SA Weddings

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Laura-Jane and Christopher

Photographs by: Fiona Clair Photography
Video by: Salt Video Productions


Tell us your love story, how did it all begin?

We met almost 10 years ago at medical school (UCT)- I was in 2nd year medicine and Chris was in 3rd year at the time. The moment I met him, I knew there was something special about him! Finally, after living apart for 3 years due to internship and community service, in 2014 - we settled to work in Port Elizabeth, my hometown. We knew then that we would to marry each other!

How did he propose?

Chris proposed on the banks of the Zambezi River near Victoria Falls in June 2015 at the Royal Chundu Resort - and it was absolutely perfect, beyond beautiful and romantic. We had been on a canoe trip down the river, and came across a picnic site on route to our lodge - Just for the two of us! It was the perfect setting!

How did you find the planning process?

We looked at one venue only in our search - and instantly fell in love with the Rose Barn and the 3 wonderful ladies who own and run the venue! It could not have been a better choice for us! Everything about this venue is amazing and we were totally blown away on our wedding day! The team at the Rose Barn immediately understood our theme/brief - and so the planning was very easy! Being based in the Eastern Cape, we really wanted our wedding to be close to where we live - for the ease of wedding planning and for our guests to get a taste of the beautiful Eastern Cape.

What was the most memorable and special part of your wedding day?

All our closest family and friends together for our special day!
Brilliant and hilarious speeches, beyond amazing food, endless champagne and a huge party which lasted until 4am.

What was your wedding theme (if you had one) and why did you choose it?

We love the traditional WHITE themed wedding - ours with a touch of peach/light pink flowers and a sparkle of gold! Our decor included white high gloss tables, with white Tiffany chairs, which were backed with gold topiary wreaths. We chose an array of white flowers (mainly tulips, Iris's and orchids) with a touch of salmon/light pink roses. Many of the roses were harvested from the farm. Our vases were lined with various gold shapes/trimmings to enhance the 'touch of gold'. Several chandeliers hung from the ceiling, along with fairy lights. We used a mixture of gold and white candles of varying sizes. We aimed for a beautiful white and sparkly wedding - The Rose Barn blew us away with the end result. Sophisticated, elegant and absolutely beautiful. We loved the contrast of the clean white lines against the 'barn' feel, still keeping true to an authentic Eastern Cape wedding!

What was the inspiration behind your wedding dress as well as the bridesmaids' dresses?

I tried on many many dresses in search for the prefect one..(JHB, CT and PE) but none were quite right and totally my style. I had seen Elbeth Gillis's work at a few friends weddings - so I made an appointment to meet with her. She is totally wonderful, and her work is impeccable! She understood exactly what I invisaged for my dream dress - and after 4 fittings, it was prefect! A fully hand beated bodice - again, white with lots of sparkle, an illusion neckline and silk tulle skirt, brought together with a silver beaded waist band. It fitted perfectly, was comfortable and I truly felt like a princess! She is a master, and I was thrilled!!

The bridesmaids dresses weren't easy to find - eventually we settled for long bronze strapless dresses, with beaded sequined bodices - these photographed beautifully! We loved the contrasting bouquets of neat white roses with the bronze bridesmaid dresses, again fitting in with White and gold theme.

Your décor and flowers: Do you have a specific reason why you chose what you did?

The Rose Barn have an amazing team of 3 lovely ladies - Sandra (who owns the farm, and does decor/flowers), and Trish and Celia - who both do decor/flowers and the food!! (Aqua Food & Catering). The decor/flowers were supplied by Branching Out. They totally understood our brief and aspirations for the day - and we were blown away by the end result. A true dream team! The golden Topiary wreaths were made by Andrea's Topiary Creations in Elgin. Our beautiful stationary was created by Seven Swans Stationary in Cape Town. Our incredible 4 tiered wedding cake (covered in 600 white Lindt balls) - was totally out of this world! A masterpiece creation by Phillipa from the Oldfield Kitchen in Cape Town.

Did you incorporate any DIY items?

I made charcoal signs for our wedding day- depicting our names, The Rose Barn and date of our wedding, and for the Lawn Games. I used white vinyl stickers created by seven swans stationary. The rest was left up to our amazing service providers!

What song did you choose for your opening dance and why?

We chose 'A sky full of stars' by Coldplay - our favorite band with beautiful words, combined with a great beat to get the party started!

What is your favourite, will-never- forget memory of your big day?

The whole day was just our best best day, it was perfect from start to finish. The decor and flowers blew us away, a true fairytale wedding! Our 4 tiered white chocolate Lindt ball wedding cake - I have never seen or tasted anything like it, totally delicious and not a crumb left! We loved our photographer Fiona Clair - she was so easy going, made us feel totally comfortable and our wedding photographs are totally beautiful and perfect!!

The morning of our wedding started off with the most horrendous weather - pouring rain, thunderstorms and totally grey and miserable! I woke up at 5am and just watched the thunderstorms roll into St Francis Bay with absolute horror!! However, by 10am - blue skies were seen in the distance, and the weather cleared - and we were blessed with the most perfect day! Not a breath of wind, so that the Rose barn's stack doors were all completely open for the entire evening.

Any advice for other brides-to- be/grooms-to- be who are busy planning their big day?

Attention to detail is key! It goes a long way on the day - and IS noticed! A diary/wedding planner is essential in remembering the finer details. Give yourself enough time to plan to avoid unnecessary stress and to ensure that the best service providers are available!

Choosing the right service providers can really make or break the wedding planning. I was blessed with a dream team, which made everything so easy.

Select the most important aspects to you and your groom for your big day - and go for them, you won't be sorry. These are the things that will make your day extra special.
You can then cut down on the 'less important' things.

Don't be afraid to use family/ friend connections for assistance- people are so generous and honored to be asked to help make your day perfect.

The key to a perfect wedding day - amazing food, music and beverages. These are really appreciated by guests and they will truly celebrate your wedding day!

Did you go on honeymoon and if so, where did you go?

We chose to go to Mauritius for our honeymoon - and stayed at the Troux Aux Biches Hotel. We wanted to totally unwind and relax, and really appreciated not traveling too far to get there after wedding exhaustion! It was the perfect destination, amazing in every way and worth every cent! We cant wait to go back again!


Elbeth Gillis

Elbeth Gillis

Elbeth Gillis's name has become synonymous with the exquisite bridal gowns she creates for her discerning client base; establishing herself as a well respected designer for the...



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