Real Wedding Inspiration – An International Affair with a South African Flair

Today’s Real Wedding Inspiration comes to us from Casey Pratt Photography – a Wedding held at The Hatchery in KwaZulu-Natal. The couple – Fay and Shaun – are long-time expats living in London for the past 8 years. They met in South Africa, and plan to return after their honeymoon.

Casey Pratt Real Wedding

Where did you get your Ideas and Inspiration?

We have been living in London for 8 years but met in South Africa and are returning to South Africa after our honeymoon. South Africa has a very special place in our hearts and we wanted to showcase this on our big day. This inspired us to incorporate all the things we love about it. We used Pinterest a lot to gather all our ideas. We looked on a number of South African wedding blogs and also photographers’ websites for ideas from past weddings. This is a great way to find service providers as they are generally listed under ‘real weddings’.

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What was the theme of your wedding?

We didn’t have a defined theme for our wedding. Instead, we chose meaningful bits and bobs which all tied together beautifully. We wanted to include lots of natural elements and tried to incorporate as many typically South African items as possible. Our main colours were whites, greens, creams, beiges and for the bridal party we threw in a bit of navy blue for the guys and dirty lavender for the ladies.

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Tell us about your dress?

After trying on numerous dresses in Pietermaritzburg and London and not finding ‘the one’ I made one last attempt to find my perfect dress. I returned to Teokath in Wimbledon (London) and after some convincing from the lady, tried on a style I hadn’t thought of trying. A beautiful chiffon and lace Lusan Mandongas dress with a gorgeous train and low back – the detail was so soft and delicate. The big seller was how comfortable I felt in it. It was light, cool and perfect for the venue. I didn’t have to try it on again. I knew it was the one.

Casey Pratt Real Wedding

How did you pick your photographer?

When it came to choosing a photographer, we both agreed we were looking for someone who could capture the moment naturally. We are both a bit camera shy and didn’t want to spend hours posing. When we found Casey and looked at her work and her slogan ‘life unscripted’, we knew she would be the perfect person to capture our big day. And what can I say, she didn’t disappoint.

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Where did you cut costs – what is a good saving tip?

There are a number of ways to cut costs for your big day. We chose not to have a coordinator. Although we would have loved the help, we decided instead to enlist the help of family members. A number of venues charge extra for bringing in your own caterers, drinks and the party carrying on after 12. The Hatchery doesn’t charge for any of these which meant we could source our own favourite caterer and drinks at no extra charge. Also, our party carried on past 12 and we didn’t have to worry. We also did loads of DIY which saved us loads of money and added a personal touch.

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What DIYs did you do?

We did a lot of DIY for our wedding day. Our families and friends all got together to help with so much. I cannot thank them enough. From the handmade wooden placemats, the flower boxes, cushions and bunting in the chill out section, wine bottle labels, succulents, the list goes on and on. We also designed all our own wedding stationery which was a massive saving for us. And we had loads of fun personalising and designing it all. We did all our designs in Microsoft Word and are no experts, but we were happy with how it turned out.

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What did you splurge on?

We looked at what was most important to us and splurged on those things. We decided good food, beautiful flowers and a great photographer were important to us. We had a very specific menu which we wanted. Nikki from Cherry On Top helped us create a menu that was different and was perfect for us. Create-Your-Own pitas was a hit. The flowers on the table were created by our friend, the very talented Carolyn McNeil from Adore Weddings. And the stunning Casey Pratt helped capture our day beautifully.

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The couple says they thoroughly enjoyed the planning process, but the most difficult part was planning their wedding from London. The Hatchery is a blank canvas so this meant they had to think of everything from tent to tea cup. They arrived in South Africa two weeks before the wedding and had enormous amounts to do, but with the help of family and friends, they managed to pull it off. The best tip: Create lists to help stay on top of everything.


Photographer: Casey Pratt Photography

Wedding Dress: Teokath

Bridesmaids Dresses: Bianca Warren

Hair & Makeup: Make-up by Charelle

Decor and Cake: Cherry on Top

Flowers: Adore Weddings


Have a look at our Real Weddings – Inspiration board on Pinterest for more!

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