Greg got down on one knee on an island in the Philippines a year ago and I thought that nothing could top that day..
Our wedding day was perfect in every way possible, a dream come true. There were so many incredible moments which will be kept in our hearts forever. Greg and I are quite sociable people so we have a lot of close friends and family in our lives and it meant a lot to us to be able to celebrate with them, some of them came as far as Sweden and Australia. We knew that our day would be about us but also about the people closest to us so we wanted to create a relaxed, fun and meaningful atmosphere that was truly memorable.
The very best moment was walking down the aisle with my Dad and the moment that I saw Greg, the emotions where extremely overwhelming. I could see just how much he loved me and I knew in that moment that I was making the best decision. Our ceremony was really special to us as we incorporated a couple of our family and a few close friends into the ceremony rituals which made it really intimate. My Dad assisted the Rabbi by pronouncing us man and wife which was so special for all of us.
Of course my Cindy Bam dress was one of my biggest highlights! I felt like an absolute princess wearing my dress, every dream that I had ever had as a little girl materialized the moment I stepped into my dress.
During the reception I remember holding Gregs hand, sitting under the stars with hundreds of fairy lights above our head with not a breath of wind, looking around at all of our friends and family and feeling so much love and happiness and realizing that all of the stress leading up to the day was so worth it with my best friend by my side.
As Greg is Jewish and I'm Christian we decided to blend a bit of both backgrounds into our special day. The Hora, which is a traditional Jewish celebration dance, was one of our top highlights. It was so much fun and created a lot of energy between our guests and really set the tone for the rest of the evening. Many of our guests had never experienced this before so it's become a big talking point after our wedding.
The morning of the wedding my mom came over to my cabin with a special box of gifts that she had hand made for me with a letter. We sat in bed and chatted a bit before the day began, lots of happy tears where shared, I think this may be one of my fondest memories with my mom.
Of course spending the day / night before the wedding at Arum Lily Cottages with my bridesmaids and a few friends in the most beautiful setting overlooking the lake was incredible. There was so much excitement and laughter amongst everyone - I remember wishing that I could pause time in that very moment. Just before bed we all sat together and the love and words of encouragement I’ll never forget.
Having my grandparents attend our wedding was really special as they are in their 80's so having them apart of our day was such a blessing. My grandfather has a really good sense of humour so he kept our guests really entertained during our ceremony. It was a reminder of where I get my sense of humour from :)
I remember waking up the next day next to my husband and seeing his wedding band on his hand and just feeling so happy!
HANDS DOWN BEST DAY EVER!!!
With the expense of the wedding we decided not to put the added pressure on ourselves to go on honeymoon immediately after our wedding. We did however stay at The 12 Apostles for 2 nights which was really gorgeous and exactly what we needed to recharge. We are now saving up for a belated honeymoon with the Maldives in mind so winning this competition would be a dream come true for us.
I envisioned an elegant look with beautiful lace and loose flowing curls. For my dress I chose to work with Cindy Bam who is so unbelievably talented. She has the expertise of looking at your body and knowing what suits you best. She's direct and honest and really professional and we just clicked immediately. I went to MANY different bridal dress stores (even one in Barcelona on one of my work travels) and wasn't happy with anything that I tried on (I must have tried on over 50 dresses, phew) until I finally walked into Cindy Bam and tried on the first dress that she recommended and fell in love immediately.
I don't normally wear make up so I wanted to work with a make up artist who has more of a natural style which is why I chose to work with Iza Cloete. Not only is she the nicest person but she's so much fun to work with. We chose a bit of a smoky eye with a light plum lip. Iza really knows how to accentuate a persons best features without making you look like you're wearing too much make up (Greg's only request was that I didn’t look completely different lol). For my hair Iza created loose flowing curls - we added a few temporary hair extensions to create a fuller look. Just as people fall in love with their hair dresser, finding someone who can do amazing lashes is a rather difficult task which is why I’m so grateful to have Ashton Robertson in my life, best lashes in the business.
Being a sentimental person I chose to finish off the look with my grannies tear drop pearl earrings (something borrowed), it really meant so much to her.
I had my garter created out of my moms wedding dress bodice which was really special (something old and something blue).
Dress: Cindy Bam Couture
Hair & Make up: Iza Cloete Hair & Make Up
Hair Extensions: Clip In Hair
Lashes: Ash Leigh Lashes
Nails: Sorbet Paddocks
Bridal gown: Vows Bridal (including the bridesmaid gowns)
Wedding shoes: Forever New
Lingerie: Seductions by Woolworths
We chose to get married at Olive Rock which is located in the Witzenberg Valley, just an hour and a half outside of Cape Town, located on a gorgeous family owned Olive Farm. We immediately fell in love with the location because of the breathtaking mountains surrounding the venue and relaxed atmosphere that we wanted to create for our guests. There was something absolutely magical about getting married under the stars, very romantic. The venue has a few beautiful break away garden area’s and a roof top terrace with the most exquisite views. Simone and Nick Stanford own and run the venue, what we liked immediately is their personal connection with us as a couple. What also made the venue fantastic is that there is plenty of accomodation in close proximity to the venue so our guests could make a weekend out of it.
White Bride Farm; Winterberg Mountain Inn; Arum Lily Cottages; Big Sky Cottages; Riverstone Luxury Country House etc.
I didn't do anything out of the ordinary to my normal skin care regime, I use Dermalogica which works really well with my skin. I tried to increase my water in take, cut out sugar and bad carbs (during the week) and tried to get plenty of rest.
3 months leading up to the wedding I did an online wellness program with Stirling Shaw of Sweat Garage with great results. I needed some added motivation to get back into healthy living and Stirling and his wife Kristin have a great training and eating plan to help you reach your desired goals. Their motivation was exactly the type of support that I needed leading up to the wedding and exercise became a really great way to de-stress when things got a bit hectic as they do with wedding planning.
The beauty with Olive Rock is that you don't need too much to create a romantic and dreamy atmosphere surrounded by the gorgeous mountains, river and nature. We chose a contemporary theme of crisp white and gold accents with tons of fairy lights. Muse Decor Hire supplied most of our decor as they have a great selection of modernist items at really competitive prices. I absolutely loved the bohemian balanese umbrellas, peacock chairs and modernist wedding arch, they created such a dreamy look. We chose to keep our flower arrangements classic with lots of penny gym, eucalyptus & dusty miller and white roses because they worked best with the heat. Anna of Anna Botany assisted with the flowers, she is an absolute gem and really knows how to stretch a small budget.
Decor Hire: Muse Decor Hire
Vase Hire: Grand Room Design & To-Netts
Flowers: Anna Botany
Table Cloths: Table Cloth Hire Co
Hora Dance Equipment: Shtick Around
Lawn Games: Quirky Parties
Greg wore a tailored 3 piece suit which he had custom made by The Tailor Shop and a white fitted shirt also from The Tailor Shop, he looked so handsome! Socks by Happy Socks; ties from Woolworths and shoes by Aldo. His Dad gifted him with a set of cuff links with the family crest which was really special for him.
I'm so blessed to have had the most beautiful bridesmaids inside and out by my side. The amount of love and support that the 5 girls showered me with was something out of this world. Lucky just doesn't begin to explain it.
My colour obsession is mint green so of course I chose mint green as a theme :) One of my bridesmaids is in the fabric industry so she searched high and low until she found the perfect shade of green and couriered the fabric down from Johannesburg for us.
I wanted my girls to look and feel great by wearing something that not only complimented their bodies but also something that they could get use out of. I approached Emilia Designs, who has designed many beautiful dresses for me over the years and we came up with the perfect design. The top part of the bridesmaids dresses had a bit of a lower neck line, quite similar to my wedding dress. The girls looked simply perfect gorgeous. As the ceremony took place in the garden we chose flat sparkly sandals (purchased from Woolworths). The girls each wore a pair of fresh water pearls which I purchased in the Philippines a year ago from a lady who told me that they would bring love and prosperity.
My adorable flower girl, who is also my Godchild, was dressed in a pretty white sparkly dress which we purchased from Woolworths.
We were married by Rabbi Azila Reisenberger. Of all of the vendors who we worked with "Tzili" was by far one of the best decisions that we could have made. Not only did she create the most heart felt and meaningful ceremony which incorporated our family and closest friends, all of our guests thoroughly enjoyed the ceremony. It was an experience not to be forgotten.
I had my heart set on a specific photographer who was unfortunately already booked. I clicked on a couple of her wedding photo's and saw that she had tagged a second shooter, Chelsea Wilson of Chelsea Cara Photography. I love a more natural, moody photography style so Chelsea's style was perfect. Working with Chelsea (and her second shooter Nina Zimolong), was an absolute pleasure, she has such a calming presence about her and she is honestly one of the nicest humans. She even managed to make my husband Greg feel comfortable behind the camera and he isn't a fan of too many photo's. We are absolutely blown away by our wedding photo's and will cherish them for many years to come.
Our video was shot by Mustard Seed Films. These guys shot Rachel and Siya Kolisi's magical day so we are really looking forward to seeing our wedding video come to life in a few months time.
Propel Media provided the photo booth and props. We went with a retro pod with unlimited photo prints for guests to take home with them. This add on really kept our guests entertained.
Being in the marketing and events space I felt comfortable to organize and manage the planning of our wedding. Our friends and family call me "Planning Canning" because I'm a planner by nature lol. Being in the detail of everything allowed me to really enjoy the build up to our wedding. A couple of weeks before the wedding I brought an on the day co coordinator on board, Lauren Kelz of Kelz & Co, who managed the vendors and on the day set up and break down, this took a lot of stress off of me so that I could focus on enjoying the day.
Our family friend (my Dads best friend since Primary School) drove myself and my Dad in my car to the venue. It was nice to be able to include special people into certain elements of the wedding as it really made it quite meaningful.
As we wanted to encourage responsible drinking and ensure that our guests got home safely we used Catours to shuttle everyone.
Our food was absolutely delicious! Our guests still can't stop raving about it. We chose an assortment of canapes served at pre dinner drinks, followed by a plated starter of smoked springbok and Mediterranean salad, plated mains of beef fillet, chicken espatada & mushroom risotto, followed by midnight snacks of mini burger sliders and toasties for those who needed a bit of energy on the dance floor. Everything was prepared by Nick Stanford, Olive Rock owner and chef.
We chose an elegant tiered white and gold decadent chocolate ganache and cream cheese filling cake baked by Sheena Henry. This woman is incredibly talented!! We wanted something that had meaning to us so Sheena created sugar paste toppers of ourselves and our 2 doggies, Barry and Lily, who are our beloved fur kids.
We were really lucky enough to have my close friend Aristea Smits manage all of our design and my bridesmaid Amelia Schreuder of Urban Digital Concepts managed all of the printing for us. We chose an elegant greenery look and feel which was followed through across all of the stationery.
Greg and I both agreed that there are 3 things that make a great wedding - an entertaining MC, great food and fantastic music. DJ West from The Wedding DJ's did not disappoint. Hands down the BEST DJ who knows exactly how to keep the vibe going and reads the crowd so well, he has a very open format style so he can swing between any genre comfortably. This guy has some serious skill! Greg is really passionate about music so we also incorporated a sax player into the evenings entertainment which was fantastic because it’s not something that one expects to hear at a wedding - he is also from The Wedding DJ's.
Carla Louw of Rolling Retro performed at our ceremony and pre-dinner drinks, she has the voice of an absolute angel. Think Nora Jones inspired tunes which our guests absolutely loved. I just wish that we had more time to have enjoyed her music. When it's your big day you do unfortunately miss out on so much but thankfully our videographer captured all of these moments that we may have missed.
Greg and I aren't too comfortable dancing so we decided to take a couple of dance lessons with Kirsten Schloms Armstrong of Dance Life Studio who choreographed a really simple dance. We were a bit concerned as Greg had broken his collar bone a few weeks before the wedding (#bachelors) but we managed to pull off a great dance despite this.
As many of our guests, including our bridal party, are not Jewish we received a traditional Hora dance lesson from Cassandra Sarembock of Shtick Around. She hires all of the Hora equipment that is needed. The Hora was so much fun, one of our top highlights.
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