlisted local planners ADRIATIC WEDDINGS CROATIA to help them pull the details together, and had PHILIP ANDRUKHOVICH on hand to document it.
Carlan tell us; “Every day we walked past BONJ LES BAINS and were amazed by it’s beauty so when it came to deciding where we would get married it was the top of our list! It was the best decision we made and was more beautiful than we could have imagined. We were lucky enough to stay at VILLA HERACLEA with our family for the week and it was stunning.
Thankfully we made the decision to work with Tamara from Adriatic Weddings for our special day. She made everything seem easy and understood us, our personalities, our style and feeling for the day from the outset – all from the other side of the world. The location was amazing, but Tamara’s attention to detail meant that every part of who we are shone through on the day. The food, the staff, the decorations and the party favours of locally sourced grappa were all perfect. This allowed us to enjoy the best day of our lives without a care in the world.”
HOW DID YOU MEET? One fortuitous weekend in Sydney back in January 2009. We were mutual friends of Richard Woods, one of the best men, and happened upon each other over drinks at a notorious local drinking establishment, affectionately known as ‘The Downfall’ . It wasn’t love at first sight, but after a few bad jokes, a little conversation and a lot more alcohol, by the early hours we’d definitely struck a chord.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL: On Christmas Day in front of Chris’s family in the UK. Chris surprised Carlan with a ring wrapped up in a Vivienne Westwood scarf. He got down on one knee and said “fancy getting hitched, like?” Through tears and laughter we celebrated with a single malt whisky.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE MEMORIES FROM YOUR WEDDING DAY?Chris: Our ceremony. Waiting for Carlan to arrive and hearing the song when she walked down the aisle, the vows, all the tears of happiness, laughing with friends and toasting to those who couldn’t be with us. Carlan: The overwhelming sense of love and joy that this was the most special day of my life and how surreal it was that we were lucky enough to be in this beautiful location surrounded by 50 people that we loved so dearly. Oh and the party, it was one hell of a fun party!