Gabrielle and Justin’s relaxed Durban beach cottage wedding has the coolest vibes! It was the perfect culmination to a beautiful love story which began when they were 8 and 10 years old each. The couple’s day was set in maroon and navy, featuring locally foraged greenery and fun pops of gold, photographed by Tuhi Photography.
We love the couple’s unique style – no traditional suit for Justin or his grooomsmen, and a romantic, yet playful lace jumpsuit with detachable tulle skirt for for Gabrielle. Keep an eye out for the bridal party’s gold YAY balloons, and a hand collected assortment of vintage plates which acted both as table settings and favour for each guest.
The couple’s parents are close friends, so it made sense that the pair would exchange vows at a family beach cottage. The location, on the KZN North Coast, was a holiday beach cottage which held years of memories for the couple and their families. “We have spent many holidays together here starting as kids, playing in the ocean, watching movies and adventuring around the neighborhood, becoming teenagers, and finally as adults.”
Relaxed Durban Beach Cottage Wedding
Justin and I met when I was 8 years old and he was 10. I thought he was cute from the start, and ‘apparently’ he thought I was too (I think he just thought I had coodies!). We lived about an hour apart, and saw each other a couple times a year (eagerly anticipated by me!) and our friendship grew as we got older. We were best friends for most of high school, but everyone pretty much knew we’d eventually get together. When I was 16 and he was 18 we started dating, and we got engaged when I was 22. I can’t imagine my life with anyone else. He’s the best person I know.
Our bridesmaids wore jumpsuits too – theirs with long, sheer sleeves and lace details on the shorts.
I wore a custom-made bridal jumpsuit made from the most gorgeous lace, a detachable skirt made from layers of off-white tulle (in various colors), and a ribbon to cinch the waist. Brit of Brit & Bride suggested the lace-up section on the front, which I loved! I knew I wanted something different as I’ve never been one to go with conventions. Brit & Bride were so amazing to work with.
The groomsmen’s shirt’s were individually made in a navy blue fabric, using Justin’s suit fabric to add pocket and sleeve details, tying them together.
Justin works in fashion, so he wanted to wear something that would be trendy and eye-catching. He decided to go for a custom-made maroon, beige and navy short suit in a floral pattern, with complimentary colors for the bridal parties pieces. He also added the boys’ navy fabric to his pocket, sleeves and shorts details to bring the look together.
We wanted to keep the ceremony short and sweet. Justin’s Dad is a pastor so he married us, gave a brief talk and then both sets of parents prayed for us. We wrote our own vows to each other, and I walked down the aisle to James Arthur’s “Say you won’t let go.”
At our intimate Durban beach cottage reception we had a harvest table set up for lunch, with lots of fresh salads and veggies and protein. For flowers, ourselves, our family and our bridal party worked our butts off to make our own hanging flower installation. We put it up the night before the wedding.
We selected matte-gold cutlery for the place settings, and designed the place cards and menus to feature greenery details ourselves.
For wedding greenery we foraged Monstera’s and Elephant Ears from the cottage garden, placed in marble jars on the tables. We had our wooden wedding tables made from scratch from light wood and chose to keep these bare because they came out so beautifully.
Wedding Favors: Our wedding favors were a hand selected collection of beautiful plates which I spent months trawling second hand vintage shop. These doubled as lunch plates for the guests. After the meal, the plates were cleared and washed and guests could take their plate later in the day when they left.
Durban Beach Cottage Wedding Service Providers: Venue Villa Isabella // Photographer Tuhi Photography // Videographer Alan Patrick // Dress Brit & Bride // Brides Hair and make up TNJ’s MUAH // Flowers The Ballito Florist // Cake Cakelab // Decor Crystal & Vine// Table Benchly // Setting Place Settings // Catering Delish Sisters // Cake Topper Laser Link
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