So the other day there I am watching Glee, and that Mercedes chick is singing – really singing, not just wailing at the end of the song – and it’s Aretha and she’s nailing it and I’m thinking what must that be like? You know, to just open your mouth and God comes out. Because when I open my mouth to sing, it’s more like dog comes out. But that’s what makes talents special. Not everyone has them. And watching someone do that one thing that only they can do, and love, is just magic. I’m getting to the point here. Today’s bride is one of those magic, talented people. I have no idea if she can sing, but what she can definitely do, is flowers. I’ve been dying over the weddings she’s worked on through her company, Flowers in the Foyer, for a long time now, so you can imagine how insanely excited I was when Mandie from Joe Photography told me about her wedding. And as soon as I saw Joe’s stunning photos, I was obsessed. Because Alida and her husband Etienne, together with a group of incredibly talented Cape wedding industry friends, managed to pull off a celebration that looks effortlessly elegant, but is filled with clever, amazing details. There are almost too many things I love to mention. Alida’s dress, for one. (Knockout!) Her single bloom magnolia bouquet, which I ADORE. Their palette of summery pink, green and yellow. The groom’s creative ’boutonniere’. Long, colour-themed tables. Mismatched chairs and benches. Little chutney favours. Hanging lanterns. The colourful, completely original dancefloor. A maze (OMG, A MAZE!!). The casual braai and salads and desserts contributed by the guests themselves. Dancing under the stars. And more than anything else, the way everything came together to be personal and relaxed and absolutely beautiful. Some weddings are stunning in a stand-back-and-observe, museum or gallery kind of way, but this one is so warm and inviting, you just want to dive on in. And that, folks, is what sheer talent can do.
Lovely Alida sent over lots of background on the Big Day:
Etienne and I met through friends, who tried for a long time to get us together. I did not want to be “set up”, but when Etienne walked into my flower shop and asked me out on a date in front of all my staff (!), I could not say no. At that time Etienne was an engineer in the navy in Simonstown, and I thought that I would have to do the initiation as to where we would go for dinner on our date in Stellenbosch. Not excited at all! He surprised me by planning an evening full of different events at three spots around the town. We were both surprised by how much we enjoyed each other’s company and needless to say, that was the beginning of many dates to follow!
After almost three years (I thought he’d never ask!) he took me to Scharborough (close to Cape Point) for the weekend. I thought this might be it, but our weekend was almost ruined when we found ourselves buying a house on the way to our destination! This was not planned, as Etienne just wanted to get engaged (and he knew I would never agree to buying a house with a boyfriend). By Saturday afternoon Etienne had the worst case of buyer’s remorse and I was in tears! We packed two beers and went off to the beach, me in tears and Etienne looking like a dog who lost it’s bone. Needless to say, the poor man proposed under no normal circumstances! He had a little rope as a ring, a symbol of our love coming together.
We wanted to create a relaxed feel with bright colours and lots of fun. Our dream was a wedding under the stars (even though I tell every couple who plans their wedding outside, that it is too risky!). Our friends, Dane Erwee and Chris Willemse from Okasie, were very excited to host our wedding at their house in Pniel. They worked VERY hard to prepare their garden and lawn for this occasion and made every bit of our dream of having a “braaitjie” under the stars for 150 friends happen.
Our wedding day was so amazing because every little detail was sincere. All our friends were there enjoying themselves, the weather was unbelievable, everyone added their own uniqueness to it. THERE WAS MAGIC! Being in the wedding industry and having so many friends in it, made so many things possible. Jan, the rose farmer gave 1000 roses for the ceremony and my friend Alwijn worked his magic with them! Our invites were made by Elsje Designs (amazing people) and were so cool. We delivered them by hand and a salad bowl wrapped in different quilt material accompanied each. On the last page, we asked each guest a note, telling them to bring either a salad or if they had a gift for baking, they were asked to bring something sweet (most were traditional South African desserts, like milktart, cheese & jam cookies, etc. My friend Tia, made her homemade chutney as a gift for each guest and these were part of the decor on the table to take home or to enjoy with some of the food served. Our friends Quintin and Judy made all the table arrangements and each of them were unique in their own way. Some of our clients also brought special flowers from their gardens, it brought me to tears. Each, so special! Hermien (my business partner) had the job of making my bridal bouquet – how amazing was the magnolia flower that complimented my dress so beautifully! Dane decided that the dance floor needed a personal touch so he took all the tins of paint that they had in their garage and painted magic colours. The effect was amazing! The dance floor echoed the pastel colours of the sunset and surrounding mountains. Another friend offered to make a labyrinth in the field next to the reception area, which was a symbol of our journey as friends and guests were encouraged to make their way to the middle where they could write a note in a book. My friend Hayley from Just Jack wedding coordinators brought everything together on the day and with Jaco (her business partner) and our staff at Flowers in the Foyer, painted a perfect picture!
The day was a perfect one. Nice and warm with no wind. Both Etienne and I wanted to be 100% comfortable in our outfits and I could never imagine myself in a wedding dress, so I had Malcolm and Christiaan from KLuK CGDT make my beautiful dress out of the beautiful material they found – I absolutely loved it! After our ceremony, guests each received an origami heart pin-ons (made from prints of news from our date of birth!) which were their clue to go to the small café next to the church where they were each served with small bottles of soda and niknaks. Guests then made their way to Johannesdal where the rest of the proceedings took place. All our food was barbequed and the chefs were placed next to the tables to enhance informality and atmosphere. Guests danced the night away under the stars, just as we wished for, and the night ended with a surprise from Etienne: lots of white Chinese lanterns were lit and sent up into the perfect night sky.
A massive thank you to Alida and Etienne – and Alida, I hope to work lots more with you in future! And another tremendous shout out to the lovely Mandie and Joe – you can see more from this wedding on Joe’s website, and also on that of Eva van Niekerk, who took all the informal shots (not included in this post).
Venue: Private home
Catering: Andre & Herman from Two Chefs
Co-ordinator: Just Jack
Photographers: Joe Dreyer; Eva van Niekerk
Stationery & origami hearts: Elsje Designs
Dress: KLuK CGDT
Makeup: Adri Redman
Dancefloor & lighting: Something Different
DJ: Piet from Aleit