This afternoon we are back with our regular feature ‘Advice from the Married Side,‘ real life wedding planning...
I have the most gorgeous wedding for you today all the way from Johannesburg. It’s a wedding full of so many gorgeous details, all of which are home-made. From the wedding dress that was made by Ivana’s mother, to the amazing rustic wooden place names that were all hand carved. I just love the idea of giving each guest a different plant as a place-name to take home and pot, and the puns on each of them are so funny. They not only look amazing but are a super personal idea for wedding favours. The colours, the South African backdrop and the low sunlight all go to making this an adorable wedding, full of love, laughter and so many clever ideas. Big thanks to Andy and Szerdi for the images and the gorgeous submission.
Ivana and Matthew were married on 23rd September 2017 at Cradle Valley, Muldersdrift in Johannesburg. ‘I visited cradle valley when it was still in its early stages of becoming a wedding venue. The chapel was still being built, the lovely stream, water feature and lush garden was something I just had to imagine at the time. Yet, what got us hooked on Cradle Valley was the feeling it gave us. It has an incredible open view where you feel free and alive. I loved the ease of not having to drive to the next location and having my friends and family stay over and seeing them at the breakfast the next morning was amazing. The team at Cradle Valley was very accommodating and made us feel right at home. We had 100 guests, We got engaged in May 2016. We wanted to give ourselves enough time to save up and have a relaxed wedding planning journey without having to rush too much. But as things go, it did bottle neck towards the last few months but it was all exciting and part of the planning process.’
How they met
We met at a Desmond and The Tutus gig at Alexander theatre through a mutual friend. We became fast friends. Two or so years on, Matt invited me to a family weekend in Howick and we’ve been together ever since. That was 8 years ago. We always had an attraction towards eachother but never recognised it as love until the right moment.
We love cosy cabins in the forest with warm fireplaces and a lot of snuggle time. For our 7 year anniversary matt took me to a place called Kurisa Moyo in Magoebaskloof. He initially told me we were just going camping and there will be a long drop so I really didn’t expect anything. When we got there I saw that it was a romantic cabin in the middle of the forest completely hidden away from anyone. A few glasses of wine and we were relaxing infront of the fireplace. I was getting abit tipsy so he took my wine glass away. He took the ring from under the bed, stud up on one knee (as I was sitting on the floor) and popped the question. I cried, laughed and was extremely giddy all night!! It was such an incredibly romantic night!
How did you allocate your budget?
I am a freelance designer and I worked towards completely funding our perfect day. We had a limit but did go over it a bit. -oops
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
We saved on a lot of aspects of our wedding. We made our own wedding favours and décor. My mom made my wedding dress and the bridesmaid dresses. The guests got to choose their main when they RSVP’d which was a huge save. The ladies of our Croatian community made all the dessert. The only thing we really splurged on was the photographers because the memories of the day are the most important in the long run and choosing the best of the best was important to us.
How did you choose your photographer?
A friend of mine sent me the link to ‘Andy and Szerdi’ (formerly Knot Just Pics). I instantly fell in love with their shooting style! I love how raw and natural it is and how they capture each moment so perfectly. I am so incredibly happy with the outcome and am so glad we went with Andy and Szerdi.
My mom made my dress. I was very indecisive throughout the process and couldn’t settle on a single style but was so happy with the outcome in the end. My dress was beautiful! I bought my shoes at Zara.
Matts suit was from Frank Bespoke. He opted for a dark moss green tweed suit which was absolutely beautiful.
Theme or colour scheme
We didn’t really have a colour scheme. It was quite colourful. I wanted it to look like a celebration. The theme was ‘love’.
I had a mix of colourful flowers.
We had many many glass vases with different flowers in them on the tables and hanging in the chapel.
At sundowners we had an acoustic guitarist entertain the crowd. He was great. His name is Rudo Pieterse.
The canapes were Fried Bacon wrapped Jalapeno poppers, Mini Beer and Beef Burger Sliders Bites and Mini Avocado & Hummus Quesadilla. As the starter we had Roasted Mediterranean vegetables layered with a spinach lasagne, topped with a béchamel and grated parmesan. We let the guests choose between beef, chicken, fish or veg for their main meals when they RSVP’d. The food was incredible. I had the Fresh Line Fish served with a Chardonnay and Fennel Cream. Matt had the Chargrilled Brandy infused Fillet medallions smothered in a creamy wild Mushroom topping Served with Mini Herbed Pommes Anna.
Matt’s sister, Tammy made the wedding cake and hand made all the sugar flowers to match the flowers at the wedding.
Who supplied the stationery?
I am a graphic designer so I designed our invitations. We wanted something unique and something the guests could reuse so I created a beautiful design and got it screen printed on tote bags which my mother in law made. We printed 10 different colours (see, no colour theme) and the guests still use them today. We also screen printed our monogram on napkins for each table setting.
We burned each and every guest’s name in a wooden round for their placeholder. This took forever. We collected various size glass bottles throughout the year for the flowers. We screen printed the napkins and each guest got a vegetable/herb in a pot because I believe that everyone should grow their own food at home. Each table had a food pun to go along with the plant they had just because I love puns so much.
I loved getting ready with my girls, having my mom help me into my wedding dress, my dad walking me down the aisle, seeing my Matty at the altar. Dancing with my husband. Partying the night away with everyone special to me. And finally going to bed after all the excitement, stress and drama of planning a wedding.
Advice for other couples
Do what you feel is right for you two. Don’t feel pressured by anyone. It’s your day. Try not to go into debt, have a wedding when you can afford it. Don’t try and make everything prefect, it will never be perfect. Relax, enjoy the planning. Get everyone involved.
We are story tellers who freaking love love! We are Andy and Szerdi, married wedding
photographers based in South Africa, but travelling the world to tell the love stories of awesome