i don’t look at wedding blogs at all anymore, mostly because my interest in all things wedding peaked around the time we got married. i still follow a few wedding photographers on Instagram, because i admire their talent and i love seeing when they share genuine moments (rather than, say, amazing floral centrepieces). that’s how i discovered Jenni le Grange, a wedding photographer based in Cape Town, and while browsing through her website i saw THE MOST AMAZING DRESS.
you can probably tell by my extensive vintage archives that i love looking at old photos. if i visit someone’s home, even if they’re a complete stranger, and i find an old photo album lying around i can’t resist but page through it. i think it’s so sad that we can’t really do that now. i mean, i’m not going to go scroll through your Facebook albums – that’s just weird, and creepy. right?
i got unexpectedly caught up in a serious wedding frenzy when we got married, something i wasn’t anticipating. the excitement can turn even the most blasé and un-girly girl into a sudden pinterest addict. don’t get me wrong, it was fun. i look back fondly on my wedding induced madness.
whatever, i would wear any of these dresses even if i weren’t getting married. the Houghton Bride FW15 collection is bad ass. “I am creating a bridal collection for the woman who wants to get married in something simple, sexy and timeless.” says Katharine Polk, the designer behind Houghton. i’d say you nailed it, Katharine.
next weekend we celebrate our one year wedding anniversary. it feels like it was years ago, yet minutes ago. my dress is still hanging in the same position in our cupboard, skirt flecked with dirt and doubtlessly splattered with champagne – as if it happened yesterday.
every day i go online i think, this is it – there’s nothing new for me to discover. i know all the clothing designers, i have seen it all. nope. wrong. every day there’s something new-to-me. i was actually surprised i hadn’t come across Reformation before (pardon me Americans if i am super slow on the uptake, so uncool!) they make these damn beautiful dresses that you can buy in a variety of colours & patterns. yes! that’s the dream.
yesterday i listened to an amazing story on The Moth by critically acclaimed author Andrew Solomon about his journey to becoming a father. Andrew is gay, and he got married to his partner John after initial hesitation as he wasn’t sure if he believed in the idea of marriage. they wed in a civil partnership ceremony in the UK (at Althorp, Princess Diana’s childhood home – love that) and what he said in the podcast* about the act of getting married is lovely:
my fingers are hovering over the keyboard and i’m just sitting here thinking, how do i begin to describe this day? our wedding was held on a fruit farm about 2 hours from Cape Town, and the weather was cool and overcast: just perfect for us. it was the best day of our lives, and it was indeed the Best Day Ever.
the week leading up to the wedding was a mixed bag of emotions: excitement, nerves, laughs, occasional stress… but most of all a lot of love. our friends and family literally made our wedding day, everyone pulled in to help – be it with the flowers (thanks Amy), the decor, the tables, the cakes, printing menus and name cards and signboards, standing on ladders tying things up so the wind didn’t blow anything away, bringing me hayfever pills at 7am on the morning of the wedding (thanks Jess), making enough coffee that everyone was buzzing (thanks Pete). it meant so much to us that our favourite people were involved, adding their own special touches, and that our wedding was such a team effort.
it was very important to us, from the get go, that everything would be kept very simple with few frills and that the focus of the day would be about celebrating with our loved ones. our photographers, Rebecca and Bruce from Love Made Visible, really captured that feeling in their beautiful photos. you can see some more here.
my only advice to anyone planning their wedding: don’t stress the small stuff, and savour every single moment. it goes by SO quickly. people tell you that, but you won’t realise until you’re truly IN it.
photos: Love Made Visible. my dress: Jessica Harwood of Take Care. Anton’s suit: Spaghetti Mafia. venue & food: Olive Rock. flowers & co-ordination: Amy Ellenbogen. flowers sourced from: Cape Fynbos. laser-cut table numbers & best day ever sign: Artymiss. make-up: Claire Ellenbogen. hair: Kate Brand. cakes: Jené Steyn & Jessica Shepherd. cupcakes: Lady Cupcake. coffee cart: Seattle Coffee Company. music: Dario Leite. hiring: Something Different. stationery: me. wedding officiant: Marius Brand.
i thought i had it all figured out. i’d schedule a ton of posts, get married, go on honeymoon and just not look at the internet for 3 weeks or something. of course that did not happen. the wedding weekend took over and i just let go. we got together with our family and friends on a rustic fruit farm about 2 hours away from home, set up the reception (with the help of my amazing bridesmaids) and the rest just unfolded… exceeding every expectation we could have ever had. it was the best day ever.
we are bursting. bursting with happiness and love and just being on a hiiiiigh. an incredible high. if you follow me on instagram you would have seen some pics by now, but here are two more (thanks to our friend Joel). i will share more – and all the details – when we get back from our trip & receive the photos from our amazing photographers. until then we’ll be eating some NYC pizza, because now i don’t have to fit into the dress anymore. welcome back to the family, carbs.
PS: got any NYC recommendations for us? please share in the comments.
when we first got engaged i blogged about French bridal designer Laure de Sagazan, and now we’re getting married in less than 5 days – so i thought i’d show you their beautiful new collection. these are dreamy & timeless lace creations, don’t ask me how much they cost, but if you are ever lucky enough to wear one you should probably hand it down to your daughters.
photos by Laurent Nivalle
it is now just over 2 months till our wedding. 11 weeks to be exact. i have been thinking about it a lot this month, mostly because there are admin things that have to be sorted out – stuff i haven’t had to give any thought to because they weren’t pressing, until now. i can’t get away with the “oh, but the wedding is months away!” excuse anymore. classic procrastinator.
one of those things is the flowers. we decided right in the beginning that we are not involving a florist – partly to save money, partly to avoid having yet another person in the wedding brigade (and trying to avoid a wedding brigade altogether), and because we want to keep things simple. drawing from the hopeful attitude that we can do things ourselves & it’ll work out okay.
i do believe it will work out okay! mostly because you can’t really go wrong with flowers. if you know what you like, and don’t like, it is just a matter of picking blooms that are in season, roping in some friends & family who are good with flower arranging, and making your tables as pretty as you can.
to be honest, i cannot think back to a single wedding i have been to and remember what the flower arrangements were or what the tables looked like. i DO remember how much i danced and how great it was celebrating with people i loved and rolling into bed knowing i was totally going to pay for it the next day – i remember that WELL. that’s why weddings are awesome. i just have to keep reminding myself of that fact when i start stressing about whether or not ranunculus will be in season (they are though, i have already checked).
photo by Mieke Willems
courtesy of Rachel Craven (whose linens are on the table)
floral design by Nicolette Camille
just like many women i’ve always had an idea of what kind of wedding dress i’d want to wear. if at any point in the last decade you had to ask me on the spot i’d probably reference Carolyn Kennedy on her wedding day (her dress was designed by Narciso Rodriguez). looking at that photo again now that scene seems to encapsulate everything i’d imagine a perfect wedding to be. a rustic venue, an elegant dress, simple shoes & an even simpler bouquet, pulled back hair…
this is a long, wedding-ey post. so if you’re interested, read more below…