LILA & CLIFF
This architect couple wed in minimalistic, urban style
Architects Lila and Cliff headed downtown for their wedding, creatively combining an industrial urban setting with quirky paper elements and rustic veld flowers for a sparse, minimalistic look.
1. Cliff’s ‘Lila wood you?’ banner was a prominent part of the décor. 2. Paper jets made a fun replacement for confetti. 3&4. Lila’s vintage-style, oystercoloured dress. 5. Bunches of veld flowers were suspended from the ceiling. 6&7. Lila’s Aldo platforms and wolf earrings. 8. The couple exchanged brushed titanium wedding bands. 9. Polaroids of the guests became part of the décor. 10. To cut costs, the bridesmaids wore their own black dresses and shoes. liff proposed at an abandoned military site in Pretoria called Magazine Hill. He had designed a brass foundry with artists’ studios on the site for his architectural dissertation the year before, and I had always wanted to see it. It has such a magical and nostalgic atmosphere due to the history and the time that has passed since it was decommissioned. One Saturday, Cliff suggested that we take a tour. He led me through a narrow maze of old cement bag bunker walls into an overgrown bunker space, where he had set up a white table with snacks and champagne. There was a colossal 25m-long banner hanging on the wall that read, ‘Lila wood you?’ As soon as I caught sight of it, Cliff dropped to one knee and opened up a wooden box – inside was an engagement ring made of kiaat (hence the play on the word ‘would’), which he had designed himself. Cliff’s brother was hiding in the bushes with his video camera and documented the whole thing. This video was played on a projector at our wedding as part of the décor. Since Cliff and I are both architects, we feel very connected to the inner parts of cities that most people tend to fear, and we’ve developed a real love and hope (of rejuvenation) for them. For our wedding, we really wanted an urban setting; in fact, it was our dream to have it in an abandoned factory, but that idea had some obvious logistical and safety issues! Turbine Hall was the ideal compromise – it had the texture and raw beauty of an old industrial structure, with the convenience of an in-house event company – what could be more perfect? Due to the cost of the venue we tried to keep all other costs as low as possible. Luckily the types of
veld flowers we like are more cost effective than traditional wedding flowers, and we designed and made almost everything else. The flowers arranged in the blouwildebees skulls were inspired by the image of a skull lying in the field with some wild flowers growing naturally through it. My dress was a reinterpretation of an Elie Saab design. It was mainly oyster, but had a very subtle ombre that faded to a warm grey colour around the trim to give it a hint of grunginess, and so it wouldn’t look bad after a long night of dancing. We used the ‘double whammy’ approach to cut costs. Our cake was a stack of cheeses, served as canapés; our wedding favours had tags indicating table seating and our bridal party wore their own black clothes; we supplied their accessories only. The biggest challenge was cutting down the guest list. Once you start writing down the names of all the people who play a significant role in your life, you realise how blessed you are, and you can’t help but feel bad about not inviting everyone. But once they get married I am sure they will understand. Getting friends and family to help you collect things works very well. We gave a few bags of lollies to a teacher and asked her to give one to each student who brought an empty glass jar to school. We had enough of everything in no time. We put small white paper squares with pens on the tables so that our guests could draw the person sitting opposite them. This was turned into a beautiful and entertaining piece of wall art for our new home.
11. The first dance was to ‘Anemone’ by The Brian Jonestown Massacre. 12. Lasercut menus doubled as table numbers. 13. The couple said their vows in front of a paper-sculpture backdrop. 14. Cardboard rolls were repurposed as flower holders. 15. Strings of lights were hung from the ceiling. 16&17. Turbine Hall. 18. Lila’s nephews, Zanru and Kehan, were the ring bearers. 19. Cliff and his groomsmen. 20. The skulls added African flavour with ‘a cowboy twist’. 21. The guests’ artwork. 22&23. Lila’s bag and dress had intricate detailing. 24&25. Skulls and veld flowers were a recurring theme.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Picture Me&U hey@ picturemeandu.com www.picturemeandu.com DRESS: Vesselina Pentcheva 011 442 7501 www.vesselina.co.za RINGS: Ina Steenkamp from House of Auri www.houseofauri.com HAIR: Pasquale Hair Creations 011 391 3105/6 www.pasquale.co.za BRIDE'S SHOES: Aldo CLUTCH BAG: Forever New EARRINGS: Bride’s own (wolf earrings, for a bit of rock n roll!) ENTOURAGE’S ATTIRE: Their own ACCESSORIES: Scarves, headbands, belts and bow ties made by the bride’s mom GROOM’S SUIT: DKNY VENUE, CATERING & CHEESE CAKE: The Forum at Turbine Hall 011 492 3888 www.theforum.co.za FLOWERS: La Bella Décor 011 976 1727 www.labelladecor.co.za DÉCOR & BOUTONNIÈRES: Design and DIY by the bride and groom LASERCUTTING: Fine Line Studios 072 277 4040 www.finelinestudios.net STATIONERY: Cotton On MAKEUP & BAND/DJ: Friends of the couple SOUND EQUIPMENT HIRE: FireHire 011 822 4799 www.firehire.co.za
Through their work, Lila and Cliff feel connected to the urban environment and wanted their big day to have a gritty, inner-city feel to it.
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