Let’s be honest, organising a wedding is hard work. Even for those who give themselves a full year or more, it can be a little crazy trying to juggle all the different ideas and demands with the practicalities of booking a venue and service providers and staying within a budget, not to mention preparing yourself for married life. Which is why today’s couple just blows my mind. They organised their wedding – and a truly fabulous wedding it is too – in just three months. Yep, THREE months. Wow! Even with that timescale, the attention to detail is amazing. It just shows that you don’t need all the time in the world to come up with something spectacular. (And speaking of spectacular, I am loving the vibrant photos taken by Drikus le Roux – hopefully we’ll see lots more of his work here on Cap Classique in future!) But enough talking – time for the eye candy!
Obviously I was dying to know how Monique pulled this off on such a tight timescale, and she was sweet enough to send me all the details:
Danie and I met through mutual friends who played matchmaker. They invited us both over for a braai (BBQ) and we were blissfully unaware of their intentions. We did, however, hit it off immediately and Danie proposed to me a year and nine months later during our December vacation in Zanzibar . We decided not to wait and to have an April wedding; that gave us roughly three months to plan everything. We just thought that the longer you have to plan, the more time you have to complicate things for yourself.
Our first task was to find a wedding venue. We both knew that we didn’t want a traditional wedding and that we also didn’t want to get married on the old beaten Cape winelands track. We wanted something a bit more offbeat and more suited to our personalities; it needed to be laid back and relaxed, but with a dash of glam and a pinch of pizzazz. There were a few non-negotiables. The venue had to have accommodation for the wedding party, and it had to be smoker-friendly, since a lot of our guests are smokers and we didn’t want everyone to be congregating outside the reception doors as so often happens. I wanted a venue that would allow us to do our own flowers as I really wanted Danie’s mom to be able to do that for us. We also wanted somewhere that did not have a cut-off time, as many of our guests came from afar and we wanted to spend the maximum amount of time with them. Another must was that the venue be open to my creative input and that I could provide my own décor, as I had a very specific look in mind. Finally, we wanted the ceremony as well as the reception in the same place, to add to the feeling of a fun and informal affair.
With these criteria in mind, we chose Café Felix in the picturesque valley of Riebeek Kasteel. I stumbled across Café Felix in a wedding venue insert from Wine magazine and instantly knew this was the place. It was rustic and whimsical with a taste of French Provençal, and it had a wonderful ‘old world’ charm about it that would work perfectly with the vintage look I wanted to create. An added bonus was the amazing menu that it offered, and they have a few menu options to choose from or you can custom make a menu to suit your taste and pocket.
The venue has two courtyards; this was perfect to do the ceremony in one and the reception in the other area. We had our wedding ceremony in the courtyard with a big old oak tree. The area was covered in a white Bedouin tent and we used white benches that were decorated with scatter cushions, Fedora hats and fans. The sides of the tent were adorned with hand-made hearts. This created a very relaxed, informal look that still made a statement. The pre-wedding music was from the French Kiss movie soundtrack.
Both Danie and I are very close to our families, and we wanted to make all of our parents a part of the ceremony. So each parent got a task to perform: my Dad walked me down the aisle, my mother-in-law read an insert out of The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran about marriage (this has always been very special to me and our minister also based his sermon around this poem); and my mom and father-in law signed the marriage register.
With the help of Charl Solomon, an event coordinator (also my cousin), we transformed the second courtyard into a magical reception area. The look we went with was a vintage Alice in Wonderland feel. The tables were scattered around randomly and we made use of a lot of candlelight – as it is not a very big area it created a very intimate, cozy feel. We placed the wedding cake, a cupcake masterpiece created by one of the owners (Rochelle), on top of an antique cake stand under a coupe to make a statement.
Proteas hold significance for both our families; it was therefore an obvious choice for our bouquets. The colours for the wedding were inspired by the protea – pink and silvery grey. To create a Mad Hatter Tea Party look, different antique crystal vases, jam jars and bottles were used to hold the flower arrangements. Danie’s mom, a world-class flower arranger who has won numerous awards abroad, did our flowers. She used a variety of pink coloured flowers to stick to the colour theme.
I am absolutely crazy about hearts. We therefore decided that my mom would make handmade ceramic hearts, each one unique. I wanted the favours to be something special that didn’t just get left behind at the end of the evening. As both Danie and I enjoy a good cigar, we also decided that they would be the perfect favours for the men. We personalized the cigars by putting a “Danie and Monique” label around them. I knew the cigars would also create great photo opportunities and they sure did.
For the table numbers I used antique-looking photo frames. The seating plan was one of my favorite touches. I made a rustic-looking mobile decorated with hearts and “love birds”, and the table layouts was hung from the mobile. To save cost, the menu was written out on chalkboards.
Our first dance was my favorite part of the wedding; we opened the dance floor to The Jack Rabbit Slim twist from Pulp Fiction. It is one of our favorite movies and one night while watching it, Danie had the epiphany to use it as our opening dance. It was great fun, and as non-traditional as we wanted the whole wedding to be.
Danie & Monique’s advice to couples planning a wedding:
- Keep it as relaxed and informal as possible.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff.
- To keep costs down, use your wedding cake as the dessert.
- Try to keep the speeches as short as possible, rather use the extra time to mingle with your friends and family.
- Make a weekend of it, as everything goes so quickly it is wonderful to spend extra time with your family and friends.
- It is your special day. Don’t do things to please others, as this is one day that is supposed to be all about you.
- Put wedding direction signage on lampposts along the road to the venue to make it easier for your guests to find it.
Thank you so much, you guys! Your wedding was amaaaaazing, and I am stoked to have been able to feature it!
You can see even more from this wedding on Drikus’ blog.
Photography: Drikus le Roux
Venue & catering: Café Felix
Minister: Leon Fouche
Flowers: Alida du Preez – [email protected]
Décor: Charl Solomon – [email protected]
Dress: Elizabeth Stockenström
Makeup & hair: Liz Kaplin – [email protected]
DJ: Kyle – +27 (0)72 2458805