Our July wedding day, besides the birth of our son, was certainly the happiest day of my life. After 6 years together Carl proposed to me within the beautiful grounds of our favourite restaurant in Cape Town. I was so surprised and excited I didn’t even give him chance to put the ring on my finger, I did that myself!
To begin with the task of planning a Wedding seemed overwhelming. The amount of details which need to be synchronised to the finest degree can certainly put anyone off. But once I started I couldn’t stop. My first step was investing in a selection of the latest expensive wedding magazines whilst sky plusing any wedding themed reality TV programmes. As entertaining as these are it primarily highlighted what I didn’t want to do. My main focus was to create a simple but classic theme. I’m not a frilly, pink person therefore the choice of an electric blue colour scheme was an obvious one to me with a splash of sunflower yellow (Carl’s favourite colour!).
I was wary of going overboard on the flowers for visual as well as financial reasons. I chose champagne roses as my statement flower as I believe a single stem rose to be just as beautiful and effective as a whole bouquet. My own bouquet was roses framed with long grass, I added small blue flowers in the bridesmaids to match their dresses. The floral displays combined both of these with vibrant sunflowers.
Getting ready in the morning with my bridesmaids and family was something I will never forget. My mum had transformed the conservatory into a wedding dressing room with areas for hair and makeup, fruit and pastries to have throughout the morning and the first bottle of champagne was popped at 10am!
My choice of dress surprised me, as everyone says it does, with it being far more detailed than I would have expected but I fell in love with it the moment I put it on. My bridesmaid dresses on the other hand turned out to be the only real issue I was faced with. ‘The Dessy design’ needed the shop to send off all the measurements for them to be manufactured. We assumed that we would be able to collect the dresses with perhaps a couple of alterations needing doing, which my mum could do. This was certainly not the case as all of the dresses were enormous and we soon realised the shop made their money from this. Not wanting to pay the shop the extortionate prices we were able to ask a dress maker friend who did an amazing job at fixing them and they ended up looking just as I had hoped.
Borrowing and crafting various aspects of the day was high in my list of priorities. My mum created the table plans, place names and cocktail recipes for the tables. I made an origami crane for each place setting. A friend drew a beautiful tree and provided various coloured ink for everyone to add their fingerprint to which was extremely effective. I was lucky to be able to borrow candelabras for the tables, the Rolls Royce was a family friends who also acted as our chauffeur for the day. We added a personal touch to the favours by creating cd’s with the 4 main songs of the day on including what we walked down the aisle to and our first dance.
Music was at the top of our list for both of us with Carl using his skills as a record producer to seamlessly mix together a selection of playlists encompassing Motown, Hip hop, Rock and the occasional Pop song. This succeeded in creating a vibrant atmosphere ensuring the dance floor was full throughout the night. The pinnacle was being extremely fortunate to be able to invite Carl’s Uncle Tony Christie to start off the evening by performing our first dance (Mr Bojangles) and various other big band and classic rock anthems of our choice. This certainly created the atmosphere we had hoped for.
The wedding jewellery was another detail we were able to involve a friend in who is a jewellery designer (Makin Jewelry). She used the most beautiful pearls from our trip to South Africa to create a bracelet and head slide for me and five gorgeous individual necklaces for the bridesmaids which I surprised them with on the day. Carl had the same thought commissioning her to design a silver bangle incorporating his late Nanan’s pearls and one of Carl’s best men used diamonds from a ring given to Carl by his late Grandad to make our wedding rings extra special.
The cake was another simple choice for me being a huge chocolate fan and I was able to customise it with chocolate music notes as a little surprise my husband.
One of the most important decisions by far was the photographer, I had heard many wedding nightmares about the pictures not coming out as hoped. We chose Christian Ward photography who had come highly recommended locally as well as in magazine reviews and the couple couldn’t have been nicer which certainly helps as they are with you throughout the entire day.
Cath’s FIVE! top tips:
1. A wedding video isn’t everyone’s choice but we asked our friend to do one which we cherish as much as the photos.
2. If commissioning dresses like myself, ensure you understand exactly the process of how they measure and make them and how much extra you will be expected to pay on top for adjustments.
3. Arrange a pre-wedding hair and makeup trial so there are no surprises on the day, I was definitely more relaxed because of it.
4. Choose a venue which won’t be ruined by the Great British weather our venue (Hassop Hall) was as beautiful inside as out.
5. Most importantly make the most of it, as it really does fly by and no matter what goes wrong there is nothing you can do on the day.
Dress – Precious Bridal, chesterfield / Shoes – Dune / Flowers: Fresh Ideas, Chesterfield / Make up – Lynsay Greenfield from Greenfield & Beck Professional makeup artists, Sheffield / Hair – Karen Scot, from John Nicholas Hair, Chesterfield / Bridesmaid Dresses – Mirage Couture Sheffield. Dessy design / Cake – Chocolate by Design, Chesterfield / Photographer – Christian Ward Photographer / Wedding Jewellery – Makin Jewellery