It’s clear from my web stats that Louise and Riaan’s wedding from Tuesday was a huge hit with all of you, yay! As promised, today Louise has been sweet enough to share some of her personal album with more of these handmade details and the info behind them, as well as a very exciting announcement!

The invitations: Louise notes that people are often amazed and inspired by the story of how she and Riaan met, so they came up with the theme of ‘Sharing Your Story’. They wanted their guests to interact with the invitations, and to add in things that were special to their families – where their stories started. Riaan created their logo using photographs of them in profile, and they used old book illustrations for visuals, with vintage book pages used as backing on all items (some of their guests even tried to piece these together to read the story!). Riaan’s dad is passionate about gardening and indigenous plants, so the invitation included Cosmos seeds (with instructions on a pretty bookmark) for guests to ‘start their own story’. To honour Louise’s mom’s love of sewing, butterfly wings were die-cut from the cover and material inlaid beneath.

Story dolls: Louise and Riaan love kids and wanted their twelve younger guests to feel special and included, so these unique favours were made for them. Each doll came with a tag which read: I am a ‘story doll’ and I was invented and created especially for you. My story has not been written yet and that is why there is a pen tied to my body. You may decide who I am and what I look like… and then you can write my story on my body. I hope we will become best friends!

The photobooth: While Louise and Riaan had their photos taken, guests had fun with their photobooth. Louise created various props, including these moustache sticks and customised mirrors for guests to check their outfits.

The picnic baskets: Riaan and Louise are new to Cape Town, so they chose a distinctively Capetonian menu (the District Six Picnic from The Picnic Company). These were presented in beautiful lined wicker baskets (which guests could take home), with the customised menus printed onto rayon linen serviettes by Louise. The baskets also included fun fortune tellers/cootie catchers, and a personal letter to each guest.

Other details: Guests found their picnic spot with escort cards created using fabric samples Louise and her mom had saved over the years and some from St Leger & Viney. These were set up on a white easel. Paper for the cards and rosettes came from Antalis. The groomsmen’s brooches were made with fabric and Louise’s grandfather’s old police cufflinks (which she included in his memory). The lampshades came from a local shop, but Louise felt the white colour was too stark so hand stained them with tea. She attached butterflies to them and hung them from the sky bar with beads.

Amazing, right? I am still stunned by just how much effort this couple went to – no wonder Riaan dubbed Louise ‘The DIY Bride’!

Now here’s for the really good news… You can get some of Louise’s amazing style and attention to detail at your own wedding! She has just launched her design company, Lovelab – click here to check out the fab new website. Louise’s passion is to ‘design for change’ – no matter how big or small. I asked her to tell me a bit more about what she does:
Basically I just love creating… and not all people (brides and other clients) have the time or feel they’re creative enough to come up with new ideas… So I just like to experiment and deliver ideas! Continuity is very important to me – I like to have a ‘golden thread’ running through everything from the invitation (which whets your appetite and gives you a hint of what the wedding will be like) to the groom’s clothing. I always joke and say I’ve got the ‘I’d like to make a suggestion’ disease! Basically anything you can dream of or desire; and I like customising, so the same solution isn’t used twice!

If you’d like to contact Louise, here are all the details:

Louise van der Westhuizen
[email protected]
Mobile: +27 82 421 9559 • Tel: +27 21 447 0199
20 Brabant Street, Woodstock, Cape Town, South Africa

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