I am obsessively in love with this wedding dress. My crush on Jenny Packham has no limit. Sequins, sparkle and the most beautiful billowing tulle is the icing on the cake of this absolutely breathtaking South African wedding. Tasha Seccombe and Boy Meets Girl Cinema transports us away to what can only be described as a dreamland and that is where I’ll remain for the rest of the day.
From The Bride… From the beginning we kept using the words: relaxed, fun, personal and something a little bit different to describe what type of wedding we wanted. I know that as far as weddings go this is probably a bit of a cliché but as we had decided to invite 40 of our closest family and friends to join us in South Africa from our London base, I thought we, at least, had a good starting point.
Originally from South Africa, I moved over to the UK to go to university and met my husband, Nick during the first few weeks. We instantly became known as ‘Nick and Nic’ and after 10 years together, we were a few weeks away for our wedding day. Despite London being my permanent home, I had always known that when I got married I wanted to do it back in South Africa and luckily Nick loves the place as much as I do and shared my sentiments.
We chose a place just outside of Cape Town in a little town called Elgin. The area is surrounded by apple and pear farms with the most idyllic scenery. Deciding on a venue was surprisingly one of the easier decisions we made as we both knew that we weren’t going to be able to go and do the traditional ‘recce’ of venues that most couples do, so we relied on feedback and lots of photos on blogs and photographers websites. As soon as we saw Rockhaven, we knew this was our place. Its a working farm that caters to weddings with a simple modern-ish barn, gorgeous gardens with views of the valley, and the most charming little ‘boathouse’ overlooking a lake which is where we held the ceremony. With a setting so beautiful I decided I only wanted to enhance it with a soft romantic colour palette of sage, grey, cream and pinks and bring together elements of both South Africa and England.
I, of course discovered a love of Pinterest and wedding blogs like Style Me Pretty which were incredibly useful for giving me amazing inspiration but also very overwhelming – there are just so many ideas out there! We did have a brilliant wedding planner in South Africa who I would share all my ideas with via Dropbox. One of the hardest things about getting married abroad is that you can’t do much DIY so instead I decided to focus on doing a few things really well and make our wedding as personal as possible. My sister and her boyfriend, who are both architects, helped to design and make all our stationery.
I love flowers but hadn’t thought that we would be able to afford loads however one of the perks of getting married abroad is that it was a lot more budget conscious and as both our ceremony and reception were held in the same location we were able to move and easily re-use the flowers throughout the day. Our florist was incredible and took my inspiration pictures and put her own creative twist on it and created something breath-taking. A combination of roses, lisianthus, dahlias and hydrangeas combined with Proteas (South Africa’s national flower), fynbos, Queens lace and ferns emphasised the English country garden feel.
When it came to my dress I’d never known exactly what type I wanted – in fact I could tell you all the things I didn’t want but not what I liked. Being only 5’2” I knew that I couldn’t pull off a frothy gown and with the South African summer I wanted something light and travel friendly. I tried on several different style dresses but kept coming back to this beautiful tulle Jenny Packham dress with fluted sleeves and lots of tiny sequins and paillettes with the smallest of trains. I didn’t have any sort of emotional connection to the dress but just kept being drawn back to it – it was so comfortable and flattering and could see myself spending the whole day in it. I borrowed a pair of diamond earrings from my mom and wore a simple pendant necklace that Nick gave me the day before.
For Nick, I wanted him to have an equally special suit for the day. Normally weddings in England are the traditional 3 piece suit and tails but this was not going to suit the very warm climate nor the style of our wedding. Luckily my parents live in Dubai so we had the luxury of very good tailors and souks where you can get quality fabric and tailoring at a fraction of the price. After many back and forth photos, phone calls, emails and using internet guides of ‘how to measure for a suit’ with my mom – she delivered everything to the tailor and we waited with bated breath. When I saw Nick in his 3 piece suit in pale grey with a dark grey paisley lining I couldn’t believe how dashing he looked and we were even able to personalise the suit with our wedding date embroidered in.
We couldn’t afford to stretch our budget for a live band for the reception (in the end our DJ was amazing and almost no-one left the dance floor except for when my cricket mad husband and his friends organised an impromptu game at about 11pm!) but did still want some live music. We ended up with a classical duo during the ceremony and an incredible jazz duo during the pre-reception who kept our guests entertained while we were off having some photos. We also got our guests to give us their song choices which we gave to the DJ proving for an amazing party – which eventually only ended at 2:30am in the morning!
We knew that we wanted our wedding to be a big party to celebrate our 10 years together. This started with a barbeque on the Friday evening at a local restaurant, the day before the wedding and culminated with a picnic on a wine estate on the Sunday – for most it started the previous week when our guests flew in and we rented a villa near the beach in Cape Town.
We couldn’t have asked for our wedding to be more of a celebration of everything we have together surrounded by our friends and family – you couldn’t wipe the smile off of our faces for weeks afterwards.
Photography: Tasha Seccombe | Videographer: Boy Meets Girl Cinema | Flowers: Paradiso Flowers | Wedding Dress: Jenny Packham At Morgan Davies Bridal | Stationery: Family | Brides Shoes: Zara | Bridesmaids Dresses: J Crew | Catering: Rockhaven Farm | Lighting: 4 Every Event | DJ: Capricorn Music | Groom's Attire: Lobos Tailors, Dubai | Groomsmen's Attire: Reiss | Ceremony Music: Play | Bridal Jewellery: Borrowed From Mom | Cake And Desserts: Nelle Cakes | Coordination: Creation Events | Decor Hire: Blooming Wonderful | Farm: Rockhaven | Groom And Groomsmen Ties: Bows And Ties | Hair & Make-up: Candice Leigh Arnott | Pre-reception Music: Gary Deacon