SA Weddings

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Shalyn Sutherland

Married on May 4, 2021 in Garden Route

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Magical Moments


Werner and I enjoyed the most beautiful and intimate elopement wedding. It was incredibly special for us to share all of our happiness so closely with those closest to us. I got to marry my best friend in the world and nothing can top that feeling. We shared so many laughs throughout our big day, and to us, that's what a wedding should be about.
Werner and I are always cracking each other up and find comedy in everything. So the most memorable moment for me was how we both were overcome with emotions the minute we started our personal vows that we wrote to each other. We've never cried that many happy tears before.

The Honeymoon


Werner and myself stayed at Botlierskop Private Game Reserve for the week of our wedding. Our stay was just the most peaceful, relaxing and romantic getaway that we could have imagined. The accommodation was true luxury, the staff were incredible and the reserve was breathtaking.

Wedding Gallery


My Special Day

Our wedding was quite a simple look- bold, creative and unique. We wanted a special day that was just right for us. We opted for a very intimate elopement wedding with our closest friends and family. We wanted to steer clear of the traditional style of wedding, including our decor, photos and my dress. While bordering on controversial, my black dress suited my unique style and character perfectly. I also didn't have to worry about dirty fingers or red wine spills on my dress! It was made for me by Unveiled Bridal. It required a last minute alteration however that saw me cutting the padding out of the front the day before as it just wasn't sitting right.
My shoes were purchased from Poetry. I am grateful I invested in a very comfortable pair of shoes, especially since we were traipsing through the veld for photos.
I purchases my rose gold hair accessory at Loviso. My rose gold and black diamond ring was made by Jack Friedman. Werner's black and rose gold ring was purchases at American Swiss.
I did my own make-up and having naturally curly hair, I hopped in the shower and let it dry naturally to achieve my look.

The Venue

We got married at Botlierskop Private Game Reserve. The ceremony was held on the spa deck overlooking the vast landscape, free-roaming game and the iconic Botlierskop mountain itself. Our small party of guests enjoyed dinner and drinks at the restaurant whilst we had our photos. We later joined them for celebratory drinks and cake before saying good-bye.

My Bridal Beauty Regime

Werner and myself decided to get ready for our special day together, rather than in separate rooms. We really are best friends and honestly do everything together. It just made sense that our morning leading up to our wedding should be spent in the way that makes us happiest- together.
After a leisurely breakfast followed by some frantic venue preparations, we put some of our favourite tunes on in our suite and set about getting cleaned up. After Werner was suited up, he went off to re-write his vows for the 60th time and I set about getting into my dress. Werner had not seen my dress, he didn't even have any idea what colour it would be so it was important to me to surprise him with at least one thing.

Wedding Elements

We opted for minimal decor as the venue is surrounded by so much natural beauty, we really did not want to detract from that. Botlierskop coordinated the ceremony set-up and furniture. They also arranged my bridal bouquet and Werner's boutonniere (which we later ditched when neither of us could attach the thing with our shaking hands!)
I made the flower arrangement on the tables. We bought the fresh flowers from Flowers 4 U on Market Street, George.
We went with a very neutral colour pallet with the flowers, choosing just whites and greens. With a statement as loud as my black dress, we wanted to keep the flowers simple.

Marriage Officer

Deon Joubert married us. He is a close family friend to Werner and delivered a simple, no-fuss ceremony. He did a great job of helping us laugh and feel relaxed (as much as is possible when you're getting married!).

My Captured Moments

Ruan Redelinghuys was our photographer. I had seen some of Ruan's photos online and was adamant that we needed him as our photographer. We originally had planned to have our wedding on the 5th, however Ruan was not available that day. I insisted we had no choice but to move the wedding to the 4th in order for him to capture our special day. I am SO glad we changed arrangements to include him. He was absolutely amazing! He captured our day even more beautifully than we had hoped. He was so great to work with, super friendly and really helped us feel at ease. We're also happy Ruan was not available on the 5th as it poured with rain the whole day!

The Wedding Planner

We didn't use a planner to coordinate our elopement wedding, choosing rather to plan everything ourselves. Werner and myself had just started a new company and so "budget constraints" were the theme of the day! We opted to DIY everything we were capable of to save wherever we could.

Food & Cake

Botlierskop catered for our guests as well as ourselves. We were absolutely spoilt with a private dinner set-out and served to our suite with complementary sparkling wine. The food was out of this world.
I made our black and rose gold wedding cake. The cake was baked the day before our wedding and traveled with us from George to the venue. Unfortunately the gravel road to the hotel took a slight toll and the cake arrived leaning at a distinct angle, much to my horror.

Wedding Stationery

While we didn't have an awful lot of stationary to make given our tiny guest party, we also chose to DIY this. I designed and printed invitations, infographic timelines, place settings and table decor. We also designed and 3D printed the wooden "welcome" sign at our ceremony.

The Reception and Entertainment

We opted out of the tradition reception with dancing. We chose to rather enjoy an intimate and relaxed dinner with our guests. The main focus of our special day was celebrating with those closest to us. Nothing fancy, just good company!

Wedding Services Used

Ruan Redelinghuys Photography

Ruan Redelinghuys Photography

I love what I do. I live for what we can create.