Destination I Do
Friday, July 29, 2022

Dreamy Forest Wedding in South Africa

Words by Rose Lehner
Photos courtesy of Ruan Redelinghuys

From coworkers to good friends and now husband and wife. When Nobuhle and Jonathan crossed paths at the office, they connected instantly and sparked (what they would come to find out) an eternal flame. Jonathan soon realized that their time spent together was too short, he needed to spend the rest of his life with Nobuhle. He popped the question and the couple got to work planning their forest wedding in South Africa.

While Jonathan and Nobuhle’s plans got underway, they quickly ran into a major bump in the road: COVID restrictions.

“We decided to have an intimate wedding, and then planned on having our dream wedding with all our friends and family when restrictions were relaxed,” the couple says.

After eloping, the couple worked on simplifying plans for their larger wedding. Nobuhle and Jonathan decided to host their dream wedding closer to their home in Johannesburg. This was the perfect location for them since the couple lived near South Africa’s lush, deep forests.

Despite waiting awhile, the couple believed it was the best way to keep all their guests included on their special day.

“The travel was three and a half hours, and we were excited to drive there. My husband’s parents were with us in the car. The drive to and from the location was special for all of us,” Nobuhle says.

Arriving at their dreamy destination, Jonathan and Nobuhle finally reunited with friends and family at the Florence Guest Farm & Wedding VenueThe couple’s ceremony consisted of tall green pines, rustic signs, and dusty pink roses. The reception extended the rustic feel with twinkling lights on the stone walls, wood beams and white banners; all of the details matched the scenery outside. 

“Regardless of COVID and the need to postpone the wedding, we persevered and had the most amazing day. The venue was a big reason that our day was so perfect and we couldn’t imagine it anywhere else,” the couple says.

The Florence Guest Farm charmed everyone by providing the ultimate forest getaway experience, complete with a rustic open air church, renaissance reception area and on-site lodging.

“We wanted to have a day where the guests would get to know each other over a bonfire to create connections and friendships,” said the couple.

With ducks, cows, and chickens (Oh my!), Jonathan and Nobuhle blended the farm life and their wedding altogether to make their dreams come true. Now, other couples can too with advice from the newlyweds.

“I got overwhelmed with the many opinions received during the planning process, but I held on to what my husband and I wanted. Our guests really enjoyed themselves, with some saying it’s the best wedding they’ve been to,” Nobuhle says.

One thing to remember, according to the couple, is to not stress over the small stuff when planning your special day. After all, it won’t matter when you’re snuggled up to your significant other at the end of the day.

“A wedding is just one day of celebrating your union. You have the rest of your lives to build.  Plan the wedding how you want, but look for ways to spend within your means.”

Vendors: Photographer: Ruan Redelinghuys; Venue: Florence Guest Farm & Wedding Venue; Florist:  Bliss Floral Creations; Stationery: Papermoon; Cake: Gailee’s Bakery; Hair & Makeup: DolledByHappy; Gown Designer: Bridal Manor; Groom’s Clothing Designer: Tailor Me; Bridesmaids Dresses: Gelique; Decor: All Things Wedding; Recommended by: World's Best Wedding Photos

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