Today I am taking you to Ireland for the most lovely summer wedding of Sarah...
Todays wedding is an absolute beauty from cape Town in South Africa and is set in the most wonderful venue. The wedding is a mix of country elegance with shabby chic and rustic decor. The beautiful outdoor ceremony makes the most of the beautiful sunlight, as do the gorgeous portrait shots. I am in love with the white background of the reception venue with the stunning floral arrangements, the soft muted tones work beautifully against the natural background, which is just what Jona and Donna were tying to achieve with their decor. Big thanks to the very talented Jacques and Natalie from Real Simple Photography for these stunning images.
Jono and Donna were married on 28th March 2015 the ceremony was held under the huge fig tree in the garden in front of the Opstal Manor House. ‘It was a beautiful venue with so many places to utilise for various events over the weekend. It was also a venue where everyone could get together for the weekend and let their hair down and relax and have fun in a beautiful environment without having to think about driving anywhere. We had 105 guests in total at the wedding and it took approx. 10 months to plan.’
How they met
Met at a friend’s birthday party at the famous Bombay Biycicle club on Kloof Street Cape Town. We have been together for 7 years
Jono took us to a 5 star private game reserve, called Kwandwe, in the Eastern Cape. On the third night of our delightful stay at Kwandwe, Jono secretly arranged a private dinner in our beautiful room overlooking the bushveld. It was all beautifully set up by the staff with candles and rose petals scattered around the sweet little dining table, beautifully decorated too. We started with a glass of champers, and then had starters and just before mains was served a very shaky Jono leapt out from the other side of our room in one huge jump and literally dropped onto one knee and shakily presented the box… Donna who first thought Jono was leaping over to check for something in his eye, before seeing the box and the beautiful diamond and then realising when he was tearing and shaking that this was it – the big question. Donna was overwhelmed with emotion and shaking and crying herself said yes yes yes yes (not before trying to come to grips with what was actually going on – saying ‘Jono – Jono.. what are you doing – oh my gosh – yes yes yes my love’ they were so overwhelmed with emotion….
How did you allocate your budget
Skilfully. We worked out our guest list first. Then after a fair amount of research and some good advice from our sister-in-law we secured our venue, with not too much hassle in fact. We then discovered our fantastic flower and catering providers and started our arrangements with them, as the process flowed we were able to work out averages on what we would pay when and what deposits were due beforehand etc
How did you choose your photographer
Jacques came recommended
Dress was inspired by Lazaro and was made locally too. Shoes were sourced in Durban by my amazing sister who has an eye for great detail. Accessories (pearls – bracelet and earrings) were sourced in Cape Town, a shop in kloof street.
The Suit and Bridesmaids
The suit was inspired by Tom Ford and taylor made by a local taylor, a family run business for over 50 years. The bridesmaids dresses were also carefully selected for each sister, considering their unique styles and shapes etc and also locally made.
Theme or Colour Scheme
We really loved the bush chic/ shabby chic / country style with very soft, neutral colours, soft champagne, cream and colours of our natural surroundings. We also wanted everything to be as natural as possible and use our beautiful surroundings to create the scene
Local flowers, natural fynbos, proteas, soft gorgeous flowers indigenous to the Western Cape as well as succulents but most specifically we did not want any of the arrangements on the tables to be the same, and these could be mixed up and with various types of flowers and arrangements with candles and flower pots/ cans/ jars etc.
Shabby Chic / rustic country décor – Chandeliers, milk canisters, buckets and watering cans for flowers, everything was decorated in white, we did not want the flowers to be the same on all the tables, we liked the non-conformity.
Plated Starter: Served with ciabatta, olive oil and balsamic , spiced griddled pear salad with watercress, smoked goats cheese and honey roasted almonds, dressed in an orange, pear and cinnamon dressing
Plated Main Course: Marinated fillet of beef with butternut & carrot mash, sautéed fine bean, slow roasted balsamic baby tomatoes and salsa verde, mushroom strudel
Dessert buffet: Chocolate, hazelnut and espresso torte, Mini rosewater, pistachio and raspberry pavlovas, Mini Crème brulée served with lemon shortbread, Brie, preserved fig and crackers served in mini dishes.
Wedding cake was a two tiered, white covered chocolate ganache beautifully decorated with flowers too. Was made by the manager of de Hoop, Nini, who so kindly offered to do our cake since she is a confectionary artist herself. It was beautiful and we were so happy with Nini’s work.
We had DJ Renee (and his two assistants who also play instruments – Bongo drums and act as backup singers). DJ Renee is a very well- known French DJ who lives in Cape Town and DJ’s in a lot of places in Cape Town. Plays sets of very eclectic mixes of Afro/ South American house music while DJ Renee also plays the drums and other instruments while he plays his set but mostly reading the crowd to play the perfect mix
Buy or DIY your Stationery
Bit of both – Table décor by Antoinette events but the Seating plan was designed by ourselves, with everyone’s names under the table numbers/ with the name of the table which was the name of various indigenous birds to the area.
Personal or Handmade Touches
Yes, as above, our seating plan but we also designed the presentation of our wedding favours which were a present from Jono’s brother, bought in Namibia.
Being whisked off for photographs and getting to spend a few moments together having a glass of champers while enjoying each other and taking in the moment as brand new newly- weds – husband and wife
Advice to other couples
Save lots of money – chill out and have fun.
Our first dance that we totally winged at the last minute since deciding moments before that we weren’t going to do what we practised. We danced to what we actually really loved, and what is “so us”. We danced to a gorgeous song by Goldfish pics – we did such a great job of a very uplifting unrehearsed dance, swinging and turning this way and that, dipping here and there and really exciting the crowd to get on the dance floor.