Another week filled with ideas and pretty things comes to a close with this delightful Franschhoek wedding. Layla met her English gentleman while working and living in London and they decided to tie the knot here in South Africa.
They chose the beautiful Vrede and Lust Wine Farm as their wedding venue for it’s beautiful scenery and of course the good food and wine on offer. Layla says, ”People still comment on the delicious beef fillet main and copious amounts of good wine”. For the decor they chose a navy blue, duck egg blue, cherry red, taupe and white colour scheme to give the reception a relaxed countryside feel. They also used an array of different fabrics for the lampshades and napkins. Tanya from Aartsappel created the most beautiful centerpieces all in shades of green.
The wonderful Nastassja Harvey was there on Sam and Layla’s big day.
Tell us your love story…
I moved to London in 2005 for a few years to gain work experience. Little did I know I would meet my future husband and make London my home. Sam and I met at work. Our first encounter was in the lift where he mentioned he was off to South Africa on a hockey tour. He seemed so confident but I later learned he was shaking in his boots! That was the start and it developed from there. Four years later I organised a holiday to Kilifi in Kenya for some Winter sun. He wanted to continue the African theme and caught me off guard and dropped to one knee in the midday heat. I was super surprised and wasn’t expecting it at all. I burst into tears not only from joy but also because I’d made him work for it and felt bad.
What were the highlights of your wedding day?
There were so many highlights on our wedding day but one of the biggest was being able to spend our special day with family and friends from all over the world. We were fortunate to have 110 people there and only a handful were actually from the Cape. The amazing setting during our ceremony is up there because we had the Simonsberg mountains as the backdrop, it was perfect!
Any advice for brides-to-be?
Let your friends and family help out. You cannot do it all on your own! It was pretty stressful, at times, organising a wedding in Franschhoek from London. Also, don’t bother spending any money on a cake, I had friends and family bake cakes, brownies and pies and they also set up the cake table on the day. It all looked amazing and delicious and there weren’t any leftovers at the end of the night. I would highly recommend a photobooth and props for the dance floor.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
So many people told us to hire a videographer but we didn’t in the end and I wish we had. Also, we never got around to visiting all the tables during the meal so didn’t get to chat to everyone on the day. Other than that, we wouldn’t change a thing.
Where did you get most of your ideas and inspiration from?
I put together colour and style moodboards to keep me focused because it’s very easy to change your mind a thousand times. I spent every spare moment on wedding blogs like The Pretty Blog and utilised the supplier list. Pinterest is also a fab tool for inspiration and I put together various moodboards to send to suppliers so they understood what I was after.
What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome while organising your dream wedding?
Originally I wanted to use a wedding planner because I didn’t think I could pull it off on my own. But our budget didn’t allow this luxury so I had to get over that idea, which wasn’t easy, and started researching. As mentioned before, I allocated various jobs to willing family and friends and because of their help the day was a success! I definitely wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. It made it that extra little bit special and intimate.
Any time saving or organising tips?
Moodboards! Send them to your suppliers so they understand your style.
Any hints for other brides on how to keep your wedding budget friendly?
DIY! It adds a personal touch and makes your day unique to you. Like I keep mentioning, allow family and friends to help out. They wouldn’t offer if they didn’t want to. My mother was amazing. She sorted out the fabric for the lampshapes and napkins and I knew I could trust that she’d get it right. My gran, a family friend and a very good friend baked goodies for the cake table saving us having to spend money on a wedding cake. Make sure you spend the money on the important things to you and don’t fret the rest. No one really cares if they receive a table favour or not.
What song did you choose for your opening dance and why?
I always knew I wanted Moondance by Van Morrison at my wedding. Thankfully Sam loves it too so it was a no-brainer. We were fortunate enough to have a family friend play it on the sax as I walked down the isle. He was briliant! We also wanted to liven it up a bit so we asked Sam’s sister, who is a radio 1 DJ, to mix the song for us for our first dance. In the end we had a Moodance by Van Morrison and OMG by Usher mash up. It was fantastic and also got the party started.
Did your wedding preparations include any DIY projects?
Lots… I’m a graphic designer so I designed our Save the Dates and wedding invites. As mentioned before, the cakes were homemade. We had matching lampshades and napkins made for the tables. We also used blackboard paint for various signs and the seating plan.
Service Providers listed on The Pretty Blog:
Other Service Providers:
- Wedding Dress: Cymbeline,
- Entertainment: Cape DJ,
- Entertainment: Ace Trio,
- Catering: Cottage Fromage at Vrede en Lust,
- Gift Registry: Love Travel,
- Hair & Make-up: Ida Webster,
- Hiring: Something Different,
- Shoes: L.K Bennett,
- Venue: Vrede & Lust,
- Photographer: Nastassja Harvey,