Photo: Nicole Laxton

We had a little word with Gert Johan-Coetzee and this is what he had to say:

What are the wedding dress trends for 2020? 

The trend is very romantic, with quite a bit of volume in the sleeves; imagine off-the-shoulder puffy sleeves. We’ll also be seeing colourful floral prints and cascading ruffles in all shapes and forms.

How do you mix traditional dresses with modern designs?

I love working with traditional fabric for those beautiful vibrant colours and patterns. The trick is to use these fabrics in design with a very modern and trendy silhouette; I like to bring my own creative to ensure the end result is gorgeous but not at all obvious.

On the other side of the wedding world full of white, lace and layers and layers of tulle - there are edgy, original, wildly spectacular dresses that renowned designer Gert Johann-Coetzee has imagined and brought to life. We love the "out-of-the-box" imagination that has gone into creating these masterpieces. If you dare, something a little differe

What was your favourite wedding dress creation of 2019? Tell us what went into the process.


I love all of my designs, and it is impossible to pick a favourite as each and every one has its own specific signature to match the bride’s personality. If I have to single one out, I’d go with the television wedding dress I created for Tumi's wedding on The River. We started with this dress months before, as it had to be truly spectacular. The dress was constructed out of tulle and detailed with Swarovski crystals; and had a 3D bodice for an extra element of drama.

Which South African celebrities have you designed wedding dresses for? 

I designed Minnie Dlamini's wedding dress, also Enhle Mbali’s; and this year I also created the wedding outfits for Somizi Mhlongo and Mohale Motaung’s wedding 

What are the 3 key things brides should remember when choosing a dress? 

Make sure that the dress suits your body type.  Make sure that it looks good on camera as the photos are forever. Make sure that you are comfortable in your dress – you have to be able to dance and enjoy your wedding. 

How does the process work if a bride wants a GJC wedding dress – explain the practical steps in the process? 

A bride will come for a consultation and we’ll discuss her ideas and her expectations; she’ll generally bring along some inspirations to show me. This consultation is very important because I get a sense of her personality which serves as inspiration for the dress, and we’ll sit together while I sketch the design. We’ll then have a second appointment to choose fabrics and for me to show her samples for the detailing for the dress. After this, we will do two to three fittings as the dress progresses to make sure that the bride is involved in every step of the process.