Real Wedding | Derryn & Ashton

What first caught my attention was that the bride and I share the same name.  I don’t know many Derryns so I was curious…who is this chick? I had to know. 

I browsed through Derryn&Ashton’s wedding photos and found myself liking this “impostor” more and more. They got married on their parents farm in Northern KZN, it was 1950s them (right down to their selection of tunes), and they had an Elvis impersonator.  Does it get any better? 

Stacey from The Shank Tank did an excellent job with the photographs and we are proud to share them on our blog with you today.

Over to Derryn (the other one)…

Our wedding was held on my folks’ farm which is in Gingindlovu (near Eshowe). We had the ceremony down at the dam and the reception up at the house. We had a 1950s theme and asked that the guests also dress “elegantly vintage” using 1920s – 1950s as a reference. I tried to make sure that every detail was perfect from the song that played as I arrived at the ceremony (“I wanna play house with you” from the 1950s) on the back of a 1953 Squire, to entering the reception to another 1950s tune, this time by Ray Charles’ “Hallelujah I just love her so”.

It was our perfect day.

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The best advice I received was…

To accept people’s help. I tend to battle when asking people to help me with things if I know it isn’t a quick and easy thing to do. I can very confidently say that my wedding would never ever have been anywhere near as beautiful and perfect as it was if I had not had all the help that I did. From my sisters-in-law fetching the Cinnabons for dessert in Durban (an hour away from the wedding venue) on the morning of the wedding; my Dad and Ash building a stage like structure to cover the swimming pool; my Mom’s stalwart companionship on many, many trips to Durban; my brother and sister-in-law (Midlands Stretch Tents) letting us use their tents free of charge; my other brother spending hours making sure the farm looked neat and tidy; to one of my very special bridesmaids rescuing Ashton’s waistcoat malfunction the night before the wedding! All of these things saved me from going grey prematurely for sure! I learnt that people who love you WANT to help you, not because they have to but because they can!

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The coolest idea I loved executing was…

First: Ash fixed up an old vintage bicycle, even going so far as to spray it navy blue to match the wedding. We asked my nephew, Ezra, to ride it down the aisle before I walked down. The only problem was, he still rode with training wheels. With lots of hard work from my brother and sister-in-law and lots of perseverance from Ezra, he gave a star performance on the day as he rode down the aisle to “Daisy, Daisy give me your answer do”.

Second: This was a surprise for everyone except my Mom. I organized a friend and colleague of mine, Marius, who does Elvis impersonations to perform at the wedding. It was just perfect and such fun to have a “real” 1950’s star at the wedding too!

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 The best spent money was on…

The outfits that the bridal party wore. We really wanted to try as much as we could to make our wedding stand out – not particularly as the “best wedding ever” but just as something different to the norm yet still classy. I feel that the outfits that we all wore were the “icing on the top” of this idea.

We ended up buying my dress from Jasmyns in Durban – it was full length and beautiful and I took a massive risk by chopping off the bottom of it – in order to fit the 1950’s theme. I had never tried on a wedding dress that length before so really just had to have faith that it was going to work out! We then added some bling to the “belt” and a layer of sparkly tule off to finish. My princess shoes were from Olivelli in Westville from the lovely Tracey who I would highly recommend to any bride.

Ash didn’t want to wear a traditional tux so we had to find him something that was “funky” enough for him but still stuck to the theme. The jacket he found from CSquared was perfect and the Blue suede shoes and hat finished off his look.

We had a huge mishap with the groomsmen’s waistcoats (Note: Don’t try and go the cheap route when paying someone to make things for you!) and had to rush around RICHARDS BAY (of all places) two days before the wedding trying to find something for the groomsmen to wear…by the grace of God we found the MOST perfect jackets at Markhams which actually turned out WAY better than the waistcoats ever would have!

We got the bridesmaids dresses made by Michelle Pace who is a genius seamstress in Empangeni. The girls had full on ‘50s petticoats underneath, gloves, fur wraps and fascinators all to match the theme.

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The hardest part of planning was…

Firstly, the guest list. OH. MY.WORD. Ash and I are both quite sociable people and have lived in quite a few different places through out our lives. Trying to get the guest list down to a reasonable number was really difficult. When things got ruthless, I started using the questions I found somewhere online: “Do you socialize with them normally?” And “would you normally be happy to pay for their dinner?”.

Secondly, living where I live. I live about 2 hours away from Durban so every time we needed to do anything, it was basically a day trip or, a whole weekend affair. I don’t think I spent more than 2 weekends at home in the 5 months that I had to plan the wedding! Both décor vendors that we used (Labola and Settings) were really accommodating though and made themselves available to us whenever we needed to pop in and see them. They were also happy to let us loan items to go and try them out with the flowers etc. before the actual wedding day. My Mom-in-law was also a massive help here as she lives in Durban so ended up doing quite a lot of running around for us up there as well!

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People are still talking about…

how the wedding was just so “us”. Some of the things that people mentioned specifically were:

– the Lucky bean tree wedding favours which Ash planted from seed (which doubled as table décor in Rose gold Bamboo pots)
– me standing up and making my own speech. I am not one to sit back and let anyone speak for me
– having Elvis at the wedding
– throwing an untied bouquet so that more than one girl could catch it and, hence, tie the knot next
– having my cousins sing some of my favourite songs
– the amazingly beautiful wooden pergola that Ash made from scratch, with a little help from his two brothers, which I was not allowed to see until I walked down the aisle.

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Nobody warns you about…

the feeling of guilt after the wedding. I really felt so terrible that I did not get to have a proper conversation with all 190 of the guests. I did manage to speak to everyone there but, I was quite devastated that I didn’t get to actually sit down and catch up with everyone, especially the guests who had come from far away. It is so overwhelming to know that people care about you and love you so much that they will spend the money to come from all over the country to share your day with you. Looking back though, I don’t know how I could’ve changed this. It is the one night that EVERYONE wants a “piece of you” and you battle to chat to any one person for more than a few minutes before you are called away to someone else. To this day, it still worries me a bit but I just have to tell myself that people understand.

Surprisingly, one of the most memorable parts of my wedding ended up being…

After walking the last guests to their cars, Ash and I went and sat back at our table, just the two of us – exhausted but with the our hearts just overflowing. We sat there for about 15 minutes, looking around the tent, chatting about the evening’s happenings and soaking up the last few moments of our most special day. I will cherish this memory forever.

When my next bestie gets engaged I will make sure…

That I support her. I found that what I needed most some days was just a message from a friend asking how I was and listening to my venting or frustrations. Sometimes Ash just did not get what I was on about and somehow, my besties did. I realized especially that being a bridesmaid is very much about being supportive of the bride as much as possible and so so so appreciated when mine would check in with me – not necessarily doing anything other than a quick message saying “love you”!


My Dress- Jasmyns and Michelle Pace
My shoes – Olivelli Westville
Ash – CSquared, Country Road,
Bridesmaid dresses – Michelle Pace
Make-up – Jenna Barton and Vanessa Van Rensburg.
Hair – Jackie Grisdale (Head First Ballito)
Groomsmen – Country Road, Markhams
Décor – Labola and Settings (some was made by us too)
Flowers and setup– Anne Macdonald and Jenna Barton
Photographer and Videographer – The Shank Tank
Amazing live music and DJ – Dave Starke
Elvis – Marius Beukes
Food – The Cook Sisters

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