We are so excited, and honoured, to share the wedding of Kate and Ryan Shepherd. Kate is the owner of a company called Something Different. And as you can expect her big day was also something totally different.
The couple wanted a “modern beach house glamour” celebration. But they also wanted it to be relaxed, informal and fun! So they took all the usual elements that frustrate most guests and made them simple. Like confetti it gets in everyone’s hair and messes the venue, so instead of traditional confetti they had flavoured bubbles which doubled up as favours. They got the speeches out of the way first (and they only lasted 15 minutes). Another rule they threw out the window was the seating arrangement, guests could sit wherever they wanted.
Food played a major role in Ryan and Kate’s big day. Instead of the food being served at a specific time, they opted for food stations. Guests could help themselves to delicious eats throughout the festivities. Kate says our wedding was a “sit where you want to sit, eat what you want to eat – when you want to eat it, dance whenever you want”. They also dissed the traditional cake, as it often goes to waste, so they had a fun caramel and choc croquembouche which people could just pick at – and boy did they!
We love that Ryan and Kate made their wedding day a celebration that worked for them, and also how practical they went about everything. And we sure hope they inspire you to do the same. Ryan and Kate had two amazing photographers to photograph their big day, Jean-Pierre Uys as well as Joe Photographer. Lucky girl!
Tell us your love story? How did you meet and fall in love?
Ours is a romantic tale which shows that love can happen when least expected. Different nationalities, different cities, different lives, it was love at first sight at a function, catching each other’s glance across the room many metres away. Romantic serendipity led to chance encounters in Johannesburg, coincidental meetings in malls, and even a convincing Hollywood airport scene. So whether you believe it is guidance or twists of fate, we could not ignore the signs any longer. Ryan chose to move to Cape Town, and so began our journey together
So how did he pop the question ?
We live in Cape Town and had flown to Durban to surprise my boyfriend Ryan’s family. We were supposed to be meeting some friends Adrian and Clare at this hotel up the coast for dinner as “Adrian was working that way”!! We jumped in the car and took a drive about 45mins to an hour out of Durban up the North coast to a gorgeous place called Salt Rock. The hotel was stunning, a sort of classy African lodge style with an amazing view of the beach surrounded by palm trees. On arrival having a drink in the bar, Ryan informed me that Claire and Adrian weren’t actually coming. We had lovely dinner and chatted nicely. The weather was perfect and probably about 24 degrees so Ryan suggested we take a stroll down to the beach. We wandered down the many steps and to our right was a gorgeous thatched area with the whole roof full of fairy lights and candles everywhere. The candles were all over the floor and chairs and a small table for 2 with a bottle of champagne. My stomach was starting to jump out of my throat; I kept thinking he was just being romantic. He even kept saying “I just wanted to do something nice for you, to make you feel special”. We sat down at the table and which was covered in candles and personalized “Ryan and Kate” stationary and so on… By now I was starting to get a bit suspicious. We sat and chatted for a while and after Ryan’s second glass of champagne I said to him “be careful sweetheart after your double cane and coke and now this champers we’ve still got to drive back home”. He said to me “actually we are not going home…” by now my stomach is starting to churn, “we actually have the honeymoon suite” he says gently. He then pushes his chair back, gets down on one knee and says “I love you with all my heart, Katy will you marry me”!!!!!!!! I was an emotional wreck, balling my eyes out, hyperventilating and not being particularly attractive as I was completely shocked this had just happened to me!!! I said yes, we continued to cry together and laugh and grin until our cheeks hurt! We told each other sweet nothings about how much we loved each other and finished the bottle of champagne. After the candles starting to fade, we took a moonlit beach walk, the sea is so warm in Durban it really was a spiritual time. We smiled, hugged for ages and watched the somewhat magical sky as there was a storm in the distance and clouds were being lit up with lightning in different colours of pink and yellow which felt like God saying “yes this is right”.
What were the highlights of your wedding day?
First off seeing my moms face when she heard the ceremony song, but mainly when planning a wedding you spend so long organising flowers, tables, lighting and so on and spend very little time on the ceremony. Just a nice gazebo and good minister. But for us the highlight of the day was without a doubt the ceremony, it was so incredibly spiritual, emotional, moving and exciting that we never expected it. I have never felt so much happiness than at that moment and as the most underestimated part of the day it became the best part.
Any advice for brides-to-be?
Tough question – it would be a personal one. We had a dinner a few nights before, then a braai the day before, we brought all the guests together 3 times before the actual wedding day. This meant the day wasn’t spent getting to know people, but picking up where they left off and having a big party together. It made for better conversation and more intimate loving moments. My second piece of advice would be for grooms – copy my amazing husband. He knew on the day we would be very busy, he knew I had worked so incredibly hard on getting every small detail right for the day, he took me off for a surprise picnic on the beach the night before with sunset, strawberries and all. He wanted to thank me for my hard work and wanted to spend a few moments alone before the big day, he gave me a beautiful locket with a photo of us in from when we were kids as we always say we are soulmates. It was touching, moving and thoughtful. JUST what a bride needs to be ready for the next day. The third thing would be to not choose bridesmaids/groomsmen because you “have” to pick them (long lost cousins etc), I chose totally fun girls and my brother (mate of honour) who were close to my heart, and Ryan picked a bunch of fun lads and it made the whole experience a big laugh. We had so much fun and they made our day better and more memorable.
Did anything unexpected happen?
We actually had a horror story of a venue, we decided on a gorgeous venue in llandudno. We had it booked, all guests had their accomodation booked and 3 weeks before the wedding they turned around and told us we could no longer have a seated 60 pax function there. Now this was obviously a brides worst nightmare. I couldn’t uninvite all my loved ones, so decided to dash around Cape Town (in the middle of season and summer tourist time) to find a new venue. At the last minute an agent found the most perfect villa for us – it was the perfect size, style look and was in Camps Bay with the most incredible view, to top it off its called “bond villa” with bond being very close toRryan and I’s heart. So after everything this really felt like it was meant to be.
What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome while organising your dream wedding?
Not having my mom and family close during all the planning process, supposed to be something you share but was a shame we couldn’t be in the same country for the build up.
What song did you choose for your opening dance and why?
This was one of the hardest decisions…we deliberated this up until the week before. But we settled on Muse – Feeling Good, rocky and fun.
How does your wedding reflect your personalities?
We always wanted an intimate wedding, being the owner of Something Different and Ryan a Project manager for Gearhouse we are both in the events industry for us it was about being different, attention to detail, love and fun. We wanted to chang the things we always disliked about other weddings and make this an informal, easy going experience for all the guests. Myself being English and Ryan proudly South African we wanted these elements worked into the day, such as british high tea, black english cab for the wedding car, then the braai and buttonholes were typically South African.
What are you looking forward to now that you are married?
Well we are actually incredibly lucky, we get to do this all again but in England. We are having a celebration in April for all the family and “oldies” who couldn’t make it all the way here from the UK. So we are planning this next celebration (similar look but with a more country feel). Then we are off on honeymoon to Croatia, Barcelona and Paris. What we are looking forward to most is just being us, plus we want to move and find our own house together which is an exciting time.
- Bridesmaids’ dresses: Jo Borkett,
- Cake: Kanya Hunt ,
- Lady Marmalaide: Dress,
- Entertainment: Beat Collective Darren Rose ,
- Pre-dinner and Ceremony Flowers: Floral Affairs ,
- Reception Flowers: Okasie,
- Food: Dish Food and Social ,
- Hair & Make-up: Yolande du Toit,
- Venue: Bond Villa,
- Videographer: Vicky Goslin,
- Wedding Coordinator: Myself, but on the day my friend Hayley from Just Jack ,
- Lighting, Food Stations, LED Starlight Dancefloor and Additional Décor : Something Different ,
- Photographer : Jean-Pierre Uys ,
- Photograper: Joe Photographer,