A friend of mine suggested that I enter Bride of the Year 2016- at first the idea petrified me- no ways was i going to put myself out there like that- but after much uhm-ing and ahh-ing I decided why not- I could potentially get to wear the most exquisite dress ever again and better yet a second honeymoon in Mauritius.
We were asked by a blog called LUX LOVE to feature our wedding- these are the questions we were asked. enjoy!
HOW WE MET:
Aw this is actually a great story....
Christiaan and I met in 2012 on New Years Eve in Ballito Kwa-Zulu Natal, at the time I had just completed my third year of Medicine at the University of Pretoria and was home for the December Holidays; he, being the Afrikaner that he is, was enjoying a holiday "by die strand" and happened to be friends with one of my Best friends. Long story short- we were both invited to her house for a party, we didn't take much notice of each other at first ( although he may tell the story differently) but after a few drinks, and an odd conversation pertaining to a pair of shoes, we ended up dancing and chatting the night away. It was only later that we discovered that we were both living in Pretoria. He became my boyfriend a few coffee dates later.
THE ENGAGEMENT STORY:
My husband (it never gets old) is actually pretty smooth- he surprised me while I was away in Vietnam, with my family, by hiding in our hotel cupboard, after having bribed the staff to sneak him in. We enjoyed a fantastic holiday away- a few days before we had to come back to South Africa, he took me for a walk on the beach and popped the question. We had discussed marriage, but it was still a total surprise as I thought we would only get engaged after I had completed my studies.
WHAT MARRIAGE MEANS TO US:
This is a really hard question actually, after much discussion we decided on this:
Marriage is about being real, every day- all day. It's about not holding back any bit of who you are, feeling free. Adventuring. Pure bliss. It should be a continuation of everything you were as a couple. Don't expect anything to change, make it perfect before the "I Do's"
We initially wanted to get married in the Midlands/ Underberg Area. My mum persuaded us to have a look in hillcrest as it is much closer to home. As soon as we saw Camp Orchards- we knew it was the venue for us. We decided on the Road Ceremony because we absolutely LOVED the idea of getting married in nature. We held Canapés amoungst the stone architecture and made use of their reception hall.
From the get go I knew I wanted a natural wedding. For those who know me well, I am not a fan of colour. My wardrobe consists of whites, Greys, nudes, blacks and perhaps a few pastel shades ( although I must say I have been a bit more adventurous lately)
So choosing the Gold, Green and White colour scheme came easily- everything else just fell into place from there... the beautiful stone buildings at Camp Orchards being the perfect backdrop for a formal wedding. I decided to bring the gold leaf headpieces, for the bridesmaids, and the "whip it together" greenery bouquets- to Tone it all down. The burgundy lips and flowers were a serious last minute touch- for a pop of colour.
It had to be Bron Veale from Vanilla Photography from the beginning. I was horrified when I called to book her, over a year in advance, to hear that she had a potential booking. Luckily, that fell through and I landed the dream. Getting to know Bron has been wonderful- she is so talented yet incredibly down to earth- I feel like I gained a friend in her.
My favourite thing about her work is how she captures emotion so naturally and perfectly.
Casey Jeanne and I went to school together, I have been in awe of her artistic abilities every since she was my senior in art class. She was an obvious choice- especially when I tried on her sample dresses and they fit like a glove.
Being in Pretoria, I had a grand total of ONE fitting.... and it was honestly one too many- that is how fantastic she is....
I went for a dress that is completely out of my comfort zone- I am a typical beach bum, boho- loose dress type girl.
I felt incredible in my embroided lace dress, I wouldn't change that decision for anything.
River Island- suade pink chunky heel.... because I am seriously short and my husband is a giant and also because I am totally incapable of walking in heels. They were the perfect find.
One of my favourite things about the entire wedding were the bridesmaids dresses my mom made for me.... she has been making me dresses since I was a little girl. She is incredibly talented at what she does. Thank you mom xxx
My mom made my flower girl outfit as well. We used Chantilly lace in a gypsy off the shoulder, long sleeve cut. My sister looked absolutely stunning. The ring bearer wore the same outfit as the groomsmen.
My engagement ring is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. It is a platinum thin band with a circular cut 1ct diamond. The diamon is encircled with leaf like detail and more diamonds.
My wedding band is rose gold, with the same leaf like detail that is in my engagement ring.
Christiaans wedding band is Titanium with a rose gold inlay that has been carved into and set with black to give it depth.
I really wanted to wear a chocker on my big day- after much um-ing and ahh-ing I decided to wear it after the ceremony as a surprise addition to my outfit.
My best friend gave me the most beautiful Swarovski Crystal Bracelet.. my late gran gave me a ring for my 21st which I wore . I also wore a gold leafed head piece. That was about it.
The boys wore C2 Carducci black pants with rich brown shoes (looked dashing) with white shirts and a bow tie. To round the look off my husband had extended leather suspenders made by Needham leather crafts.
My hair was down with loose curls and a gold head piece at the back- done by one of my bridesmaids, best friends and hair dresser- Carla du Preez from Belissima Hair.
We used a webpage design maker called Wix.com- where we posted all details for the wedding. firstname.lastname@example.org/venter-wedding
Bron made us a fantastic logo with one of our favourite pictures from our engagement shoot superimposed. We carried it throughout the wedding- we used it as the front page of our ceremony handout as well as on our website and on our thank you gifts.
We printed signs for our guests- gold on white- we framed these in gold frames and placed them on easels with foliage draped along the bottom. We had directional arrows made out of wood- we pegged these into the ground- to indicate where canapés, the ceremony, the reception, the restrooms were. We were very minimalistic but it worked. Sometimes less is more.
We had frames custom made for our guests, we used our photo logo as the insert. We then hired KZN wedding DJ's INSTABOOTH and had jumbo photo's Instantly printed at canapés which the guests then inserted into their frames.
FLOWERS & BOUQUETS:
Foliage and Greenery. With a touch of Burgundy in the bouquets. That's it.
Calvin Thompson did our wedding video- we are still waiting to see how it turned out ourselves- YEY.
We got ready in the Main House at Camp Orchards- all my bridesmaids and my little sister, mom, Gran and new mom.
CEREMONY DÉCOR/ RECEPTION DÉCOR:(
At the ceremony- we made use of French wine barrel chairs and a wooden marque draped in white chiffon fabric. Because it was outside, amongst the beautiful trees, we didn't need much else.
The wow factor at the Reception was the lighting- also done by my insanely talented Mum and Dad- the attached filament globes to thick black cabling and hung them from pallets. We then used more foliage, gold geometric lanterns and glass bulbs.
WEDDING PLANNER/ WEDDING STYLIST:
We didn't make use of a wedding planner- other than Pinterest ;) and my extraordinary mum.
We hired decor from Heather at Settings, and Giselle from Camp Orchards brought it all together.
Our cake was a three tire mud pudding, vanilla, red velvet combination. Iced in gold and white, with ruffles.
Walked down the aisle to- Go Solo- Tom Rosenthal
Entered Reception to- Faded- Alan Walker
First Dance- Divine Sorrow- Wyclef Jean
DJ Vivian- the best DJ in Durban- honestly he was such a hit.
We also had Nariska Zietsman, Christiaan's talented cousin- singing at the ceremony with a special feature with my sister. Paul performed a few acoustic pieces with guitar at Canapés. We love music, so it was important to us to have a wide variety.
FOOD & BEVERAGES:
We had plated dinner- salmon fillet with wasabi mash or pesto fillet. Both with veggies. Both amazing. Done by Margie from Aubergine. We had an open bar- but shots were only served after dinner- something I would highly recommend...
We did the Greek Islands- absolutely incredible. I would highly recommend- Santorini, Mykonos and Naxos.
Ross Rodger from Olive Tree Church- I have known Ross since I was 12 years old, a naive little youth goer. It was so special to have him marry us. He is a phenomenal man of God, a role model and most importantly a friend. He is so dear to me, and in only a few short meetings he crept into Christiaan's heart too.
He put us at ease, led us and taught us so much- thank you Ross x a million.
A MEMORABLE MOMENT:
Our favourite moment was walking into the most beautiful reception hall filled with all the people we love cheering us on... listening to the most incredible speeches and celebrating with the most incredible people.
It rained for a week straight leading up to our outdoor ceremony- another amazing moment was arriving at the venue the morning of the wedding after it had been pouring all night, to see the sun peaking through the clouds. God is good.
ADVICE TO OTHER BIRDES:
Don't fuss over the small things- enjoy it- cherish it. Your day will be perfect no matter what hiccup may, and probably will, occur- because it is YOUR day