Arahna and Yuval, South Africa
Arahna and Yuval’s bohemian wedding was all about creative props, colorful décor and warm celebrations.
Hosted in the lap of the KwaZulu Natal Midlands in South Africa, Arahna and Yuval’s wedding was a picturesque affair with a unique Boho-Indie theme. The creative duo imbibed every aspect of the celebrations with their love for design and culture. Original ideas, traditional treasures and a whole lot of gorgeous was worked into the invitations, the artful props and the décor, making it one of the prettiest and most unusual weddings we have seen. Here are a few highlights.
How they met
“Yuval was sipping a whiskey, waiting to meet me for the first time,” Arahna says, “I was shy and nervous. He held my hand quite naturally, maybe too quickly, but told me there was nothing to be nervous about. I felt an instant connection and comfort unlike anything I’ve ever experienced! We bonded over our shared love for nature, people, yoga and adventure. After two years of a long-distance relationship, I moved from Johannesburg to the sunny beaches of Durban. We now live there and own ISHK, a creative business, together.”
Yuval bought the ring and planned a proposal that would take place on a Thailand getaway. Arahna had no clue. She says, “We were on a boat, the beautiful turquoise waters around Panak Island glittering. I was staring out into the ocean and suddenly felt a gentle tap on my shoulder. I turned around to see Yuval on his knees. I had no words. Just tears and an ecstatic nod.”
“We hosted our wedding at Brahman Hills,” the bride says, “Set in the heart of the Kwa-Zulu Natal midlands, it has spectacular views of the picturesque mountains, delicious food and charming country accommodation. The venue offers contemporary yet earthy venues which are set both indoors and outdoors, basically offering the best of both.”
“We wanted to do things a little differently, to celebrate who we are.
We planned our wedding ourselves with personal attention to the smallest details. ISHK, our company, is very much part of the creative design and wedding industry and we enjoyed infusing our love for pattern work and culture into our themed events. Our special day was a fusion of Bohemian designs mingled with traditional Eastern and Western cultural aesthetics.
We designed our own wedding stationery, props and backdrops. Designing our wedding invitation was the most fun-filled experience. The vibrant colours of mustard, pink and blue, and the artwork from the wedding invitation was extended into the design of all the other stationery, as well as decor props and inspirations. Together with our designers in India, we also created bespoke wedding outfits, inspired by our theme.”
As per tradition, the “Hurdhee” or Haldi ceremony was held separately for the bride and groom. Arahna wore a midi lehenga custom made from a silk saree she bought. She had a ball with her friends and family at the sunny, marigold festooned festivities.
Yuval’s Hurdhee was held a few days later in an intimate, poolside function at his home. The event had a live “roti and chai” station, with quirky props and a beautiful Jaipur inspired backdrop.
Sangeet / Gheet
The ‘gheet’ or sangeet evoked the Rajasthani Mela vibe; a massive printed backdrop, a custom-made ‘street’ featuring food and dessert carts serving everything from parathas to gelato and jalebi, and much more. Arahna’s dad took charge of this event and set the bar high!
Yuval wore a clean cut black kurta and trousers with a mustard vest while Arahna’s gorgeous pink lehenga was specially poignant with parts of her mother’s wedding saree sewn into the fabric.
The mehendi ceremony was an intimate affair. Family and close friends of the bride got into a warm huddle at the cosy Gowrie Farm. They were plied with hookahs, gourmet cheese and fine wine as they sat around the fire while mehendi artist, Narusha, worked her magic.
The Jamboree is held the night before the nuptials with the express intent of rejoicing! Natural elements of the midland flora were enhanced with streamers and ribbons, fairy lights and a wonderful enchanting atmosphere. The bride says, “We had fire pits at the venue and prepared the food on the fires, right in front of the guests. We also embraced our South African culture with a traditional Potjie dish, a delicious stew cooked on an open fire. We all boogied a bit more than we should have in excitement for the special day ahead!”
Arahna’s lehenga was unusual and playful, with tassels and pompoms, while Yuval kept it classic in an all-black ensemble.
The wedding was an exemplar of the Boho-Indie-Fusion aesthetic. Set in the stunning mountains of the Kwa-Zulu Natal Midlands, guests were welcomed by the strains of Milton’s guitar, strumming English and Indian music. There was Bombay Crush, Masala Tea and desi snacks, served on a vintage Indian cart set up under a charming tree. The floral mandap with its overhanging tassels in white and pink looked magical against the backdrop of the lake. The sound of sacred chanting filled the air and time stood still as a wave of spirituality and serenity suffused the venue, the couple and their loved ones.
While Arahna’s unique lehenga imbibed the patterns and colors of their vibrant invitations and décor, Yuval’s ensemble was reminiscent of Rajput kings, combining the elegance of flared anarkalis, turban and necklaces with quirky tribal embellishments. The ceremony was followed by a laidback picnic on divans under gazebos that were decked up with fun props like old posters, Indian trucks, bicycles and more.
“The reception was set in a modern venue. We had hanging florals, a suspended mosaic cake and a mosaic dance floor as the standout décor pieces. We also had the most fun open-air photo station; a bohemian floral backdrop with quirky Indian photo props!”
Advice for couples
Hailing from the creative and wedding industry themselves, the couple had some really helpful insights.
“Everyone does flowers and OTT décor pieces. Don’t limit yourself to convention. Play with event stationery and props to convey your personality. Besides being affordable, they are so original!”
“Make sure you are on the same page with your vendors regarding planning and start at least 3 months prior to your wedding.”
“And lastly, when things go wrong, don’t worry about it. Remember, only you know what you have planned, not your guests! Soak in everything, and enjoy your day.”
The Wedding Makers
Venue: Brahman Hills
Wedding Planners: ISHK Design & Print Studio – Bride & Groom (Arahna & Yuval)
Wedding Decor: Jayshree Harie from Eastern Elegance & ISHK Design & Print Studio
Florals: Kogies Florist
Co-ordination and Catering: Brahman Hills
Bridal Dressing & Styling: Vanita Dullabh
Floral Jewelry: Ansuya (Gheet & other functions)
Make-up artist: Accenture Make Up & Hair (Wedding); Kristin Pienaar (Gheet & other functions)
Mendhi artist: Bridal Mehndi by Narusha
Choreography: Ben from Durban Dance Salsa & Trisha Bhoola
DJ: DJ Kezo (Shaun)
Entertainment: Drummers: Drum Punditz; Guitarist: Milton
Wedding Invitation, Stationery & Prop Designers: ISHK Design & Print Studio – Bride & Groom (Arahna & Yuval)
Table Settings: Shenaaz from Classic Events
Lighting: Nevon from Magic Lighting
Turban Tying: Kulwinder & Team
Photography: Elana Schilz Weddings & Kapture Studios By Yuvi K (Wedding); Minisha Ramudu Photography (Gheet & other functions)
Videographer: Kapture Studios By Yuvi K (Wedding); Jatin Makkan (Gheet & other functions)