Stop whatever you are doing (apart from reading this and slurping a nice cuppa, of course!) and take a trip to stunning South Africa with Matthew and Rebekah (a childhood BFF of WOW Our Wedding’s founder Liz) for their safari themed South African wedding!
The travel-loving couple, originally from the UK and who now live in Qatar, met in a Bristol nightclub, got engaged in Italy (we’re pretty sure you’re going to love their proposal story!) and tied the knot at the beautiful Diemersfontein Wine Estate, Wellington, South Africa in a four day wedding extravaganza!
Expect cool animal print cakes, elegant decor and one very happy couple! Make sure you check out Matt’s amazing wedding gift video to Becks at the end of this post too! It really had us giggling. So lovely!
Here’s beautiful bride Becks to tell us all:
It started with shots and cheesy tunes
We met in a dingy nightclub in Bristol. Matt was stationed there (he was in the Navy) and I was working as a lawyer. We were both a bit drunk and spent the evening at the bar doing shots and guessing what the next cheesy tune would be.
We were on holiday in Italy – Lake Garda and then Venice. I was convinced Matt would propose while we were away, but when we went to a rooftop bar overlooking Venice (which is totally his style) and ended up having a conversation about landscaping our garden back home, I had my doubts it was ever going to happen. The following day was our last day, we went over to San Giorgio Island, a small island facing St. Mark’s Square.
Matt went up the church tower whilst I waited for him. I was in a foul mood and had been since waking up and discovering he didn’t have ‘a plan’ for the day to (i.e. the day I thought he would propose!). When he came back down, he suggested we finish a bottle of wine we’d been carrying around. It was then that he said: “You seem to be in a bit of a grump so I was thinking the only way to get you out of a grump would be if I bought you some diamonds”. He then propped me up on one of those concrete posts that boats tie their ropes to and got down on one knee.
After a few very excited calls back to family and friends we jumped on a boat back to the mainland and Matt let me choose my amazing emerald and diamond ring. Although he did have to sit down for a few minutes once they told him the cost!
We flew home that night and within three weeks I was in Cape Town with my bridesmaid, planning our South African wedding.
Getting married in South Africa
I knew I wanted to get married in South Africa, when Matt proposed. Before flying out to South Africa, I researched venues online and came up with a shortlist of four in the winelands region. I made contact with a minster, photographer, décor and flowers company, with arrangements for us to meet everyone during our three day trip. It was a packed itinerary and when the first two venues just weren’t right, I was concerned that we’d be going back to the drawing board. But on day two, in the pouring rain we visited Diemersfontein Wine Estate and I knew it would be perfect for our needs. The lawns were beautiful and the guests could stay!
Planning a 4 day wedding… from another country!
With the help of the Estate Wedding Co-ordinator, my fantastic décor lady and of course my bridesmaid Jules, I was able to manage the whole process from the UK. As our 40 guests were staying on the estate for four nights; I also arranged dinner on the estate for the first night, a full days’ tour of wine, cheese and brandy tasting, followed by dinner and more tastings and a quiz on the second day. On day three, Matt took the boys to play golf at Pearl Valley while I went to Langkloof Roses for a gorgeous Valentines lunch with the ladies. We then all met up for an estate wine tasting. Then day 4 was our wedding!
What I loved most about planning our wedding was…
I absolutely loved planning the wedding! I loved delving into the details, everything from the colour and size of the pom poms on the backs of the chairs to the favour messages on the cigars and feathered fans to Jules’ dress and shoes to my flowers – it was just so much fun. Oh and of course bringing the estate wine home in May for a family tasting in the garden, was good fun too…
Our wedding day was just magical in every way, but the best thing about it was the surprise wedding present video Matt had made me, which had taken four months of secret recording editing and was hilarious!
Adding the WOW factor to our wedding
Matt arriving like James Bond in a helicopter and the video he made for me was pretty special, I’ll always remember our guests playing the drums for us too.
My top tips for other brides (and grooms) to be are…
Have the wedding YOU want to have – you’re paying for it! You will never please all of the people, all of the time so don’t even try.
Set your wedding and honeymoon budget at the beginning and build in a 10-20% contingency for the extra fun stuff!
Get organised and share work around. Give jobs to friends and family that you know they’d like flowers and cakes to mums, favours to bridesmaids, etc
Invest in as much bang for your buck as you can; for example; hiring a house for the weekend gives you a relaxed time with loved ones, rather than cramming everyone and everything into just an afternoon / evening.
Honeymoon hotspot: We stayed in Camps Bay with our guests for three days and then went to the Natal Region for 4 days followed by a week of doing sweet nothing in Mauritius. We’d originally decided to go to scuba diving in Mozambique but two weeks before the wedding I found out I was pregnant so diving was off the agenda..!
WOW! Beautiful huh? Thanks so much for sharing this amazing destination wedding with us Becks and Matt!
After their gorgeous overseas wedding at the Diemersfontein Wine Estate in South Africa, the couple returned to the UK and held a second UK wedding in Kew Gardens a few weeks later, so that family and friends who hadn’t been able to fly out to South Africa, could celebrate with them too. Two amazing weddings for two very lovely people!
Thanks also to Rebekah and Matt’s photographer Joanne Markland for sharing these dreamy destination wedding photos with us too!
If you’re think of jetting off for your very own destination wedding, make sure you check out our WOW directory of destination wedding venues and suppliers who are ready and waiting to WOW your destination wedding!
And before you go, here’s the amazing video Matt made as a surprise wedding gift for Becks. So funny and so lovely too!