The highlights of our wedding day was definitely our vows, that we read to each other during our ceremony, with the beautiful Indian Ocean as the backdrop and all our nearest and dearest to witness and share in our joy. The fact that our wedding date was our 10 year relationship anniversary added to the day, making it the absolute perfect way to celebrate the decade we have spent together. The most memorable moment was during our couples shoot with our photographer, where we had our shoes off and our feet in the ocean, taking photos, and a giant wave came and the bottom of my dress got wet! We all laughed and I couldn’t have asked for anything more special and memorable than having the ocean, which has been a deep love of mine since childhood, make itself an innate part of our special day.
Due to the lockdown restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, travel is tough at the moment. Our dream is to travel to our native countries of Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man but that will have to wait until travel restrictions have lifted. We did, however, take a “mini-moon” in Simons Town, visiting special places in the duration of our 10 year relationship, such as Boulders Beach, Cape Point and Kalk Bay which was very special.
My wedding look was inspired by our beautiful beach venue. The dress was based on a minimal and comfy look which suited my body type and material that would be soft and flowy to suit the relaxed beach location. The beautiful Miriam Raybin, a local dressmaker in Woodstock was the talent behind my dress and she did such an amazing job in making sure my dress was exactly how I'd envisioned it. My jewelry was gifted to me by my parents and sister, incorporating fresh water pearls and gold, to suit the beach theme. Our wedding ring was designed by Dear Rae and my necklace was a design by the beautiful Victoria Duckitt as part of her KBT jewelry collection from Jimnojean. My bracelet, which pared beautifully with my necklace was from Spirit Jewelry in Hout Bay. My shoes were an easy choice as Witchery had the perfect nude heels that paired very subtlety to my flowy dress. All my lingerie was chosen from Nette Rose, a local Cape Town brand, who I have supported and loved for many years.
I have a love for all things tropical and so it made sense to add some beautiful leaves to my relaxed low up do hairstyle and incorporate a bouquet made up of mostly my favourite greenery with a few white flowers to finish it off. My hair and makeup was kept minimal to suit the rest of my look and the lovely Nathaline Renaud did an absolutely amazing job of my hair and makeup. I could not have changed a thing about it.
We were married at the Black Marlin Restaurant in Simon's Town. Not only is Simon's Town a very special place in both Ryan and I's hearts but we fell in love with Black Marlin the minute we arrived as it just ticked all our boxes all at once. it had the most beautiful patio with amazing sea views, a delicious seafood menu to offer our guests, a relaxing and calming atmosphere that immediately felt like you'd arrived on your seaside holiday and a nearby secluded beach for photos and fun with our bridal party. Colleen, the manager, was a huge help in helping us plan for the day and Amy Cottle was probably our savior in terms of logistics and coordination. I can't believe we thought we were going to do it all ourselves!
Guests were given options for the wide range of hotels and accommodation in the area. Our accommodation was made incredibly memorable and special by the owners of Rocklands Seaside Bed & Breakfast, just down the road from Black Marlin. Amazing views, friendly staff and the best breakfast you could ask for!
I have never been very strict in terms of fitness routines and spa treatments but I had a few treatments at the Ginger Lily Spa in Plumstead before the wedding to spruce me up a bit and stuck to my normal fitness plan that I follow through the 8fit app and Garmin fitness. I had a relaxing facial with dermaplaning a couple of weeks before, with a lash and eyebrow tint and shape. The results were amazing and I highly recommend Ginger Lily for these treatments. The week before I had a French gelish manicure and pedicure and a Vita Liberta Spray Tan which I have had done in the past and had amazing results, so of course I had to go for that again for my wedding day! In terms of skincare, I prioritize skincare in my daily routine and so just made sure I remained consistent with that routine. Overall it was a pretty relaxed plan and suited my lifestyle and I wouldn't have done it any differently!
The flowers and décor was probably the most challenging part of our planning process as I turned out to be pretty fussy when it comes to plants and décor styles. We really wanted the flowers to complement the venue in terms of relating to the sea side location but not overpower the views and rustic qualities of the venue. Finding the perfect balance ebwteen the two required quite a number of hours of discussions and going back anf forth between ideas before finally coming to a resolution. We struggled to find a florist who could accommodate our vision without costing half of the wedding and we must take our hats off to Lynn Hellenberg from Fine Flowers by Lily in Plumstead who ended up doing such an amazing job with our flowers. Our theme was mostly greenery with only a few white roses and snaps in my bouquet. Everything else was made up of our favourite plants, including delicious monsters, olive leaves, eucalyptus leaves, and others. Lynn really helped make our dream a reality with her willingness to listen to our requests and find solutions together with our additions. Being both architects, Ryan and I did a lot of the décor ourselves. We resourced the hessian table runners and chair ties from factories in Woodstock and spent a whole year collecting gin bottles as the vases for our table décor. We also built our plant celling arrangements ourselves using leftover floor boards and rope! And yes, we spent the day before installing them in the celling of our venue! It was so very worth it though, as Lynn's choices of greenery to be installed on the hanging boards, just made the venue become the tropical paradise we had always envisioned from day one. We did have to hire some furniture and vases, as well as our wedding arch and easels. We were very happy with the services from Grand Style Hiring, which assisted us in sourcing all the items which we could not have found ourselves. Of course none of it would have even happened without the help of Amy Cottle who did such an amazing job coordinating it all and making sure it was installed just right.
The groom and groomsmen took a very relaxed route in terms of suits and accessories. All the groomsmen's suits were hired from Eurosuit with all pocket squares made by my dressmaker, Miraim Raybin. The Groom's suit was bought from Country Road as it suited the simple look my husband was looking for.
My bridesmaids all wore dark forest green dresses made by Miriam, my dressmaker. I wanted them each to have a dress that they would love and wear for future events so I asked them to each send me the perfect dress style that they loved the most and then Miriam would make each dress accordingly. I chose the fabric based on our theme of beaches and greenery and the dark forest green was the best fit. Luckily all my bridesmaid's loved the colour as much as I did and each of them walked away with a dress that truly suited them and that they could wear for many more future events. And they all looked absolutely stunning, might I add!
Our marriage officer was Willie Viljoen from Cape Marriages. We were made to feel completely relaxed by Willie's message and services and couldn't have asked for a better marriage officer.
We were very lucky to have Tim Pearce as our photographer for our special day. Tim is also a very good friend of ours and it really helped to have someone there who knew us well and knew exactly what we wanted out of our photographs. Despite all of this, nothing could have prepared us for the actual photos. WOW! I was speechless and in tears at how beautifully and accurately he captured the perfection that was our day. The relaxed feel, the beautiful views, the love between us and all our family and friends and most of all the joy that was on our faces during the entire photoshoot.
If you haven't realised by now about how much I have raved about Amy Cottle yet, now you will definitely hear about it. We had initially thought we could do without a planner, as being quite practically minded, we honestly thought we could do all the coordination and planning ourselves but, as the planning process progressed, we realized more and more as to how the coordination and logistics required someone with experience on board to save us and thank goodness for Amy! She really stepped in to make our day so much more relaxed and memorable by taking away all the stress and logistics of all the other stuff. She also helped us by asking questions and resolving things that we hadn't even thought of yet! If you want to enjoy your wedding day, use a planner. Seriously. You can save money elsewhere but a planner is an essential. Highly recommend using Amy for any wedding planning services.
We did not have any specific wedding transport service as the venue was in Simon's Town and most guests, coming from Cape Town, just drove themselves. We however did ask my Dad to lift myself and my bridesmaids to and from our accommodation where we got ready, to the wedding venue. He luckily didn't mind too much ;)
All the food and drink was provided for by Black Marlin Restaurant, except for the wine, which we bought ourselves and paid corkage for. Our wedding wine was bought from the Creation Wine Farm in Die Hemel en Aarde Valley outside Hermanus, which has always been a special place for Ryan and I.
Our wedding cupcakes was made by a mutual friend, Sjaan van der Ploeg, from Baked by Sjaan, and wow were they delicious! She even decorated them with greenery to suit the theme and they came out looking just as amazing as how they tasted.
My sister, Tegan Kelly, not only was my maid of honour but being a information designer, designed and made all our wedding stationery, website and invites for our wedding, and what an amazing job did she do! I am biased but I know how beautiful all the stationery came out and so am eternally grateful for having such a talented sister on board to help make our dream a reality.
We were VERY relaxed in terms of music and dance and did not take dance lessons before our day. We made use of Elite Audio and Entertainment for the lighting and DJ services and we can safely say, we had an amazing time dancing away to our favorite tunes!