Real Wedding at Glen Carlou {Rochelle & Henry-John}

So a couple of weeks ago, I got behind the idea of a brunch wedding, and you guys have been loving it. I think one of the reasons is that it offers an alternative to a full scale canapes-cocktails-sit-down-meal-dance-all-night reception (much as I love them), and that can be a great thing not just for budget reasons, but also for brides and grooms who are hosting on a Sunday and don’t want to send their guests home drunk on a school night, or want to make use of a venue that wouldn’t cater to an evening crowd, or just want a different sort of vibe. Brunch is one option, but today’s bride and groom got creative and decided to host a high tea reception for their party. Not only did the two chocoholics get to serve their favourite kind of food (and just check out the spread here), but they also achieved a laid-back daytime vibe at pretty Glen Carlou wine estate. Guests didn’t have to worry about formal table settings, but could sit and chat with their goodies at a number of smaller tables and other seating areas. It’s all so civilised. And it doesn’t hurt that Rochelle and Henry-John played up the pretty high tea inspiration using details like a ‘tree’ of hanging teacups to complement their black and white colour scheme. I’m all about making it your day, your way, and this is one couple who lived that philosophy completely. The lovely Taryn Ward was there to take pictures.

Henry-John and I dated for eleven years before we got married – which made our wedding date (11/11/11) very special. We worked at the same company, where we developed a wonderful friendship and started dating. One weekend we attended a friend’s 40th birthday and stayed over at a very romantic B&B. It was Henry-John’s intention to propose at this location; however, the opportune moment never arose. Later that evening, while I was in bed reading my book, he went down on one knee. I initially thought he was looking for something under the bed, but quickly realised what was happening when he presented me with the most stunning engagement ring and asked me to be his wife. I was in complete shock, even after eleven years!

We had a high tea wedding reception, with lots of chocolate eats (both of us are chocoholics). Our wedding cake was a four-tier chocolate delight! We chose the high-tea theme as we felt it was the perfect type of reception for our guests to relax, mingle with one another and enjoy the stunning venue. We didn’t have any formal seating, so they could feel free to move around and sit wherever they preferred. Our décor theme was vintage and our colour scheme black and white.
We chose Glen Carlou as our venue. The location is stunning – classy but not too stuffy – and has the most awesome views of the vineyard and valley. The venue is open and full of light, had space for our guests to move around, and the food and staff were amazing.

I really wanted to celebrate the marriages of our family and friends, so I obtained old family photographs from both sides of the family, as well as recent family weddings, and used them as décor. It was very special to me, as my dad, Henry’s dad and both our grandmother have passed away, so it was awesome having them as ‘part’ of our celebration. Our order of service (which I made) also included a special dedication to our fathers.

The ‘wedding factory’ (my friends) helped me put together the invitations and confetti boxes, which added a special personal touch to the wedding. I also made little gift boxes for our guests, which contained biscuits (made by my mom – a real labour of love) and individual teabags, in keeping with the high tea wedding theme.

I’d advise future brides to use Google, and Excel to manage your wedding budget (very important to have one!). Utilize awesome vendors – I was fortunate to make an immediate connection when contacting each of mine and I just knew they’d be perfect to assist in realising our dream wedding. Involve your husband in the BIG decision making (i.e. venue, food, etc.) and allow your friends and family to assist but remember it’s your day, so you must make the final decision. Plan, especially for the day itself, and most importantly, relax and enjoy every minute of the whole experience.

Congratulations Rochelle & Henry-John! Thanks for sharing! Thanks also to Taryn Ward – head over to her blog to see more from this lovely wedding.

Venue & catering: Glen Carlou Wine Estate | Photographer: Taryn Ward | Flowers, decor & hiring: Prickly Pear Creations & Events | Cake: Vanilla House | Stationery: Paper Paradise | Bride’s dress: The Wedding Box | Hair & makeup: Sebastine Pepler | Entertainment: Hungarian Trio


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