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Unforgettable Destination Wedding in South Africa

Updated: May 20

Destination Wedding in South Africa at Mountainview Game Ranch

As a professional wedding planner and a bride, planning my own destination wedding in South Africa was an incredible experience that I got to share with my now husband, Paul. Every detail within our wedding was personalised and incorporated into the wedding design to reflect our love story and who we are as a couple.

Our love story began when Paul and I met in January 2019 at Mawana Game Reserve in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. I had accepted an eight-month field research position studying the behaviour of wild vervet monkeys and as destiny would decree, Paul was the manager of that very same reserve. Bound by our shared devotion to wildlife and conservation, our hearts inevitably intertwined and we fell deeply in love. It was inevitable that Paul and I would some day return to South Africa to unite in marriage with a destination wedding.

We searched near and far for the perfect wedding venue, but none truly resonated with us in a way that we had hoped, until we found Mountainview Game Ranch, an elusive confluence of beauty and abundant with wildlife. It was everything that we had imagined for our destination wedding in South Africa and I think we both knew this was the place before we even stepped out of the car.

Destination Wedding in South Africa at Mountainview Game Ranch Chalet

Luxury guest accommodations were nestled harmoniously within the landscape, and a separate dining area ensured our reception remained unsullied by prying eyes. It was an oasis adorned with two pools encompassing unspoiled views of the surrounding reserve, a picturesque depiction that seamlessly wove our love for wildlife and untamed landscapes into the tapestry of our union. The chapel deemed worthy for inclement weather, while the wildlife-rich outdoors became the backdrop for our heartfelt ceremony.

Mountainview Game Ranch Wedding Venue in South Africa

A romantic safari wedding theme, graced with ivory and olive-green hues, became the aura of our enchanting celebration. Floral arrangements of roses and natives adorned the ceremony site, while hay bales, reminiscent of our country upbringing, served as seating for our guests.

Outdoor Ceremony for a Destination Wedding in South Africa

To fulfil my childhood dream of a grand entrance befitting a fairytale, and guided by our shared passion for horse riding, Paul and I were able to locate the epitome of equine grace, a Friesian stallion named Mariko.

A moment of wonder awaited our guests as I made my grand entrance from within the distant landscape, elegantly cantering on our elected majestic stallion, as graceful giraffes roamed freely in the background.

Bride rides horse at a destination wedding in South Africa

A flood of emotion welled within Paul’s eyes as I made my way towards him.

The lilting strains of Ellie Goulding's "How Long Will I Love You" guided my father and I down the aisle, its melody rendered more ethereal by the angelic voice of my ten-year-old cousin, Amelie, who lovingly recorded the song especially for that moment.

Our ring bearer, Jess, Paul's beloved Staffordshire Terrier, proudly trotted down the aisle perfectly on cue, wearing a stylish headband and an olive-green ribbon adorned with a golden heart-shaped ring-clip.

The bridal party wore olive green dresses each accentuated with a timeless gold-coated six-pence necklace, traditionally believed to bring prosperity to a marriage, while the groomsmen exhibited olive green bowties upon an ivory blouse.

Safari Destination Wedding in South Africa

Paul's boutonniere paired with my whimsical bouquet and his oatmeal suit perfectly complemented my ivory and nude laced gown.

An opulent and extended cocktail hour awaited our esteemed guests, serenaded by live musicians as they indulged in the breath-taking vista overlooking the untamed reserve. A pool adorned with a mesmerizing display of petals and roses shimmered, immersing all present in a realm of ethereal beauty.

Transformed into an oasis of elegance and intimacy, the reception space encompassed refined wooden décor under a sky of fairy lights, transporting the natural world indoors, while golden floral stands, adorned with roses and greenery formed an ambience of romance.

Mountainview Game Ranch Reception Venue in South Africa

A three-tiered cake with golden accents, separated by a gold geometric spacer filled with florals, stood as a testament to decadence and artistry, while the flickering of candlelight cast a warm glow to the evening.

Customised details abounded our destination wedding in South Africa, from personalised golden coasters doubling as guest place cards to hand-carved wooden underplates lovingly crafted by Paul and his father, which made for treasured guest keepsakes. Children received personalised gold foil wedding activity books, while our custom designed cake-topper and hand-painted world map seating chart symbolised our international love story.

A mesmerising chandelier cascaded above the dancefloor, entwined with flowers and eucalypt leaves which brought a touch of Australia to South Africa, symbolising both my heritage and our shared journey.

Our first dance, choreographed to our favourite country singer - Luke Combs' "Forever After All" delighted our guests as we swirled across the dancefloor, enveloped in the illusion of clouds created by delicate wisps of dry ice. My father and I then shared a tender dance to "Daddy's Little Girl" by Tim McGraw, capturing a cherished moment between a father and his daughter.

As the night unfolded, the bouquet and garter toss added a touch of tradition, while laughter and merriment transported our guests onto the dancefloor. The celebration then progressed outdoors, as guests revelled by the crackling fire, savouring the joyous moments that stretched into the early hours.

As we embrace the everlasting memories of our extraordinary destination wedding in South Africa, we are forever grateful that fate brought us together amidst the wilderness.

Our wedding was an exquisite testament to the power of our love and unyielding devotion, elevated by meticulous planning and extraordinary design. It illustrates the exceptional level of thought and attention to detail I dedicate to every wedding, and is a true reflection of the unparalleled quality and creativity that Van Dev Weddings, my luxury wedding planning business, offers to couples who choose my services.

If you found this wedding inspiring and would like to employ my services to curate your own extraordinary wedding, contact me here. You can also book a complimentary consultation here to discuss your wedding desires and how I can help turn those desires into your reality.

Watch the full video here.

Paul and I are forever grateful to all of our guests and wedding party who travelled both near and far to celebrate with us. We would like to give special thanks to Paul's incredible family who assisted in every way they could and to Heidi Grossberg, the proud owner of Mariko, for allowing him to be a part of our special day. We would also like to thank all of our incredible vendors listed below, who went above and beyond to ensure our wedding day was exceptional!

Venue: Mountainview Game Ranch DJ & Live Entertainment: Throwback Thursday

Wedding Planner: Van Dev Weddings Wedding Dress: The Bridal Company

Florist: Anrule Plant and Decor Hire Bridesmaid Dresses: Bridesmaid Only

Videographer: VlakVark Productions Celebrant: Ds. Willem Sauer

Make-Up & Hair Stylist: FDK Styling Wedding Cake: Kim's Creation's

Alterations: Souzy's Clothing Alteration Services Horse Photographer: Marlize Van Der Merwe

Written by Kodie Van Deventer

65 views2 comments


Dec 27, 2023

What a beautiful wedding, full of cute details and happy colours!

May 20
Replying to

Thank you, it was the most spectacular day full of extraordinary moments that we will cherish for the rest of our lives💖


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