Four years ago, Ashley and Johan met on a safari in South Africa, where Johan was the guide, and Ashley was headed on her first safari with her family. After spending long days together talking, exploring, and laughing, they knew there was a strong connection. Shortly after Ashley arrived home to the States from spending two weeks together on safari, Johan sent her his itinerary to come visit her in her hometown. The rest was history! They did long distance around the world for the first year and a half, and in year two, Johan officially moved to the United States. While he still runs his South African safari company, Thaba Tala Safaris, and visits home often, the couple was so excited to start this new chapter full of adventure and excitement!
Keep scrolling to see stunning photography by Raquel King Photography of this wedding featuring planning and design by The Cabo Wedding Co., florals by Native Floral Studio , and the cutest Topo Chico wall courtesy of Papers Creatives and Furnitures . There are so many more incredible photos linked here in the full gallery, too - make sure to click here or at the bottom of the page to see even more!
Before they even started officially planning, Johan and Ashley both had a similar vision for their wedding: Something classic and beachy, breathtaking but natural, with fun being the number one priority. They chose whites and neutrals for the wedding day color palette, adding in dusty blue details to capture the ocean tones and add just a hint of color. The couple felt so truly present the entire day and enjoyed every minute, but their most favorite, fun moment together was when the sparklers went off behind them at the end of their first dance, the party song hit, and all of the guests came and joined them on the dance floor. From that moment on, the dance floor was full, and that's all they wanted: A big dance party with their closest people!
The couple created a super unique seating chart using original glass Topo Chico bottles and filling them with a ranch water cocktail and lime - one of the couple's favorite drinks! They also wanted to incorporate something South African, so their bar menu and signature drinks were named after traditional safari terms (The Mufasi, The Watering Hole, and The South Africa). It was a personal touch that Johan's family and their other South African guests raved about. The bride's "something blue" was also a special detail shared with her friends! Her bridesmaids and best girlfriends all wore their own selection of blue dresses, which ended up being one of the bride's favorite details from the day.
From the detail of the baby's breath coming out of the sand down the aisle to the incredible square ceremony frame, Native Floral Studio made Ashley and Johan's dreams come to life. These florals made their way over to their carrot cake with cream cheese frosting wedding cake, also! To complement this styling, Ashley wore the Harry by Made With Love Bridal. Instead of favors, they couple created beautiful welcome bags that included a beach bag the guests could reuse filled with essentials like sunscreen, makeup wipes, eye masks, Advil, electrolytes, and a handwritten letter customized for each guest.
"Hire a planner!! And if you are getting married in Cabo, hire The Cabo Wedding Co. That was the best thing I could have ever done. Although I am very detail-oriented and love to design and plan, there is no way I could have created a wedding like my planner, Eren Carrillo. She did not miss one thing! People would ask me all the time during the planning process if I was stressed, and thanks to her, I never felt stressed. A wedding shouldn't be overwhelmingly stressful - it should be fun and exciting. I reminded myself frequently that it was one day of our lives that I never wanted to forget, so I made sure the day-of to breath, look around, take it all in, and appreciate everything. I truly enjoyed every moment of that day and feel blessed to have gotten to experience it the way we did."