Here’s a little detail about today’s couple you are going to love – they were born on the same day (same year, everything)! How cute is that? They both grew up in small towns (Nelspruit and Grahamstown) and met in 1999 when they studied Industrial Design in Cape Town. But their shared birthday is not the cutest detail of this wedding. That honour definitely goes to the Lego cupcake cake, which might be my new favourite ever. I also love the classy simplicity of the decor, including the tied bouquets in vases and the chalkboards made by the bride’s grandfather. The beautiful pics are by lovely Maree Louw of Natural Light Photography, a relatively new photographer that you should definitely check out. Thanks Maree! And thanks Hayley and Paul for sharing your day with us!
From the bride:
I must admit, as a young girl I never dreamt about my wedding day. So when Paul and I got engaged, I was kind of taken back by all the expectations surrounding the wedding. I started to feel that we were not making decisions true to our personalities or relationship but rather on what we thought was the right way to do things. The fact that we were preparing a move to Sydney, Australia, seven months before the wedding was also taking its toll on us. So we started over and wrote a list of what we didn’t want, which helped us discover the things we did; summer, sunshine, family, friends, laughter, dancing, a courtyard, mountain backdrop, letterpress invitations, proteas, simple but elegant, unpretentious, recognition of our individuality, a short ceremony, a crisp and uncluttered feel.
I think choosing a venue was one of the hardest hurdles. We looked at so many. It was not until we took my parents out to Tulbagh that we unexpectedly stumbled across Roodezand. We arrived unannounced and Karen was so friendly and helpful. Roodezand is a working fruit farm so there are no wine tasting tourists crawling around. They have converted two farm buildings – the one is a simple chapel and the other a reception area, and there is a French-style courtyard connecting the two buildings. We very quickly decided that Roodezand captured everything we were looking for. Tulbagh was our perfect wedding location and will hold a special place in our hearts forever. The people are friendly and down to earth, costs are still reasonable and the people seem to be truly concerned about your wedding day being the best day of your life. The landscape and scenery are stunning and the guests could spend the weekend away from the city and share our special day in a beautiful, relaxed environment. We made a considerable effort to make use of the local service providers and were so impressed with the quality of service, especially since we did 99% of the planning from Australia via email and phone.
From the moment we got engaged my mother was determined to make a cake for Paul incorporating Lego. It became a big thing, that’s for sure! It evolved from a Lego block-shaped cake to the cupcakes with the single Lego blocks on top. My mother arranged for the cupcakes to be made and a close (perfectionist) friend made the icing Lego blocks. I think it worked out perfectly! My nephew made the bride and groom figurines. The chalk boards, made by my dear grandfather, were introduced to avoid having menus cluttering the table and wasting money. We also made our own table numbers using pre-cut wooden numbers, mounting them to a base and painting them off-white. As for favours, we did away with them and made a donation to The Cart Horse Protection Association, which we feel is something much more important.
The colour scheme came from our choice of invitations. We decided to splurge on traditional letterpress invitations: 100% pure cotton paper (ivory) with a deep midnight blue print. There was a type of simplicity and elegance to them which helped set the tone of the wedding. So, when possible but not compulsory, midnight blue and white/off-white/ivory became our colour choice. We carried these through to the bridesmaids’ dresses and escort cards. We just went with the flow though; for example, we decided that a grey suit looked good on Paul so that was what he wore rather than forcing him to wear a suit that matched the colour scheme.
I think in the end not having an image of how I imagined my wedding day to be my whole life helped, because I could do what I wanted and how I wanted it done, and could accept the outcomes and compromise a lot more easily.
Hayley has some great advice for other brides:
- Make sure what you have chosen is what you want and it’s not because you feel it’s what other people expect of your wedding. Listen to the suggestions others have to offer – they may help, but never feel obliged to follow them.
- Don’t take things too seriously but be organised (especially if you are on the other side of the world) – research your ideas and your service providers.
- Put some faith in your service providers and give them some creative freedom – the passion in their work will contribute to making your day an even bigger success.
- Both bride and groom should get involved. Paul and I planned and discussed every detail of our wedding. Whenever possible we both went to meet with service providers. It meant that the day was what we both wanted it to be and we knew what to expect.
- One way we cut costs was by eliminating the menus and programs and not being excessive with the decor. We also had the best man wear a suit he already owned so we didn’t need to buy or rent.
You can find more of Maree’s photos from this wedding on her blog.
Venue & catering: Roodezand – [email protected] | Photographer: Maree Louw of Natural Light Photography | Flowers: Anli Wahl – [email protected] | Cupcakes: Florentines | Beverages: Epicentre, Tulbagh | Marriage officer: CapeWed (Dion Goldie) | Musicians (ceremony and pre-reception drinks): Serenade Strings/Sax Trio | Dress: Fashions by Farina, Sydney, Australia | Groom’s suit: Gentleman’s Club, Sydney, Australia | Hair: Tracy from Wicked Hair – 072 698 8653 | Make up: Sophie from Vindoux Day Spa | Rings: Petra Jewellery Design | Invitations: The Letterpress Company | Legal: Niki Gerneke, Cape Town | Gift registry: Wedding List Co.