South African Wedding from We Love Pictures + Wedding Concepts
August 17, 2012
CasualWhimsicalBallroom Weddings
As wedding bloggers, we have a reputation of falling in love with a dress, ooh-ing and aah-ing over a bouquet, and swooning at a beautiful table. But we more often than not, we also fall head over heels for a couple. For a groom so handsome and sweet, for a French bride in Cape Town with an honest and open heart. It was no surprise that Wedding Concepts was able to create such a beautiful and personal wedding for this couple after reading the brides description of the day (and promptly adding the bride to my "Want-to-be-Besties" List). We Love Pictures has filled a gallery with so much pretty from this soiree, because it was pure torture for me to narrow the feature down to these images alone!

Click here to see the gallery!

We met in London in January 2006 in a pub. I had just moved there from Paris to work at the Communications Department of a French banking group. I didn’t know anyone and was hating all of it, the banking and West London (especially after having spent so much time in Berlin, probably my favourite city in Europe, in the past year) so to take me mood up after a boring day at work, I decided to have a few pints of Guinness on my own in the first pub I’ll find who’ll look nice. I was sitting at the bar, in a cloud of cigarette smoke (you could still smoke in bars at that time) explaining to the barmanwith hands moving in all directions and my very long brown hair all over the place (my Mediterranean origins I guess!) how I was hating that city when suddenly some random guy behind me (desperately trying to get the barman’s attention!) eventually asked me a stupid question about the tattoo I have on my right hand. The poor guy got instantly told how stupid the question was and how horrible that city was and so on and he started laughing his head off, to my greatest offence!! That was Richard! After what has been a minute probably, he told me something like “Calm down Frenchie and come have a drink with us!” He was funny, I joined them (he was with his best friend, Simon, who was his best man at our wedding and a few other friends) for a drink and then another one and then we went out for dinner and I had such a great time!!

We’ve been seeing each other on and off since then (I was allergic to relationships anyway and after resigning from the bank a month or so later and moving to East London to work in a DJ bar on Brick Lane where I stayed for a year, I went back to Paris in 2007 and, more or less at the same time, he moved to Africa to work) but we have always stayed really good friends since then and he has always been a great support, especially after my first daughter, Lou, that I was raising on my own, was born (in January 2009). From that moment we started to see more of each other as he was coming to London at least every 3 months to see his daughter from a previous relationship, Annie (who is now 8 and a real sweetie) and was always coming to Paris for a few days afterwards. We kept going like that for a while until I got pregnant with our daughter, Zoé (who was born in March 2011). From then we decided to give us a chance and move together to Cape Town which was a huge thing for both of us but especially for me as I’ve never really been in a relationship before and has never lived with someone but it was worth trying!

I knew he wanted to propose as month before leaving Paris with the girls as I’d seen by mistake an email he had sent to my mom and that she thought had deleted but hadn’t and when she asked me to check something on her mailbox, I saw an email from him and asked her what it was and she instantly shouted in the phone not to open it but, too late, I had (even though I said I hadn’t not to upset her even more). From then, my internal panic lights went flashing red and I was completely petrified, about to cancel everything as getting married has never even been something I was considering for me and moving together was already a huge thing for me! And because I wasn’t supposed to have seen that email, I felt I couldn’t tell anyone (remember I just had a baby, wasn’t sleeping at all as I was on my own with the two of them so everything was a big deal!). I managed to get over my first reaction and not cancel everything, desperately hoping he would wait until we had lived together for a while and were sure we were actually good together but not at all, he proposed on the day I arrived in Africa! Needless to say that after a 24hour journey on my own with Zoé, our baby girl who was 2 months old at the time and Lou, my daughter who was 2 years old at the time and had neverflown before and who managed to vomit all over her, her sister and I in thelast bit of the journey, I was about to have a nervous breakdown and was completely exhausted!! I guess it was a good thing as I said yes without even thinking of it (the panic would probably have me to say no otherwise!) and even though it took me a while to recover from the shock, I have never regretted my answer!

I was actually very nervous during the ceremony and the drinks afterwards as I couldn’t really believe what was happening and only started to relax and really enjoy after the so moving and beautiful speeches from our close friends and families during the dinner and we had so much fun at the party with the 3 Tons of Fun rocking the place and everybody dancing their ass off (excuse my French!). As most of our friends and families live all around the world and had never met before, it was a real joy to see them all getting on so well and having so much fun!

A fantastic wedding planner is really a must have and is worth the expense! Wedding Concepts has been absolutely brilliant. They a renown for creating the most glamourous celebrations and helped us so much through the whole process, from defining what we wanted and giving us brilliant ideas based on our tastes (like the coloured-theme décor which was so stunning on the day) to finding the good suppliers, DJ, videographers, photographers with whom she knew we would get on well and she got it right each time! She had everything in control and thanks to her amazing ability to manage everything, we didn’t have to worry about anything before, during and after the wedding and were able to really enjoy our day. She has also been a fantastic friend (and still is!) who, to say the least, came with me to all the dress fittings, no matter how busy she was (all my family lives in Paris and my Capetonians girlfriends were not always available to come with me as they all work a lot) and I’ll never forget that.

Wedding Coordination and Design: Kim Werner at Wedding Concepts / Sound and Lighting: AV Direct / Photography: We Love Pictures / Staff + Bar Hiring: Urban Tonic / Wedding Cake: Kanya Hunt / Flowers: Okasie / Lighting & Dance Floor: Something Different / Stationery: Lara Friday