What were the highlights and memorable moments for me? That's a tough one! There are so many special moments that happen throughout the day, to sum it up to just a few is a difficult task! Let's start from the beginning then, shall we?
1. Getting ready with my mom and bridesmaids was such a fun experience. It was like a giant sleepover, only we wouldn't be going to bed. We had such fun with the photographer, toasting to the day and just having billions of laughs.
2. The moment my dad saw me for the first time. He looked so happy. No tears, just joy.
3. The moment I was about to walk down the isle. It was the first and only moment I was nervous. I released that everybody I love, everybody who I care about or would ever want to meet for coffee or a chat would be there, watching me. Call it stage fright! But then I started walking and it all fell away and I couldn't wait to get to the point where I could see my future husband standing at that alter made of greenery. As the entrance to the vine-covered chapel came into view, I saw the faces of my friends. Then as I got closer, the rays of light coming in from the giant window behind the pastor revealed Brendon, my husband-to-be. I was so excited I leapt from my father, completely forgetting the touching "giving away" motion we had practiced.
4. Our couple photograph session. I had such fun fooling around but also feeling like a fantasy goddess in my dress and the photographer really captured that.
5. The dancing! My now-husband and I had practiced so much and had an amazing teacher choreograph the steps. It didn't go as planned - it never does - but we didn't care. We had one hell of a time. Then it was time for the father-daughter dance, and wow did we blow people away. Again, our dance instructor performed a miracle by helping my two-left-footed dad dance the funky sokkie-come-line dance moves to Dance Monkey by Tones and I. It was a dance EVERYONE will remember. The rest of the night we danced away and I was the last one to leave!
We decided to treat ourselves to a luxury local honeymoon at Wild Horses Lodge in the Drakensberg. Thank goodness we did, as it turned out all international fights were being cancelled weeks before the wedding because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
My dress was a very pale cream colour to compliment my pale skin, with a lace bodice and a low back from Bride and Co. The skirt was soft chiffon and trailed behind me. It was such a light-weight and comfortable dress to wear the entire day. That aspect was very important to me. The back, despite its low cut, had those gorgeous white buttons and a transparent lace detail. I didn't think I would find my dream dress on my first visit to a bridal store and for such a budget-friendly price but miracles do actually happen! I had an open mind, trying on every dress my bridesmaids threw at me, and that definitely helped because I knew it was the dress for me when I tried it on. In comparison to all the others, this one made me smile when I saw myself.
I wanted my long red hair and make-up to have a classic look, but still with a touch of enchantment and fantasy, so I went with curls brought to the left side of my face and a rose-gold comb at the back with ornate leaves. My make-up brought out the gold in my green-and-gold colour scheme, with shades of copper and gold with a crimson lip to add the classic, elegant touch. Oh for the Love of Glam and Pimp my Hair, a dynamic duo, were my service providers and they were, and still are, amazing.
Continuing with the gold theme, my shoes were sparkly rose gold heels for the ceremony by Madden Girl, and I switched to a platform sneaker for the reception.
My jewellery needed to compliment my rose-gold engagement ring and wedding band, so I decided on rose-gold accessories, which I found at Lovisa - convenient and budge-friendly! I couldn't find a necklace that had a long chain and pretty detail at the back, so I ended up combining two necklaces together to make a classic necklace at the front, with a sparkly rose-gold chain that ran down my back, where my skin was exposed.
We got married at Everwood Country Weddings. My husband and I stayed in their honeymoon suite, which was lovely! The venue has the most beautifully kept gardens with lots of greenery, which I loved. And they have so many beautiful places for your wedding photographs.
I made sure I slept at least 8 hours a night (I'm a grouch otherwise, so I do that normally anyway) and made sure I was eating a balanced and nutritious diet. Other than that, I just tried to keep my normal work-out routine. It was important to me that I didn't change myself for the wedding. I still wanted to be authentically me on the day, not someone I didn't recognise and would never see again.
I used all of Everwood's service providers, including the recommended Splendid Wedding Designs decor company, which was convenient and put my mind at ease as I knew they would be trust-worthy. I wanted the wedding to have an elegant, forest (but not rustic) feeling.
I had a large wooden ring covered with greenery at the alter, with ferns down the isle and bits of greenery tied to the tiffany chairs. The venue set out a water stand using wooden barrels that gave the garden a lovely relaxed and almost elegant tavern feeling for the guests to enjoy before and after the ceremony. The bridesmaids' bouquets reflected the forest-look, being made out of mostly greenery and small, white flowers. My bouquet was a tear-drop shape made with greenery and large white flowers (I can't remember which, sorry!)
The guest tables in the reception hall were covered with wreaths of greenery with golden candle holders in the middle, and the main table had a large piece of greenery in the front with a gold "Mr and Mrs" sign. We hired large white King and Queen chairs edged in gold to bring through that regal note. We used gold under-plates with a piece of greenery on the plate. I made the wedding favours myself: white organza bags holding a pack of seeds for various herbs and vegetables. We wanted to give the guests something that would keep on giving rather than something they'd throw away or clutter their homes with.
We kept the lighting basic, using the default golden fairy lights that the ceiling and edges of the room were covered in. My Maid of Honour built a photo back-drop with props so the guests could play around while we had our couple photograph session. We also had golden hoops covered in greenery around the venue as well as easels covered in greenery holding up our home-made signs and seating chart. My bride tribe and I made a lot of things ourselves.
Brendon wore a full grey suite with a waistcoat, and a green tie and pocket square that matched the bridesmaids' dresses. The groomsmen all wore the same grey pants, ties and waistcoats but without any jackets.
We found the perfect dresses, the same day we found my wedding dress, at YDE. All bridesmaids tried them on and it suited all their different body types. It was the perfect dark greenish-blue colour, like the leaves on the lowest level of a tree in a forest. They completed the look with rose-gold block heels.
Francois from Faded Edges Photography was our photographer and he was amazing! He made everyone feel comfortable and we had so much fun shooting with him. He captured our day perfectly.
We made all the stationary ourselves, buying the elements separately from a variety of stores. I designed the invitations, seating chart and other signs using Canva. It worked amazingly and really helped us save money to spend on other aspects of the wedding (I'm not a graphic designer but Canva is a really easy tool to use for this kind of thing).
We took dance lessons through Creativia, a friend of ours' dance studio. She was amazing!
We used Everwood's recommended DJ for the ceremony and reception.