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#GingerGooseWedding at River Place

After more than a year in planning, with both of them living in Cape Town for most of that year, Heidi and Shaun’s wedding was simply wonderful, and with a bride as beautiful and as happy as Heidi, it couldn’t possibly have been any other way.

In case you’re wondering, their wedding is hashtagged in social media as #GingerGooseWedding because Shaun is a ginger, and Heidi’s maiden name means she’s been called “Snowgoose” for at least as long as I’ve known her. They even had a special ginger and gooseberry jam made up as their wedding favour!


Planning this wedding with Heidi was extra special for me as Heidi and I have been friends for a few years, and my husband and I were guests at the wedding so I got to the bridal shower as well. Seeing Heidi in her gown for the first time gave me goosebumps! She looked incredible!

Heidi and Shaun both wanted a relaxed, easy going vibe for their guests, and they decided on a picnic with an exquisite choral and seafoam colour scheme lending itself beautifully to the spring weather!
During her planning, Heidi had several Pinterest boards that she used to document her inspiration for her wedding, and when we spoke to potential suppliers for decor, make up, hair styling and clothing, she included links to her Pinterest boards so that everyone could see what she had in mind. It was really helpful and I think there may be a few new Pinterest users as a result. 

Heidi and Shaun carried a Scrabble theme throughout their wedding, from their engagement announcement and their save-the-date, to their wedding favours, and even the wedding cupcakes! And they very cleverly saved themselves a lot of money by using electronic invitations, only making up traditional invitations for special family members.
Heidi also sourced several items herself while on a business trip in the UK, like the suits worn by the groom and his entourage, the tutu worn by her little niece and her divine seafoam green, Chantilly lace covered, high heel shoes!

The search for the right venue was over quite quickly. It couldn’t be too too far away, it had to be pretty, have good food, be able to do a picnic wedding and of course- fit their budget. Heidi loved River Place the first time she saw it, and as soon as Shaun was in Gauteng again they went to see it together and that was it. They didn’t look at another venue!

There was only one person Heidi wanted to see about making her and her bridesmaids’ dresses and as always, Marieks’ work was beyond reproach! There is never a stitch out of place and I am sure you will agree that the bride and her entourage look incredible! 

Then we started talking to decor suppliers, hairstylists and make up artists. Scheduling appointments for Heidi for her dress fittings, meetings, make up and hair trials, decor mock ups and so on was tricky as she was only in Gauteng once a month for a week – and she had  lot of work to do in that week as well so it wasn’t easy for her to get time off. But we did it!


The ceremony took place outside, with a backdrop of origami geese framing the couple as they said their vows. From there the guests went to a huge lawn next to the Hennops River, set with picnic blankets, scatter cushions, bean bag chairs, picnic baskets, vintage decor, and cocktails in mason jars!

Heidi changed out of her gorgeous lace high heels into a pair of seafoam green Converse sneakers so that she could be comfortable on the picnic lawn and then the newlyweds were seated on a couch – which was how they met – and all the family and group portraits took place on and around the couch.


As usual, when I am running around on the wedding day, I didn’t get around to taking many pictures at all, but you must click through to photographer Jeanette Verster’s blog and Facebook page to see how she captured the day. 

Second Shooter: Nicole du Toit
Venue: River Place
Cake and cupcakes: The Cupcake Lady
Bride’s gown and bridesmaids dresses: Marietjie Oelofse Couture
Decor and flowers: Authentic Events
Bride’s hair: Lasting Reflections
Bride and bridesmaids make up: Godiva
Ginger and Gooseberry jam wedding favours: The Good Food Company

How To Plan A Kick-Ass Bridal Shower

Whilst merrily cruising Pinterest this weekend, I came across a number of pins about bridal shower ideas, games and decorations, and I have a number of tips and suggestions I’d like to share with you here.

As with all aspects of a wedding, there are no rules. You make it the way you – and the bride – want it to be.

In all likelihood you are the maid of honour, and you may never have planned a kitchen tea before! Rule number one – DON’T PANIC! You can probably rope in the bride’s mom and the bridesmaids to help you with the party.

The most important thing to do, first and foremost, is to ASK the bride-to-be what kind of party she would like!
All too often I have seen brides have attention lavished on them at a champagne breakfast, smiling politely, whilst wishing they could have had the spa day or boot camp-themed blowout they really wanted.
If she’s not one for dressing up and party games, keep this in mind whilst you’re planning her party. And it is HER party. Keeping the guests happy is secondary to making sure the guest of honour has happy memories.
And if the bridal-couple-to-be would like a joint party, then do that! Arrange the kind of bash where men and women will be comfortable celebrating the coming nuptials.

So what is the difference between a kitchen tea, a bridal shower, a bachelorette, a pamper party and a hen party?
For any of these parties, the guest list should consist of the female wedding guests, and its very bad manners to invite someone to the shower if they are not on the guest list for the actual day.
Just as an aside, these parties traditionally exclude children mainly because the nature of the conversation and gifts can be of an adult nature, but as I already said – there are no rules.
A kitchen tea, bridal shower or wedding shower is essentially the same kind of party. They are usually held early in the day and the gifts consist of items the bride or couple will need in their new shared home, and this is most likely the party that you would invite the mom, mother-in-law-to-be, grandmothers and aunts to attend. You may not want to have kinky toys and underwear on display when granny darling is in attendance.
A bachelorette party or hen night is usually reserved for the younger wedding guests, or for the bridal party alone, and it can take place straight after the kitchen tea, or it can be arranged on a different day entirely. Its a girls’ night out kind of do, and the gifts often reflect this with sexy underwear and so on.

When it comes to surprising a bride-to-be with a party of any kind, think about what kind of person your bride-to-be is. Planning a wedding can be stressful, whether or not you have a wedding planner. If your bride-to-be is someone who has every moment of her wedding day scheduled to the minute, she may not enjoy a surprise party.
You can surprise her with a theme and decorations and gifts, but at least give her a heads’ up on the date so she can put on some make up and get dressed nicely. She is most likely going to be photographed after all and she will want to look her best.

With party games, there are loads of them that can make a shower fun for the guests and the guest of honour, like Don’t Say Wedding and Mad Libs, but remember that if you want to play games and hand out prizes- quizzes and crosswords and puzzles mean someone is going to have to sit and check them in order to pick a winner- missing out on the fun whilst they do. Games where the guest of honour can quickly choose a winner are best.

Keeping track of who brought what gift can be tricky. You can get someone to make notes as the gifts are opened – if you open them at the party at all – but if you’re getting the bride-to-be to guess who its from or what is inside this could get confusing.
The coolest shortcut I ever came up with was getting the guests to write down their gift’s contents in the guestbook along with their wishes and advice for the new bride or for the couple! That way there will be a proper record for her to look back on and write thank you notes with.

For the guests, there really is only so many times you can say “Ooohh…” and “Thats beautiful…” whilst your bride unwraps her gifts!
Try mixing it up!
This does mean you- as the organiser- may have to keep an eye on the proceedings and play the role of emcee, declaring it game time or  stopping the unwrapping process to get everyone to top up their refreshments. And even if you aren’t playing any games, taking a break to fill teacups and cake plates means people mingle a little and get to talk to the bride.
And if you’re not big on “public speaking” then perhaps ask someone to do it for you.

An ecstatic guest of honour and happy guests is the aim of the game!
Good food and mingling is a HUGE step in the right direction- get the balance right and you don’t need expensive party favours and decorations!

Rock The Frock!!

I am going to get to wear my wedding dress again!!

We’re having a “multi-bride trash the dress picnic”!

On Saturday November 26th, the fabulous Jeanette Verster will be the official photographer for myself and three other brides as we rock our wedding dresses on a picnic in the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden!

Picnic food, blankets, cushions… Its going to be so awesome!

If there are any photographers who would like to come and try their hand at photographing something different, you’re more than welcome to join us too! Leave a comment and I’ll send you more details of time and such.

I am so excited! This will be my third trash-the-dress shoot and the fifth time I’ll be wearing my wedding dress!

If anyone isn’t sure what “trash the dress” or “rock the frock” is, you can read about it here: Wikipedia

Tanya and Peter Get Married

This Sunday past, I had the priviledge of spending the day with Tanya as her wedding co-ordinator!

Since Tanya planned her own wedding, spending her wedding day with her meant that I was there to field phone calls, ensure all her service providers arrived and completed their tasks on time, and that her time frame was adhered to as much as possible. I was also there to fetch anything that may have been forgotten, keep an eye on lipstick, pin boutonnieres on lapels, help carry photographer’s equipment if I could, and ensure that gifts were carried to cars and luggage moved from the ready room to the bridal suite at the end of the day.

I had THIS much fun, and it was such a beautiful wedding. Tanya’s beautifully understated elegance and eye for detail was on show everywhere you looked, from the table decor to her wedding gown.

I got to work with two fabulous photographers on the day too- Jeanette and Alana are quite a team and I can’t wait to see their photos. Oakfield Farm’s fabulous staff were really on their game too- thank you Edison and Patience.

Here are some of my photos from the day, though I don’t get to take many whilst I run around!

Photographer – Jeanette Verster

Second Shooter – Alana Meyer

Venue & Catering – Oakfield Farm

Cake – Dilene from Salon de Culinaire

Bride’s gown and MOH’s cocktail dress – Marietjie Oelofse Couture (marieks12 on Twitter)

Stationery and table decor – Michelle from Evergreen Design

Photo booth – The Photo Corner

Decor and flowers – Flower Creations

Hair and make up – Frances and Lizelle from SLM Hair Design

Tamara & TSC’s Wedding

This is Tamara and TSC’s story, in Tamara’s own words.

Our Engagement
One day, sitting in a lecture, I was doodling on a piece of scrap paper and I came up with a ring design. The diamond (biggest most sparkly and valuable bit) symbolises God, holding together the two pear-shaped stones on the side (TSC and me), and the bands of white gold symbolise our lives, intertwined. TSC loved the idea, and he asked me to visit a family friend who ran a large diamond business in Gauteng when I was home for my holidays. They offered us a wonderful price. When I got back from my family holiday in Bosnia, I picked up the ring and fitted it on. I hated it. It looked nothing like my design. But I sucked it up and headed back to CT, where I handed the ring over to TSC and waited for him to propose.
Thankfully he is as impatient as I am, so I didn’t have to wait long. After two days, he called me from work and asked me what my plans were for dinner – he wanted to take me out. Knowing what was coming, I asked (casually, I thought), whether I should dress up. He said yes. Fishing some more, I asked whether I should dress up for sushi at our local spot or more for the Mt. Nelson. He said, “Dress for the Mt. Nelson”. I squealed and said, “Are we going to the the Mt. Nelson?!” I’d always wanted to go, but it was way out of our budget. “No!” was the adamant reply.
We drove to the surprise spot where he’d made a reservation and I climbed out the car… We were standing opposite a very dodgey looking pub called Nelson’s Eye. “Um, I feel a bit over-dressed,” I said. He was distraught – he’d got the name wrong and booked at the wrong place! I tried to comfort him and said he should forget about it – we could do the supper on another night. He decided we would try the Mt Nelson and see if they had a table open since that was where he’d wanted to take me.
They did have a table open. The  sussed out our clothes and asked if it was a special occasion. TSC whispered that he was going to ask me to marry him. I pretended I couldn’t hear. We had a sublime evening. The food and service is amazing (we’ve been back twice on our wedding anniversary since). We ordered bubbly. Then he started… I’d warned him that when he asked me, I might ask “why”, which is what my best friend did when her boyfriend proposed. So TSC had prepared an answer. His speech went something like this:
“You know I love you and I think you’re the most amazing woman in the world. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. So will you make me the happiest man alive?”
To which I responded, “And by that, what you mean to say is…?”
“Will you marry me?”
Of course, I said yes. Even though I’d known it was coming, I bawled my eyes out. He put the ring on my finger and suddenly it was perfect.
I loved our whole engagement experience. The only thing I’d change is that he didn’t get down on one knee! We were both so young and out of our depth at such a luxury restaurant that he was too embarrassed. In fact, we only have one photo of the night – taken outside, because we were too shy to ask if we could take photos inside. I still rag him about the lack of bended knee. 😉
The Big Day
I loved my wedding. LOVED it. It was a beautiful 35 degree sunny day with cloudless blue skies on 16 December 2006 (nearly five years ago!). It was a week after my graduation and we were both 22 at the time. I had only ever been to three weddings (and two of them were only because I was singing in the choir – I didn’t know the brides). My family, my bridesmaids and I all stayed at the Lodge the night before and on the morning of the wedding, we had a lovely lazy brunch and then started our preparation. I was not going to be one of those brides that stressed about the things that weren’t perfect and missed out on enjoying every moment of the day. There was bubbly, giggles and lots of girly chat going on where I was getting ready with my army of smurfs- five bridesmaids dressed in bright blue.
TSC and his best man, on the other hand, were watching cricket and having a beer.
My shoes were found after about three hours of trawling Canal Walk shopping centre. TSC’s shoes took us three months to find, fussy boy this one. I had two garters – one given to me by the dressmaker at Mayers, and one I’d found (the on in the picture) at a Chinese shop for R5, being sold as a “baby headband”. Haha! I used that one for the garter toss and kept the other one.
I had wanted my bridesmaids to feel comfortable, so I bought them each a few metres of fabric and posted it to them. They each designed their own dress and had it made, my only rules were no strapless dresses and nothing super-short. I saw the dresses for the first time on the day and all my girls looked fantastic. Because they’d had to cover their own dress expenses, we got their make-up done professionally for them. I’d also bought each bridesmaid a crystal pendant in Bosnia, which I strung on blue velvet ribbon as a thank you. They all wore them on the day.
The wedding started at about 3pm with an outdoor ceremony, followed by canapes on the lawn.
I did a lot of decor stuff myself.
I made little baubles and strung them from the trees with small bells so that when the wind blew, you could hear them tinkling. Each hanging bauble had a chocolate in it with a note to each guest thanking them for being with us. We did these instead of favours, and while we disappeared to have photos taken, the guests kept themselves busy looking for their baubles. Seeing we got married a week before Christmas, lots of them apparently used them as Christmas tree decorations afterwards.
There were also photos of TSC and I hung up, with little anecdotes about where they were taken written on the back.
I also knew that if I had had a bouquet, I would probably have lost it or sat on it, so I asked for a trailing wrist corsage band with bells woven into it too. Each bridesmaid also had a wrist corsage.
My folks were amazing and I’d love to show you a family pic, but they’d kill me if I put their photos up online, so I’ll just show you one of my brother doing the reading, which he forgot in the room. Our pastor said, “And now, a reading from Tamara’s brother” and then there was this long pause. Eventually he said, “Does anyone know where Tamara’s brother is?”
Someone shouted from the back of the crowd, “He’s gone to fetch the reading!”
Hehehe… it was awesome.
We had two pastors at our wedding – one officiating and one who preached. He gave a brilliant, short and to the point message, which I was thankful for. We wrote our vows ourselves and after the official bits, we had a group of family and friends pray for us.
There are no photos of me putting the ring on TSC’s finger – he gave me the wrong hand and had to change it afterwards! It was tough getting the rings on – in such hot weather, our fingers were quite swollen.
Instead of rose petals or rice, I opted for pink dried fynbos flowers. Local and eco-friendly. :) A bit itchy when they get down your dress though!
For the ceremony’s music, we had a wonderfully talented friend, Chris, sing and play guitar for our hymns, and another muso friend, Lolita, joined him to sing an incredible version of Amazing Grace while TSC and I signed the register inside.
Our MC, Phil, was a good friend who is Zimbabwean, meaning he doesn’t speak any Afrikaans. All of TSC’s family hardly speak any English. Phil decided to use the only Afrikaans word he knew and pepper his speeches with it, much to the confusion of everyone there. The word was aardappel – potato!
I’m not a fan of wedding cake, so I got a varsity friend who happened to be a qualified chef to whip up some absolutely amazing cupcakes. This was before cupcakes were “trendy”. They were delish.
Before the canapes were served, my mom had put out a whole whack of nuts and TSC’s parents had supplied 20kg of biltong and droe wors from their farm. It all got polished off within minutes!
After the canapes, we put out a “dessert bar” with chocolates, sweets and  baked goodies I’d picked up at Compass Bakery (if you live in CT area, you MUST explore there).
Our music was handled by a friend who set up my laptop with a sound system. TSC and I opened the dance floor with a supposed rhumba to The Carpenters’ “Close to You”. TSC got stage fright, so it wasn’t really a rhumba in the end!
We expected people to dance well into the night, but being a balmy CT summer’s day, it just didn’t get dark (we never got the chance to light our candles and Chinese lanterns)! And by 8.30, most people were tired after a day in the sun and headed home. A few stayed to dance, drink the last of the wine and wander in the vineyards.
It was such a wonderful day and I’ve loved being able to remember it all again as I wrote this.

Wedding venue: 5 Mountains Lodge in Wellington
Dress: designed by me, made by Mayers
Flowers: Kleine Marie in Stellenbosch
Make-up and hair: Brushstrokes
Photos: Denis Ginn Chosen because he made me laugh – I hate being photographed and Denis’ sense of humour made me more relaxed 😉 I’m not sure if he does weddings anymore though.

And now for your visual enjoyment, some photographs of Tamara and TSC’s wedding.