What’s that expression about the best laid plans? Well, I had the BEST laid plans for you all this week, and one after another they’ve gone awry, largely due to the fact that we keep losing power (and then internet for hours afterwards) in my road. It’s driving me mental. Especially since I had not one but two posts almost lined up for you yesterday and another for today. BUT, patience is a virtue, and I’m doing a quick switcheroo and bringing you yesterday’s wedding today, and the other two posts next week. Bonus. Brushing all that annoyance off, I’m still SUPER excited to share this wedding with you, since it not only features a real Cape landmark but also a couple I know, which is always fun. I met Ker and Russ through my friend Belinda (one of the gorgeous bridesmaids in these pics), so I have been hearing all about this wedding from Day One. And when I saw the absolutely spectacular pictures that Judy Stofberg of Just Judy Photography had taken, I asked Kerri if I could feature their big day right here. Now castle weddings might be a dime a dozen here in the UK, but they’re a rarity down Africa way. The Castle of Good Hope, which is a wonderful historic choice as a venue, is actually the oldest colonial building in South Africa, and replaced a small fort built by Jan Van Riebeeck in the 1600s. It’s a real slice of South Africa’s cultural heritage, and just wait until you see the spectacular Cape views! I love how Kerri and Russell made the most of their venue with formal touches like the piper on the roof (seriously, how cool is that?) and the deep purple they chose as their accent colour. The great thing about choosing a backdrop like this is that you don’t need to go mental on the decor, just let your guests soak in the atmosphere.
From the lovely Kerri:
Russ and I met five years ago at a housewarming braai, having been invited by a friend who I hadn’t seen in ages. I went with my housemate, and was only planning to stay for a few drinks and then meet other friends in London. Russ was there with his good friend. I remember walking down the stairs and seeing Russ there and thinking that perhaps it might be an interesting night… So I cancelled my plans to go into London later, went and bought some meat for the braai and then set to work on flirting with Russ! Shame, the poor guy never stood a chance. I really fancied him from the word go! We always laugh that I lied about my age that night, pretending to be three years younger than I was! We had our first proper date a week later, and haven’t looked back.
Russ proposed at the end of September 2010 when we were on holiday with our parents in Kruger National Park. We had been together for four and a half years at this stage. We were staying in a small bush camp and Russ asked me to go for a walk with him one evening. As we were strolling and chatting, Russ pointed out an ant lion hole on the ground next to the fence, and he asked me to try and get the ant lion to come out of the hole. I started gently scratching in the hole and suddenly, there was a diamond, but it quickly disappeared in the sand. Russ then dug it out and proposed. I don’t remember exactly what he said, ’cause I just couldn’t believe that he was proposing! I was just crying with happiness. He then explained how he had sourced the diamond through a friend’s cousin in Paarl and had another friend deliver it to my parents’ house, who then brought it up to Kruger, without having a clue what was in the envelope! We then went and told our parents, who of course were absolutely thrilled.
We were very lucky with our venue. Russell’s uncle is a general in the South African army and he arranged a contact for us at The Castle in Cape Town. It was really a perfect venue – we could get married on De Kat Balcony outside, the hall was plenty big enough, we could bring in our own caterer, own wines and a reasonably-priced bar, and it was a really unique and original venue, and so awesome with the views of Table Mountain.
We arranged the wedding in six months – it can be done, it just makes you make decisions more quickly! We chose a colour scheme of plum and cream, which surprisingly my father recommended. I think my only bridezilla moment was when my mom had made the table runners (after having already made 120 napkins) and I told her the colour wasn’t right and refused to use them! She was so patient and understanding and has never complained about it! We also made the name tags hanging from the wine glasses on a ribbon with beads.
Some of the moments we loved the most… the photo shoot… the speeches… We had a bagpiper to stand on the Castle walls and play during the drinks reception – this was a very special touch and really added to the atmosphere. It was such a fun day, and so special having so many of our friends and family there.
Russ & Ker – thanks so much for allowing me to feature you – hope you have as much fun living your happy ever after as you did falling in love. And thanks as always to the lovely Judy – you can see more on her blog right here.
Venue: Castle of Good Hope | Catering: Hugh Nourse | Photographer: Just Judy | Florist & decor: Carol at Stems | Cake: Freya’s Cakes | Stationery: Mandi Freeman (friend) | Bride’s dress: All That Glitters, London | Bridesmaids’ dresses: Julia Douglas | Hair: Figaro | Makeup: Claire Hills | Hiring: All Events Hire and Function Hire | DJ: Warren Morse – Hey Mr DJ