Where do I begin?
On the morning of my wedding I woke up at 6am. My bridesmaids left me at the Caledon Grace resort whilst they rushed to the venue to sort out some last minute decor. I sat in my room on the windowpane by myself, overlooking the vineyards, sun in my face, coffee in hand. In that moment I felt overwhelming emotion and gratitude.. I had to shed a tear (or two) of joy. I sent a message to Leigh telling him that I love him and that I can't wait for the day to begin and for the rest of our lives to unfold. My bride squad and I got dressed calmly and with champagne.
When we arrived at the venue, I continued down the loooong walkway to the chapel in the forest. My heart was beating 10000000 beats per minute. Everything was a blur right up until the point that my father hooked me in and we started walking down the aisle. When I reached Leigh at the end of the aisle, my hands were shaking from nerves. We hugged each other and instantly my nerves were relieved. That was the beginning of the most special celebration of my life.
Leigh and I are a very adventurous couple so I knew it would be difficult to choose a suitable honeymoon destination. We came up with your usual "Greece" or "Thailand" or "Mauritius" kind of thoughts, but nothing wow'd us.
By chance I came across an article written on Vietnam. I was immediately drawn to the destination and posed the idea to Leigh. He agreed instantly. We booked a G-Adventures package and travelled from the South to the North of Vietnam on an overnight train! We stayed in backpackers lodges and 3 star hotels and travelled with a group (very unlike your usual honeymoon trip!). We partied till we dropped in Ho Chi Minh city, celebrated my 30th birthday at a beach party in Nha Trang, skinny dipped on the beach at 2am in Da Nang, walked the magical town of laterns in Hoi An; and the list goes on and on...... it was the trip of a lifetime and one that we will never, ever forget.
Dress : Bride and co
Hair : Blooming Hair Design Co
Shoes : Charles & Keith
Accessories : Lovisa
I decided to do my own makeup because I wanted a very specific look and knew that I would be able to achieve it myself. I also did all four of my bridesmaids makeup on the morning of the wedding. I've always dreamed of wearing a ball gown on my wedding day. I instantly fell in love with one of the first gowns I tried on, with a 2m long train! I thought it may be over the top, but it was just perfect on the day. I wore some jewellery belonging to my late grandmother on the day, too.
We got married at Die Woud in Caledon, Cape Town, smack-bang in the middle of the forest! Leigh and I are both nature lovers, so an indoor wedding was never an option. The staff at Die Woud went out of their way to accomodate our needs and delivered the most exceptional service that exceeded our expectations by a mile.
My team decorated the magical reception hall made of glass, with fairy lights, drapings, candles and floating flower centre pieces. Many of our guests spent the night at the Caledon Hotel and Spa afterwards.
Ironically, before I got engaged I started with a diet and exercise program that was perfectly timed for the wedding. Within five months I had lost 11kg's and Leigh had lost 9kg. I was working out at least four days a week and I drank plenty of water. I was going for treatment after treatment, ranging from EMS training, lasic hair removal and I went for facials, facials, facials to keep my skin looking smooth.
Nails : Roxy's Nails
Lashes : Century Spa
The venue only provided tables and chairs and the rest was up to us. My decor team was A Touch of Eleganz.
I chose furniture for the outside area from a catalogue provided by Die Woud and I designed the centre pieces for the tables, myself. I've always loved floating arrangements, so I opted for floating candles and roses submerged in water. Not many people know this, but the colour theme was actually centred around the colour of my shoes! My shoes were blush pink and so we arranged the entire wedding decor around it. The theme was : blush pink, rose gold and white. The theme during planning was "fairy tale dream" and I instructed my team that I wanted fairy lights and candles galore! We drenched the reception area with fairy lights and candles that created a beautiful setting for our sunset wedding.
The table seating plan was made with vinyl on a free standing vintage mirror.
Leigh wore a custom made suit by Zed Menswear. It's a perfect fit made from fabric imported from Italy. We wanted the groomsmen to wear something fun.. so we opted for black suspendors and bowties with light grey suits to match the bridesmaids black dresses.
When I thought about my bridesmaids dresses, my number 1 objective was to ensure that my bridesmaids were as comfortable as possible. What lady isn't comfortable and sexy in black? The dresses were custom made and I gave my bride squad free reign to pick any design they liked. Along the way I would guide them and tell each of them about my own dress, so that they all would all choose a dress that matched the style of mine.. although they didn't see my dress until the day of the wedding.
Leigh and I did not want a religious ceremony at all because we are not a religious couple. I searched for a Marriage Officer that would suit our needs and found Tie the Knot, Cape Town. The entire ceremony was hand picked and directed by myself and Leigh. Amongst many things, we chose a rose ceremony honouring our mothers and a gratitude crystal for our guests to pass around.
Photographer : Elri vd Merwe Photography
Videographer : Brush Wedding Films
Photo Booth : The Picture Booth
If you want talent.......... Elri and Martin (also a couple) captured our day better than we ever would have imagined! The photos and video speak for themselves.
I did have a planner but in retrospect I was so involved in all the planning and directing that I don't believe it was absolutely necessary. It was helpful though.
Wedding planner : Nicolette Weddings
We were blessed to have our transport provided by family.
My stepfather drove the groom in his 2018 Mustang
Bride was transported by an uncle in a Studio Baker
Wedding cake : Crumbs and Frosting
Food : Die Woud
The venue provided the catering and we chose the food from a 12 page menu!
The cake was by Crumbs and Frosting and honestly, the cake was sooooooo delicious!! It was a two tier chocolate cake. One layer of chocolate orange and one layer of dark chocolate. YUM!
Printed invites : Secret Diary
Digital Invites : Paperless Post
We saved costs with digital invites and printed invites for the older guests who don't have access to email.
I cant recommend Secret Diary enough! Their designs are so beautiful and my invites were printed in one day and sent to me for delivery.
DJ : The Party Technician
Our DJ provided all the sound and lighting for the ceremony and the reception. He was so professional, helpful and kind. He gave us a form to complete where we listed all our favourite songs and song choices for the evening.