With lockdown and travel restrictions still in place, it’s hard to see an end to the global Covid-19 pandemic. It appears that the only option for engaged couples is to postpone their wedding plans or to cancel all together. 

But that’s not the case. 

You have another option and it’s no less magical, romantic or legit. In fact, some might argue that this option is THE most romantic option!

…an intimate wedding.

We used this styled shoot as an opportunity to show the beauty of a small gathering and to illustrate that an intimate wedding still has the same charm, sophistication and elegance as a large one.

The point we would most like to get across is that LOVE IS NOT CANCELLED. 

Your wedding plans might not be what you have always imagined, but that doesn’t make it’s potential any less dream-like.

I discovered Seaton Manor while browsing Instagram and instantly fell in love with their green tiled courtyard.

After a quick chat with Candice, it became apparent that the venue is PERFECTLY suited to an intimate function with numerous ceremony location options.

We decided that this was a great opportunity to show couples what is possible during a time like this.

Cindy, from Love Laugh, offered us a MAGNIFICENT display of floral mastery using blush and ochre as her inspiration.

“Tulips and Ranunculus are free falling, they’re stunning to work with and they give any floral arrangement it’s own signature. The softness of the antique carnations and the blush carnations were juxtaposed by the bright yellows and contrasting black. This brought depth to the arrangements.”

Flowers used:

Tulips, garden roses, Stocks, Black Pivot Berries,Coral fern (black), Geralton wax, Solidago, Antique carnations, Ranunculus, touches of Bougainville

This charming room with it’s wooden floors, original fireplace and globe chandelier is flooded with natural light. It opens out onto the wrap-around verandah with checked floor and boasts views of rolling hills and sunbathed horses.

The bar area is a real showstopper. I can just imagine some of the guests coming in here to enjoy a glass of top-shelf whiskey and a cigar. 

His Apparel, a popular brand among Grooms and Groomsmen, supplied Ethan’s shirt, bow ties and pocket squares. 

The Gentry supplied the pocket watch, Simon and Mary Trilby hat, walking cane, Cohiba cigar and accessories and whiskey props for our dashing groom. If you’re looking for a gift, this is a great place to begin.

Aphelele’s makeup and hair was done by Blush Pro Makeup by Candice.

Candice says, “I chose to use warm tones of yellow on Aphelele’s eyes to bring out the warmth of her skin tone. The colors in her headpiece made by Cindy inspired me to use apricot and plum in the crease of her eyes.

Our model was dressed by Hanrie Lue Bridal. Hanrie forecasts a toned down look for 2021 to suit the style of the intimate gatherings that will be taking place.

“Expect to see boho luxe and big sleeves”, Hanrie says. “and I think shorter and more simple designs will feature too.”

And here it is.  The courtyard that made me fall in love with Seaton Manor. I am already dreaming up a good reason to have a celebration here. 

The Cape Dutch Manor House is a historical landmark in Ballito and was restored to it’s former glory in 2019.

Candice, from Simply Fabulous events, opted for a ‘main’ table for this shoot, but you could easily fit 3 banquet style tables into this courtyard space. 

The beautiful stationery was created by Ink & Ivory. The team draw their inspiration from the character of the couple and always seek to create something personal and unique.

The cake was supplied by Lauren Lee Cake Couture and popsicles by Delishice.

Lauren explains how the focus of the cake was the bold colourful florals which she predicts we will be seeing more of in 2021.

I know what you’re thinking, and yes! The ice-lollies can be alcoholic if you wish.

For our courtyard scene, featured above, Cindy experimented with a flower collar. 

Floral accessories, according to Cindy, are going to become very popular in the coming months. 

When I asked Cindy about trends for next season, she said, “We’re going to be saying goodbye to pampas grass and dried foliage, with pastels making a come back.” 

She says, “2021 is going to see couples planning their weddings based on sentimental value rather than extravagance. Tradition will become popular again, as well as home-based weddings. We’re going to see couples hone in on what truly matters to them.”

I agree completely with Cindy and I think this is one of those most wonderful things about an intimate wedding…sentimentality and meaning.

The situation we’re in now with Covid-19 has really shone a light on the importance of relationships. I think that couples will recognize the value of having their nearest and dearest with them on their wedding day and ‘ditch’ the small stuff.

This staircase featured in the photo above, leads down from the manor house to a gravel courtyard, one of Seaton’s popular ceremony areas, as well as out onto the lawn. We chose to highlight the stone arch on the lawn as a possible outdoor venue option. 

Whether your ceremony is on the lawn under the arch, or in the gravel courtyard, the staircase offers the perfect opportunity for a grand entrance. 

The benefits of an intimate wedding

Small doesn’t mean LESS

I’ve chatted to a few brides who held small weddings and they all agree that the best thing about an intimate celebration, is the quality time spent with their guests. 

For couples prone to anxiety, this could be the perfect way to keep your nerves at bay and remain truly present and completely focussed on your partner. 

After all, there is nothing more important than the person you’re about to marry.

A styled shoot is an opportunity for wedding vendors to create work that is not created for any one specific client. The team is able to showcase their best work with full creative freedom.

A lot of time, effort and money went into creating these images. Thank you to everyone who participated and contributed to the final image.

This was well and truly, a team effort. 

Please feel free to explore the list of participating vendors below.

The team

Venue: Seaton Manor House
Co-ordination: Simply Fabulous Events
Videographer: Gentle Giant Productions
Second photographer: Sally Mackay Photography
Dresses: Hanrie Lues Bridal
Hair & Makeup: Blush Pro Makeup by Candice
Flowers & Decor: Love Laugh
Stationery: Ink & Ivory
Cake: Lauren Lee Cake Couture
Gents accessories: His Apparel
Gents Props: The Gentry
Popsicles: Delishice
Female model: Aphelele Malimbaa
Male model: Ethan Bailey

To see more photos from this shoot as well as ‘behind the scenes’ images taken by Sally Mackay, click below.


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