Destination Wedding in South Africa


Tala & Saad (from Abu Dhabi) jetted into South Africa along with all their favourite people from all over the world for a week-long wedding celebration.  The main wedding day that was preceded by several pre-wedding parties, was held at the beautiful La Paris Wine Estate in Franschhoek.

First a bit about this awesome couple!  I met Tala & Saad by chance.  On the day that they did the site visit at La Paris, I happened to be there as a guest!  Talking about coincidence…  I loved Tala’s energy from the outset and Saad is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met!  So the excitement to cover their wedding was high in the run-up.

You can see some of the photos taken at one of the pre-wedding events at Nooitgedacht at the bottom of the post, but first, let’s get into the main wedding day.

It was my first wedding at La Paris – what a stunning venue!  The estate has it all.  Franschhoek must be one of the most beautiful locations in the world and La Paris is a prime example of what this region has to offer.  Apart from the stunning vineyards and perfectly manicured grounds, ponds and beautifully restored Cape Dutch manors and buildings, the venue also has the most panorama of the Paarl and Stellenbosch mountains.  The venue is spacious and versatile, with plenty of indoor and outdoor ceremony options that can host weddings of all sizes.  Another big plus point is the fact that it offers accommodation for the main bridal party as well as lovely settings for the preparations of both bride and groom.  It is a true all in one venue!

Both Tala and Saad got ready at La Paris.  Saad and his family in the Manor house and Tala in the Bramal Lane Suite.  In the Arabic culture, the normal order of the day is a bit different.  There is no traditional ceremony and vows like with Western / Christian Weddings.   The day starts with a “Bridal Reveal”.  The whole family from both sides and Saad, waited for Tala to arrive under one of the beautiful old Oaks, with Saad only turning around at the last moment to see his bride.  What an emotional event!! After the reveal, the family joined guests that had now arrived at the pre-wedding area.  Here they were all treated by traditional Xylophone players and sumptuous canapés while we took the couple for their photoshoot.  La Paris has so much to work with in terms of photo opportunities.  We had a fantastic fun time with Tala and Saad.

Jo-Lize of Floral Affairs did an outstanding job with the reception venue.  The flowers, decor and fairy lights transformed the place into a dream setting. Guests entered first and then the bride and groom made their separate entrances from the opposite sides of the hall.  First Saad and his entourage entered, accompanied by traditional African drummers and then Tala was brought in by her dad.  They met in the middle of the dance floor where Tala’s dad officially handed her over to Saad.  The emotions ran high with the hand-over and then the party started. Everyone danced their pants off!  It was quite a job for our team of 4 to get our shots in as everyone wanted to be close and around the couple! What an awesome tradition!

The rest of the reception was basically one big party and as you can see from the smiles on the faces of the guests. Everyone enjoyed themselves to the full. I must congratulate Leana of Just Jack Events for the coordination of Tala & Saad’s multiday wedding!  She and her team did an outstanding job, considering they had to communicate solely via email and Skype, with our couple living in Abu Dhabi.

A big thank you to my team at ZaraZoo for the hard work that went into the production of the video and photos.  Photos & Video by Stefan Steenkamp, Jo-Lizna Botha, Jaun Buys & Ernest Birkenstock.



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If you liked this wedding at La Paris, also have a look at other Weddings we have cover in the Franschhoek Region

The last part of this post are photos from one of the pre-wedding events we covered at Nooitgedacht Wine Estate in Stellenbosch.  What an awesome summers-day in the Cape Winelands – You just have to love the lawns at Nooitgedacht!

If you liked these photos of Tala & Saad’s Pre-wedding event at Nooitgedact, also look at other events we’ve shot there.


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