Ahh the poor guy. I kept on messing up his plans! Tom had the ring for 6 weeks before proposing… Both our moms were getting so impatient! Eventually he proposed through an Easter egg hunt in our London flat! The last egg I found was a rose gold egg (to match my ring) in the ring box!!! It was perfect!
I loved the planning process. Naturally, being a teacher, I love planning any event! I am a control freak but also a little indecisive but with planning a wedding I knew I had to make a decision and stick to it. I thought it would be a lot harder planning a wedding in SA from London, but I was fortunate to go home a few times leading up to the wedding to attend meetings etc. Yes I absolutely used SA weddings to inspire and get some tips!
Pinterest, wedding websites and a couple magazines but mainly Instagram! I used the saved option a lot and scrolled Instagram for hours on end! Also, my best friends are style queens so I turned to them for help on people to follow and we would share lots of wedding ideas and pictures through Instagram.
Where do I even begin? Every minute of our wedding weekend was so special. The fact that we live away from our family and friends made our wedding so much more special! Having everyone staying at the venue was just amazing! A very special part, that I had no part in planning, was when my maid of honour and mom surprised me with a locket with a picture of my dearest Gran, who played a very important role in my life. This locket was attached to my bouquet in remembrance of her. Lots of tears were shed!
Living in a very fast pace city like London has made us more city slickers, but Tom and I love the outdoors and Tom is especially obsessed with farms and mountains. Therefore, the theme was a mix of modern and nature hence the main reason why we fell in love with Brahman Hills. It was a juxtaposition of glass, coppers with the mix of lush and green textures.
Originally, I pictured myself in a very detailed, heavily beaded, 1920s style dress because of my dancing background I leaned towards ‘showy’ type dresses. My best friend came across this Vagabond dress and sent it to me. She insisted I try it on. So I did and that was it. It was me: classic, timeless and complete statement on its own in a very different way. When I found out it was made by a Cape Town designer, I was over the moon!! My bridesmaid dresses… I think I took longer to decide on their dresses than I did my own dress. I knew that I needed them to be in something flowy and soft to compliment the structured design of mine. They all have incredible figures, but all lived in various places so I needed to choose a style (like wrap) that would be easy to make adjustments etc.
Originally, I wanted just greenery. Lots of lush, textured plants and to stay away from flowers. After chatting to my flower/décor ladies they did advise that we needed to bring in some flowers to soften the look. We 100% trusted their expertise and they totally nailed the brief when we had our first meeting. They loved the look I was going for- they were so excited to do something that was ‘different’ so I felt like I was in capable hands. The day before, they were really worried because they had done more flowers for the ‘bride who didn’t want flowers’ and wow- I was obsessed!!! I cried such happy tears when I saw it. The arrangements were incredible! They went above and beyond for us.
My mom’s nickname is DIY Gail. She is very creative and hands on so she suggested making the candleholders out of cement and copper piping and she loved the project. My mom in law, works for a point of sales company so we were lucky enough to have her factory make our copper stands (for the welcome sign and find your seat) and the Perspex signage. My mom also made my two flower girl dresses and my garter!
Born to be yours by Kygo and Imagine Dragons. The lyrics could not be truer! It also has slow parts but then it is was upbeat which allowed us to let loose as we love to dance! Also, I am a massive Kygo fan and we chose most of his songs for our key songs for the day!
How can I not mention seeing my dad (and brother and bridesmaids) reaction of me in my dress and seeing Tom at the end of the aisle but also seeing the whole day come together so perfectly. We wanted our guests to enjoy themselves, drink good wine, eat delicious food and dance the night away. There was a moment when we found ourselves watching our nearest and dearest having so much fun and the fact that everyone present had been pretty much apart of our ‘Tom and Jade’ story from the beginning- we will never forget it!
The best advice I can give is… don’t worry about what order every little part is in… do it your way. There is no rule book on how the day should be run. I got a little stressed over which speech should come first or whether people should stand when the bridesmaids walk in or for me etc. No one is going to care in which order things come in as long as they have a rough idea of the day’s proceedings. Lastly, take some time to look around and take it all in. It does go by in a flash so take some time to just be together.
We did go on honeymoon a couple days after our wedding. We went to Kenya. We did 5 days in the Maasai Mara, which was incredible and then we spent 6 days on a small island off the coast of Kenya. Yes it was a dream come true!!