Winner winner, chicken dinner! Today is a good day. There are actually quite a lot of reasons for that, but I can only tell you two of them right now. One, I have a new home! Wooo! It’s a little further into suburbia, but in return for leaving my beloved Putney behind I get my own little home office. Which, as a blogger (and hell, as a Londoner), is seriously exciting. And also, there’s a trampoline in the garden, which I will no doubt make use of after a couple of glasses of chenin. Two, I have a faaaabulous wedding to share with you from the wonderful folks at the Aleit Group. Their features always rate amongst my most viewed, and it’s no surprise, since they’re full of panache and pretty details. Enter Woutrine and Tate, who not only combined romantic and strikingly modern into one gorgeous package, but chose to brand their wedding with a beautiful monogram and used it everywhere. I can’t say this enough times: you cannot go wrong with branding your wedding. It’s memorable, it ties your whole look together, and it actually saves a lot of deliberation over the smaller details. Woutrine and Tate’s letterpress monogram was pure class – I especially love how it turned up on napkins, giant screens, you name it. Their decor (OMG, strelitzias!) also fit perfectly into the incredible 401 Rozendal – what a find! Love the fusion of rustic, sophisticated ballroom details and even a little modern/industrial – it works amazingly, doesn’t it? I’m expecting to see a lot more from this venue. Pictures are by the talented Jan Hendrik.
Now here’s something cool – both the bride and groom sent me background for today’s feature! I just love an involved groom! Get ready for some serious cuteness…
Tate: Three years ago I was looking for additional interior designer for the business. Through an employee of another friend, Woutrine came for an interview (she was late !) at a coffee shop in Century City. She had her certificates and portfolio and everything else, but I knew from the minute I met her that she was hired! I just knew that she was exactly what I was looking for and a brief look at her portfolio (all of one minute !) confirmed it. Anyway, she then sent an SMS out of the blue saying that she didn’t feel she was ready, felt I needed someone with more experience, better qualified blah blah blah… Devastated, and having already planned her arrival in the office, I accepted it but let her know that if she should change her mind, the position was hers. About a week later she called to say she was in (I was delighted)… three or four months later, after lots of laughs, good times, work success, and her birthday, we were driving to a meeting where she proceeded to pull out a birthday present from her friend and show it to me. Without going into too much detail, it was the NOT the sort of gift an employee should show an employer, and I knew then that the feelings that had developed were mutual. Anyway, one night at a work function, lubricated by a glass or two too much red wine, we couldn’t resist any longer and spent most of the evening embraced in each other’s arms, lips, love and knew, that was the start of it ! From there our love and friendship just blossomed, through good times and some very sad times, and I knew that she was everything and more that I would want in a wife… Of course it helped that she was the most beautiful girl on the planet, but that just scratches the surface ! Two years later we got engaged and the rest is history !
Woutrine: He proposed at Gemma Del Est, a five star resort in Zanzibar on a surprise holiday! Wait it gets better… on the second day he booked us a Sunset Dhow cruise for that same evening. When the manager came to call us for the cruise, he said that it is only the two of us now, the other tourists has cancelled. I was just too delighted! “Only the two of us baby, YAY!” We got on the Dhow and after a while the skipper stopped, for us to have a proper look at the sunset. We went to the upper deck and all of a sudden the captain served us Moet & Chandon… after Tate opened the bottle and took a few sips he said to me “there is one more surprise: will you marry me?” I got all emotional with tears in my eyes. YES off course was my answer and I immediately took the ring and put it on. Engraved inside is the word Ninacupenda, which means I love you in Swahili. Later that evening we had a lovely dinner with lots of cocktails to celebrate the engagement!
Woutrine & Tate: We chose to have a Contemporary Classic look and feel, defined by a series of monochromes ranging from black, grey, and sand to white. 401 Rozendal was exactly what we were looking for… ‘Modern mixed with Mature’.
Simplicity was key for both of us. The flowers were a combination of classic white roses and white pointed and structured Strelitzia Nicolai. Our menu was exactly how we would eat at home – simple food, lots of lemons, olive oil, Tabasco, Malden salt… For our wedding invitations, we had a simple black box with our initials embossed on top, and inside a black on black swing tag invitation, attached to a black tie and white fingerless gloves with the tag: “Our gifts to you which we hope will delight, please be so kind to wear them on the night.”
Tate: The best moment of my wedding day was reciting the poem that I had written for her, to my beautiful wife!
Woutrine: For me as the bride, the best moment was receiving such a beautiful poem from my AMAZING husband!!
Woutrine & Tate: We loved having the opportunity to have all the people that mean the most to us in the world, in one room, at the same time, acknowledging and witnessing our existence and union. Our day would not have been nearly as amazing without the Aleit team, and they bent over backwards from start to finish to accommodate our every whim, fantasy, and wish… Right down to sourcing a little lamb for the photos! THEY ROCK! Our advice to future couples is to solicit their services! Also, involve your best men and bridesmaids in as much as possible, follow your own fantasies, add 30% to your budget for last minute wishes, get your guests to book local accommodation, serve the best food you can afford, insist on a dress code, and have more than one rehearsal.
Thanks as always to the lovely Aleit team and to Jan Hendrik, and of course to Woutrine and Tate for sharing their big day!
Venue: 401 Rozendal
Catering: Stir Food
Photographer: Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen
Videographer: Vicky Goslin
Co-ordinator: Aleit Group
Florist & decor: Floral Affairs
Cake: Ferrero Rocher Pyramid (by bride & groom)
Stationery: The Letterpress Company
Bride’s and bridesmaids’ dress: Ilse Roux
Groom’s suit: Fabiani
Hair: Jeanette Genis
Makeup: Algria Ferreira
Hiring: Exclusive Hire; Top Table; Deecor; Ten of Cups
Lighting: Something Different
Lounge furniture: OKASIE
DJ: Brendon Wickstrom – In the Mix