Getting married in such a spectacular setting really set the tone for our whole weekend. We were surrounded by our family and closest friends leading up to the day, helping us with the decor and setup. It really made it all so much more special and unique.
On the Friday night we held an informal rehearsal dinner at the pool lapa, with pizzas made by Piet (The estate manager) in the lapa pizza oven and plenty of bubbly and gin to go round. We took this time to thank our wedding party and family for everything and for being there with us.
Waking up on my wedding day, I was beyond excited and really very relaxed (how many brides can honestly say that?). I spent the entire morning lounging around in my pjs, gown and slippers. I even managed to read a few pages of my book while hiding out in the bridal suite while my amazing entourage were at work. The day, as everyone tells you, goes by so quickly, but it really was just amazing from start to end. There isnt a single thing I would change!
The weather held out (after a short shower the day before) and we managed to have our forest ceremony followed by pre-dinner drinks at the pool for our guests while we did our photos - we even managed to sneak down to the beach for some incredible couple shots too. We made our 'grand entrance' into our reception to Stevie Wonder's Signed, Sealed, Delivered (a cheesy joke between Matt and I) and the rest of the night was a blur of laughs, fire crackles, delicious food and dancing. We signed off at around 1am, leaving the trouble makers to finish up - which they did by skinny dipping in the freezing pool at 2 in the morning!
Unfortunately we couldnt go on honeymoon (yet), Matt had some work commitments right after the wedding and in all honesty we need to save a bit after the wedding for a great break together sometime soon.
I had a specific look in mind before I even started looking at dresses... I wanted to keep it simple but elegant. I was incredibly lucky to find a one of a kind dress (sample) at Bride & Co. by Viola Chan. I had to have a few alterations made to it for the perfect look and Michelle Cilliers was just the person to do it.
So with that underway, I worked on the rest of the look, taking direction from my Pinterest board. I have long, thick hair which I wanted to have down. I had originally thought of doing a half waterfall plait design but changed my mind and decided on having my hair swept over my right shoulder with loose curls and small floral detail to compliment my gorgeous dress.
Because my dress was quite detailed, with a full lace and bead overlay, I didn't want to over do it with jewellery. I opted for my diamond stud earrings and wore my mothers tanzanite ring on my left hand (something borrowed and blue all in one). Im not a high heels girl and with our ceremony being in a forest I decided to be a bit different. We found the perfect pair of white lace takkies and re-laced them with dusty pink ribbon to match my colour scheme. Along with Matts funky pink socks (with bananas on them), we made quite a pair!
My hair and makeup were done by the talented Karin Chan of The Art of Makeup (George). She and her assistant, were incredibly professional and managed to get through 3 bridesmaids, 1 wedding coordinator, 1 sister-in-law, 2 mothers and a bride in a morning - now thats talent!
Our wedding rings were custom made by Janine Binneman of JBJD in Cape Town. Matt designed my engagement ring with Janine and I designed my wedding band as a complimentary plaited platinum band, symbolic in its interwoven pattern. Both Matt and my rings have a unique feature - each others fingerprint engraved inside the band.
We got married at Forest Hall Estate which is a little slice of Heaven tucked away in The Craggs, Plettenberg Bay. This venue is literally breathtaking and boasts, not only a forest, rolling lawns and views for days but also access to a private beach. A venue like no other we visited, it was a no brainer when it came to picking this one.
Forest Hall is a Historical Monument having been built in 1864. The manor house and cottages on the property hosted our family as well as our entire bridal party for the weekend. The rest of our guests stayed at a number of cottages, BnBs and lodges within The Craggs and Plett. There really are some gorgeous little getaways surrounding the venue and Uber certainly came to the party for those staying a little further into Plett.
In March, Matt and I ran the Two Oceans half marathon together as a goal. We had to do a lot of training to get there and after the race, I kept up with my running on a weekly basis as well as spending a few days in the Virgin Active gym per week in order to make sure I still fitted into my dress come June!
I follow a healthy diet for the most part, so sticking to that as well as the exercise really helped. I am also quite organised, so I worked out a 'beauty plan' leading up to the wedding which included a teeth whitening kit for before bed at night. As well as having my hair trimmed and treated early in the year with a follow up 2 weeks before the wedding at my hairdresser, Megan at Synergy Hair in Bergvliet. I also set up massage and facial treatments at Steenberg Spa and nails at Sorbet for 2 weeks before the wedding. My mom travelled all the way from Los Angeles so I waited for her to arrive so that we could have our nails done together.
This part of the wedding was probably my favourite to plan. I have a passion for planning and decor and I am quite the Pinterest addict. I share this passion with a good friend, Adele, who agreed to be my wedding coordinator - how lucky am I!
As Forest Hall holds such natural beauty, we decided to use this to its full potential and keep the decor very raw and complimentary. I chose Rose Gold, Pink and Navy as my colours which along with some white / cream and the natural greens made for a gorgeous palette to work from.
Our ceremony was held in a forest clearing in which we placed ghost (clear) chairs with an isle bordered by pretty pink, white and rose gold cardboard hearts on skewers - we spent a number of craft mornings putting these together. We had strings of origami birds overhead and clusters of wooden tree stumps with jars containing candles on either side of a magnificent willow bridal arch clad in flowers (Yes-Flowers). I collected bougainvillaea flowers for a couple of months prior and dried them out, keeping their colour, to use as confetti. Our flower girls each held a large white basket with pink ribbons containing the petals.
The pre-dinner drinks were held at the pool house and we had clear baubles with flower buds, open flowers and greenery in them strung from the pergola. We had a harvest table (created by our caterer, Dee's Catering) and a gin bar (Tap'd Gin Bar) with wheelbarrows of cool drinks and beers on either side. A roaring fire in the fire pit kept guests warm while they mingled and took photos with our personalised Insta-frame prop (thanks to Redaa and his team at Creative Photo Lab).
Our reception was in a large room at the back of the manor house with curtains of fairy lights twinkling on either side of the room which itself is enclosed in glass (seeming open to the surrounds). Events & Tents brought in beautiful raw planked wooden tables which we set up into long banquet style settings. The ghost chairs were brought in from the forest and set out at the tables. We ditched the idea of table clothes so we could really bring through the wood of the tables and our florist, Sylvia from Yes-Flowers did an incredible job of creating an enchanting feel with her natural boxes of flowers, candles and raw earthy elements (including some root vegetables) as centre pieces. As Matt is Scottish through his Dad, we really wanted to bring through some heritage and Sylvia pulled one out of the hat by having blue thistles intermingled with the flowers and decor. To add an element of style to our natural setting, we hired rose gold cutlery from Event 2 Set in Cape Town which we took up with us. Our favours were little 100ml jars of honey bottled at the estate by Pieter (the estate manager) himself! We sprayed the lids rose gold and made personalised name tags tied onto each jar with a navy ribbon and a mini wooden honey dipper. Each place setting was finished off with a honey jar and a sprig of greenery on a white napkin. Our family helped us string up paper lanterns and lights to create a magical look which spilled out onto the wooden deck hosting our bar and 2 drum fire pits surrounded by lounge chairs.
As our wedding was in Winter, we had all fire places lit, fire pits and gas heaters. We also bought navy fleece blankets and had them rolled up and presented in a basket for our guests to use.
Matt and his groomsmen hired suits from Eurosuit for the wedding. They wore navy blue suits with white shirts. Each groomsman had a different style; one with a waistcoat, one with suspenders, one with a bowtie and Matt wore a navy and white polkadot tie with a navy jacket. Each groomsman wore a different fruity pair of Happy Socks. I gave Matt a pair of custom cufflinks with the Logan clan emblem on them which I ordered from kiltmakers.co.uk in Scotland.
We have two sons, Casey and Cole, who (along with their best friend) wore matching outfits of navy pants from H&M, white shirts from Woolworths and navy and white polkadot bowties with suspenders from Keedo. They looked like mini groomsmen, too cute!
Knowing my bridesmaids well, I went with something they could add their own individuality too and use again. Infinity Dress was the perfect solution and they had the perfect colour for us too - dusty pink. It was so easy to order off of their site and they deliver them to your door! As a special gift, I ordered satin, lace trimmed gowns for each of my bridesmaids in pink and one in white for myself from Le Rose Gifts on Etsy.
Since I was having my dress altered, I enlisted Michelle Cilliers to make our flower girls dresses from pictures I found on Pinterest. The result was simply gorgeous. We had three flower girls ranging in age from 10 - 2 years old. They wore 3/4 ivory lace dresses with brown boots. They looked incredibly sweet and they were very happy with their dresses. One of them even slept in hers and wore it all the way home the next day too!
We had the pleasure of being married by the wonderful Gavin Brown. Gavin is such a warm and friendly person, our ceremony felt very relaxed - it was as if he had known us for ages when in fact we had only met once before the wedding over a coffee.
When deciding on a venue, I started looking at possible photographers. We wanted someone who would capture us in the most natural way - we didn't want any cheesy, over-posed photos. I completely fell in love with the work of Kaitlyn De Villiers of KDV Photography. Her style was exactly what we wanted. After meeting her for coffee, it didn't take much convincing to get her to agree to drive up to Plett with her assistant to capture our day.
Kaitlyn was incredibly professional and made us feel very relaxed on the day. Receiving our photos was so exciting, being able to relive the day and see all the little amazing details you don't get a chance to really see on the day.
We also had a bit of fun on the day with a personalised Insta-frame that our guests took pictures with. The frame was from Creative Photo Lab in Steenberg Village, Tokai.
A good friend, Adele, has a party planning business - I Heart Parties, and she happily agreed to coordinate the day. She really pulled out all the stops in making it magical and stress free.
Along with Adele's magic, I had three hands-on bridesmaids and both of our families who helped a lot with the preparations and planning.
Our entire wedding was held at one venue so there was no need for transport.
Our caterer, Dee from Dee's Catering did a fantastic job, there really was more than enough to go around.
Our harvest table at the pool house for pre-dinner drinks was such a hit, my mother wouldn't stop talking about it for weeks after the wedding! Platters of breads, spreads, cheeses, nuts, biltong and fruit were lavishly laid out.
Dinner consisted of a roast tomato and basil soup with parmesan crostini to start followed by banquet dishes of roast lamb and stuffed chicken breasts served to the tables, accompanied by two salads and some herb butter baby potatoes.
We decided on a dessert table which included brownies (made by Hannah Hill, a talented Grade 12 student) as well as a variety of individual mini peppermint crisp fridge tarts, mini vanilla creme brulees, mini chocolate mouses and mini milk tarts. We also had glass jars of gold almond Hersheys kisses (that my mom brought over from the US).
I am an avid baker so I decided to make my own cake (in the kitchen at Forest Hall), a vanilla and elderflower 2 tier cake.
As we had guests from all over, we chose the digital (green) route and created our Save The Date, Invitation and Thank You's on Greenvelope.com. The site / app is so simple to use and stress free as you can manage your RSVPs online and send out reminders and notes to your guests.
I also designed some elements for the wedding. These included my bridesmaid 'proposal boxes', a weekend itinerary and welcome note which was accompanied by giant heart cookies and placed in all our guests rooms (those staying on the estate), special gifts for our moms, as well as hand drawn wedding day timeline cards which were handed out to guests as they entered the forest ceremony.
We sent out physical hand written thank you cards to all our guests with a group wedding photo.
Our reception was so much fun. The estate doesn't have a cut off time and our DJ, DJ Mike, was there until 2am playing a great mix of music. We gave him a list of our favourites and asked guests to suggest songs on their RSVP to the wedding.
We actually didn't even practice our first dance before the wedding itself! The song, Perfect by Ed Sheeran feat. Beyonce, was an obvious choice and we just decided to wing it.
Sound and dance floor lighting was all done by DJ Mike who is a local wedding favourite.