SILKE & BRINK
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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