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Inspiration Board: Spade in Heaven

9 May, 2011

Morning folks! Hope you had a lovely weekend! Mine was fab – on Saturday I met up with two other wedding bloggers (Annie from the awesome Marry You Me and Louise from new blog Bijoux Bride) for tea and Laduree macaroons… which spontaneously became a bottle or two (or three) of wine. Love those spontaneous evenings, and what a pleasure to spend time with these ladies! Hope you had fun, whatever you decided to do.

I’m starting off the week with some inspiration from the ever awesome Kate Spade. Seriously, I could spend HOURS browsing through her site (sadly, not her store, unless I am in New York) especially now there’s a special weddings section. The signature green and pink with an eclectic mix of black and white stripes and polka dots and a touch of glittery gold makes a stunning, modern palette for a wedding and there have already been some swoonworthy inspiration shoots on the blogs using this style. I’d be so thrilled to see a real brideuse it!

Colours: Green, pink, black and gold

Top row (l-r): Kate Spade wedding lookbook; Kate Spade Mrs necklace; tablescape; green favour boxes
Row 2: Table setting; peonies; gold bow shoes; pink poms
Row 3: Gold shoes; wedding dress with striped sash; invitations; cake; couple dancing.

Real Wedding at Westminster Abbey {Catherine & William}

6 May, 2011

I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her…

Remember that line from Notting Hill? Well, maybe I’m just a sucker for a good royal romance, but even with all the pomp and procession of the royal wedding, at the end of the day that’s what I felt like it came down to. Just a boy and a girl, standing in front of each other and promising to spend their lives together. I know we also all bought into the last big royal romance (and look how that turned out), but Kate and William really did seem totally jubilant and in love, and I loved being part of the London celebrations. I’m sure you’re sick to death of reading about it (are you though, really?) but after a week of reflection, here’s my take – the Top 10 things I loved about last Friday’s royal wedding!

1. The trees in the abbey
I’m sorry, but this was bold, even for a royal bride. Totally changed the concept of ‘church flowers’ which, if anything, have been getting more understated in the last few years. I wondered if it would look odd – too showy for a building that, after all, has a long history. But kudos to you, Kate. Somehow it looked completely natural and classic, but at the same time, a little bit magical. The way a fairytale wedding should be. I know not every bride would be able to pull this off, but it may count as one of my favourite wedding details ever.

2. The dress. Oh, the dress.
Of course. You don’t need me to tell you how incredible it was. I was expecting something special but man alive, it literally took my breath away. And not just me – this was the reaction in Hyde Park when Kate stepped out of the car:

I’ve always been a huge fan of Grace Kelly’s wedding style (see the Cap Classique feature about that wedding here) and I LOVE that Kate referenced this and made it her own. The lace was insane. The train, the veil, the tiara. There’s not a single thing to fault in Kate’s whole look and I have to believe its classic lines won’t date the way Princess Diana’s did (although you never know, right?). And I know this is going to spawn many many copies, but I implore you now – lace is not for amateurs. Cheap lace looks… well, cheap. Go quality or go home. On the upside, is this the swan song for everything strapless? Because wow, I hope so.

3. The hot bridesmaid
This was the moment I really decided that Kate was a top bird. I mean, she’s gorgeous, obvs, but she also has a gorgeous sister. And instead of doing the stereotypical bridezilla make-your-bridesmaids-look-heinous trick, she totally picked a dress that made Pippa look A-mazing, knowing that gazillions of people were watching, and letting her have her moment in the spotlight too. Take note bridezillas, it didn’t take a thing away from the main attraction. And that dress showed that sexy and demure can co-exist in a single outfit. Oh, and PS – white bridesmaids dresses? Liking it.

4. Hats!
When I moved to the UK and was told that everybody wears a hat to weddings, I’ll admit, I wasn’t keen. Even if I do like doing the hats and fascinators thing when I go to Ladies’ Day, the only time I’ve worn a hat to a wedding was my uncle’s, and if I showed you evidence of that early ’90s atrocity you’d never forgive me. Let’s just call it the Hat of Shame. But following some insanely awesome hats from the guests (not YOU, Princess Beatrice!), my mind is made up and I will definitely be rocking some kind of head candy at the wedding I’m attending in Devon next month. (Although I still won’t be bringing my own confetti, in the British tradition. That’s just WEIRD.)

5. Kate’s natural beauty
When I was a teenager and Pammy Anderson came on the scene, it was the first time that looking like a p*rnstar became a mainstream beauty aspiration. On the one hand, bonus, at least curves got a shot at being cool again. But in the years since, I’ve watched fashion and p*rn merge to a degree that I find a little frightening. And I am so completely thrilled that we have a new style icon who is very, very pretty but in such a natural, albeit glamorous way. The idea that hundreds of little girls were looking at Kate with the same awe I had for Diana made me very happy. I also loved that she wore her hair down (it being her trademark, after all!) and that she did her own makeup. She looked truly beautiful.

6. The veil
When I was a little girl, I used to love the idea of walking down the aisle, peeping at my future husband through a veil, and the moment my dad would lift it and give me a kiss on the cheek to wish me luck as he gave me away. Then I ran into a bunch of feminist issues with what all of that represents. I’m not saying I’ve totally reconciled myself with that, but when I looked at Kate’s pretty veil I sort of fell in love with that look all over again. I still love flowers on brides, but I’ll be glad to see more veils again, as will inevitably happen.

7. Personal symbolism
This was the one thing I’d like other brides to learn most from Princess C. Throughout the wedding, it was clear she’d put so much thought into the symbolism of her choices, and that these were personal and special. There were the aforementioned trees, which referenced her country girl upbringing and represented strength and resilience. In her bouquet, she combined lily of the valley (sweetness and renewed happiness), hyacinth (constancy), myrtle (a tradition for royal brides) and Sweet William (aaahhh!). The lace on her dress included roses, thistles, shamrocks and daffodils, representing England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. And the Grace Kelly reference obvious in the dress itself was perfect for a normal girl who finds herself marrying into a dynasty.

Brides, you may not have nations to represent, but you can still bring symbols of your lives together and your backgrounds into your own wedding. It just takes some creative thought and attention to detail, but it is always worth it in the end!

8. The evening dress
Oh it was so lovely, wasn’t it? Even if Kate’s waist does look the size of my pinkie. Loved the sparkly belt and LOVED the angora cardigan. I’m hoping to see a lot of brides rocking this look as their main wedding dress, and I thought it was the perfect complement to the day dress. Something for everyone!

9. Two cakes
Now I admit, this is literally a case of me wanting to have my cake and eat it. I know groom’s cakes have been big in the States for a while, but I’m less keen on the whole novelty cake direction a lot of them go in. What I liked about William and Kate’s cakes was that one of them was a traditional, incredibly pretty, white cake while the other was made of a favourite biscuit dessert. Sort of in line with the cheese cakes, pies and other cake alternatives that have been so popular recently. If you love these but you also want the traditional, why choose? Have both if you can afford it.

10. The perfect exit
This was the biggest (and best) surprise of the day for me. In fact, if we’d had any idea, we probably would have stayed on the mall, where we’d been for a while after the kiss. I thought it added a thoroughly modern and fun touch to the end of the day, and I’d love to see more brides and grooms make a fun exit, be that with a vintage car, or sparklers or just a change of outfit (I love the old tradition of a ‘going away outfit’, I have to admit!).

But for me personally, maybe the best part of the whole day was being in London, being in Hyde Park in the centre of the action and getting to spend the day with my lovely mum, Lesley. Plus, I got to meet the fabulous Annie of Marry You Me, who was there with her husband. The two of them came to sit with us and enjoy a picnic of Pimms, cucumber sandwiches and champagne (even if it was 11am!). Watching with another wedding blogger was brilliant, as Annie and I could gossip about all the details as they happened (sorry Brandon and mum!) and everyone around us was waving flags and getting into the spirit of the day. I wasn’t going to brave the crowds, but I’m so glad I did!

So, what did you all think? What were your best bits?

Colourful Bo-Kaap Engagement Shoot

5 May, 2011

Today I get to introduce you to three awesome people. First of all, is Cape Town photographer Charlene Schreuder. Charlene sent over this ahhhdorable engagement session, all shot in the Bo-Kaap, a fabulously colourful area of Cape Town (also known as the place I landed up instead of Plumstead when the satnav on my last rental car went crazytown on me… I’m just good with navigation like that). I fell in love with it, and with the couple in the pictures, who show how to absolutely rock an e-session – they’re fun, they’re playful, they’re affectionate, they’re relaxed, they’re incredibly photogenic. I guess it’s no surprise that not only are they Charlene’s dear friends, but are brilliant photographers themselves – meet Kerry and Luis of Piteira Photography in Lisbon, Portugal. (And sometimes also of Cape Town, South Africa, in case you thought our friends in Portugal had all the luck!) Every time I look at Charlene’s pictures I have a new favourite, and I know you will love them too.

First, a word from Kerry on how she and Luis fell in luuurve:
Luis and I met in 2005 while working as photographers for a cruiseline company. He was already on board when I joined the ship and we hit it off almost immediately, we just got on really well like we’d know each other for ages. Then, one fateful night in the Crew Bar… it was “Disco Night” and the dance floor was packed. We were dancing together, I was drinking a beer and Luis pulled one of his famous moves, accidentally smacked the end of my beer bottle into my mouth… and broke one of my front teeth. In half. No… really. In half.
It hadn’t been my first beer of the night, so I was surprisingly un-fazed, and in the end the worst part was that I had to wait a week to get it fixed…Our first date was over coffee in Helsinki, Finland.

We had been talking about marriage for a while, so the proposal itself wasn’t a complete surprise, but he had me choose the engagement ring without knowing it, which I thought was quite sneaky! And clever. A good friend of mine worked in the fine jewellery boutique onboard and when work was slow I would hang out with him in the shop and try on all the fancy-pants jewellery just for fun. One day he was all “Dahling, we just got a stunning shipment of sapphire rings in, you must try them all on!” Luis knew that sapphire is my favourite stone and that I have no love for diamonds and had obviously prepped my friend… So I tried them all on and picked my favourite and then went back to work and didn’t think any more of it. And then there it was when he proposed a few weeks later!

Ah, how cute is that? SO cute!

Love them! And psssst, in case you’re wondering how the wedding turned out, you can catch all the loveliness right here.

Real Wedding at Le Bac {Yolandi & Ludwig}

4 May, 2011

Okay, confession time. Before I started this blog, when I used to flip through a wedding magazine I have to admit I used to feel totally irritated by how many dress advertisements and features there were. Because to me, it was probably the least interesting aspect of the day. Yes, I know, but it’s true. I was definitely not one of those little girls who grew up imagining my dream dress. Now that I have seen so many unbelievably gorgeous dresses, that’s changed, and there are some brides who literally take my breath away (hello, Kate Middleton!). Today’s is one of them – I am completely and totally in LOVE with her styling. That bracelet! That wrap! That dress! Crazy beautiful. And not just that, but Mitch Wong Ho (who I have been wanting to feature here forever!) turned a photo shoot with her and her handsome groom at the Taal Monument in Paarl from drab to fab – I adore the architectural shots he got (totally appropriate since the bride is an architect) of a spot that is normally not exactly up there on my list of inspiring locations (sorry, I know lots of you love it, but I am not a big fan of monument shots in general. Usually!) Le Bac was the venue for their stunning reception – all in all the perfect wedding for me to feature in our week of celebration!

Yolandi sent over one of my favourite bride’s stories ever! I just love how she wrote it.
We are one of the lucky few who experienced ‘love at first sight’. What started with a shared glance and a note on my car’s window over ten years ago, an airplane flight on our second date and a decade of awesome times and shared memories led to our engagement in the light of the full moon on the West Coast. It all culminated to our 10 out of 10 fairytale wedding day, shared with 110 of our closest friends and family from near & far.

I did almost everything on my own – designed the invites, arranged a wedding dress designer, sourced the venue, minister, dj, flowers and most other things all by myself. I made use of the Perdekoop website where I downloaded a DJ list, wedding planner and guest list. A family member recommended Barry Geyer from Event and Design to assist as wedding planner. Seeing that most items had been organised already, we agreed on a wedding week package. Barry and Carla from Le Bac both assisted with so many things that made my life so much easier and stress free. They arranged tables, decor, food etc. etc. I knew exactly what I wanted and they made it all happen! I wanted everything to be black, white and silver with touches of the cerise pink of the orchids. I wanted no other flowers than white and pink orchids and long glass containers filled with little black fish.

Driving towards the Strooidak church in Main Road Paarl was quite an experience. There are about 11 churches in the main road and all of the churches had a wedding happening at the same time that day. All the wedding cars hooted to one another and spectators waved and hooted whilst we drove past. I managed to forget my specially made bouquet at the venue where I got dressed and my wedding planner had to improvise by cutting off one of the bright pink orchids placed in the foyer of the church!

Music set the tone on our wedding day. Walking down the aisle to Peter Gabriel’s ‘Blood of Eden’ with my dad next to me towards the man of my dreams brought tears to my eyes. I will never forget the look on my husband’s face as he waited for me to become his wife. Ds. Pieter Barnard led the ceremony with such intimacy, comical moments and words of wisdom taken from ‘The Five Love Languages’ by Gary Chapman. Our friend Leon Schoeman sang a reworked version of ‘Hallelujah’ and left many teary-eyed. The most incredible experience of it all was the feeling of everything else fading away and it being just the two of us, in front of God, making a promise to love our partner like we love ourselves till the end of time – unconditionally. We stepped out into the bright sun where we were shower with black and silver streamers and we symbolically let go of a couple of balloons. Black and silver to symbolise good and bad times and one red balloon to symbolise that love will conquer all.

Whilst taking our photographs in the back of the churchyard surrounded by a sea of Agapanthus we had the time to reflect on the event at hand, take a deep breath and enjoy the special moment together. You put so much effort and energy into all of the arrangements that you have to take time to stand still, enjoy the experience and take it all in, because before you know it, it’s all over…

To the beat of ACDC’s ‘All night long’ we arrived like rock stars at our own wedding festivities. The bubbly was flowing and the vibe electric and with George Michael’s ‘Gotta have faith’ we walked into the dining hall – a testimony to all that a lot of hard work and mostly faith and love will overcome. We didn’t want the usual formalities of cutting a cake and throwing the bouquet and garter – we had different flavoured special Italian ice-cream and sugar cones as desert and we improvised by scooping ice-cream instead of the usual cutting of the cake. To me, the most beautiful moment of the entire day was when my husband told everyone that he was more in love with me now than when we first met ten years ago. We opened the dance floor to The Cure’s ‘Lovesong’ and partied the night away till the sun rose on our new future as husband and wife.

As always, my thanks and happiest of wishes to the lovely Yolandi and Ludwig! And another big thank you to Mitch Wong Ho – check out his blog for even more goodness!

Service providers:

Venue & catering: Le Bac Estates, with special thanks to Carla Foxcroft
Photographer: Mitch Wong Ho – I DO Photography
Co-ordinator: Barry Geyer from Event & Design
Minister: Pieter Barnard
Bridal party bouquets: Sky Orchids
Boutonnieres: Kikka
Ice cream: Rosario Erasmus (021 8729062 / 083 2702732)
Bride’s dress: Danielle Margaux  
Bridesmaid’s dresses: YDE
Hair & makeup: Iza Cloete
Hiring: Classy Hire & To-Netts
Photobooth: The Photo Corner

Real Wedding at Beloftebos {Melissa & Arnold}

3 May, 2011

When I started looking around for weddings to celebrate my one year blogiversary with, I must admit, I wasn’t sure which way to go. I mean, frankly, every single wedding I feature has an ooh moment for me, a special something that takes my breath away. Which is why, after all, I’ve poured my heart and soul into this blog over the last year. And every single wedding is joyful and special and celebratory. And there are sooooo many fabulous photographers whose work I love to showcase. Then, one afternoon, I got a heads up from one of those fabulous photographers about a very special wedding on a colleague’s blog. I was on a train, and the internet loading the page on my phone was maddeningly slow (seriously, what is that, satellites? Can you not beam back to earth fast enough for me?). MADDENING, because as soon as I saw one picture I wanted to devour them all. This really was something ranking very high in the awesome department – a wedding based on a carnival theme, with rock ‘n roll details and a dress (oh, that dress!) that had me zipping straight over to my inbox and begging for a feature. And then, when it all started coming together, realising that it would be perfect for today. And here we are. Ta Da! People, I’m EXCITED. So I’ll let you get to it, with a big thank you to the bride (Melissa Van Zyl, who is also an awesome photographer!) and groom, and the fabulous Carmen Visser who nailed every one of these shots, and the fab Jaco of Just Jack, who co-ordinated this shindig. You are all rockstars. Now, it’s after 5pm, so break out the champers and start the party. I know I will be!

From Melissa:
Arnold and I met when we where teenagers at a beach party in Onrus. Both our families have been going there for holidays (and they still do). We used to sit on the rocks and watch the sunset. Years later we met again as grownups. We were both single and on our first date I knew I wanted to marry Arnold. He proposed to me on the same rocks in Onrus while we were watching the sunset, just like the old days!

We wanted to keep the wedding personal, real and down to earth. I am a wedding photographer and I have been to so many weddings, that the last thing I wanted was a traditional wedding. We love camping and being out in nature, so we wanted the wedding to be outside, but also in a natural setting. We went to look at Beloftebos and immediately knew that was our venue. We both liked the idea of a festive old world carnival with lots of fun and playful elements, oh and with a Karoo farmyard feel to top it off! We thought about the things we loved most and incorporated it into our wedding. We had stalls with ginger beer, candyfloss, popcorn and an ice cream truck. There were lots of picnic blankets and places in the forest for our guests to sit and relax, and even play with games like “kettie skiet” (catapult) – the guys made a stand with some old cooldrink cans that could be shot, this made for excellent fun and great photographs. The dancefloor was outdoors, under the stars with lots of bonfires and the whole forest was lit up by fairylights. Our guests all dressed in “festive” clothes which also made the wedding much more relaxed.

What made our wedding special was that everything was personal and reflected our personalities. We did not do anything by the book but rather tried to be as creative as possible. We made the menus, table plans, signposts, games, table numbers, etc. My mother, aunt and her friend Maurice did all the flowers. I ordered the ostrich feathers from Oudtshoorn for a bit of extra drama. My dress was very special and I could not have asked for better designers than Theresa and Stephen from Gelieft. I told them that I wanted something amazing, different and dramatic and I didn’t want to look like a bride. They made my dream dress and I felt like a princess in it. It was two dresses in one. For the ceremony I had a long dress and then I took the skirt off for the reception and had a whole different look.

My advice? THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX! There are no rules when it comes to weddings. Do the things you love and have fun. Be dressed and ready an hour before the wedding so you don’t have to rush and get stressed. Enjoy the wedding as if you are a guest and dance, eat, party and be merry! Don’t feel obligated to speak to every single person for hours because the day goes too fast. If you can, step away with your partner for a few minutes and just take in what is happening around you.

Make a slideshow with all the ideas for different sections like the ceremony , the flowers , the decor , dresses etc. and then go find them! Look around at second-hand shops, discount shops, your own things at home, etc.

Melissa and Arnold – thank you so much for sharing one of the most inspiring weddings I have ever seen! Big thanks also to Jaco from Just Jack and to Carmen as well – I very much hope to feature more of her fabulous work right here! Check out her blog to see what I mean.

Service providers:

Venue & catering: Beloftebos
Co-ordinator: Just Jack
Photography: Carmen Visser
Bride’s dress: Gelieft
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Oom Gert
Hair & makeup: Caren Blom & Ilse van Niekerk
Stationery: Natasha Dornbrack of Idea Catalyst
Hiring: Hiring4U (021 9032537)
DJ: Dirk Hanekom of Baha Entertainment

Happy Blogiversary!

3 May, 2011

Good morning folks!

First off, I want to say a big thank you to all of you for your patience over the last month. I know things have been a little quiet around here (and if you’ve emailed me, you’re probably still waiting for a response). It was really hard for me to neglect this part of my life in April, but sometimes as many of you will know, it’s just not possible to juggle everything you’d like to. That’s what I found with trying to do my day job and this job and having my parents here visiting as well as some other stuff going on in the background. I’ve been living in London since 2001, and this was my family’s first time coming to stay, so it was kind of a big deal, and I wanted to make sure they had the best of me and not just someone who was knackered and cross from working into the wee hours to catch up. I just had to admit I couldn’t do everything this time, and put my family first – and I’m so glad I did, because we had a great time, culminating in my mom watching the Royal Wedding in Hyde Park with me on Friday! Happy memories. So no regrets, but I do want to thank all of you for sticking around!

And I think you’ll be glad you did! Because today is a big celebration for me. Cap Classique is one year old! I can’t believe it’s already a year since I jumped in at the deep end with this, and figured I would sink or swim. I am PROFOUNDLY grateful to the Cape and South African wedding industry, for all of the help and encouragement and trust and enthusiasm they have shown me this year. I truly cannot think of a better bunch of people to handle the most important day of your life, or a better place on earth to get married. Thank you all so much! And a massive, massive thank you to you, the readers – both brides-to-be and fellow bloggers. You all feel like family. So let’s all take a deep breath and blow out the birthday candle together, and make a wish for another year of wedding fabulousness!

Yaaaay! And guess what, I already know that wish is going to be granted. I’m delighted to announce that later this year Cap Classique will be moving to a new address, with an even better website I am dreaming up right now. It’ll include a full vendor directory, and I’d love to hear any other suggestions for features you would like to see. And, if you’re a service provider, we will be carrying advertising for the first time. This will include banner ads, sponsored posts and premium listings. Full information isn’t yet available, but if you’re interested, please get in touch to make sure you’re on the list of people who receive packs as soon as they’re ready.

I will, of course, also be continuing to bring you the best in Cape weddings, inspiration boards, trend roundups and other fab features. And let me tell you, this week is a KNOCKOUT. Seriously, I have three of the. coolest. weddings. ever. I am beyond excited to share them with you (and check back here later today for the first one). They are, to put it lightly, amazeballs. For those of you on the newsletter subscription list, watch your inbox, because there’s a brand new edition coming your way. Then this summer I’ll also be involved in our first original inspiration shoots, which I hope will become more of a feature here eventually. And finally, if you’re a SA bride living in London, do get in touch, because I am cooking up something very special especially for you! Watch this space lovelies! And thank you again for an incredible year.

PS Don’t think I won’t be sharing all the details of my royal wedding experience! Try and stop me, in fact!
PPS The cake above (still my favourite from our real weddings) is by Zoe Hoogendijk (0827779574) with image by Joanne Markland from Ankia & Philip’s wedding.

The Big Day!

29 April, 2011

One day in 1981, I was just a wee girl living in a little house in Johannesburg, and just about the most exciting thing happened. Princess Di and Prince Charles’ wedding was broadcast to the absolute awe of the neighbourhood kids. I was absolutely entranced throughout, and immediately afterwards, my best friend Saffron and I re-enacted the whole thing. UNlucky for me, I got to be Charles because I had short hair, and she was two years older than I was, and that was that. For some reason, I decided to wear a funny little embroidered hat, and she wore one of our mum’s scarves on her head for a veil. It was very fun. Man, I wish I had that picture to show you all!

I had a Ladybird book about the royal wedding that I was completely OBSESSED with. My Barbies had royal weddings after that. Even my toy frogs had royal weddings after that – complete with the famous kiss! I think that’s really where my imagination was captured, and… well, here I am today! A fully fledged weddingista.

Today I’ll be closer to the action, down in Hyde Park watching on the big screen with my mum and some friends. Waving my British flag, drinking Pimms and tweeting away to my readers. So pop over to Twitter and follow me if you don’t already!

Hope you have a lovely day, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing. And to those of you in London, see you there!


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