Ryan & Leigh’s Colourful Celebration

We love the fact that some weddings just break boundaries when it comes to originality. Every feature is an interesting expression of creativity and you can’t help but to take a pause in awe and admire the detail, thought and effort that went into creating the day. Leigh and Ryan’s wedding day was exactly one of those occasions, where “The Cowshed”, in Badfontein, was transformed into an ‘eco-chic’ haven of all things wholesome, homemade and hand-crafted.

It’s clearly evident from the images, captured by Black Frame Photography, that the couple had as much fun as their guests. Did we mention a cake fight between the bride and groom?

Tell us your love story


Our story has a bit of a cliched start. We met eight years ago at a mutual friend’s birthday party. Ryan, being fashion conscious, complimented Leigh on her shoes, but soon revoked it because it wasn’t a designer brand. This was the start of a long friendship that eventually lead to a relationship, which also strangely was instigated at another friend’s birthday party. Now, on the the more exciting bit, where Ryan satisfied Leigh’s geekiness with the most amazing proposal. Ryan had written out amazing messages in scrabble and photographed it, and didn’t plan anything out of the ordinary. We went to Duke’s for burgers before going out, and as we were running early, Ryan suggested we go to Munro Drive lookout point in Houghton with an amazing view of the Jozi skyline. He asked me to go through the photos of the scrabble messages. I got so caught up in all the messages that I didn’t even notice him go on his knee. The last picture said, “will you marry me?”, and when I looked at him, he was on his knee, ring in hand. I shrieked out an excited YES!

What were the highlights of your wedding day?


The overwhelming feeling of being surrounded by so many loved ones, my mom walking me down the aisle, the wedding cake fight me and Ryan had, Ryan throwing his arms in the air and saying yes after our first married kiss, and of course our first married kiss.

How does your wedding reflect your personalities?


Our love of colour reflected our fun spirits. We didn’t take the wedding too seriously, it is after all a celebration of love.

Any advice for brides-to-be?


Remember that your day is more than just a wedding, it is a celebration of love between you and your fiance, family and friends. Remember to have fun, there is nothing more beautiful than a smiling bride. Ask for help, people want to be involved, so share your duties. Have two copies of your speeches, because hard drives crash as we found out the hard way.

Did anything unexpected happen?


Have we mentioned the speeches? And the cake fight? The songs we were meant to do our first dance on, and the song I was suppose to walk down the aisle to was also on the hard drive that crashed. Luckily, Calvin, our MC and Craig got it all re-downloaded. Also, the weather wasn’t what we had hoped for, it was overcast and during cocktail hour, we decided to open up the reception a little earlier.

Where did you get most of your ideas and inspiration from?


Right here on The Pretty Blog, and pinterest. And this may sound strange, but on the blogs of photographers. Their acute attention to detail spoils you with choice for inspiration. The most important thing for me was to look at pictures of events, not just weddings.

What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome while organising your dream wedding?


Achieving the wedding of my dreams on a limited budget. My mom was amazing and paid for most of the wedding, and Ryan’s mom sewed a lot of things for us, which was a great help. We also chose to forego expensive food to have other cool things we really wanted, like a slush puppy machine.

What song did you choose for your opening dance and why?


We chose Ellie Goulding’s cover of Elton John’s “Your Song” – the song has beautiful lyrics, and we felt that Ellie Goulding’s version was modern and a little softer. It was an amazing moment, my daughter ran up to join us during our first dance. That was super special.

Any time-saving or organising tips?


Use Excel spreadsheets, and be decisive. I found indecision to be the greatest time waster.

What was the “theme” of your wedding, and why?


Hessian and lace. Visually the contrast was beautiful, we loved the harshness of the hessian under the softer lace. It also made a beautiful backdrop for all the colours we wanted to incorporate. It ended up being quite an eco-friendly wedding with limited cut flowers, with a lot of potted or grown plants.

Any hints for other brides on how to keep your wedding budget-friendly?


Juggle, compromise and DIY.

Did your wedding preparations include any DIY projects?


Yes, everything was custom or handmade – the signs at the wedding, aisle runners, table runners, hessian wraps around the jars that we grew echeverias in for wedding favours, customised match boxes to light the sparklers for our first dance. Even the backdrop at the ceremony was made from parasols mounted on a wooden arch. I designed our wedding stationery, and these were glued into covers that were covered in hessian with lace and ribbon, wrapped in brown paper and a paper doilies with handwritten names. Even our centrepieces were grown for months before the wedding.