Fairlady Bride - - Contents -

A cosy fam­ily af­fair with op­u­lent dé­cor touches

Rose gold bulbs, sparkly se­quinned table­cloths and fo­liage drip­ping from the ceil­ing cre­ated a cosy yet lux­u­ri­ous am­bi­ence for Silke and Brink’s fam­ily.

I'm not easily sur­prised – or so I be­lieved! From about six months be­fore we got en­gaged I was wait­ing for the big ques­tion. On ev­ery din­ner date and walk on the beach, I thought, ‘This is it, it must be!’, but… noth­ing. A few months later, af­ter he had led me to be­lieve that he had for­got­ten my birth­day and had to make some ‘last minute plans’, we went for din­ner at the Wa­ter­front and on our way home, he said: ‘Let’s get an ice-cream and have it on the big wheel.’ On the last turn, he went down on one knee. I fell in love with the ar­chi­tec­tural style of the venue as well as the tex­tures of the build­ing – the old, ex­posed brick in con­trast with the mod­ern glass fin­ishes, as well as the farm­style wooden el­e­ments and the orig­i­nal iron fix­ture from the old wine press. The fire­place also gave it a cosy feel. I grew up on a farm in the Ka­roo and I live in the city now, and I loved the idea of rep­re­sent­ing both worlds: the rus­tic farm feel com­bined with the city’s glitz and glam­our. We in­cor­po­rated a lot of raw, bar­ren tex­tures such as dried pods, peels, seeds and leaves, and com­bined them with rich metallics and glo­ri­ously op­u­lent flo­ral el­e­ments such as pe­onies and or­chids to cre­ate that con­trast: cold and win­tery, yet very cosy and invit­ing. I re­ally wanted cot­ton bolls in my bou­quet, as they are so un­usual and beau­ti­ful. We con­tacted cot­ton farm­ers from Mod­der­riv­ier, Mar­ble Hall and the Or­ange River – they were great, and more than happy to help us. The big­gest chal­lenge was get­ting them in time, as they could only be har­vested the first week in May. Some only ar­rived the Fri­day be­fore the wed­ding! Another chal­lenge was buy­ing win­ter

clothes in sum­mer. Try find­ing boots, coats and long dresses be­fore April! We had to wait un­til three weeks be­fore the wed­ding to go shop­ping for the en­tourage. I had no idea what kind of dress I wanted, aside from not want­ing a big princess dress. My mom and I de­cided to go ‘shape shop­ping’ at Oliv­elli – just to try on a few dif­fer­ent styles and see what suited me best. But as soon as I tried on the sec­ond dress, we both knew we’d found the one. With the cer­e­mony and re­cep­tion un­der one roof there was no need for a wed­ding car, and be­cause we wanted to spend our time with our guests, we cut out all the tra­di­tional ges­tures that were not im­por­tant to us: cut­ting the cake, the garter and the bou­quet toss. We wanted to in­volve all the neph­ews and nieces (there are 12 of them!) so we knew we had to ex­pect the un­ex­pected. Half­way through the cer­e­mony, the kids started play­ing with my veil, crunch­ing the au­tumn leaves we’d scat­tered as dec­o­ra­tion and Brink’s son asked him if he could re­move his jacket. Thank­fully the pas­tor was fore­warned and it all added to our spe­cial day! We had place­cards on the ta­bles with the guests’ names and three words that best de­scribe them, or a word that brought back a spe­cial mem­ory we shared. They were good con­ver­sa­tion starters. Our first dance song was ‘We Are Man and Wife’ by Michelle Feather­stone. We wanted a song that wasn’t well known, with lyrics that had mean­ing to us. The beat of the song only al­lowed a Vene­tian waltz, so we went for dance classes. They were such fun, gave us an op­por­tu­nity to wear in our shoes and cre­ated yet another great mem­ory. I re­ally wanted to just fo­cus on mar­ry­ing the most hand­some, gen­tle per­son I know, so I en­trusted the dé­cor to my mom and sis­ter, giv­ing them com­plete free­dom to sur­prise me. They blew us all away. 1. Silke’s hand-beaded cathe­dral-length veil. 2. The flow­er­girls wore wreaths made of dried seeds, pods and leaves with rose hips and cot­ton bolls. 3. Carved wooden menus. 4. Flo­ral run­ner. 5. Low-hang­ing rose gold bulbs set a fes­tive mood. 6. Silke’s Lucinda sheath gown with flo­ral lace ap­pliqués and Swarovski crys­tal satin rib­bon belt. 7. The bride and her dad share a hug. 8. Chicken skew­ers with spicy apri­cot chut­ney from the braai sta­tion. 9. The flow­er­girls’ out­fits. 10. Danc­ing the night away. 11. A chill area, set up in front of the fire­place. 12. Florist Heike tied small white den­dro­bium or­chids to the bot­tom of the sus­pended aga­pan­thus roots. 13. Penny gum leaves, palm seeds, den­dro­bium or­chids and aga­pan­thus roots hung from the ceil­ing. 14. Silke’s bou­quet con­tained pe­onies, fra­grant English roses, cot­ton bolls, dried wa­ter lilies, rose­hips and a dried wa­ter lily leaf. 15. The bridal party (from left): Bjan, Jean, Lukah, Luhan, Mienke, Dana, Lil­lah, Lisa and In­dya. 16. The dessert ta­ble, filled with Silke’s favourite sweets: mac­a­roons, Hert­zog­gies, fudge, nougat, brandy snaps, nuts and fruits.

17. Ready to go! 18. The bride’s sparkly shoes. 19. Brink’s son Luhan car­ried a sign down the aisle, which read: Pappa, wag tot jy haar sien (Dad, wait till you see her). 20. Silke’s en­gage­ment ring is a halo-set cush­ion-cut diamond in a diamond pavé rose gold band. For the wed­ding they added diamond pavé white gold bands on ei­ther side. 21. The en­trance to 401 Rozen­dal. 22. Brink’s cot­ton boll bou­ton­nière. 23. A mo­ment alone. 24. Silke’s mom Jo­hanna, sis­ter Heike and brides­maid Jamie-lee help her get ready. 25. An ar­range­ment of dried leaves, Banksia proteas, rose hips and black berries. 26. Palm tree seeds, penny gum and Banksia proteas hung from the ceil­ing. 27. Silke got dressed at a friend’s house nearby. 28&29. Some flow­ers were ar­ranged in wooden boxes and a va­ri­ety of vases, while oth­ers spilled down over the sides of the ta­ble. 30. Silke’s chan­de­lier ear­rings. 31. The bride with her brides­maids. 32. Guests toast­ing the cou­ple. 33. Silke’s niece, In­dya. 34. Silke with Brink, his son Luhan and his daugh­ter Mienke.

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‘Take your hus­band by the hand ev­ery now and then,’ says Silke, ‘and take time out to savour the mo­ments – you will be talk­ing about them for years to come.’

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