Kevin and Andrea's Bohemian wedding in South Africa , Nelspruit
Andy and Kev celebrated their love for each other in the beautiful bush atmosphere. This bohemian wedding was so true to their carefree–loving spirits. Boho weddings incorporate an eclectic mix of natural, rustic, and vintage details into the design. www.newromantics.co.za describes a bohemian-themed wedding to suit the Free-spirited, open-minded couple who lives and acts free of regard for conventional rules and practices. live by the rules of nature and respects the earth and all her natural beauty.
Alkmaar farm stay is set on the heart of the Lowfield in the Schagen Valley of the Maputo corridor, Nelspruit. They chose this venue because they both live and work in the bush and knew it would be Citrus season.
The beautiful bohemian destination wedding.
So, I looked forward to this bohemian wedding for so long, being a Pretoria wedding Photographer – getting out of the city to go shoot in the magnificent Lowveld, just seemed like an adventure. Naturally, Nelspruit is THE best place for a bohemian wedding, their sub-tropical fruits (like mangos, avocados, oranges, lemons, litchis, and bananas) are a huge drawing card for visitors and during springtime, the blossoms of orange trees can be smelt for kilometers. My associate photographer, Nina, and I – left on Friday and arrived at (insert lodge here) I took a long spa bath, and mentally prepared for the next day. We love adventures and whenever we get a chance to do a destination wedding, we say YES! – to be refreshed and properly prepared for the big day ahead, we always make sure to leave the day before the wedding.
The big day
We arrived at Alkmaar in the morning – and did a bit of location scouting before going up to greet Andy. Alkmaar farm stay is the perfect wedding venue for a bohemian wedding. We were greeted by excited, happy faces all over, as friends and family stayed over on the venue the night before. The feeling was warm and welcoming – Everyone around us seemed that they were already having a good time. It was the perfect morning, LOVE was everywhere. We instantly knew this was going to be a magnificent bohemian wedding.
Walking into the room, our beautiful Andrea was in hair and make-up – you guys – If you have ever seen a natural beauty, this was it – She was, but just radiant- half-faced makeup, dressed in casual African inspired skirt and tucked in blouse- she looked over at us and flashed us a perfect smile! Family and friends were scattered around in the room as it goes – doing make-up and hair – and I could tell wedding nerves were kicking in. When we arrived- everyone knew yes photographs will be taken of everything happening from this point forward, it’s Showtime!
The bohemian inspired wedding decor
Andy and Kevin made the most gorgeous items for heir bohemian wedding. The tables – Everything, absolutely everything was DIYs from the table décor to the confetti, which was leaves of wonderful earthy colors, reds, greens, mustard, browns punched out into little heats. Andy later said it took her months to punch those out. Andy and Kevin’s craftwork gave their wedding a unique to themselves stamp – it was very special. The décor was earthy colors with a touch of gold. Nothing too overpowering for a bohemian wedding and for the bush atmosphere. Wonderfully blending in and standing out at the same time.
Finally, our bride walks in from upstairs where she was getting ready, to meet Kevin. Now, what happened next, was the beginning of a series of wonderful events. This had me in tears and will always stay by me as one of the most beautiful moments between father and daughter that I have yet captured.
To give you a bit of the back story. Andy’s father was in a terrible motorbike accident in 2017, he broke more bones than I thought was possible – and was in an induced coma for about 6 weeks and ICU for 6 months. This amazing man re-learned how to walk and having to undergo almost 50 surgeries since the accident – he still makes use of his wheelchair.
When Andy approached him, he stood up from his wheelchair…
He practiced and practiced for about a month before the wedding, determined to be able to walk his beautiful daughter down the aisle.
He looked at her, fighting back the tears – she looked at him – even more tears, and they walked.
The African ceremony with a true bohemian wedding twist
In true Andy and Kev style – and by paying tribute to their friends that they have met and worked within the bush, a Shangaan tradition followed – The blanket that Kevin wrapped around any and himself, symbolizes the groom vowing to provide shelter and safety to the bride. The bride takes a sip of beer (of course non-alcoholic – don’t be the judge lol) and by offering a sip to the groom, she is vowing to nourish, and care for the groom. The groom and bride then exchange gifts to each other,
The portrait session – Boho style
- The wind softly whined through the enormous trees, and you could smell the whiffs of air filled with citrus, this was simply the most perfect location for a beautiful bohemian wedding portrait session for our newlyweds. We left the wedding g party and got on, and on top of our bakkies to head to the wonderful citrus plantations – One of the deciding factors for this wedding venue, for Andy and Kev, was most certainly the fact that it would be a citrus season. We couldn’t wait – we scouted some beautiful locations earlier that day, so Nina and I knew exactly what we wanted. We knew the sun would set at a certain angle – and we knew how we are going to position our couples (always with their backs to the sun, and in this case mostly with their backs to the orchids, to get those amazing oranges in.
The couple brought all their sass and spice to the portrait session. Kev was pumping music from the bakkie – with his new bride right next to him. I wanted to be on the back of the bakkie – to check out some locations from different angles. I must say – I wish I knew Kev liked 4x4ing so much before I made the brave decision to get on the back of a moving vehicle with all my gear – and a camera on my neck – ready to shoot whatever is in front of me. Luckily – I, and most importantly, my gear got off unharmed at our first spot. At this point – Kev showed off his romantic side, by plucking a sweet little flower from the ground – and tucking it behind her ear.
The lovely citrus orchids.
The energy was flowing freely from the couple, which infused Nina and me, and the videographer with fresh energy and ideas ourselves. We had the music going, and all our ideas quickly became rush, as each image was taken – was to die for.
Andy – having a bit of modeling experience herself, did not need to be directed much at all, and Kevin was the perfect partner complimenting his wife all the way – these two were adorable – Kevin even pulled out some juggling tricks to entertain us a bit.
We were so full of ideas and poses, that the portrait session went by so quickly. Pretty soon it became too dark to shoot. As we approached the vehicles to head back to the party, a rush of wind came up and blew some dust in the headlights, and I said guys, stop – we need one last thing to happen here! This was going to add amazing character to the bohemian wedding.
Now, what we tried to do is get a mystical image of Andy and Kevin, swaying to the music – all of us made dust with our feet and had the couple stand in front of it – headlights pointed on them. Below is the result of that image – which is one of my favorites. A photograph is after all not just about taking an image – it is about making it!
Back at the party – the rest of the night was filled with all types of traditional wedding danced you could think of – everything from Samsara to the train song, the cha-cha good day slide – Every single foot on that dancefloor was moving and shaking. Circles were made bigger, and people took turns showing off their mad dancing skills with the crowd cheering and laughing
Finally – we ended the night heading back to our lodge, big smiles, and happy hearts. It was truly a magnificent bohemian wedding – and one that we will remember forever.
Questions answered by Andy and Kev
, so I wrote this letter to Kev on our 7 year anniversary now on 15th July 2021
To my amazing Husband, best friend and baby (to be) daddy…
I don’t even know where to begin?? We have had such an amazing journey together these past 7 years…
So let’s start at the beginning! From the moment I got to know you the night we met at Tings & Times, I knew you were special. I just had this feeling inside of me that I could not explain, but I knew that I needed to see you again. Luckily you felt the same way and we went on that lunch date the very next day… and we’ve been inseparable since!
From finally (on our 6 month-aniversary) getting you to officially asking me to be your girlfriend, to moving in with you. Spending almost 4 months apart when you went to the bush and I went to America, but we still stayed strong, if not stronger! Being away from you just made me love you more, maybe absence does make the heart grow fonder… although I never ever want to be without you like that again!
Then our amazing journey in the beautiful bush began… boy did that change me (for the good). It made me realize who I am, and what purpose I have in this world. I will follow you to the moon if I have to, anything to be with YOU!
We have made it through so many ups and downs, especially recently. I want to thank you for being the person that knows how to calm me down, how to reassure me that everything will be okay. You fill the parts of me that are lacking and make me whole. Nobody will understand the bond we share; we even react and speak the same! We are meant to be in every way!
And now, we have this beautiful little person that WE created growing inside of me….it makes me teary just thinking about how amazing that is! How blessed are we? You’re going to make an amazing daddy, Aiden is just as lucky as I am…
My love, I can’t wait for what the future has in store for us and baby Aiden… it doesn’t matter what we do and do not have, as long as we have each other, nothing will ever bring us down!
Here’s to many more laughs, tears, adventures, discoveries and memories made with you…my soul mate, best friend, husband and father of our child!
Questions for the bride and groom
How did you first meet?
We were supposed to go ice-skating with these boys my best friend knew from Pretoria (we were from Jhb), but when we showed up the boys had already been drinking…so we decided it’s best to rather go for dinner! I got seated next to Kevin, and the more I got to know him, the deeper I started falling. Being the gentleman he is, I had to be the one to show that I’m interested. He never asked for my number that evening, but found me on Facebook and asked me if I was home safely, which naturally made me fall deeper and think that “this is the type of guy my family will approve of”. We went on a lunch date the next day, and have been inseparable since….
How do you stay in love?
We respect and trust each other. A relationship will never work without those components. We don’t need all the materialistic gifts to show our love, we show it through actions and words, and that’s all you really need at the end of the day; someone who makes you feel loved, important and special! Don’t be bigheaded or proud when you have done something wrong, apologise and move on. We all make mistakes after all…
What’s the best part of having a partner?
As mentioned above, having that someone who makes you feel loved, wanted, special and important is the best feeling. Being excited to share everything with that person and knowing that you have someone there to hold you when you are cold and to take care of you when you are sick and to console you when you are down… there’s too many factors to mention, but your partner is your best friend and your lover all in one package.
What are your goals as a married couple?
Our goals would be to love each other unconditionally till the end of our days, to provide and protect each other (and our soon to be baby Aiden) and support each other through every turn and hill that life has to offer us…
What makes Kevin’s family so special
Kevin’s family is so so special in many ways! But what stands out the most are their big hearts… they care so so much and will do anything to help you. They have a lot of love to give and I am so grateful to have been welcomed into their family with open arms!
Why did you choose this wedding venue
We have lived in the bush for so many years; we are nature lovers, so this venue was perfect for us! It’s rustic and still beautiful at the same time! And we knew it would be citrus season, and the oranges looked beautiful in our photos!
What did you love most about your wedding day
Andrea – for me it was walking down the aisle with my father, and most of all seeing my gorgeous Kevin crying as I approached him… I felt so much love coming from all angles and mostly from the two important men in my life! Also revealing our pregnancy during our African Gift Ceremony, hearing everyone scream for joy and clapping their hands for this awesome gift we have been provided with…best moment ever!
Kevin – I loved seeing Andrea’s joy – how she looked her wedding dress she had made, walking down the aisle with her father, the big wedding moments we finally got to have (our original wedding was a small Covid wedding). I loved the uniqueness of our wedding day, it 100% reflected who we are as people and a couple; like our African Gift ceremony and announcing our pregnancy at the wedding. We finally got our big day…
Did everything go according to plan
Almost nothing went according to plan (LOL) – especially leading up to the big moment, we even forgot to put out some of our table decor! But in the end you just live in the moment and focus on what the day is really all about
Do you have any tips for new brides
Don’t spend too much on your wedding and rather have a great big honeymoon instead. It becomes so stressful trying to make ways to impress everyone attending your wedding, when really it should be all about you and your partner… we did loads of DIY (which adds a bit more stress) but it saved us money and you know the wedding is truly YOU, because you made the decorations. One thing I will say where you mustn’t be too stingy on is a photographer and videographer, they are the ones that will make the memory of your wedding day live forever!
Why did you choose your photographer
I just loved Karen’s photography style! I was looking at photographers from all over, but kept going back to her page, so I messaged her and we made our decision straight away!
Any tips for newlyweds on how to stay in love
Respect, trust, honesty and unconditional love and support… if you can learn to master those, you’ll be so happy! Accept each other’s flaws and learn to live with it and make compromises, nobody is perfect including you… so give each other a break!
If you could do something different what would it be
I’d definitely try spending less money on the wedding, and save more for the honeymoon. We haven’t been able to go on honeymoon yet due to Covid…but we will get there
Why did you choose your bridesmaids (list their good qualities)
Out of all my bridesmaids, I was left with only one! My amazing sister and Maid of Honor… she knows my style and was so so helpful in every single way. She even did more than was needed. My advice would be: don’t choose the people who would just say yes because they want to stand up there with you and be in the photos, choose people who will actually help and support you with your planning and stress that comes with planning your own wedding.
Think of something special that happened on the day – did someone say something sweet to you. Did your partner wipe away a tear. Did you feel loved , and why.
Everything my husband did was special! He picked me a cute little flower behind the scenes when we were busy with our photoshoot. When things weren’t going to plan, he came to me and hugged me, and just made me feel so much better! Our family also helped a lot with the set up of our tables and décor, we are so blessed to have support from so many angles
- Photographer – Karen Pretorius
Karen, a special thank you from the both of us, you and Nina (associate photographer) http://pictico.co.za/ were on the ball and we can’t thank you enough for our amazing photos… memories we will cherish forever!
- Videographer – Devin Nyschens – Culture Collective Refined 083 797 9966 https://www.facebook.com/culturecollectiverefined/
- Venue – Alkmaar Farmstay Nelspruit – Huibrie 074 182 0509 https://www.alkmaarfarmstay.co.za/
- Catering – Jan-Harm – Fusion Sjef 072 715 9852 https://www.facebook.com/fusionsjef
- Seat cushions and Table runners – Monkey Magic Function Hire 084 477 2728 https://www.facebook.com/magicfunctionhire
- DJ – Deivy – Need a DJ? 072 228 9805
Hair and Makeup – MUD Studio Ilanga Mall 060 868 3872 https://www.mudsa.co.za/