Sarah + Conn
There were so many aspects to this wedding that we loved. Simple, clean and elegant, surrounded by nature and their loved ones – what is not to love?
Sarah and Conn met 5 years ago at a bar in Joburg, they fell in love and now live together in Zambia.
A bush wedding was always a dream for them and they pulled off the most spectacular day.
Read on if you would like to get some inspo for your upcoming big day!
Hooray: Hi Guys, tell us about yourselves.
S + C: We are Sarah Burns & Connaire Coleshaw. We have been together for just over 5 years now. We met at a bar in Joburg on a random night out. As they say, the rest is history!
Hooray: Tell us about your proposal.
S + C: We live in Zambia and our favourite place to go is to the lower Zambezi. Conn planned a wonderful weekend away at our favourite place to stay. We went out on the river and while sipping on a gin and tonic, he bent the knee! Was the most magical way he could have asked me!
Hooray: Did you always dream of having a bush wedding?
S+ C: When we started planning, that was the easiest decision. We love the bush and couldn’t have imagined getting married anywhere else. I found an advert for Monate in a magazine and immediately made a plan to go see it. I went with my mom and sister-in-law and we all fell in love with it. Monate was out of this world. We decided to make it into a whole weekend event. Most of the guests arrived on the Friday. We had a lovely game drive with sundowners at a dam. Then an amazing dinner in a cave. It was an incredible way to start the celebrations.
Hooray: What was the one non-negotiable of your wedding?
S + C: An incredible location and good wine!
Hooray: How did you choose your photographer?
S + C: She was recommended by another photographer! Tanya was amazing! She captured the best parts of our day!
Hooray: Be honest, how many hours did you spend on Pinterest?
S + C: Too many!!
Hooray: Can you tell us more about the perfume spraying during your ceremony?
S + C: Our minister (who was my minister at church when I was growing up in Durban) got each of our favourite perfumes. He asked my mom to spray them on each of our hands, and then we rubbed them together. We created our own amazing scent. We now have a bottle of Bamboo by Gucci and Hugo by Hugo Boss mixed and it smells incredible. It was a wonderful way to show how we are one.
Hooray: What role did your parents play in your wedding?
S + C: My mom was a massive help in every aspect. I couldn’t have done it without her help.
Hooray: We love your stationery, were did you draw inspiration from this?
S + C: I spent a lot of time planning this. I worked with the incredibly talented Wendy Cousins of Indigo and Ivory Designs, who designed and made our ceremony fans, table numbers and seating charts. I got a few ideas from Pinterest but I wanted to make it as personal as possible. Our colour scheme was very natural, with the different greens. The copper influence was the link to Zambia where we now live. Conn is a pilot for a copper mine here and we wanted to bring some of that to our wedding. Our thank you cards that were on each persons place setting were created and designed by Nileta at Growing paper. Each one is filled with seeds and can be planted.
Hooray: Your cake looks delicious. What flavour/s was it?
S + C: Our cake was amazing. It was made by my maid of honour, Kirsty Ives. Each tier was a different flavoured cake. We had carrot, chocolate and vanilla. Our three favourites :). We couldn’t decide on one!
Hooray: Was it nerve wrecking having photos in the game reserve? Did you experience any animal encounters?
S + C: It wasn’t at all. There was only plains game around where we took photos and had a guide with us at all times. Tanya, our photographer, managed to capture the day in the most spectacular way and made us feel so comfortable while we were doing it.
Hooray: Your bridesmaids and groomsmen, tell us more about them.
S + C: We had a big bridal party! I had 7 bridesmaids and Conn had 8 groomsmen. We are blessed with amazing friends and family which made for a big bridal party. The best was sharing our special day (and the time leading up to it) with our nearest and dearest. The worst was living in another country and trying to organise everything from a distance. I would have loved to have my girls there for more of the planning.
Hooray: Drum entrance into the reception, was the just for you and hubby’s entrance or was this for everyone?
S + C: The drums were played as our guests arrived at the reception venue. We had the song “Stumblin In’ by Suzie Quatro playing when we arrived. Hooray: Did you have clay name tags? Was this a DIY project or outsourced, who did them?
S + C: My incredibly clever mom made them. We found a picture of something similar on Pinterest and used that as our inspiration. She spent hours at The Spotted Frog Pottery Studio where she made each individual one. It was a very special touch to our tables.
Hooray: Table numbers – tell us more.
S + C: We wanted to make the tables personal. We decided it would be fun to do it as our ages, then our guests could be a part of our whole journey.
Hooray: White, naked bulbs, clean lines. Tell us more about the inspiration behind your decor.
S + C: Both Conn and I like simplicity in design, adding simple elements that make the whole place look beautiful. We also didn’t want to take away from where we were. Our venue was so spectacular that we didn’t need to add much else.
Hooray: The most difficult part of having a bush wedding?
S + C: Absolutely nothing. Elzaan, the wedding coordinator at Monate made everything so easy and stress free. Nothing was too difficult for her. She was a rock star!
Hooray: The one thing you would change about your wedding if you could travel back in time
S + C: Not one thing! It was the best day of my life! My mom held the fort and whatever problems there were, she handled and I didn’t even know about.
Hooray: First dance – was it choreographed or were you guys just winging it?
S + C: It was choreographed. We danced to “Storm Boy” by Xavier Rudd. We had 3 lessons with an awesome dance teacher in Lusaka, Sammy Brown. We had so much fun doing it!
Hooray: The biggest hurdle you faced planning your wedding?
S + C: RSVP’s! But isn’t that every brides worst?!
**Hooray side note: Guests, please take note!
Hooray: The best moment of your wedding day?
Sarah: Marrying my best friend. Sounds cheesy but the whole build up before the “I do’s” was awesome but the part where I got to see him for the first time that day, the emotions and the love were just next level. It was amazing!
Sarah and Conn, thank you so much for sharing your magical day with us. We are now dreaming of a bush escape!
We wish you many more years ahead filled with adventures and magical memories!
Venue: Monate Game Lodge
Photographer: Tanya Strauss Photography
Videographer: Yolandi from JC Crafford
Caterer: Monate Game Lodge
Dress Designer: Wendy Hellinger, The Bride’s Godmother’s sister
Suit: Trenery, Shirt: Woolworths, Tie: Eurosuit, Shoes: Aldo
Pants and Shirts: Woolworths, Ties: Eurosuit, Shoes: Courteney Boots
Bridesmaids Dresses: Chanelle Wright
Brides: Jewel of Africa in Lusaka, Grooms: American Swiss
Stationery: Indigo & Ivory Designs, Growing Paper
DJ: Perfect Tone
Decor Hire: Moi Decor and Hand Creations
Flowers: Susan Burns (my Mom) & Sheryl Alport (my Godmother)
(with a lot of help from bridesmaids and guests. It was a family affair!)
Cake: Cakes by Kirsty
Hair & Makeup: Mel Taylor