Tracy & Marius’ Festive and Colorful DIY Wedding in South Africa


colorful south africa wedding

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend dear readers! We’re opening this brand new week with a festive, laid-back, and very colorful DIY wedding from all the way in South Africa! Lovely bride Tracy told me that she and Marius didn’t want anything cookie cutter for their celebration. Both of them being artistic, they went out of their way to make their wedding as personal and unconventional as it can be by spending as little money as possible. They gathered the help of family, took inspiration from colors and decors of Moroccan outdoor weddings (mainly red, fuschia and pink), and put together a beautiful and memorable wedding that they’re able to truly call their own.

All the pretty photos on this page were taken by Liesl Basson Photography. Please enjoy!

colorful south africa wedding

colorful south africa wedding

As always I think it’s best to let the beautiful bride take over and tell you all about their love story and wedding in her own words! Over to you Tracy:

Marius is tall and handsome, tattooed and everybody wants me to clone him. He is so incredibly kind, generous, patient, wise and respectful of women – a true gentlemen. Grew up in a good Afrikaans home, with a wonderful family. He is the first to open a door for a lady, smile at a cashier, help somebody carry their bags, give somebody a lift, or run to help anyone in the middle of the night, and can be found giving his last shirt off his back and the last of our money to help somebody else.

He has worked on contract in Africa and all over the world like Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq, Bonny Island, Ivory Coast and Angola doing remote site catering support for oil and gas contractors.

Nothing is too much trouble – ever – when the girls had a dance to go to, I was really busy at work and he took them shopping for dresses – for hours while they tried on every dress in about 10 shops. He does all the cooking, grocery shopping, fetching and carrying from school, homework, lunches – if I let him he would do everything. Then when all my friends come round for a visit he rushes off to buy wine and snacks and even goes up the my friends farm to feed their horses so they don’t’ have to so they can spend time with me.

He is unconventional, quirky, seriously offbeat alternative, with plenty of tattoos and piercings. He loves motorbikes – had a Ducati monster in the garage for many years. He loves spending time with his family, having a good old South African braai (BBQ), he loves reading and going to all the kids sports days – he even became the schools volunteer rugby coach when he was home for 4 months waiting for a visa.

He has a very hectic job and is away in Angola working away for 6 weeks and home for 3 at a time. He is currently studying for a qualification in Supply Chain and Procurement Management which he will finish in November.- which I am so incredibly proud of him for doing!

colorful south africa wedding

I am also very unconventional, arty and quirky -have never quite done anything my entire life that would be considered conforming to society. I was a hairdresser for 17 years, running a successful salon from our home until we moved to the country 5 years ago where I decided a change of gears was required. I come from a massive family (all my sisters were my bridesmaids) and life has always been rather, loud and madly chaotic – Marius just fitted in perfectly. My family has played a big part in bringing up my children – it is really true that it takes a village to raise a child – and their support during some really hard times has enabled us to have the lives we have today – I would be nothing without them.

I am devoted to my family and in awe of my friends. We have a small group of ladies here in Tulbagh where we live – a small farming community – all different ages. I am the youngest by 10 years if not more. We all get together regularly and it became a bit of a joke when we all got together at ”Wine O’clock”, now we are known in town as the Wine O’clock Team. 5 women that none of us can live without, or make a decision without – God help our men if they step out of line, they have 5 of us to deal with! ahahahaha

I am now a full time freelancer writer, I paint, draw, play the piano, have lots of animals, chickens, dogs, cats and tortoises  Marius says he is not worried that he will come home and find that I have spent all his money, but that he will arrive home to find an Alpaca in the driveway.

colorful south africa wedding

We met 10 years before we got married he was my cousins best friend, shortly after I met him he returned to Nigeria where we worked at the time and didn’t see him for a while after he returned from Kuwait where he was working then. He took me out for lunch that lasted 6 hours and we have been together ever since then.

I think we took a long time to get married because we are so unconventional, non conformist people, but I already grew to the idea a few years before he did. Its a standing joke that if I could convince Mari (as we all call him) to marry me, I can convince anyone to do anything!

Marius adopted my kids and has taken them on as his own completely – they were still in nappies when we met. A good indication of what kind of man my Mari is.

colorful south africa wedding

My girls are 12 and 13 years old this year – and they keep us very busy with school and sport and commitments and Marius and I do everything as a family with the kids – to the point that they tell us they are going to sleep over at a friend so we can go on a date.

They have great fun choosing a dress for me, getting together with Mari to buy flowers and chocolates and that kind of thing. They think we are the oldest teenage parents in the world. But living in such a small town its very hard to go on any dates. hahaha.

colorful south africa wedding

colorful south africa wedding

On the day of the wedding, my friend (another hairdresser) did all the Moms and guests hair in my salon at home, while I did the bridal partys hair at another venue, while Marius was chilling with a beer on the couch watching rugby with his mom.

colorful south africa wedding

My oldest friend made my bouquet on the morning of the wedding with whatever flowers she wanted – I bought some fresh proteas from a little local shop on the morning of the wedding on my way to the venue.

colorful south africa wedding

colorful south africa wedding

The men and women in the bridal party and moms and dads, each had a specially hand made pinwheel corsage (I got the idea from the clever lady on Rule 42). *team sisters* made giant pinwheels on sticks that Marius hand wrapped in ribbons for each of the bridesmaids and flower girls instead of flowers.

My dress was done by an up an coming designer at MeMeMe, who is a very talented young lady who works all sorts of jobs while trying to get her name up as a designer. Tanja Olivier, she also made one of my sisters dresses. It was a seriously interactive dress, even I was a bit worried when I got it that even I had gone a bit far this time. My mother in law, who is very conventional, religious and Afrikaans asked me in a kind of shocked, hysterical horror, where my real dress was when she saw it hanging up in the tree house where we got ready.

colorful south africa wedding

colorful south africa wedding

colorful south africa wedding

colorful south africa wedding

All the confetti was bouganvillea out of my friends gardens.

I also made a little wedding newspaper with stories about each of the wedding party which I wrote, and some of my friends and family wrote funny stories about us that we added in, as well as the story of how we met and some family photos.

colorful wedding in south africa

colorful south africa wedding

colorful south africa wedding

My sisters and the children and I made all the hanging table seating plans – which hung like funky mobiles in the vines over the tables. We made table names and gifts for each guest from marmite and fishpaste jars with succulents planted out of my own, my friends and my sisters gardens. The whole town got involved and complete strangers were dropping off their marmite jars at my house for the wedding, the whole town was talking about the mad hairdresser who wanted marmite jars. The kids at school begged me to get married already as they couldn’t eat anymore marmite their moms were putting on their lunch sandwiches.

colorful south africa wedding

All the flowers came from my friends’ gardens on the day of the wedding – that was really special when they started arriving at my house in the morning of my wedding, I will never forget that.

I didn’t have any plan for my flowers on the table or in my bouquet, I just said to my friends just bring your most colourful flowers you have on the day.The owner of the venue was my neighbour (small town) and she just whipped it altogether, I said I didn’t mind, she could do whatever she wanted. So it was a complete surprise, which was very special.

colorful south africa wedding

colorful south africa wedding

Our wedding ”cake” was a family recipe ice cream of my Moms – a chocolate bomb – which my Mom and Godmother made a few weeks before – enough for 80 people – at my Godmothers catering company and then packed it up in camping fridges belonging to my friend and beautician who also came from the city – an hour and a half away – in the middle of the summer heat – into fridges all over town before the big day.

Instead of throwing my bouquet I awarded it to ”Granny Jean”. She is a truly tenacious 80 year old superwoman granny, who was one of my clients and still one of my dearest and most special friends. She had been married for just over 60 years, before her husband passed away – happily married – and she is an inspiration to everyone in our valley. I felt that we should award her with the bouquet – Marius did a little speech and there was lots of tears and goosebumps.

My friends got together and opened up their homes for wedding guests – it was just so incredibly special for everyone – the entire town is STILL talking about the mad hairdressers wedding.

colorful south africa wedding

Every single aspect of the wedding was done with friends, came from friends – the champagne was donated by one of the Wine O’clock team members as a wedding gift, the photographer was a friend in the valley, the table cloths were loaned from the lady who sold us the proteas for my bouquets, the wedding cars (all 4 of them!) were all friends and family’s cars and Granny Jean made my bird cage veil out of bits and pieces I got from a Chinese store (she used to be a wedding dress designer among other things) and adjusted all of our dresses, put sleeves on my youngest daughters dress for us as well.

Without the Power Family (my family) the Cousins Family (my stepfamily) and the Wine O’clock team this wedding wouldn’t have happened. I am truly thankful to all of them.

colorful south africa wedding

Don’t spend money unnecessarily and start a marriage in debt. These days weddings have entirely missed the point about what a wedding is all about – it is a celebration of a couples life together – this is not measured in how extravagant the wedding is. Rather have a fun outdoor picnic and spend the money on your honeymoon! Don’t let well meaning relatives live vicariously through you on your wedding day – its not about them, and there is no harm in reminding them that.

Thank you Tracy for sending your delightful wedding my way! Here’s wishing you and Marius a blissful married life! 🙂

Photographer : Liesl Basson (Bride’s note: She did a boudoir shoot 2 days before and the shoot on the day of the wedding.)
Venue : Paddagang, Church Street Tulbagh. (Bride’s note: Bubbles Van Zyl was the wedding coordinator, who set up the venue, the chairs for the service under the big oak tree, with all the hearts and ribbons. Made all the incredible food and our other wedding cake – the caramel one just for Mari 🙂 She was incredible, it wouldn’t have come together without her. Paddagang is a restaurant and winery with roots going back as far as the 1800’s.)
Venue for couple portraits: Saronsberg Wine Estate and Paddagang
Wedding make up: bride’s friend Sophie du Toit (Bride’s note: all makeup was done at her farm Vindoux where we got dressed in the main treehouse and had a braai the night before with all the guests.)
Nails and beauty requirements for the bridal party: Terry Addison at Top to Toe in Cape Town and Sophie and her team at Vindoux Day Spa
Bride’s dress: MeMeMe (Bride’s note: Lezanne at MeMeMe hand made all the childrens peacock feather hair pieces.)
Wedding newspapers editing and printing, Gecko graphics and signs: Pierre Booysen
Music: LHM Productions (Bride’s note: an awesome duo of young guys that played the best music ever.)
Veil: Granny Jean for making the veil
Chocolate bombs: Granny Kathy and Gill Roberts / Bayleys Catering

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2 Comments

  1. I love occasions where “it takes a village”. What a beautiful, fun day! And I couldn’t agree more about starting in debt. People usually LOVE to contribute to a wedding they get to come to! It gives everyone a little bit more of a personal investment. 🙂

  2. It was a truly incredible experience – really like something out of a movie – and our friends are STILL talking about it! Thank you 🙂 x

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