Reno Bride – Louise & Carel

“It was a beautiful summer’s day (in Winter – 32C) and it was just us, surrounded by nature and our loved ones, celebrating while the sunset and the full moon rose until the sky was filled with stars!”


After a safari holiday in mid-June this year to Marataba Luxury Lodges, and a precious moment on a boat surrounded by the calm of the bush and peaceful quiet, Louise knew this would be the perfect venue that resonated with them as a couple.


Wanting to share this piece of magic with their loved ones, the wedding was organised in two months, and the morning after was spent on a game drive where they saw four of the big five!


The two met in their first year at university and on a weekend getaway to the Cedarberg, Carel suggested a hike to a lookout point at sunset to take in the view. Louise said,


“Little did I know that the hike would end with him on one knee.”



Louise & Carel



21 August 2021






Marriage to us is about covenant; a promise; a safe space. Choosing each other every day and creating a home and a safe space where each other feels safe, love and accepted. Holding each other accountable and encouraging each other, while at the same time helping each other to become the best that we can.



Marataba Luxury Lodges, Limpopo.


One thing that was very important to us while planning our wedding was to be intentional about every part of it and not to just incorporate things into our wedding because everybody did it. It had to have meaning and be special to us. That was probably the main drive for getting married at Marataba – in nature, at peace with our nearest and dearest, and completely in the moment and cognizant of the big decision and commitment we are making.



Maxine Richards Photography.


Maxine was our photographer, together with her second shooter Natasha, and she was just the absolute best. They joined us on Friday and were super excited and enthusiastic from our very first meeting. We chose Maxine because we really liked her photography style and we felt it would really compliment our beautiful surroundings – which it absolutely did. She was also a pro at making us feel comfortable in front of the camera and capturing the ma gic of every moment.


Louise knew from day one that Bo & Luca would be the place where she would make her first appointment to try on dresses,


“I fell in love with their dresses and style and was amazed at how flowy and soft the dresses were and how beautiful the details on the dresses were.”


The bride-to-be tried on our RENO top in our Cape Town studio and immediately fell in love! Louise paired this statement piece with a tulle skirt created by Elbeth Gillis to compliment the RENO top’s soft look and feel.



Gucci Bloom.



Since the RENO top already had so much detail, I decided to keep my accessories simplistic. My employers were so kind to gift me with Nina Bosch earrings and they worked perfectly with my dress.



With it being such an intimate wedding, we decided not to have an official bridal party. We were surrounded by our closest friends and family the entire weekend, so it felt like all of them was our bridal party.



Tamaryn from Tamaryn Pretorius Make up and Hair did my make up and hair and she was such a sweetheart. I wanted a really natural and soft look for both my make up and hair and without even going for a trial, she did exactly that! She really made me feel like a princess!



Bride engagement ring and wedding band: Vonkel Jeweler based in Paarl.


Groom’s wedding band: Carel’s dad is a really talented woodturner and made Carel’s wooden wedding ring for him. It was such a special process.



As cliché as it sounds – don’t sweat the small stuff! Getting married to the love of your life surrounded by your friends and family is all that matters.



Carel’s dad made some beautiful wooden pepper grinders for us as wedding favours for each guest. Not only was it such a special process making it with him (he turned them and we did the finishing work on them) but it also slotted in beautifully with our natural almost bohemian theme and also formed part of the décor on the tables.



With Marataba already being surrounded by so much beauty, we didn’t want to bombard the venue with flowers, but rather use the beauty that we had in nature to do the work for us. We used dried flowers and grass to fit in with the theme and nature, and some neutral flowers in my bouquet.



The head chef at the lodge, Dalmane, made the most amazing cake for us – a duo of Vanilla and Citrus Sponge with a Rosewater and Pistachio Icing. It was delicious!



The lodge did all the catering and drinks for us, and the food was absolutely amazing! From the canapes, to the three-course meal to the donut wall, wedding cake, dessert tasting station and even a midnight snack station ! We enjoyed their food so much when we visited in June that I didn ’t even bother with a tasting for the wedding – we knew the food would be out of this world!



I walked down the isle to Ellie Goulding’s ‘How Long Will I Love You’ and did the confetti toss after signing the register to One Republic’s ‘The Good Life’. We made our first entrance to ‘I choose you’ from Timeflies.



The décor was kept very minimalistic. We used a lot of candles, dried flowers, glass vases, etc to create a bohemian theme that would link with the beautiful surroundings that we found ourselves in. The reception and ceremony area both overlooked the beautiful Waterberg Mountains and other than nature itself, we didn’t need much.



Carel is a really talented singer and him singing has always been a big part of our relationship. He did sêr (a singing competition between residences) at varsity as well as the University Choir. For my first birthday since we were dating, he serenaded me in front of our entire residence to Book of Love by Peter Grabiel, but sneakily changed the “and I will give you wedding rings” part cause no first- year student wants to be signing about marriage. He then surprised me during his speech at the wedding reception by singing Book of Love to me again, but this time with wedding rings included.


He also knows that I am absolutely in love with the Schitt’s Creek version of Simple The Best where Patrick serenades David at the open mic night, so he also surprised me with that version of Simple The Best during his speech. It was incredible and something I will always treasure.



Photography: Maxine Richards Photography


Venue: Marataba Luxury Lodges

They have been incredible, and we received the best service ever – no jokes! They went above and beyond and always with a smile.10/10 would recommend visiting them. It will be one of the most magical experiences ever.


Hair & Makeup: Tamaryn Pretorius Make Up and Hair


Flowers: Krimpvarkies & Vlinders based in Thabazimbi


Décor: Candles and vases we bought at Mr. Price Home. Dried flowers we got from Bloom Collective.


Food & Drinks: Marataba Luxury Lodges


Wedding Rings: Vonkel


Earrings: Nina Bosch