Take one dietician plus one software developer, add equal portions of family and friends and place in a pretty church and then a reception venue filled with handmade, personal decor. What reaction, as my Science teacher might have said, will you get? Well, a sweet, pretty wedding day of course! As you all will know by now, my favourite themes are those that say something about the couple, so when bride Deborah wrote to tell me about the scientific touches she and husband Michael added to their big day to reflect their love of science, I was intrigued. I especially loved the way they collected beakers and test tubes and used them for flowers and favours (the best use, if you ask me, but that’s only because I totally failed chemistry) and the cute equations they concocted for table numbers (Cute equations? Now there’s a phrase I never thought I’d write). Add in some protea and a mint/blush combo, and some pretty pics from Illuminate Photography, and it adds up to loveliness, squared. ;)
From the bride, Deborah:
Michael and I grew up together, as our families went to the same church; however, we weren’t always friends. In fact, for a large part of our lives I found Michael rather annoying! One day Michael decided that he actually liked me, his best friend’s sister. After waiting for eleven months, Michael finally managed to win my heart and we started dating.
One Saturday morning we went for a walk up to Elephant’s Eye in Silvermine. Half way up the path, there was a rose that said “Dear Deborah”. My first reaction being “Oh, there’s another Deborah on the mountain”, I quickly realized that actually I was the lucky girl. More roses with sweet notes were placed along the path to the lookout hut. When we reached the hut, Michael made me face out to the city while he went down on one knee. When I turned around he asked me to be his wife, beautiful ring in hand. I obviously said “Yes!”.
Since we are both science graduates and a little nerdy, we decided to incorporate this into our wedding day. We choose soft mint and dusty pink colours, purely because they are pretty.
Our church had recently been renovated and had been made into a stunning venue for the ceremony. It was really special to get married in the same venue where we meet with friends and family each week to worship. The church has also been such a support to us. For the ceremony we simply (although time consumingly!) hung strings of hearts that we had stuck together from the rafters in the front of the church. We wanted simple decorations and not big floral arrangements.
As for the reception venue, we didn’t really look around all that much, as there was just not enough time, but found that Kelvin Grove ended up working really well. We used the science theme in all our décor. We managed to find beakers, conical flasks and flat-bottomed flasks to use as vases and we filled test tubes with Smarties as our wedding favours. Michael came up with equations for the table settings, where the answer to each one was the table number. We also designed and made all our invitations and wedding stationery ourselves – almost all of the décor was DIY as crafting is my hobby. My mom was fantastic in driving all over Cape Town with me to try and find what we needed and family and friends were a great help with setting up.
On the day, we loved how relaxed it seemed to be, and were really able to enjoy ourselves and celebrate with the family and friends who supported us. We also loved the personal and unique details that were a reflection of us as a couple.
My advice to future brides is that if you want to hang strings of anything use string, not fishing line! Fishing line slips, a LOT. If you are going to make your own decorations, start early, and once you know what you want, stick with it. Changing your mind will make everything much more stressful and take much longer. Weddings are expensive and we didn’t want to exclude people purely for financial reasons. So, what we did was have a tea in the church garden after the ceremony for all the guests and then a smaller reception in the evening. We also really appreciated spending our first two nights in our own home. This meant that we didn’t have to be too worried about being packed for honeymoon or having to be out of a hotel by 10 in the morning.
A lot of our inspiration came from Pinterest. It also served as a fantastic procrastination tool during exam time! Looking through wedding blogs was also a great help. Our photographer had useful tips for venue decoration too, since they go to a lot of weddings and know what works for the photographs. Make sure you have good photos. It is so nice to be able to look back at them, even just a few months down the line.
Thank you Deborah and Michael! And thanks to Illuminate Photography for allowing us to share their pictures here today.
Ceremony venue: Tokai Methodist Church | Reception venue: Kelvin Grove | Photography: Illuminate Photography | Flowers: The Rose Café | Cake: Florentines | Bride & bridesmaids’ dresses: Avril Fischer | Hair: Hayley’s Hair | Makeup: Hidden Beauty Home Salon | DJ: David Osterloh | Science Glassware: Science World | Custom Cake Toppers: Ladies & Gentlemen