YOLAAN & HAMET
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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