I don’t know where to start with today’s wedding. It is simply stunning. From the array of colours, to the dress, the venue and the bouquet, it’s all so beautiful and a true testimony of the couple’s creativity. Elonah and Gregory, both architects, tied the knot just eight days before Christmas, last year. They had a very hands-on approach to their wedding and the result is something truely unique.
Together with 80 guests they celebrated at one of my favourite venues 401 Rozendal. Lizelle Lotter took the beautiful pictures. Thanks Lizelle for letting us share this very special wedding on The Pretty Blog.
Tell us your love story? When and where did you first meet?
It was a case of girl meets boy in England at work. Took girl 3 months to agree to go on date. Boy had to suffer through 2 salsa classes before he got his kiss. Two years later he moved to South Africa so that I could finish my studies. One day, while we where watching the sunset, he proposed. We’ve been happily ever after since.
What was the highlight of your wedding day?
What can be better than saying I do. It still feels like we stepped out into a dream for a day. It was surreal having everyone you hold dear in the same place, happy and relaxed.
Any advice for brides-to-be?
The most beautiful advice given to me was by my make up artist, Merlene – she said to make sure that when I walk down the aisle I look only at my groom’s face so that I may remember that image forever. I’m glad I did.
Were there any behind the scene mishaps?
We like to laugh about the fact that Greg spent ages doing a slideshow with photos, hired a projector and everything – come wedding day – completely forgot to set it up.
Where did you get most of your ideas and inspiration from?
I enjoyed the American blogs but I think we have a lot of fresh and innovative ideas locally. A lot of inspiration came from mixing the English and Afrikaans cultures – we’ve built up quite the collection of personal jokes over the years. For example we had braai etiquette in our wedding cookbooks and trivia tags on the glasses that explaining how Pimms came to be.
Any time saving or organising tips?
• Half the battle lies in starting. You are going to see more amazing things than you can ever do but only once you’ve taken something and made it your own will you know what it is you want.
• Try and meet all the vendors you decided to use – a 10 minute face to face meeting can save you a month’s emails, it also makes you feel much calmer knowing who’s going to do what on the big day. • Then always read your contracts carefully, make sure you receive a paper copy of everything you sign.
• If you are going DIY outsource your printing if possible – it’s really not cheaper printing things yourself and one always underestimates how long it can take.
Any hints for other brides on how to keep your wedding budget friendly?
I think every couple should evaluate for themselves what is and is not important to them. We decided not to hire a wedding car, buy a big wedding cake, my mom made my dress. We bought wedding shoes we would enjoy wearing afterwards, my bouquet wasn’t over the top, it was actually made from indigenous plants and is now growing rather happily in out garden!
What song did you choose for your opening dance and why?
We opted for ‘all I want for Christmas is you’ – which could have been quite funny if we got married in June but it was 8 days to Christmas, and sometimes corny just says it best.
Were any of your family members or friends involved in the wedding and what were their contributions?
We are both very lucky to have such open and supportive parents and really great friends whom without we would not have been able to prepare for the wedding. Dad did an awesome job as project manager and keeping everyone calm.On the creative team we had my mom, with more patience than a primary school teacher, we spent ages plotting and planning every last detail. With much delight, my husband also contributed his clever ideas, endless support, smiles and kisses. My lovely bridesmaids Naomi and Anja doing everything from kitchen teas to confetti. My very talented friend Neydine helped to style the entire event. Mary organized an entire tour for the British guests, Tannie Jean helped write the wedding cookbook for our guests. My friend Paul set up and the most amazing photobooth. My sister and Lynette sang in church and Willem played guitar. And then lastly the English family that saved up to fly halfway across the world to be with us and still had the grace to bring the most random things, we couldn’t source in SA, over in their luggage.
Did your wedding preparations include any DIY projects?
We really enjoyed the creative part of wedding planning, once you get started more and more ideas keep coming and slowly it builds up: We did our own invitations and wedding stationary, did postcards instead of a guest book (this way no one has to wait), did individual guest tags with people’s names and its meaning, instead of a table plan. As a conversation starter we gave everyone a name button with something they love written on it (e.g. Naomi loves jelly beans, matt loves spatulas etc), we made our own napkins with different designs on them that people could take home, as keepsakes. We made cookbook (Greg + Luna’s 1st Christmas Cookbook) with family recipes, made huge amounts of bunting, made little bags with sun block, mini popcorn boxes and probably our biggest feat was the hanging squares.
What was the “theme” of your wedding?
Colour was the theme for the wedding – partly because I couldn’t decide on a colour and partly because of the look on people’s faces when I told them I was doing 22 colours.
How does your wedding reflect your personalities?
Greg and I are both very hands-on people and thus doing and making most of the wedding things just kind of made sense. Having said this I feel its important to say that one can have a lot of the things professionally done and still have the wedding feel like it speaks of you as a couple. It all comes down to what you are passionate about – most people will agree I should not bake cakes. I think the wedding evoked the tongue and cheek nature I so love about Greg – and I guess people just had to take one look at the 2000 hanging coloured squares to know that I was somehow behind it.
What are you looking forward to now that you are married?
We are renovating an old apartment. It would seem I’m not too bad at tiling and manlief, well he’s pretty good at all the rest.
Your mom made your STUNNING wedding dress, tell us more…
My mom made me he most beautiful wedding dress. Her mother made hers so it was really special. I loved traipsing around the house in a half finished dress waiting for the next fitting. I really fancied having a dress I could move freely in, something with clean lines and pockets. I also love an elegant bow. We decided on a raw silk, and hats off to my mom for lining it with silk as well – ensuring that the dress moves and breathes as one, making it as I put it ‘floaty’ and ‘cloud-like’. .
Elonah on child friendly weddings:
We were just under 80 guests including the kiddies – [random note] – I think one forgets if you don’t have children what it means to give your guests the option of coming as a family – children are good fun – they also have the ability to break down any social barrier, 5 year old Michael can’t speak a word of English so he simply made up a language and got on with the British guests like a house on fire. Children have a way of making everyone smile.
Bridal Accessories: My grandmother
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Black Coffee
Church: NG Moederkerk, Stellenbosch
Coordinator: Neydine Bak
Décor: Elonah + Neydine
Dress:The bride’s mom!
Entertainment: Line Dancing: Dawn Stanford
Food: James from Salt & Pepper
Hair: Ida Webster
Make-up: Merlene Joy
Photobooth Photographer: Paul Bransby
Rings: Ingrid Botha
Shoes: Aldo + Converse
Stationary: Elonah + Greg
Venue: 401 Rozendal