Fairlady Bride - - Contents -

A so­phis­ti­cated mar­riage of cul­tures, out in the winelands

A plush winelands venue was the per­fect back­drop for an op­u­lent mar­riage of cul­tures when Cape Town girl Yolaan wed her West African sweet­heart Hamet.

1. The en­trance hall at La Res­i­dence. 2. Each guest re­ceived a can­is­ter of lux­ury African tea as a wed­ding favour. 3&4. Hamet and his grooms­men all wore bow ties. 5. The 4-tier cake. 6. Re­fresh­ing welcome drinks: flavoured wa­ter and home­made iced tea. 7. Yolaan chose a round bou­quet of roses. 8. De­spite rain on the morn­ing of the wed­ding, the clouds cleared and the re­cep­tion could still be held in the court­yard. 9. Ar­range­ments in­cluded hy­drangeas, roses and chrysan­the­mums. Hamet and I met at the Africa Busi­ness Con­fer­ence at Har­vard. I was cov­er­ing the con­fer­ence as a jour­nal­ist and Hamet at­tended as a del­e­gate. We ex­changed busi­ness cards on the first day, and by the end of it (two days later) we were insep­a­ra­ble! We fell in love with La Res­i­dence the mo­ment we stepped into the grand en­trance hall. The space is op­u­lent and stylish, yet warm and invit­ing. We also loved the mixed eastern and African in­flu­ences, which re­flect the cul­tural di­ver­sity in our own lives. My dress for the cer­e­mony was a real labour of love. I first met Jac­ques LaGrange more than a decade ago, when I was look­ing for a ma­tric dance dress. To cre­ate my ro­man­tic princess-style gown, he used four dif­fer­ent shades of Ital­ian tulle to cre­ate a unique colour – I’m still not sure what to call it! I spent hours in his stu­dio watch­ing as the flower de­tail was un­picked from fab­ric, beaded by hand and placed back on the tulle to cre­ate a unique pat­tern. It was un­doubt­edly the most beau­ti­ful gown I have ever worn and it made me feel ab­so­lutely re­gal. My first re­cep­tion dress (see 11) was a tra­di­tional West African de­sign; it was a gift from my momin-law. She sourced the fab­ric in Nige­ria and had it made by a de­signer in Benin. My sec­ond dress (16) was cre­ated by Jac­ques; I wanted some­thing glam­orous yet un­fussy so I could move around easily and dance. It’s very red-car­pet bling – my ul­ti­mate, el­e­gant ‘freakum dress’, as Bey­oncé would say! I wanted to in­clude some quirky Cape Town touches – things that were rem­i­nis­cent of my child­hood. We or­dered cock­tail ice lol­lies and I found the old-school Bashew’s bot­tles for our welcome drinks.

The most mem­o­rable part, for both of us, was walk­ing down the aisle with our re­spec­tive par­ents. The emo­tion of it all had us both shed­ding a few tears. We didn’t go crazy with the dé­cor. Be­cause our venue was al­ready grandly ‘dressed’ in­side and sur­rounded by nat­u­ral beauty out­side, we didn’t need to spend much to make it look good. We kept the colours soft and com­ple­men­tary, us­ing nudes and light pinks with me­tal­lic touches. Al­co­hol can eat up a big por­tion of your bud­get. With the ho­tel som­me­lier’s guid­ance, we pre­s­e­lected wines to match each dish, then bought the bot­tles di­rectly from the wine farms. We had to pay a cork­age fee but, with most venues putting their own markups on al­co­hol, do­ing this does help save a bit. We had two first-dance songs: ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ by Roberta Flack (the lyrics read like a love let­ter and they just spoke to us – Hamet is con­vinced I gave him ‘a look’ when we first met!) and ‘Dan­ger­ous Love’ by Ghana­ian Fuse ODG, a vibey song about a guy fuss­ing over a woman in an amaz­ing dress. Spend as much time as pos­si­ble with your guests on the day. The cou­ple shoot and dress changes take up a lot of time and I wish we had spent more time min­gling dur­ing the pre-re­cep­tion cock­tails. We wanted to give our guests some­thing per­sonal and African, so our favours were cop­per can­is­ters of Yswara lux­ury African tea, in three flavours: Lord of Kanem (Rwan­dan green mint tea), Ubuntu (black tea), and Askia on Song­hai (Rooi­bos, ginger and pineap­ple).

10. The happy cou­ple. 11. West African el­e­ments hon­oured Hamet’s her­itage. 12. Cock­tail ice lol­lies with a quin­tes­sen­tial Cape Town touch. 13. Ad­just­ing the veil. 14. Flower girl Dishia and page­boy Shaan. 15. Guests helped them­selves from the op­u­lent cheese ta­ble. 16. DJ Waxxy gave Hamet the op­por­tu­nity to show off his crazy West African moves, which first caught Yolaan’s eye on the dance floor at the con­fer­ence party! 17. Yolaan and Hamet say­ing their vows. 18. Fairy lights and starlight added a mag­i­cal touch. 19. The marimba band. 20. A line-up of el­e­gant sil­ver shoes. 21. Yolaan with her sis­ter and maid of hon­our, Liesel.

PHO­TOG­RA­PHER: Frank Nash 021 418 4647 PLAN­NING & CO­OR­DI­NA­TION: Aleit Wed­ding Co­or­di­na­tion 087 121 0665 BRIDAL GOWNS, VEIL, FLOWER GIRL DRESS & BRIDES­MAIDS’ DRESSES: Jac­ques LaGrange Cou­ture 082 268 1102 TRA­DI­TIONAL DRESS & RINGS: Cus­tom-made over­seas EAR­RINGS: Swarovski HAIR & MAKEUP: Gor­geous 2 Go 082 062 2262 SHOES: Jimmy Choo and Gina BRIDES­MAIDS’ SHOES: Aldo GROOM’S AT­TIRE: Dolce&Gab­bana suit, Dior shirt, JM We­ston Shoes GROOMS­MEN’S AT­TIRE: Bought in Paris VENUE & CATER­ING: La Res­i­dence www.lares­i­dence.co.za ICE LOL­LIES: Las Pale­tas www.las­pale­tas.co.za CAKE: Kanya Hunt 082 375 5200 FLOW­ERS: Okasie 021 887 9904 www.okasie.co.za FAVOURS: Yswara www.yswara.com DÉ­COR & HIR­ING: Top Ta­ble 021 447 4000 Table­cloth Hir­ing Com­pany 021 883 8726 www.table­cloth­hir­ing.co.za Some­thing Dif­fer­ent 021 671 6120 Classy Hire 021 872 4922 MENUS: Se­cret Di­ary De­signs 021 914 7224 BAND/DJ: DJ Waxxy 071 001 0209 and Hlan­ganani Marimba Band 084 694 8178 SOUND & LIGHT­ING: Pre­sen­ta­tion Stag­ing 082 464 7031 BAR & STAFFING: Shake and Serve 087 121 0665 VIDEOG­RA­PHY: Vi­sion on Fire 072 6716 744 PHOTO BOOTH: Per­fect Pho­toz 071 676 1870


‘In the build-up to the wed­ding, en­joy the ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing a bride-to-be,’ says Yolaan. ‘It’s the only time you can in­dulge in buy­ing wed­ding mag­a­zines, go­ing crazy on Pin­ter­est and send­ing your girl­friends way too many pic­tures of dresses and dé­cor ideas.’


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