Real Wedding at Skilpadvlei {Joy & Alex}

Welcome back folks! You will no doubt have seen what’s been going on in London, and yesterday I just didn’t feel right talking about wedding prettiness when my home town had been under attack just a few hours before. It’s been a horrible couple of days, but I won’t go into it except to say what a relief it was to see it under control last night (and let’s hope the same for the rest of the country too from now on), and how grateful we all were for the police and emergency services, and for the spirit of community that sprang up amongst Londoners. I feel proud of that. ANYWAY. Today’s wedding is the complete antithesis of anything scary or dark or sinister. It is, quite literally, filled with Joy! Beautiful bride Joy and her husband Alex wanted a great celebration filled with colour, and that’s exactly what they got. I loved the brights they contrasted with charcoal throughout (how clever was it to use pops of colour on the bridesmaids’ sashes?), and super fun touches like groomsmen’s socks embroidered with their role as best man, etc., balloons, a crafty DIY guest book and my favourite, a getaway moped! Ooh, and don’t you just adore the little pink petticoat Joy has peeping out from under her dress? But I think my favourite pics are the ones at the end of Alex singing to Joy and the couple embracing – there’s so much love in these stunning pictures (by fab photographer Bernard Bravenboer). Altogether now: aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!

I LOVED that both bride and groom sent over the stories of how they met in a he said/she said style. Involved grooms rock. In fact, it was so cute I had some trouble editing it down! But enjoy.
Joy: I’m an event organiser and Alex owns a lighting and sound company. Five years ago we were working at the same function. We were both involved with other people at the time. I used to check up on him and his crew to make sure everything was in order, but he was just another supplier to me – who knew that one day I would marry this man!
Alex: As Joy stated, we were both in relationships at that stage. Although, I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t notice the attractive young blonde walking around and organising us breakfast!
Joy: We met again at another function two years later. This time Alex and I worked more closely on the project as it had a rather challenging technical side to it. I had just come out of a long-term relationship and said jokingly to one of my colleagues at the time: “Wow, he is so organised! I could date someone like that!” A few weeks later we had our first date.
There are always two sides to a story, so let me tell you my side! Alex suggested that we go see a movie. He was very busy that week so I offered to book and meet him there in time for us to get popcorn etc. beforehand. So there I was, tickets in hand, waiting for him, and SMSed him to see where he was. He told me he was running late (first blow!), then asked if I wouldn’t mind getting the food to save time (second blow – girl paying for everything on a first date, what kind of man was this?). I was NOT impressed, but decided to give him a chance. He EVENTUALLY arrived and we went into the cinema. It was a bad choice (“Marley & Me”) as I stared at the top of the screen for the majority of the movie trying not to cry. Afterwards he followed me to my house to make sure I got home, end of date. Not that great, huh? But… after a few better dates and spending a lot more time together we became a couple, and never looked back. The best time of my life!

Alex: Knowing that our families were quite conservative, I pretty much had to go about proposing the old fashioned way (not that I would have wanted to do it any other way!). I subtly started to find out what type of rings Joy would like, and decided to get a ring designed for her. We went to visit Joy’s parents in Hanover in the Northern Cape and when I had a moment alone with them, I told them how important their daughter had become to me and asked them for her hand in marriage. They very calmly looked at one another and said they would be honoured to give us their blessing… on condition I could answer the following questions.
1. What is your BMI (Body Mass Index)? (I had no clue what they were talking about, and started stalling saying what an honour it was while Googling BMI on my phone – try searching for anything on the internet in Hanover! Luckily Joy’s mom gave me some hints.)
2. Will you promise to buy Joy biltong every Friday? (I obviously said this would be no problem at all.)
3. Would you be willing to take Joy’s surname? (Good thing I listened to the question as they only asked if I would be willing – I answered I would do anything it took.)
Apparently I had it very easy – the idea was to ask a hundred questions before they gave their blessing!

Alex: I decided to propose at the Roundhouse in Cape Town. I knew the manager and gave him a wishlist of things I’d like to do, and he gladly put it all in place. On the evening, we got to the restaurant (which was a surprise for Joy). There was champagne waiting with a rose on the table, and we started to enjoy a wonderful seven course meal. The menus were personalised and Joy thought it was great, but hopefully didn’t suspect anything. After we had dessert, I organised for the waiter to put a chocolate box in front of Joy with “Will You Marry Me?” written on the lid. She opened the box and the ring was inside surrounded by chocolate petals. I think at this stage she freaked out a bit.
Joy: I was so nervous that night as earlier that evening his mom sent me a text that let the cat out of the bag, so I knew it was coming and didn’t know what to do. I left the control freak side of me at home and went with the flow. We had an amazing dinner at The Roundhouse, and I was starting to relax as this was just turning out to be a normal dinner. Then the chef put the chocolate box (I LOVE chocolate) in front of me. I looked at a nervous Alex and smiled, and then (regrettably) said: “Aren’t you going to get down on your knee and ask me?” So he did, and attracted the whole restaurant’s attention! I said yes, he put the ring on, we kissed and then drank a lot of champagne to calm our nerves!

Alex & Joy: We are pretty simple people so did not have endless wedding discussions. Joy likes colour, so we decided to go with charcoal as a base colour and then a touch of three bright colours as we had three bridesmaids and three groomsmen. We sussed out a few venues on the web and got some quotes. We were either going to have our wedding in the winelands region or a weekend wedding in Hanover. We decided on the Western Cape as it was closer for us and our suppliers. We went on a little day trip to see all the venues, but didn’t get very far when we got tired. We stopped at Skilpadvlei to look at their function venue – they had everything we wanted at great prices, so we booked a date!

We loved that everyone that is close to us was there and could celebrate the special day in our lives with us – everyone had fun and it was a great celebration. Our Vespa getaway was legendary! Other details that made it special were the personalised socks for the groom, dads, grandpas and groomsmen, our photobooth and scrapbook guest book, and having a singer in the church (so the congregation didn’t have to sing/mumble) as well as the Jesse Jordan band at the reception. We DIYed our own programmes, and did much of the décor ourselves with the help of Joy’s talented mom and aunt. Joy’s mom also made hundreds of giant cupcakes for the guests.

Planning the wedding came really easily for us. Our advice would be not to get caught up in the “wedding pressures” and to do what YOU want as it is YOUR day. It is great to get opinions and advice but in the end it must be your decision as a couple. Also the commercial industry puts so much emphasis (and mark up) on weddings – look past that at the simple everyday beautiful things in the shops and you can really put together a lovely, more cost-effective wedding.

Thank you so much, Joy and Alex! It’s been a pleasure having you here on Cap Classique, and it’s always a pleasure to feature Bernard Bravenboer (you can see more of this wedding on his blog here).

Service providers:

Venue & catering: Skilpadvlei
Photographer: Bernard Bravenboer
Flowers: Petals
Cake: Home-made in the Karoo by Mrs Naude (cupcakes by Beryl Larkman)
Bride’s dress: House of Silk, alterations by Samantha Evans
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Designed by Pascalle (maid of honour) and made up by Jesme Klein of the Cape Town College of Fashion Design
Hair: Robyn from Strange Love, Stellenbosch
Hiring: Perspex chairs from Top Table
Entertainment: Jesse Jordan Band
Sound, lighting and DJ: Bundi Productions (Alex’s company)

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