Franschhoek Valley Wedding
South Africa, your beautiful weddings never cease to amaze me. This one, made possible thanks to the talents of Love Made Visible and Green Goddess Flower Studio, is bursting with gorgeous summer tones and endlessly beautiful floral arrangements. Honestly, just wait ’til you get a peek of these centerpieces!
From the bride, Julia: We wanted a look and feel that was refined and classy, but still relaxed and fun. The reception space was a garden and outdoor patio on a winery in the picturesque Franschhoek valley of the Western Cape (South Africa). The winery is one of the oldest in the region, it has lot of rustic old world charm that is still sophisticated, without being “fussy.” We wanted to make sure that our wedding style incorporated the incredible natural beauty of Franschhoek and the character of the venue, rather than competing with these elements. We wanted to steer clear of anything too shabby-chic, vintage country fair or barn wedding. It was sometimes difficult for us to articulate exactly what we wanted, because we hadn’t seen examples that were a perfect match for what we were envisioning. Our florists totally nailed it though. Coral and Chantell took a few key words and created something really special.
Our color scheme was coral, peach and a silvery sage green, though we weren’t set on super specific colors and ended up with a lovely scheme that also incorporated some warm yellows and orangey-reds. It was tough, but we really tried to limit the DIY. Since we live overseas, the time that we do have with our friends and family is so rare and special, so we wanted to make sure that we could focus on spending time with our loved ones and not get distracted be last minute craft projects. I love little projects, so it was difficult to resist the urge to dive into all the fun crafty things I found on Pinterest. Our only project was the little gold safari animals. Our florists painted them gold, our friend Jenny designed and printed name tags for each guest, my mom picked each guest’s “spirit animal,” and my future sister-in-law helped assemble the animals and name tags so that they were beautiful and ready for the table… it was a team effort for sure. Our florists suggested this idea, and this little touch was one of the biggest hits of the night!
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Wrap up the heavy lifting portion of your planning and preparation at least a week before the wedding, so that you can have some time to relax and shift gears before the big day. When we were preparing to move from San Francisco to Cape Town, we had an endless to-do list. We were running errands and checking things off our to-do list up until the last minute (I think I was on the phone with my bank as we boarded the plane). When we the airplane door closed and we were on our way, we could finally relax, put the lists behind us and turn our focus to the amazing life changing adventure ahead. There were plenty of small things that we didn’t have time to do, but did it matter? Nope. It took being in a metal tube 30,000 feet above the earth for us to shift gears, but when we did, we were able to be present in the experience and enjoy it. When we started planning the wedding, we decided that we would pick a date 1-2 weeks before our wedding day and “get on the plane” together. We worked toward this, and were able to detach ourselves from the planning and have a couple of days to transition from planning mode into party mode (which was a lot more challenging that I thought!!). Were there little things we hadn’t finished? Of course. Did it matter at that point? Not at all. By the time our guests arrived, we were ready to enjoy the experience and celebrate with the people we love.
Bridal Party Processional: “In My Place,” Coldplay (Vitamin String Quartet cover)
Bride’s Processional: “Wonderful Tonight,” Eric Clapton (Vitamin String Quartet cover)
Recessional: “I’m Yours,” Jason Mraz (Vitamin String Quartet cover)
First Dance: “Hold You in My Arms,” Ray LaMontagne
Wedding Location: Cape Town, South Africa / Photographer: Love Made Visible / Event and Floral Design: Green Goddess Flower Studio / Ceremony Venue: NG Kerk Franschhoek / Reception Venue: Vrede en Lust / Wedding Dress: Reem Acra “Heavenly Lace” / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: BCBG / Groom’s Suit: Hugo Boss / Caterer: Lust Bakery and Bistro (onsite restaurant at Vrede en Lust) / Desserts: Pastry Parlour / DJ: DJ Riaan of Cape DJs / Wedding Invitations: Our super talented friend, Jenny Ji, designed and printed them / Videographer: Desert Rose Productions / Transportation: Cape Town Shuttles and Classic Cats