Eddie & Cilma’s Open Air Fest

A wedding inspired by one of Cape Town’s most famous markets sounds like heaps of fun. For Eddie and Cilma their wedding day was all about the atmosphere. They wanted to recreate the tastes, smells and sounds of the Neighbourgoods market in Woodstock on a Saturday morning. To create that festive mood they made good-quality tasty eats and entertainment their top priority. Most of the reception took place outside where guests could mingle.Cilma looked absolutely beautiful on her wedding day. We love the simplicity of her whole look. So elegant and timeless. André from Vivid Blue was there to capture the day.

Tell us your love story.

We were introduced by a mutual friend four years ago, and have been inseparable ever since. Eddie grew up in Ficksburg, in the Eastern Free State. My parents also grew up there, and unbeknownst to us our parents and grandparents were friends.

What were the highlights of your wedding day?

I honestly did not expect the day to exceed all my wildest dreams! The atmosphere was unbelievable. I have been fairly cynical about the entire day (why spend so much money on a party etc.). I can now honestly say it was worth every cent. I will probably never feel the same way I felt on that day.

Any advice for brides-to-be?

Don’t stress about the small stuff,  it just adds unnecessary pressure. I used to be a coordinator at Wedding Concepts myself, so I knew exactly what I wanted, and that was to not be the typical bridezilla, but rather enjoy every second of the whole experience.

Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?

Yes, I would have bought more flip flops as I only had enough for two thirds of the guests. Everyone immediately grabbed flip flops – probably because of the relaxed atmosphere and the fact that the wedding was mostly on the grass. And I would have preferred to have worn a dress that I could sit in. I had to lie down on the front seat of the bridal car as the boning in the dress didn’t allow me to sit. I never sat the entire day!

Where did you get most of your ideas and inspiration from?

I basically knew that I wanted to give my guests more of the fun times, and less of the formal traditional wedding procedures. We therefore had the ceremony in the Paarl United Church, after which the guests arrived at the venue. We arrived at the venue first, and could greet every guest personally as they arrived. This also allowed me to see everyone’s faces when they saw the venue, with the parasols and outside bar set-up. We basically had three courses of food prepared on the open fires and in the outside pizza oven. Guests helped themselves to food over a course of four hours. At 8 pm we had our speeches, thereafter the dance floor opened! Fun fun fun … No disappearing act of two hours for photos, and we never ever left our guests hanging around without food and drink. The party basically started at 4 pm and lasted until 2 am.

What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome while organising your dream wedding?

Trying to ‘sell’ the concept of such a relaxed and different wedding to our parents, they initially didn’t like that we wanted to try something different. In the end they were very happy.

Any time saving or organising tips?

I tried to not focus on the wedding every single day. I would rather take one morning a week, and only do wedding stuff. This way it didn’t feel like I was planning wedding all the time. (Eddie would obviously disagree – he felt like wedding was the only thing I could talk about for six months :-)

Any hints for other brides on how to keep your wedding budget friendly?

Don’t worry about the stuff that won’t make or break the day. I believe the following are the most important:1. Food – enough and very tasty2. Drink – enough and preferably an open bar (you would be surprised at how little the bar bill can actually be if you structure the bar correctly – without shooters and expensive liquors). We also brought in a draft machine and this was a hit with the men, especially since it was a very hot day!3. Music / entertainment – this creates a vibe

What song did you choose for your opening dance and why?

They Stood Up For Love by Live. I decided to leave this choice in Eddie’s capable hands, and he spent hours trying to find the perfect song, which I believe he did.

What was the “theme” of your wedding, and why?

We wanted the atmosphere of the Neigbourgoods Market at the Biscuit Mill in Woodstock – relaxed and surrounded by wonderful food.

How does your wedding reflect your personalities?

We are not very flashy or formal, and our wedding reflected that. It was a happy and laid-back day.