Real Wedding: Ashley + Struan

At the end of last year, Filipa and I were designing French Country styled wedding invitations for the lovely Ashley & Struan. It was so divine to be a part of the planning process for a friend I went to school with, and being at their wedding in March on Struan's incredible farm was so special. Finally their photographs arrived, and I was actually speechless at just how beautifully they turned out! Ash looked absolutely gorgeous on the day, and was so incredibly caIm, and this came through wonderfully in the pictures. It was a rainy, cold day in March but somehow this did not deter the bride and groom, or the photographer himself. Wade Howard did a truly fantastic job - enjoy this Real Wedding story!

If you would like to submit your own wedding story to us, send us an email on and we'd be happy to share it!

Full names of the bride and groom: Ashley Wills & Struan Stanford
Date and year of your wedding: 24 March 2012
Venue: Springville Farm Kokstad
Colour and/or Theme: French Country / Shabby chic / Biggie Best wedding theme


So what’s your love story? 
Well I did what every sister gets warned not to do and that is kiss one of her brother’s best friends… luckily it worked out and we ended up getting married!
How did he propose? 
We were at Struan’s family cottage on the WildCoast at a place called Grosvenor, with my whole family and Struan’s folks. Struan then wanted me to go for a walk with him up to one of the waterfalls, which we usually do. I was standing at the top of the waterfall peering down when he called me, and there he was on the one knee with a beautiful ring in his hand. My first words were ‘Oh No’ much to Struan’s horror, then followed by a giggly yes!

What was the best lesson you learnt through planning your wedding? 
Sit down and discuss things without getting emotional, listen to each others point of views and give each other time to make their point without interrupting one another.
Any tips for brides to be? 
Budget, budget, budget. We had a budget and we stuck to it. My sister had given me the most wonderful wedding exel spread sheet programme for weddings, it really helped us see where we were spending money and where our costs were the whole way through our planning.
How did you decide on the colour or theme of your wedding?  
We worked with our venue. We got married on Struan’s family farm, and created the most special wedding to suit the farm. Struan’s mum has the most magnificent French/Country Garden so we used that as the basis for our theme.
How involved was your husband or family in the wedding planning? 
I did most of the planning myself from Kokstad. Struan and the rest of the family all had areas that they were responsible for and everyone got on with it.

What would you change about your wedding day if you could? 
Absolutely nothing!
Were there any elements of your wedding that you did yourself? 
I did just about my whole wedding myself. I dealt with the caterers, cake makers, hire company, DJ, Invites, Décor, Flowers. When I think back our wedding was everything I could have ever wished for and more, but it was a lot of work especially logistically with my being in Kokstad and most of our stuff coming from PMB, there was a lot of admin involved in communicating with all the suppliers.

What was your wedding song? 
Snow Patrol – Crack the Shutters
What was the flavour of your cake? 
We had traditional fruit cake made by my gran and our wedding cake was chocolate

Where did you go on honeymoon? 
We went to Thailand, it was beautiful and relaxing.


Venue: Springville Farm Kokstad
Photographer: Wade Howard of Ocean Driven Media
Decor: Kerry Dinkelman
Stationery: Ruby & the Swallow
Dress (including bridesmaids dresses): Belle's of Hilton & bridesmaids dresses I actually bought from YDE (they happened to have 6 and in the sizes I needed)
Hair: Heads a Head – Kokstad 039 7273541
Make-up: Jenna van Niekerk – Beauty at the Brooke Kokstad
Flowers: Hannelie Mc Dougall – The Flower Room – Kokstad 0827966726
Catering: CHC Catering 0333943924
Cake: Kate Carlisle-Kitz 0825748785

All photographs taken by Wade Howard of Ocean Driven Media, and do not have permission to be copied without permision.

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