Oh I am in heaven with this wedding! Beautiful greenery, crystal chandeliers, a feeling of bringing the outside inside (awesome florals by Flowers in the Foyer!), and best of all, a generous sprinkling of glitter and glam. Nicole and Nicolas’ wedding is just breathtaking. The combination of creamy white, rich emerald and sparkly gold (with just a touch of dusty pink with the bridesmaids – love this elegantly mismatched touch) – is perfect for the sophisticated but outdoor-loving couple, and I love that they included family and friends in so many ways to make sure that the wedding was an opportunity to bring them all together. This is also the first time we’re featuring a wedding by Hayley Takes Photos – so happy to share her beautiful pictures with you today!Read More
Okay, choosing my favourite flower would be like asking me to pick a favourite book or film. Too many I love. But tulips are definitely right up there. There’s just something about these blooms that’s so… elegant. Crisp, modern. Architectural, almost. But at the same time, they’re soft and romantic. Which basically describes today’s wedding to a tee – so it’s no wonder that tulips played a big role in Suzanne and Simon’s wedding design. I absolutely ADORE their clean, sophisticated wedding style in white and soft neutrals, with twinkle lights and naked bulbs for warmth, and a few raw, rustic elements for charm. I especially love the bower created for their main table, and OMG Suzanne’s dress is amazing! You all are going to looooove this one! Talented photographer Claire Thomson took these gorgeous images.Read More
One of the things I love most about wedding planning is that inspiration can strike at any time. Some brides have everything planned down to the last napkin fold, with Pinterest folders and a DIY schedule, and no surprises to deal with. For many, final decisions can be made even days leading up to the wedding. My favourite was my friend Abbie who didn’t want a garter, so after we joked in the car on our pre-wedding errands that her surfer husband-to-be would probably prefer a surf leash, that’s what we ended up buying! We put it on under her dress at the last minute and Phil had no idea – it was so fun. And I’ve never seen so many men try to catch a ‘garter’! So I wasn’t completely surprised when reading today’s story from Ian and Andrea, how the idea of a ribbon ceremony backdrop was a last minute decision. Well, I’m sure you’ll agree, it was an awesome one! I really love a focal point to an outdoor ceremony, and hanging ribbons are just SO pretty (and easy)! Plus, I love how photographer Wesley Poon went ahead and used the ribbons for the couple shoot as well, resulting in some spectacular pictures! The decor for this wedding is awesome – shabby chic with pops of jewel tones. I love love love the blue glass, the hanging bottles, the birds. And of course that ribbon, reflected again in the pretty long ties for the bridesmaids’ bouquets (nice twist on the ice cream pastels trend, no?). So much loveliness, and the moral of the story is, don’t be afraid to indulge one of your last minute whims – it may land up being your best idea!Read More
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.Read More
A lot of brides and grooms these days want something different for their weddings. To stand out from the crowd, and give their friends and family something to talk about. Some really go out of their way to achieve this – sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But being different doesn’t always mean you have to do something wild and crazy. It can be a whole host of small touches that add up to an overall experience. (Aha, you knew I was going to start talking about details again, didn’t you?) That’s what today’s couple did. They wanted something a little out of the ordinary, and so they booked a beautiful and unique venue – Beloftebos (one of my personal favourites) is set in a forest with an oak canopy so thick it actually fulfils South Africa’s indoor marriage regulations! Then they chose gorgeous, indigenous flowers (some of which I’ve never seen in a wedding before) and decked their tables with topiaries instead of bouquets. They complemented these with elegant charcoal bridesmaid dresses, hanging hearts and pretty stationery, and served yummy rustic food. And then they topped it all off with a rock band. When you put all that together, it’s really special, and I bet their guests felt really special being there. All of this loveliness is brought to life through the lens of the wonderful Nikki Meyer, a big Cap Classique favourite! Welcome back, Nikki!
Zelda sent over some background on the day – I just love how her enthusiasm shines through in everything she says!
One lazy summer evening during a braai at our friends’ place, I noticed the only guy there who wasn’t wearing shoes and was immediately intrigued. I made my move and told him he had gorgeous feet, taking photos of them. By 11pm the meat was in the oven and we were starving… Well, they always say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and that was true in this case! We ended up sitting on our haunches on the kitchen floor with me feeding him chops. Then, like Cinderella I jumped in my 4×4 and drove off into the night. I didn’t lose a slipper but I made a big impression! About a month later friends invited me for a weekend away and to my surprise, in the little fisherman’s town of Velddrif, there he was, the man who won my heart and the beginning of my life as a wife and his as a husband.
One cold windy Friday, Giulio rocked up at home with so much energy, suggesting we should go take photos on the beach. I looked at him thinking he was crazy, but went along with it. We stopped at Blouberg Beach to take photos of the shipwreck and were there for quite a while and just as the sun set, with me capturing the shot and him standing behind me with his arms around me, I looked down and there it was. A royal blue box with a beautiful diamond! My word, I always said “I’m not a bling person” but I must admit, I LOOOOOOVEE my ring! Oh, but let me get back to my story, I was so shocked that no words came to mind. The excitement got the better of me and I just could not stop laughing! Giulio actually had to calm me down and ask me what my answer was. And of course it was yes, yes, yes!
We wanted our wedding to be a celebration and to be different from other traditional weddings. We were first going to get married on the West Coast and drove up one Saturday, but nothing appealed to us and we stopped for a quick bite with friends. One of them suggested Beloftebos and we immediately jumped in our car and drove all the way to Stanford. When we got to the venue, we just knew: ‘this is it’.
I must admit, almost until the very end, I had no idea of what colour scheme I wanted. The only colour I had was the bridesmaids’ dresses and that was charcoal. Our invites were printed on cream paper and we used charcoal there as well. I love trees and used an old oak tree to symbolize our wedding as we were going to get married under oak trees.
My mother is so special to me, and I was lucky enough to have her do most of the decorating herself (with a bit of guidance from me! ;) ). We used my dining room table as inspiration and except for the crystals and hearts (which are so my mom!) everything was similar to the way I have it at home. I wanted to keep everything natural with a bit of French flair and so we only used topiary trees on the tables and local fynbos (indigenous flora) for bouquets – mine was sewejaartjies (helichrysum). These indigenous trees and flowers, unique to South Africa and our environment, were one of the elements that made our wedding special.
Highlights of the wedding? My husband was the best thing, of course! And although the venue created great ambiance, it was my friends and family that completed the celebration of our promise to each other. We also loved having a live band (Crimson) – not many people have a rock band at their wedding for entertainment!
In the end, it definitely wasn’t the usual beach or wine farm wedding. Just as we wanted, it was different, and as unique as our relationship.
CONGRATULATIONS, Zelda and Giulio!! Wishing you both a wonderful life together! And a big thank you as always to Nikki Meyer – you can catch more of this lovely wedding over on her blog.
Welcome back folks! I know you were loving Part 1, so here’s the second half of the beautiful wedding of Jacqui and Neil – enjoy!
After the service, Neil and I stayed behind with Jules to take a few photos. The rest of the guests headed back to Rockhaven Farm where pre-dinner drinks and canapes were served on the lawns and in the boathouse. Rockhaven has the most beautiful gardens full of roses and lavender and a spectacular view of the dam and mountains so we kept the decor very simple. We chose white couches and chairs for lounging on, wine barrels at the entrance to the boat house and apple and orchid floral arrangements. Elgin is famous for its apples so we also used them to hold our place names. I’m a teacher so the apples and the chalkboard with instructions about seating arrangements were in keeping with that too. We had placed guests on one of three tables (named London, Belgium and Dubai after our moves) but they could pick where they wanted to sit and used the apple with their name on it to mark their place. It saved us a lot of agonising over seating arrangements and left people free to sit with someone they wanted to chat to.
My mum made a few photoboards with pictures of Neil and I over the years and hung them on the walls of the boathouse. It was a fun personal touch which our guests enjoyed. We served a mix of SA and Indian inspired canapes with local Silverthorne bubbly and Doc ‘n the Croc provided light, jazzy background music to keep the guests entertained. To introduce a touch of India before dinner, we had baskets of bangles and bindis for all our female guests to wear. Two of our friend’s daughters handed them out and helped our guests to put together sets of bangles. All our guests loved them and a few of the men were spotted in bindis too! After pre-dinner drinks, baby sitters took all the children up to the main house where they had games and dinner before bedtime so that their parents could enjoy the evening child-free.
We wanted to change things up a bit as the sun set and the guests moved from the gardens to the large barn where the reception would be held. Lamps had been lit along the edges of the fountains outside the barn and the water was covered in brightly coloured petals. We had chosen warm orange and burgandy table cloths with an Indian print on them. (The same print and colours were the inspiration for all our stationery.) Bright orange, pink and red flowers added to the Indian vibe. We toned things down a little bit with stone coloured napkins, table lamps, mirrored vases and mirrors under the candles. The tables at our wedding were named London, Belgium and Dubai after our moves. We had had the print from the invitations printed onto the dance floor and a mix of purple and orange lamp shades suspended over it.
We also tried to reflect our backgrounds in the menu and wine list and sourced as much as we could from the Elgin Valley. Niki and her team from Zest catering in Botrivier did such a great job. We had a roasted butternut salad with goat’s cheese, crispy bacon and toasted almond flakes as a starter, followed by an Indian main of lamb curry, paneer and spinach curry in a creamy tomato sauce, chaat ratnesh (spicy seasoned potatoes), basmati rice, yellow daal, naan and roti and cucumber raita, tomato salsa and coconut and green chilli chutney. The Indian guests felt right at home and the SA and overseas guests loved trying Indian food. The dessert was wedding cake ( the groom is known for his love of cake), Belgian chocolates (we lived there for a while so our Belgian friends flew them in for us), barfi (an indian sweet) and koeksisters. All our wines (except the Silverthorne bubbly) were local to the Elgin Valley. We used wines from Belfield, Paul Cluver, Iona and Beaumont Estate and our guests really enjoyed trying wines from the area they were staying in.
Just before dinner, Neil surprised me and all of our guests with a fire dancing show. It was fantastic to be surprised and got the evening off to such a great start. Our DJ kept everyone on the dancefloor all night with a real mix of international music and old favourites. Our first dance had to be a salsa as that was how we met!
We could not have asked for a better day and nicer people to share it with. Having a wedding planner really paid off on the day as we had nothing to worry about except enjoying ourselves with our friends and family.
Jacqui’s advice to other brides:
- Choose your bridesmaids carefully! I had three and they were such an amazing support team, making sure I took time out from all the organising, taking over my To Do list, ad helping to make all the preparations so much more fun.
- Choose a couple of areas to involve your family in so they can contribute but not so much that they spend the whole day running around and missing out on the wedding. My Dad was in charge of signposting and directions and paid for the hire of the church, my Mum made up the bouquets and buttonholes and the photoboards and Neil’s family took me sari shopping in India and helped to pick out all the items we needed for the ceremony.
- Having a whole weekend to spend with everyone was amazing. We had so many people from overseas that one day would have been too little time to spend with them. A post-wedding brunch is also a good time to catch up with all the gossip from the night before, and they didn’t add a huge amount to the total cost of the weekend.
- Money spent on a good photographer is never a waste. We loved our photos and in hindsight wished we had booked Jules for the braai and brunch too. Take the time to choose someone you feel comfortable with as they are going to spend the whole day with you. We loved working with Jules.
- Use local resources. Our venue providers and the girls at the Elgin Tourism Office were a huge help with finding appropriate accommodation for all our guests and making sure people found their way around and enjoyed their stay.
- Take a few moments in the church and at the reception to look around you and to lock the day into your memory. It goes by so fast and it’s lovely to have a few minutes to pause and take it all in.
Thank you so much, Jacqui and Neil! Wishing you both every happiness and blessing in the years to come.
Venues: Pre-wedding braai – Southhill; Ceremony: Applethwaite Farm Church; Reception – Rockhaven Farm; Post-wedding Brunch: Highlands Road Deli
Wedding planner: Christina Holt for Wedding Concepts
Photography: Jules Morgan
Videography: Vicky Goslin
Flowers & décor: Sorrento
Flowers for bouquets and buttonholes: Linda Keevey at Heaven Scent Gardens
Catering: Zest Catering
Cake: Kanya Hunt – +27 82 375 5200, [email protected]
Wine: Paul Cluver, Belfield, Iona, Silverthorne, SouthHill, Highlands Road Estate
Hair & makeup: Sebastine Pepler
Local expertise: Elgin Tourism Office