Our Sunset Safari styled shoot was a sun-kissed celebration of love and romance, with touches of terracotta, rust and green, set against a timeless African backdrop of acacia bushveld.

Marriage Meander is delighted to showcase the results of our Sunset Safari Styled Shoot. Hosted at the captivating Kirstenvale Wedding Venue, just outside of Pietermaritzburg, this shoot was a true collaboration of creativity and passion and highlights the talents of some of KwaZulu-Natal’s top wedding suppliers.

If the appeal of a rustic, relaxed and contemporary bush-styled wedding appeals to you, you will definitely find some design cues here.

Pro insight: Outdoor weddings are on the rise! If an outdoor wedding is on the cards for you, just make sure you have a plan in place for poor weather.

At our shoot, we took advantage of the spectacular scenery and amazing May weather by staging our ceremony area beneath a giant fig tree and hosting canapes on the lawn. You don’t need to travel far for incredible photo opportunities with the vast tracts of golden grasslands, rivers, dams, abundant wildlife and iconic suspension bridge at Kirstenvale.

Why do wedding pros do styled shoots? As creatives within the wedding industry, we like to stretch our imaginations and create concepts that we think will inspire our brides. Styled shoots are also really fun and interactive without the added pressure of it being an actual wedding. They allow wedding pros to collaborate, share knowledge and trends, and try new things.


Colour palette

A trending colour palette of terracotta, rust, sage green and fern green steal the limelight and you will see these colours dominating in the flowers, centrepieces, décor, napery, cake and stationery.

Rust, terracotta, cream and green wedding colours


Hosted at the captivating Kirstenvale Wedding Venue, just outside of Pietermaritzburg, this shoot was a true collaboration of creativity and passion and highlights the talents of some of KwaZulu-Natal’s top wedding suppliers.

If the appeal of a rustic, relaxed and contemporary bush-styled wedding appeals to you, a site visit to Kirstenvale should be at the top of your wedding To Do list. Venue hosts, Matt and Kirst, are the most accommodating and enthusiastic pair you could hope to meet.

They had a vision for this very special piece of land and started transforming it into the wedding venue it is today during those tough, early months of lockdown. I have watched with amazement and wonder as they have created a legacy that brides and grooms will get to enjoy for years to come. Their passion for helping couples design an unforgettable wedding experience is evident in the glowing reviews from previous bridal couples.

Kirstenvale wedding venue in bush setting

Suspension bridge at Kirstenvale Wedding Venue

Bridal couple in front of game viewing vehicle


All the photos resulting from this shoot were captured by the uber talented Vicky from Vix Photography Weddings, who is an adventurer, storyteller, my human GPS on this shoot, and one of the nicest wedding pros you will ever meet. I do not have the words to describe how much I love the photos she captured at this epic shoot.

Flowers and décor

The florals and décor at the shoot were handled by Muirheads Hiring. I asked Sherree and her team to create three visually spectacular scenes for our shoot:

– A whimsical ceremony area beneath a giant Fig Tree
– An informal canape set-up where guests could laugh, play, drink and eat under the African sun
– A reception table that echoed our colour palette of rust, terracotta, cream and green (I am still lusting over the gold and glass side plates!)

I think it’s safe to say that the Muirheads team shot the lights out! This is truly the kind of stardust that dreams are made of…

Outdoor wedding ceremony beneath giant fig tree

Stunning triangular wedding arch with flowers


Janet from Fuchsia Fine Event Stationery wanted to elevate the natural beauty of KirstenVale’s beautiful grasslands, acacia trees and wildlife. Janet took her inspiration for the Save the Date and envelope liner from two stunning images of the venue captured by Court Clegg Photography at a previous wedding.

Janet worked with a colour palette of cream, rust and terracotta, to create a modern stationery suite with subtle custom embossed elements, laser cutting and gold foiling. The result is something unassuming, yet eloquent. A truly bespoke stationery set that captures the essence of our bush-inspired styled shoot.

Bespoke African themed stationery suite

Signature drinks signage

Foodie Focus

Often styled shoots focus on the flowers and décor rather than the food. Not this time! 😉 Food is undoubtedly one of the most important ingredients to any successful party which is why it’s so important choose the right catering partners and menu for your wedding.

For our Sunset Safari styled shoot, Hamblins Catering presented a delicious canape menu, which was enjoyed on the lawn with signature His and Hers cocktail drinks.  Hamblin’s Catering also did a three-course sit-down meal that had everyone salivating. Every dish was perfectly plated and tasted as delectable as it looked! Just ask the wedding suppliers who gladly tucked into the food once it had been photographed!

Janine from Whisked Cakery created a two-layer cake where the bottom layer was Black Forest filled with cream and covered in a Swiss Meringue icing, which is less sweet than a normal butter cream icing. The top layer of cake was a ‘dummy’ and for those of you who don’t know about dummy cake layers, here’s the lo-down: if you don’t have enough guests to warrant two or more cake tiers but you still want the impact of a multi-layered cake, this is a great option as it saves you money and reduces cake wastage.

Wedding celebration

Rust and cream coloured boho wedding cake

Hair and make-up

Our make-up and hair team deserve a round of applause for the smoking hot looks they created for our bride at this Sunset Safari styled shoot.

Look 1: Our model, Tam’s short blonde hair was given waves and texture by Sole Hair and Beauty hair stylist, Kate, while make-up artist Ange from Dios Gracia Make-up Artistry created a gorgeous, glowing look in Autumn shades to match our rust and terracotta design aesthetic. Beautiful bling earrings supplied by Bella Bride.

Natural looking bridal makeup

Look 2: Hair was swept back into a ponytail and a glamorous hair extension added. Make-up was deepened for an evening look. Add an African hat and some leopard-print earrings and this bride was ready for her sunset safari!

Ponytail hairstyle for wedding

Hair extension ponytail style for wedding


Let’s talk dresses and suits! At our Sunset Safari styled shoot, we showcased two outfits for both bride and groom. Here’s the lo-down on these trending looks.

Look 1: Tam wore SYLVIE by Bella Bride, an ultra feminine A-line dress with beaded lace bodice, plunge neckline, beaded spaghetti straps and  sparkle tulle skirt. A gorgeous veil with pearl beads and drop earrings from Bella Bride added some bridal glamour.

Deep V wedding dress and pearl veil

Austin wore a stone suit from Suit Yourself with white button-up top and buttonhole by @muirheadshiring

Stone coloured suit and dried floral buttonhole

Look 2: Tam wore Belle by Bella Bride, a minimalistic French Crepe gown with square-scoop neck, a high back and pockets! This beautiful dress comes with different personalisation options like a lowered back, fitted or T-length skirt, cap sleeve, long sleeve and covered buttons. For this outfit we added a tan-coloured Panama-style hat and leather leopard-print earrings. In keeping with our safari vibe, Tam wore a pair of silver leopard print vellies by New Earth Vellies.

Simple wedding dress with square-scoop neck

Bride wearing silver vellies

Austin wore a grey suit from Suit Yourself with white button-up top, brown belt and brown shoes for a relaxed look.

Grey suit and brown belt for groom

Here’s the full list of magic makers:

Venue: Kirstenvale Wedding Venue
Photography: Vix Photography
Décor & Florals: Muirheads Hiring
Stationery: Fuchsia Fine Event Stationery
Dresses and veil: Bella Bride
Bride’s vellies: New Earth Vellies
Suits:  Suit Yourself
Make-up: Dios Gracia Make-up Artistry
Hair: Sole Hair and Beauty
Catering: Hamblin’s Catering
Cake:  Whisked Cakery
Bride: Tammy Botha
Groom: Austin Nel from Irene’s Models
Concept & planning:  Marriage Meander