• Luckily for South Africans, a beach wedding is easy to achieve but when you’re wanting to make it a Mozambique wedding, it really helps to have experts on board who can make sure the finer details all come together. Hayli and Neil called on The Love Bucket to ensure their rustic, beach wedding day went off without a hitch. Read all about their wedding below…

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     Neil and I met at a club 6 years ago. We ended up talking until 6 the next morning and this started off our 3 year long distance relationship. After no longer being able to tolerate the airports, bad food and being away from my best friend, I transferred to Joburg. After Neil’s amazing underwater proposal in Mozamabique we immediately started talking about what our vision for our wedding would be. It quickly became clear that we would have small intimate affair.

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    Mozambique was a given since we love absolutely everything about it and wanted to share it with our favourite people. I had never been the girl who envisioned her dress and hair but I always knew what I wanted as a venue- light, air, open spaces and a view. After quite a bit of research we found Tartaruga Maratima and it was everything I had wished for. Set on a sand dune on the beach it encompassed the best of both worlds- bush and beach. With the reception set on stilts that peep out over the forest canopy the view is breath taking – it was an added bonus that most of our guests would be able to stay at the resort and the rest of us rented two houses within the same estate (this is a huge relief for anyone planning a destination wedding). With the choice of having our ceremony on the beach, in the forest or under the trees on the pool deck, we decided on the pool deck because of the whispers of light that it allows through the branches.


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    From the very beginning we I knew that we didn’t want a formal affair and the more I investigated, the more this became very evident. Our day was going to embody who we are. In the end our theme was a mix between rustic charm and ambient lighting. We carried this through by getting married under the trees, my “wedding march” were local guys playing the drums, drinks on the beach, personal trinkets like corks that I had been collecting from our special moments and his and hers signature drinks. Lastly, nothing says relax like a good old fashioned braai- our mains were flamed fillet and Portuguese chicken with an array of side dishes.

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    We wanted to create a very relaxed atmosphere to feel more like a bunch of friends getting together than a formal affair. Most of all we wanted everyone to understand why we love this crazy place and for it to be a mini holiday. It definitely helped that we got everyone to meet before the time, so that by the time we started our little adventure it felt like all of our guests had known each other forever. Our day was magical and surpassed every expectation that we had.

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    Most memorable moment? It has to be a toss-up between seeing Neil’s expression when he first saw me and when we had some alone time under the trees watching the stars, reflecting on the past hours.This truly was a Love Bucket Wedding with Stacey and her team doing set up and arranging everything. The staff at Tartaruga and Gobundu are such a breath of fresh air and there is nothing that is too much of an effort.

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    We had decided from the get-go that we were not going to spend more that R30 000 on our wedding and this meant lot of DIY projects- from flowers to bunting. A couple of months into our engagement I was so lucky to get Stacey from  The Love Bucket details and it was as if I had found the Wikipedia of untraditional weddings- exactly what I had been looking for. Chalk boards, making mirror-mosaic centre pieces, having friends grow dessert roses- this was going to be a team effort. A friend made our guest book out of wood (which we will frame), my sister doing our make-up and a girlfriend doing our hair- not to mention that all the ladies jumped in and made our array of desserts the night before.

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    I spent every waking moment trawling Pinterest and “off beat bride” for inspiration- something that would add that special twist to our magical moment. The venue had agreed to put fairly lights up for us which worked wonderfully with an array of candles in obscure jars and glasses. On the tables we used natural materials, mix and match glass jars which I had collected, tin cups and jam jars ( instead of Champagne glasses) We added splashes of colour with a mix of coral, white and green flowers, which were arranged in everything from purity bottles to pasta jars. We also added a his and hers signature drink, which added to the rustic effect- not to mention colour.

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    Remember to be true to yourselves, this day is a representation of who you are together. There is no way that you will please everyone, but at the end of the day this is your day and you need to do what makes you happy.

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