Emily and Justin’s romance began with dates around the world. Literally. They dated long-distance after meeting at University of Oxford and travelled to the Serengeti, London, Paris, Colorado and NYC to see each other during that time. So it was fitting for the couple to hold their second celebration (the first was in California) at Hartford House, a gorgeous English style hotel in the middle of the South African midlands. The views are stunning, the design of the day is fresh and modern with posh details and bright citrus-hued details like the florals by Sweet P. b. flint photography captured the couple’s joy and beautiful day in his film photography style and it’s absolutely lovely.
What made the wedding special and unique?
Having one in South Africa after having one in California (we had two celebrations) was a perfect blend of both Justin and my worlds. We were able to have the wedding at Hartford House which is a gorgeous English style hotel in the middle of the South African midlands. We were able to take over the who place so if felt very much life a fairy tale! We had a gorgeous 5 course meal with tomatoes grown especially for the wedding, a craft gin and tonic bar but also had authentic Zulu dancers during the reception. For our ceremony, Justin and I wrote letters to each other that followed our vows and we had two best friends of 10 years take part in the ceremony. One was the MC and the other sang “How Can I Keep From Singing”. Justin’s surname is Murray so we had a bagpiper there to nod to the Scottish heritage.
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!
The gown was one of a kind! It is a Hungarian designer called Daalarna. It was one of the first dresses I tried on at Spina Bride NYC in NYC. Once I tried it on, I just danced around. I knew it was mine. The dress is sleeveless with the bodice made of lace and invisible mesh. It had a plunging deep v and a invisible mesh back which made it look backless other than a line of vintage buttons. I loved it from the start!
What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?
Justin and I met at Oxford when we were both doing our MBAs and then dated long distance for 18 months. So our “dates” were always in great locations. So for our tables instead of numbers we labeled them all the places we met for our dates. The Serengetti, London, Paris, Colorado, NYC, etc. Out first date was the Serengeti so that was of course the main table. :)
What was the most memorable part of the day?
Ah, so many things! One was walking down the aisle which was a pergola covered in purple wisteria with my dad. Another was Justin and our first dance. He isn’t a big dancer and he made the effort to spin and dip me twice but I got a little too into it and he was afraid of dropping me! We laughed so hard right on the dance floor. Taking pictures with Brian Flint was so awesome too; he captured who we are as a couple perfectly and he did so much work scouting out the areas that we just followed and laughed our way through pictures.
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
Justin and I met at Oxford doing a 2-year MBA. We were just friends and then we left and he went back to South Africa and I, New York. A few months later Justin emailed me to ask me to come to his best friend’s wedding and then the Serengeti. I had just started a new job but I went anyway. It was magical, from the lions to the balloon ride over the Serengeti. After that we dated long distance for about 18 months at which point I moved from NYC to South Africa to see if it was the real deal. It was. About 5 months later, Justin proposed on a sunrise game drive in Kruger National Park (there was a rhino and her calf as witnesses but that was about all). My parents were there and his parents surprised us. After he proposed we saw a leopard which was a pretty amazing engagement gift!
Photographer: b. flint photography // Stylist / Planner / Venue / Cake: Hartford House // Floral Designer: Sweet P // Film Lab: Photovision Prints // Dress Designer: Daalarna // Accessories: Christian Louboutin // Groom’s Attire: Frank Bespoke // DJ: DJ Vivian