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Phillipa & Jan

A look into Phillipa and Jan's special day...

How did your love story begin?

Our love story began in Aspen Colorado, I was doing a ski season with friends, and Jan came to visit a mutual friend of ours who I was living with. We went our separate ways and 6 months later we bumped into each other in Cape Town where he asked me to his rugby formal and we have never looked back. We booked our flights to Fort Lauderdale shortly after that, dated for 2 weeks and then did long distance for 2 and a half years. We then travelled together for a few months before moving back to Cape Town and now here we are as Mr and Mrs!

Tell us about the proposal

Our proposal was very unexpected for us both! It was the Easter long weekend and Jan’s parents were coming to my family farm in the midlands to spend Easter with my family. We were flying to Durban on the Thursday and on the Wednesday Jan had an epiphany and decided this was the perfect to time to propose, so he began the mad scramble to get a ring ready!

It is very difficult to get a moment alone in my household so finally on Saturday morning Jan said he wanted to go for a run, it was freezing, drizzling and miserable - I was obviously not too enthusiastic about it, but he insisted and I complained and made things very difficult. On our run I decided to show him a part of the farm he had never seen before that has a beautiful stream and a forest. As I was about to continue running after showing him he pulled me back and started a speech that lead to a proposal. I was shocked to my core; I could barely speak for the rest of the day.

How did you find the planning process? Did you make use of SAWeddings.co.za?

I absolutely loved the planning process, it did get slightly stressful at times but I had the most phenomenal team that I was working with so it was really a case of guiding them and telling them what I would like and then trusting them to do what they do best.

I did have a look at SAWeddings. I love looking at other peoples weddings for inspiration, to see if I was missing anything or if there were any good ideas that we could use in our own way.

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Where did you draw your planning inspiration from?

I drew most of my planning inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram and my own imagination. The inspiration for our wedding day was really a work in progress through out. There are always compromises to be made when planning a wedding and with a compromise comes another brain wave or something you hadn’t thought of before.

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

Oh wow, there are so so many. The whole day was just magical! I would say the most memorable part of the day for me was walking down the aisle. I was a complete wreck, it was a really sentimental moment for me and my Dad, taking my last walk as Greene with him, but as soon as I got to Jan an incredible calm came over me.

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

I don’t think we had a specific theme; we really tried to keep true to ourselves and let the day have a representation of who we are as people and what we love. Our core theme was pink, charcoal and bright colours, we didn’t think it was necessary to have much greenery as there was so much greenery around us.

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

I saw a picture on Instagram and fell in love with it straight away. I really wanted something slightly different. I am not the most traditional dresser and I like adding a twist to whatever I am wearing, so when I saw the picture with a romantic blush skirt with intricate beading which added a touch of glam, it had my name written all over it.

For the bridesmaids, sticking to our theme of blush and charcoal, their dresses were always going to be charcoal, but a plain charcoal dress seemed quite boring to me, so we found embroidery with similar colours we were going to use for the flowers and stuck them onto their dresses.

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

I knew I did not want any traditional arrangements and I wanted something different, so it was a work in progress between Anne, from Petals Fine Flowers, and myself. I had a few very out there ideas and Anne had to pull in the reins, so it was very much a team effort between the two of us. I love flowers individually - it really makes them stand out and make a statement rather than getting lost in an arrangement.

Did you incorporate any DIY items?

We did not have a lot of DIY items; we really tried to keep things as simple as we could. We did the name tags ourselves and I sourced a company to print the polaroid photographs to use for the ‘find your seat’ board, so that took up a lot of time finding 2 pictures of every person coming to the wedding.

A team of people gathered on the days leading up to the wedding to help set everything up, the bracken around the lights was a really big job!

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

Our first dance song was Knee Deep – Zac Brown Band feat Jimmy Buffet. We love country music and that has so many happy memories for us so it just felt right.

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

Sho, the whole day/weekend was a will-never-forget memory. It’s so difficult to choose one particular part. Being announced husband and wife was the moment we had both been waiting for! We also took a few minutes to ourselves and looked out at the wedding scene happening before us and we just could not believe how unbelievably happy everyone was for us - there was just an energy around us that was indescribable.

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

Trust the process and everything will work out. Don’t sweat the small stuff - at the end of the day what is really important is that you are marrying and making a lifelong commitment to your person and your nearest and dearest are there to witness that, so the focus should really be on the 2 of you, not what color your napkins are.

As woman, we want this day to be absolutely perfect. We have been dreaming about it since we were little girls, so we can get a bit lost in the process - try to keep things in perspective.

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

We did a road trip from Natal back to Cape Town. We stayed at Springbok Lodge in the Nambiti Game Reserve - the bush is one of our favorite places and Springbok Lodge really tried to make it special for us.

Our next stop was on Bloemhof farm in the Karoo, about 25km south of Richmond. It was just magical, a truly authentic Karoo experience where we could just relax and enjoy each other’s company. If anyone were ever looking for a breakaway, we would highly recommend a stay on Bloemhof.

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