When you have a real passion for something, why not embrace it and use it as the inspiration for your wedding styling? That’s exactly what Chandré and Mark did for their incredible Tolkien-inspired wedding.

I love how the couple created such enchanting wedding styling based around Tolkien’s books. A charming, eclectic mix of literature-inspired details complemented by the most spectacular flowers.

The dark red and pink flowers work tremendously well with the dark evergreen foliage, creating a wonderful depth. These styling colours are warm and luxurious, and offer such intrigue to the concept.

Bride and groom outside chapel at The Simondium Country Lodge

Chandré’s floral crown of large pink and burgundy roses, framed with foliage, is so pretty, and complements her effortlessly beautiful bridal style. Talking of bridal style, wait until you see her shoes…*swoon!*

If you love Tolkien’s work too then you will really appreciate the effort this loved-up couple went to to use these elements in their wedding styling. The details were perfect for the wonderful rustic backdrop The Simondium Country Lodge offered — a perfect setting for them to create their own love story.

Photographer Michelle Du Toit captured Mark and Chandré’s amazing Tolkien-inspired wedding beautifully, and I am delighted to share their spectacular day with you…

Fairytale Character

“Our wedding was inspired by the beautiful settings and architecture of Rivendell, the Elven city envisioned in Peter Jackson’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ — what nerds! We both love the Tolkien stories and wanted to bring aspects from the books and films to our wedding.

“Although initially daunting, finding a venue which encapsulated the ethereal feel we were looking for turned out to be a lot easier than we thought. By chance we came across The Simondium Country Lodge, and were immediately taken by the beautiful gardens, charming chapel and exquisite reception hall. The few resident peacocks also added to the fairytale character of the venue.”

Peacock on train platform at The Simondium Country Lodge


Maroon bridal bouquet

Gold glitter wedding shoes

Maroon wedding shoes


Bridesmaid doing up back of bride's dress Bridesmaid fastening bride's shoes

Bride with flower crown putting on earring

Bride holding bottle of perfume

Bride with flower crown holding large maroon bouquet

Bride with bridesmaids in maroon dresses

Bride on station platform at The Simondium Country Lodge

Enchanting Feel

“After finding our venue the rest of the planning just seemed to flow with very few difficulties. Our tight budget meant we had to compromise on a few details, but we were fortunate to have a wonderful and accommodating bridal party, and fantastic family and friends. We received ample help from everyone, and a lot of aspects, such as the invitations and wedding favours, we received as wedding gifts. The help we had from so many people added an intimacy to the whole affair which was very special.

“The décor for the wedding was essentially DIY, but the inherent charm of the venue meant we didn’t need to do much. Our family lovingly adorned the chapel with handmade wreaths, bringing the feel of the garden indoors. This carried through to the reception hall, which boasted high ceilings, magnificent iron beams and striking chandeliers, adding to the enchanting feel of the place.”

Wedding sign

Chapel at The Simondium Country Lodge

Inside chapel at The Simondium Country Lodge

Wedding rings on JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit book

Wreath hanging in window Old wooden church pew

Groom tying shoelace

Groom fastening cufflink

Groom and groomsmen at The Simondium Country Lodge

Groom adjusting tie

Groom in chapel at The Simondium Country Lodge

Groom by door of chapel at The Simondium Country Lodge

Precious and Unforgettable

“The most memorable part of the day was, of course, the ceremony. The weather was fantastic, and the little chapel looked picture-perfect in the beautiful spring garden with the stately peacocks displaying their magnificent plumage. Upon entering the church and finally seeing each other from either end of the aisle, everything became easy and profoundly joyful. Standing together at the altar holding hands was above all the most precious and unforgettable part of our wedding.

“A little bit of the Tolkien influence made its way into the ceremony, lending humour and light-heartedness, but also representing our personalities. The words spoken that day were both happy and thoughtful, a suitable mix for such a special occasion.”

“The reception which followed was exactly what we hoped for. Essentially a fun and relaxed party with our family and closest friends, many of whom commented on the genuine and intimate feel of the occasion.”

Father walking bride down the aisle at The Simondium Country Lodge wedding

Groom watching bride walk into wedding ceremony

Bride and groom at altar in chapel at The Simondium Country Lodge

Bride and groom holding hands during wedding ceremony at The Simondium Country Lodge

Confetti shot at bride and groom leave wedding ceremony

Wedding canapés

Wedding canapés

Bridal party at The Simondium Country Lodge

Wedding top table at Simondium Country Lodge

Wedding seating plan

Wedding table

Wedding sign

Wedding place setting Wedding menu

An Elven Dinner

“The flowers included maroon, pinks and white, and sprigs of greenery from people’s gardens. Candlelight brought the outside in, giving the feel of an Elven dinner outside on the city terraces.

“Small and somewhat quirky items also crept into the décor, such as the table names, which we named after various places in the Tolkien books. Also, our cake topper looked like the white tree symbol of Gondor. Although simple, the styling, combined with the venue, perfectly encapsulated the ethereal, Tolkien-inspired wedding feel we were looking for.”

Bottles of flowers on wedding table

Small vase of pink flowers Wedding table flowers in bottle

Wedding place setting

Tolkien-inspired wedding table name Red flower buds

Wedding breakfast room at Simondium Country Lodge

Love quote sign I Spy wedding game

Tolkien-inspired wedding table styling

Cream wedding cake with foliage and berries Foliage on wedding cake

Jenga pieces

Bride and groom walking holding hands

Bride and groom in grounds of Simondium Country Lodge

Bride and groom walking in grounds of Simondium Country Lodge

Bride and groom smiling

Bride and groom about to kiss

A Charmed Day

“We could not have asked for anything better — a charmed day which turned out to be everything we wanted. However, it seemed to be over so quickly. As many people told us, it is so important to take in as much as possible and not let little problems distract you. No one else knows what you had in mind, so the chances are nobody will even notice.

“It is so easy to lose perspective and become overwhelmed by the abundance of ideas available. They are sometimes unrealistic, unnecessarily expensive, and potentially impersonal. The most important part of the wedding happens in the church, and is the part you will cherish most in the end. The rest is essentially a party enjoyed with the people you love most.

“Add your own personal flair to the day and enlist the help of anyone who offers. The amount of talent hiding amongst your family and friends may surprise you.

“Most importantly, be present. Marrying the person you love most is exceptionally special, and worries about anything else should not overshadow this. Try to take in as much as possible and enjoy the company of everyone there.”

Groom kissing bride on the head

Groom standing behind bride

Bride sitting on edge of fountain Bride with hand on groom's face

Bride and groom sitting on edge of fountain at Simondium Country Lodge

Bride and groom outside chapel at Simondium Country Lodge

Bride and groom outside doors of chapel at Simondium Country Lodge

Bride and groom first dance at Simondium Country Lodge wedding

Bride twirling during first dance

Bride and groom cutting wedding cake

Photography: Michelle Du Toit

Venue: The Simondium Country Lodge, Simondium, South Africa

Bride’s Dress and Earrings: Didi Couture

Bride’s Shoes: Superbalist

Make-up and Hair: Clarita Smit

Bride’s Nails: Sorbet

Groom’s Suit: Zara

Bouquets: Die Gieter

Decorative Flowers: Adderley Street Flower Market and Bunches for Africa

Décor Hire: Blooming Wonderful and To Nett’s

Rings: Wayne Deglon Jewellery and Mark Honeth J