I once had a boyfriend who woke me up on my birthday with champagne for breakfast, a very generous Harrods voucher, and the promise of a day of shoe shopping. That was pretty exciting. I kind of feel the same today, because I’ve been anticipating this wedding (along with many of you) for so long! Today I can finally reveal in all its splendour the wedding of our real life bride, Anelle Mostert of Seven Swans, who kept us wrapped up in her planning process and inspiration for much of last year without ever giving away too many of her wedding secrets (you can read the full series here). When Anelle and I first came up with the idea of Real Life Bride (Swan Wedding), I had no idea just how much enthusiasm and effort she would put into her posts, or that she would become a dear friend. And you guys, she made THE. most. beautiful. bride. She and her handsome husband, Dirk, look like a pair of rockstars and I am just blown away by all of the amazing details as you’ll see from their pictures. And oh, the pictures. Not only is this one of my favourite weddings ever, not only am I thrilled to bring you the big reveal, but I also get to feature images from the absolutely incredible welovepictures (happy dance!). Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know Travis and Maike are big news in wedding photography (not just in South Africa) and they have knocked this one for a six. Seriously, I could go on and on, because their collective eye is just BEYOND… and more than that, sheer joy just shines out from their pictures. But I’m pretty sure they must be getting bored of hearing how amazing they are. It’s kind of a given at this point. So I’ll cut through the luvviness and just say wowthesepicsarestunning, and thank you so much Travis and Maike! Ok, here we go. (The post is in two parts with a FULL breakdown by Anelle, based loosely around the categories of her previous posts) so make sure to check back after lunch for LOTS more!
I was so glad we decided to get married in the picturesque small town, Riebeeck Kasteel. Our guests loved the laid back vibe and made the most of it by going on wine, cheese and olive tastings. We also had a welcome party at Baa Baa Black Sheep the night before the wedding (which is awesome if your guests come from far away as it means you get to spend just a little bit more time with friends and family).
I decided against wearing a veil at all as I didn’t like the traditional ‘unveiling at the alter’ bit and while I thought I was going to wear a gorgeous headpiece I decided against that too after Riana Ehlers and I did our hair trial. I wanted a very natural look, so windswept hair with a loose plat running down the left felt just right. Instead of adding detail to my hair, I wore the most gorgeous earrings, made by the wonderful Ida Elsje to add just that little bit of kapow to an otherwise understated look. Oh gosh, and I never ever told our readers that I actually bought my wedding dress right off the shelf at Lunar! I loved how the top layer of soft netting felt as if I was walking in clouds and the organic cotton meant I was comfortable (and cool!) the entire evening (exactly what I had wanted all along. And the best part? I wore simple flip flops from Trenery, which meant no sore feet, no blisters and absolutely WAY too much dancing!
As far as my boy (oh, my husband now!) goes, it was a whole different story altogether. Getting him a suit was just a bit of a nightmare as he initially wanted a light grey suit. Just as we finally found it (I did mention four malls, remember??) a whole lot of things went wrong with the alteration and eventually we decided to just go with a black suit. But, he did look oh-so-snazzy for his bride, so in the end all’s well that ends well, I suppose. We also had giant rosettes made up in our wedding colours for the groom and his best men – fun fun fun! :)
But one of my favourite things was probably my maid of honour’s dress. You see, she has bluer than blue eyes, a light complexion and blond hair. PERFECT for wearing the bright blue of our wedding and might I say, she looked ravishing! To tie in with the guys, we added lots of detail in blue and red to the neckline of her dress. Oh, I just LOVED it! She didn’t even need a bouquet and had her hands free to help me with spare tissues, grabbing my bouquet and all the rest. And her mom made the dress… ah, perfection!
Looking back at our wedding day, the venue (Delsma Farm) really did set the tone for what we wanted to achieve. They happily obliged my decorating whims and allowed me total freedom to make up their venue just as I pleased. We could also do this on the Friday, which helps a lot in terms of planning (and ensures a fresh bride, come wedding day!). Plenty of our guests stayed on the farm and with some people only leaving the party at 5am (!!) a few extra mattresses were pulled out from under beds to make sure no-one drove when they really shouldn’t. They had cosy fires going on the stoep (veranda), delicious catering and the friendly owner even played barman to our guests into the wee hours of the morning.
Dirk was actually the one who suggested the red and blue colour scheme and it proved absolutely perfect in creating just the fun, spontaneous and relaxed atmosphere we were looking for. The only tricky bit, was that I couldn’t imagine filling the beautiful, traditional church with all these bright colours. Solution? I added no colour to the church – only white and light grey pinwheels with white ribbon detail to decorate the aisles and the programs were also done in grey and white. Only once all our guests moved outside for the confetti celebration, were they met with blue and red bunting on the church railings and bright red mini popcorn boxes with the words ‘Gooi Mielies’ on them (for those who don’t know, this saying loosely translates as “haul ass”, but it also refers to popcorn as the Afrikaans for popcorn is ‘springmielies’… therefore literally “throw popcorn”). On the way to the venue we stationed bright red direction boards to ensure no guest got lost along the way and once they were inside Delsma, the gardens were bursting with colour. I loved the pre drinks area with its bright bunting, the Bashews bottles with distinctive red labels hanging from the trees, red and white striped straws and hay bales with checkered red blankets. Fill it up with people drinking Pimms and homemade lemonade and you get plenty of belly laughs and general good times!
Click here for Part 2!!