Friday, January 30, 2009

our wedding D: ready

With my favourite girls around, plenty of pampering going on, MTV in the background, delicious finger food for lunch and a little bubbly later on, the morning of my wedding felt more like a sparty than anything else. (Confession: I've never been to a sparty and never, ever thought I'd use the word, it just slipped out!)
I'd been up since 8am and Sebastine had started my hair at 10. I'd planned for everything to happen way ahead of time, as I tend to get a bit stressed under pressure. Before I knew it all the girls' hair and make-up was done and Ian had arrived. I'd also managed to do my mom's make-up somewhere during this pleasant passing of six happy hours! Ian quickly snapped the girls in their cute t-shirts while Sebastine finished my face.

And with heads...

As soon as I was all made-up, I was overrun by the paparazzi and striking cheeky poses. I felt fabulous.

Oh, the silly little blue ribbon around my neck? My mom gave it to me in the morning, kind of as a joke and I just tied it on. Liezl later gave me a garter with blue ribbon which I wore for my something blue, just so as not to tempt fate or challenge superstition.

This is my favourite, favourite, favourite getting ready picture!

Even though we were still very early, we decided to get dressed so Ian would have plenty of time for portraits. I remained the calm, zen, blissed person I'd been all morning. This was quite unlike me, and a very welcome surprise. I'm never hyper or overly anxious, but do tend to worry about little things. This day however, I gladly left it all in the hands of fate and the professionals I'd employed to run this show.
My dress just slips on, so I was decent within a second and nonchalantly started adding my accessories. This is the crazy beauty of wedding photographs and photographers: none of these shots are posed, I was just doing my thing. The girls were all in the bathroom getting their dresses on, hence the photogenic solitude.

I was just in my dress when there was a commotion at the door. Alwyn of extraodinary florists Okasie had arrived with our bouquets.

I must admit, I'm not really a flower gal. Our first meeting with Alwyn had entailed a detailed questionnaire which forced me to look up the names of flowers. So I told him what I liked and disliked, but after that left it all up to him. I think I'd given the key words modern, romantic, simple and stylish.
We'd also never chosen an official wedding colour scheme, as I like a different colour every week. When we printed our invites I rather randomly picked a chartreuse accent colour, as I was feeling it right then. My gorgeous, comfy shoes just happened to be green. Because I couldn't commit to a colour, we'd decided on white flowers for the tables. So in-between the green invite, the green shoe and since even all-white flowers have the green of stems and leaves in them, the wedding went green by default.

A few days before the wedding there was still a chance that the bridesmaids would each wear a different brightly coloured shoe and I considered giving them coloured posies to match. But then we went with black (and purple and green...) so I told Alwyn and once again, left it all up to him. I do love the bright green. And there's even hints of purple!

My bouquet was softer. Just lovely.

Finally, all were dressed, made-up and flowered. We took all these pictures at Old Oak Manor, where I'd slept. Very convenient.

My dear mom had been collecting confetti for months, but I told her I'd ordered all white petals from Alwyn. So we decided to use her's right there and then, and created my favourite pre-ceremony petal shower pic!

I was happy. Can you tell?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

our wedding C: rings and things

While we were busy being beautified, my photographer and his assistant arrived. They were early, which I found to be such a wonderful little gift for a bride! Without a moment's hesitation, they started capturing the details of the day.

Ian Mitchinson is the owner of Westside Studios and the only local photographer whose work left an undeniable impression on us during our search for a wedding snapper. We were always looking for something a little bit more interesting than your standard classic wedding portraiture. While great creative photography in this style seems rampant in the US (if wedding blogs are anything to go by), the matrimonial market in SA is still hesitantly exploring anything even slightly outside the expected. So we felt doubly blessed and confident when Ian's work held just the right amount of class and whimsy. Once we met with him, Ian's easy-going yet professional demeanour and clear understanding of what we were after made the decision a very easy one. We never met with any other photographers, the case was solved!

I'd decided early on that I wanted to go short and dark on my nails. I'm just not a french gal.
I was looking for a modern/vintage brown/red/grey colour but ran out of options and settled on Essie's Decadent Diva. I guess it's all in the name! The ring was a gift from my bridesmaids, we were all wearing matching ones on the day, but forgot to get a pic of it. Oh well.

I love this picture of my engagement ring that my Beautiful Boy had to work so hard for, lovingly named Lucy.

My wedding band is a very slim channel setting half eternity ring. Isn't it shocking how much smaller it is than BB's?

We lucked out with BB's ring. He never seemed to like anything overly much and I started wondering whether he'd ever choose something. When I finally found my band it was such an easy, obvious decision. I'd thought about different options and felt confused for a while, but when I slipped on the one, it was clear! The sales girl at that store then showed us a ring they were having made for another male client and that ring sparked the design for BB's one. You can see the detail nicely in this next picture. It's a comfort fit matt white gold band with a fine shiny white gold thread running over it in a wave pattern. We both love it for it's unique simplicity.

Every detail here has a little story. The bracelet (with the crosses) was an unexpectedly generous birthday gift from a friend. She gave it to me just two weeks before the wedding, not knowing anything about my dress or wedding style and I just knew it would suit and that I'd love to wear it. I also found it quite sentimental as she's actually one of BB's best friends, who have now also become mine. The earrings I bought for a REAL bargain and was never sure that I'd actually wear them.

Then I decided my personalised rhyme would simply be:
something old: I was wearing (fab) old shoes
something new: my (fab) new dress
something borrowed: the bow brooch was very kindly, and usefully, lent to me by the lady who altered my dress so that we could bustle it ourselves (after Jenny Packham Boutique told me it's impossible to bustle this dress, ha)
something cheap: my earrings!

I've had these shoes since 2005, and since they are beautiful and comfortable and I love them dearly, I decided they are worthy of carrying me through my wedding day.
Okay okay, I also couldn't find anything new that I really liked and trusted to be wearable and party proof. But I was very happy with my decision in the end. They stayed on and on and on...

My dress is Jenny Packham's Papillon. I am a very, very, very lucky girl. I felt comfortable, glamorous, sexy and natural. A dreamy dress for sure.

My bridesmaids all chose and bought their dresses themselves. I know them as super stylish cool & classy ladies so had no fears regarding their choices. I was only with my sister when she bought hers (the middle one) and nearly cried when she came out of the dressing room, all grown up and womanly. I love how they all looked together. I didn't prescribe shoes either. We were thinking all different colours, all silver or all black, but in the end I honestly didn't have a care, so we ended up with me in green, Sis in purple and the rest in black!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

our wedding B: the make-up marvel

I can not say enough my fabulous make-up artist.

There is a long, sad story of how another great make-up artist broke my heart but I ended up landing sensational Sebastine through the misfortune of others. You can read about it in the long, sad story.

The end result? Total visage bliss. Apart from turning me into the happiest bride in the world with a head full of ridiculously gorgeous hair, she also did all five my girls' faces, and so brilliantly. You can hardly see they're wearing anything, until you check the before pics!

Sebastine was calm and sweet and helpful and charming and excellent overall.

darling vicki, all the way from england, which she calls home... for now

mischievous minki, my soulful party playmate

marvellous margarita moon, oldest companion and sharer of all life's vagaries

my only sister ankia, obviously feeling a little funky... love this girl

lovely liezl, willingly exiled all the way over in Colorado and much missed!

Everyone looked so divine! Sebastine also gave each of us a little touch-up kit including a lip brush, our lip colour, some gloss and a dab of our foundation on a sponge. Mine also had some mints and a tissue. So considerate, too sweet for words, professional perfection.

Sebastine also happens to be a total hottie, a great wedding guest and a very good friend.
I've said it before, I'll say it again:

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

our wedding A: getting ready

On the morning of 22 November 2008, I woke up in the gorgeous white loft room at Old Oak Manor in Riebeek Kasteel.
And I was grumpy.
I'd slept well enough, considering all the thoughts running through my head on such an excited night, but I just felt groggy.
Great, I thought.
Here we go.
Big day, fantastic purpose, huge party and I'm feeling a bit crap?
I got up out of my little single bed, opened the French doors, and suddenly smiled.

Before me lay the exact view that had made me fall in love with this sleepy little town years before. Mountain, vineyards, trees, pond, lavender, and this was the clincher: all shrouded in a light cool mist.
When I first saw the Kasteelberg like this in 2007, it was the middle of winter and the mistiness was to be expected.
22 November though?
Height of summer in the Cape?
This was odd.
Oddly comforting, uplifting and fabulous. Like a little sign (or a big one really) reminding me that this day was different.
This day was unique.
This was my wedding day.

My mom had stayed with me the night before, so the two of us headed to Cafe Felix downstairs for a lovely last mother-daughter breakfast. I was as calm as can be, excited and content. I knew that in an hour or two, our restful haven upstairs would become a hive of buzzing activity as my mom, my five bridesmaids and I had to be readied for our show-off event of the year. This was going to be fun!

My mom was such a darling on the day, giving us all foot massages, taking bored maids downstairs for coffee to give the busy ones some room to move and making sure we all ate a little lunch. She was also entertaining...
That's enough now... Step away from the dress!

After we set my hair in pins, I had hours to just muck about and hang around while my five girls were getting their make-up done. To feel useful I repacked my overnight case and considered what to take if the weather should remain so cool.

My brother & MC swung by to check on his duties. It was quite apparent that he'd had a late one with my cousins the night before! But I totally trusted it all to him, he's reliable to a fault. This is him (or some homeboy version of him) and my sister & maid of honour.

I could hardly believe it when all the girls were finally done and it was time to finish my hair and start on make-up!

I'd decided that this was as good a time as any to switch from juice to bubbly. Delish.