Big thanks to former ELLE DECORATION Deputy Editor Kelly Berman, for sharing her wedding album with us. We love how Kelly integrated plants into the decor for her wedding party, and how her own inimitable style blasts through.
Scroll down for more, and for Kelly’s story.
I have a long history with the colour green. I grew up in the semi-rural suburb of Westville, Durban, which was full of overgrown gardens and spent loads of time playing outside. Green is a colour that reminds me of my late mother, a keen gardener who chose couches and curtains in a bold, billiard-table version of the colour in the 1970s. So when I decided to get married in Kwazulu-Natal rather than the Cape, I knew I wanted an explosion of green.
But explosions – the artful, premeditated kind – are expensive. They take time to arrange so that they do not look like an accidental-looking mess. So I scaled back my vision of an upside-down forest hanging from the ceiling of our wedding venue at Tala Game Reserve, and opted for a more minimal approach.
Our florist, Penny from Petals and Twigs, paired glass vessels with various flowering aloes, ferns, hyacinth bulbs and succulents and I scoured Durban’s nurseries for large ferns that I hung from the rafters. Ian Kelynack from Isle of Trees made me some table number cards and wooden holders that added a woodsy feel to the tables.
The room mirrored the jungly setting outdoors: Tala has thickets of tall aloes that had burst into bloom and thick-trunked trees, their branches twisting with vines. Luckily, the room itself didn’t need much more adornment so we kept everything else simple and white.
The day began with a traditional Jewish ceremony under a large fig tree (which later played host to a very drunk guest). I got my girlfriends to help me fold dozens of origami leaves that we strung up on nylon and hoisted into the trees together with white lanterns and bunting made from doilies (this last idea copied from an issue of Elle Decoration). I still remember the fluttering sound they made throughout the ceremony.
I roped some guests in to help me with some of the finishing touches the night before. My friend Emily put together the seating list using pages that we’d torn out of some old botanical books I found at a book shop on Windermere Road in Durban. And my maid of honour, Galia, and her six-year-old daughter made the most artful arrangement of green ‘confetti’ in paper cones.
Our photographers, Szerdi and Andrew from Knot Just Pics, had a sensitivity towards nature and a knack for finding small moments that told a bigger story. They climbed trees and hunched down in bushes to get photos of us in the natural setting.
The great thing about using so many plants in our wedding décor was that we could replant most of them afterwards. We came back to Cape Town laden with bags full of succulents and bulbs, which are now planted on our balcony overlooking Sea Point.
– Guest post by Kelly Berman