We had never taken a trip overseas before so we thought that there isn't a better time to go than for a honeymoon. We both decided on Paris and Grant organised the tickets and accommodation and I took care of our itinerary. I landed up getting swine flu in the first few days but we still made the most of it and really enjoyed the trip and the chance to relax together.
I have been told that I tend to do things a bit differently so I did my own hair and makeup on the day. I just felt like I have been doing it all my life so there isn't someone else that would know what I liked and would be able to do it like I did (in fairness though I am a qualified make-up artist so would not recommend this for everyone). My look was very understated with a maroon smokey eye and pink lips and my hair had curls tied to one side.
My wedding dress we actually got at a pop up store at Oakfield's and it was the first and last one that I tried. It was flowy at the bottom with beautiful lace detail at the top. The shoes were a nude pink from Aldo and the only other jewellery I wore besides my wedding ring was some flower shaped nude pink earrings.
We had our venue at Memoire in Muldersdrift. They have 10 rooms where guests can stay as well as a room for the Bride and Grooms parents. Some of our guests stayed but because it was close enough to Johannesburg a lot of them chose to go home (we got married on a Sunday). Those that stayed joined us for a wonderful breakfast the next day and it was great to have the extra time with everyone.
I didn't follow a strict regime but because we bought my dress in January I had to just watch a bit of what I ate in the coming months to make sure it still fit on the day. We went to get our nails done and I had my hair dyed a few days before the wedding to make sure that my roots matched the rest of my hair. Other than that the best advice I can give is not to change yourself for one day rather embrace who you are - your future hubby chose you for a reason.
We had our venue at Memoire in Muldersdrift and they did most of our décor and all of the flower arrangements. They were great and having it all done there took off the pressure to check up on external providers and organise for everything to be removed.
The venue has beautiful gardens and water features and because of this we kept the decorations quite minimalistic. We had rose petals on the isle and flowers hanging from the arch as well as some on the benches. The reception hall had centrepieces made from purple and white roses, white orchards and purple Christmas roses on top of a mirror with a few candles as well. We also put menus that we made and roses onto each alternating plate and the ceiling had fairly lights all over. My sister also put a little book on each table which guests could fill in with advice and any other messages they wanted.
Convincing my husband to wear a grey suit created more drama than I had anticipated but in the end he was great and gave it a go. We landed up renting a suit from Bride and Company. They tailored it perfectly and we even found a batman pin that we put on the suit (needless to say that made his day).
He was also such a great sport and surprised me by putting on some purple socks!
I didn't have any bridesmaids in the traditional sense but had two of my best friends and my 3 sisters be there to support me on the day. I gave them the option to wear what they wanted as I believe that every woman should feel beautiful and comfortable with what they are wearing (the only catch was to stick with the bridal colours of purple, grey, white and black). In the end there was such a variety from my one sister wearing pants to another wearing a full sequenced dress. They looked amazing inside and out and I was really happy that we landed up doing it this way.
We actually met in a little church in Hartebeesport Dam (our parents both attended one of the services) and by chance my mom met Grant (my husband). She called me later that day and told me she had found my future husband which was quite funny at the time since I was actually dating someone else. When that relationship ended, I reluctantly agreed to meet him and after that the rest just fell into place. We decided to use the pastor, Rudy from that church as he is kind and considerate and after we met there we thought that it would be amazing to honour the church that helped bring us together. .
Alexander Smith Photography took our photos on the day. They made it so much fun for us and their cheerful approach really put everyone at ease in front of the camera.
No we didn't have a planner and admittedly took the planning quite calmly. In the end mostly everything got done and things we messed up a little or missed gave us a good laugh as none of the guests knew about it. I think knowing that really helped to take the pressure of being perfect on the day away and made it such a memorable experience.
Also my friends and family were amazing and I couldn't have done it without them and thier support.
We went old school with my dad driving me to the venue (it is a special tradition in our family) and he even put ribbons on the front of the car for me. When we left the next day my sister had put shaving cream all over my car with cute messages like "Newly Weds" and we loved the surprise.
Our venue prepared the food for the wedding and it was amazing! We decided on a buffet to give our guests the option to keep going back for more and choose what they liked the most. Highlights for us included a butternut and guava bake (very unusual but utterly delicious), rump steak and a green peppercorn sauce, a lamb and pistachio potjie and chicken wellington. The manager even dished up for us on the day and gave us more time to enjoy some of the food and catch up with our guests.
As for the wedding cake I took a chance and made my own. Our flavour was Belgian chocolate with salted pistachio and we also put a macaroon layer into the cake. I think my mom was living with a constant heart attack until it was finally done and all came together and my sister even de-shelled tons of pistachios for me (thank you sis). It was fun and a great bonding experience as we all did a little and that made it even more special for us to share with everyone.
In the end we landed up doing a Whatsup invite because we have a lot of family all over the country as well as overseas. This landed up being the most practical way to to reach everyone and made it very easy and uncomplicated. We also attached a photo from our engagement shoot which helped to add a more personal element and we addressed the message personally to everyone that was invited.