Traditional Hindu Wedding at the 12 Apostles Hotel by Claire Thomson

Traditional Hindu Wedding at the 12 Apostles Hotel | Image: Claire Thomson

What do you get when you combine one of Cape Town’s most elegant and iconic venues with a beautiful traditional Hindu wedding? Today’s little gem, that’s what! Leticia and Deren wanted to bring all the rich colours and luxuriant fabrics, as well as all the meaningful traditions of an Indian wedding into their big day, but have it in a location that was intimate and special. Enter the 12 Apostles Hotel, and the cliffside ceremony space lodged between mountain and ocean was the perfect place for them to exchange vows. To say I’m in love with Leticia’s ensemble would be a vast understatement – she looks absolutely stunning, and the rich traditional red, gold and white colours worn by herself and her handsome groom make such a striking contrast to the serene beach where they had their couple photos! Claire Thomson took these gorgeous pics and I’m so excited to share them with you today!

Indian Wedding Sandals | Image: Claire Thomson

Bridal Lehnga for Traditional Hindu Wedding at the 12 Apostles Hotel | Image: Claire Thomson

Indian Wedding Chudiyan | Image: Claire Thomson

Indian Wedding Finger Ring | Image: Claire Thomson

Bridal Headpiece with Polki Maang Tikka and Dupatta | Image: Claire Thomson

Love Story
Three years ago, Deren and I met at work where, we were both serving our articles at an audit firm in Durban. He was a year senior to me.

The Proposal
Deren proposed to me on a trip to Mauritius. It was our first vacation together. He waited to the last day of our trip before popping the question (I was beginning to wonder if all the hints I dropped were falling on deaf ears!) He booked a private area poolside where everything was magnificently set up with flowers and candles. After we had ordered our mains, he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife.

12 Apostles Hotel Wedding Venue | Image: Claire Thomson

Groom Achkan | Image: Claire Thomson

Groom's Mother Putting On Safa | Image: Claire Thomson

Groom's Mojari | Image: Claire Thomson

Groom in Traditional Achkan & Safa | Image: Claire Thomson

The Venue
Traditional Indian weddings are a huge affair and we both decided from the outset that we wanted something bespoke, although still maintaining all the traditional elements of a Hindu wedding. After weeks of research, we set our hearts on Cape Town and the 12 Apostles checked all the boxes.

Wedding Style
From the first day we met, Deren and I always wanted our wedding to be traditional with the rich golden fabrics and all the finest details. Having travelled to India to purchase the bridal trousseaux, I was able to perfectly translate my vision into reality. Every item was handpicked and custom-made to suite our taste. We both love the vibrant and decadent fabrics synonymous with India.

Traditional Hindu Wedding Ceremony at the 12 Apostles Hotel | Image: Claire Thomson

Traditional Hindu Wedding Bride & Groom Procession | Image: Claire Thomson

Outdoor Mandap | Image: Claire Thomson

Traditional Hindu Wedding at the 12 Apostles Hotel | Image: Claire Thomson

Hindu Wedding Havan | Image: Claire Thomson

Jaymala Exchange | Image: Claire Thomson

Hindu Wedding Kansar Bhakshan | Image: Claire Thomson

Traditional Hindu Wedding Traditions | Image: Claire Thomson

Traditional Hindu Wedding Ceremony | Image: Claire Thomson

Traditional Hindu Wedding Celebration | Image: Claire Thomson

Wedding Details
The mungalsutra (traditional indian wedding necklace) and sindoor (red vermillion placed on the bride’s forehead by the groom, which signifies the blood of the groom running through that of the bride after marriage) – these were aspects of the wedding that were extremely sacred and special to us.

The Dress
My wedding gown was hand made in India; the embroidery was done by hand. I wanted something traditional but unique and opted for a cut work embroidered skirt in antique gold with a velvet blouse. When I arrived in India, I already had a vision of what colours I wanted and I was able to choose my outfit on the first day of landing in Mumbai.

The Flowers
We went with simple white flowers and flower petals so that the details of our outfits were not lost in excessive colour.

Destination Traditional Hindu Wedding in Cape Town | Image: Claire Thomson

Traditional Hindu Wedding in South Africa | Image: Claire Thomson

Traditional South Asian Bride and Groom Attire | Image: Claire Thomson

Red & White Jaymala | Image: Claire Thomson

Memorable Moments
The entire wedding ceremony itself was so symbolic and every detail had depth and showed the unifying of our souls in marriage.

Best Decision
Choosing a venue such as the 12 Apostles with a brilliant wedding team made the entire process stress-free and perfect. A destination wedding can be exhausting, but our every whim was catered to.

Advice for Future Brides & Grooms
A budget is impossible to stick to! Your wedding day is the most memorable day of your life, so don’t get so caught up in the details – just enjoy the process!

Traditional Hindu Bride Solah Shringar | Image: Claire Thomson

Scarlet Velvet & Gold Embroidery Bridal Lehnga | Image: Claire Thomson

Traditional Hindu Bride & Groom | Image: Claire Thomson

You can see more from this wedding on Claire Thomson’s blog.

Venue & catering: 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa | Photography: Claire Thomson Photography | Flowers & décor: Duke & Dutchess Florist | Bride’s dress: Handmade and designed in India | Bride’s accessories: Purchased in Mumbai | Hair & makeup: Etre Belle Studios (Keshni Moodley & Eye Candy by Ree) | Makeup: Eye Candy by Ree

Traditional Hindu Wedding at the 12 Apostles Hotel by Claire Thomson | SouthBound Bride

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