SA Weddings

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Rene H Couture: A Take On Rococo Fashion

We absolutely love it when creatives challenge the norm by stepping out and creating something totally unique. This time, the very talented René Heydon from René H Couture, was the mastermind behind recreating fashion inspired by Marie Antoinette - a fashion style she loved since being a little girl.

Read all about her thought process and how she came up with her incredible ideas!


Since being a little girl I have always had these dreams and fantasies about the 18th and 19th century dresses, My grandmother had this attic where we weren't allowed to go into, so in my mind it was a fantastical world up there, with an amazing cupboard full of vintage clothing especially these dresses.

I love creating historical clothing and even my own wedding gown I created over 20 years ago, when I married my prince, was 18th century inspired. I love the Marie Antoinette movies and depiction of that era, so I decided to create the 3 dreamy gowns and approached the perfect team to make this dream come true. Many ladies have vintage fantasies and love the romantic, yet stunning fashion of those times gone by, the unbelievable decor and furniture, architecture and lifestyles. So creating a shoot and dresses to show these ideas in real time is just amazing.

Finding the perfect venue was going to be challenge so after looking around and considering quite a few venues we found Casa Labia Wedding venue and Museum in Muizenberg. This amazing venue was built in 1929 and was inspired by the 18th Century Venice decor and architecture. This lends to the amazing look and feel for the Recoco style I needed with the dresses.

The decor at the venue was mindblowing - from the intricate ceilings, all the original paintings, the wrought gates and antique furniture, stunning doors and so much more, we didn't know where to start first! There was also no need for additional decor as the venue is so beautifully decorated.

I created all 3 the dresses with all the lovely details, including the panniers (petticoat shape unique to the 18th century era), the under and overdresses. Made from expensive brocades, satins and lace the dresses had a vintage feel yet looked fresh and romantic. The structural corsetry with the intricate lace and applique details on the bodices, sleeves and skirts gave the dresses the unique look of the era.

Samantha Clifton was just as excited as I was to shoot this as she also adores this era of style and clothing. With her amazing feel for her photography and the looks we were opting to capture, she was the best for this creative project. She managed to capture it all!

Mana-Zita MUA also jumped on board to create the 3 unique looks to suit the lovely models. We all love the amazing hairstyles and delicate make up of the time and Mana did a superb job at building those styles up. It was quite a job, but we had the most patient and amazing models we approached to help us make this dream come true. Denise, Tyler and Zandri really enjoyed wearing these amazing gowns and provided all the feels for the theme.

Delana's Cakes for created the stunning cake for the day. I have had the pleasure of working with her before and she is super creative. With only the color scheme and the theme to work with, she created a cake that took our breath away! Perfectly done and to every dreamy detail it was certainly a highlight.

Accessories was a really fun add-on to this shoot, and I approached Anina Le Roux from Lily Blue shoes and accessories as my first and only choice. Her vintage inspired shoes, stunning jewelry and hair vines were the perfect match to the dresses - luxurious and indulgent, the items added such a stunning effect. I added some pink, green and white feathers and some gorgeous white and gold fans to play around with.

The pictures speak a thousand words as to how it all came together and without this dynamo team, my dream 18th century look wouldn't have come alive!

We hope you enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane with these beautiful gowns. Scroll down to see more in our gallery section.


Rene H Couture

Rene H Couture

Western Cape Couture designer Rene Heydon believes that every bride deserves her very own bespoke handcrafted wedding gown on her wedding day

Delana's Cakes

Delana's Cakes

From a cozy home-based cake studio comes a BIG passion for beautiful cakes!

Casa Labia

Casa Labia

This much-loved monument reflects the spirit of 18th Century Venice.

Image Gallery