Where do we start with this beautiful book themed wedding? It’s that kind of winter wedding that puts summer to shame, and want us to cozy up with our favorite book and coffee. Marina and Milan wanted an elegant wedding where their guests felt special and special they felt. With hand-picked vintage books and thrifted gems, this wedding is full of beautiful details.
We had a black-tie wedding. Some of my favourite moments were when our guests came to tell me about their special dress or suit. They had stories to tell – “this was my gran’s”, “my father wore this blazer on his first date with my mother”. Some even said “Look I wore velvet for you, Marina”. I love velvet. I felt so touched that everyone had worn their best to celebrate our wedding.
The moment at the very end. He took my hand and he said we had to go- there was an Uber waiting outside the venue- a real city wedding moment. It was incredible knowing I’m going home with him and I never have to say goodbye again.
We chose the Centre for the Book as the reception venue as I’m a playwright and big reader. Milan is also an avid reader and really into comics. The National Library was thus a natural choice for us. The building is intimate yet still has the grandeur suited to a banquet.
When the guests entered- they were served with gluwhein as it was (supposed to be) the coldest day of the year. We asked Sylvia Mdunyelva, our favourite jazz singer to provide live music for us at the reception. She is a legend and it was an honour having her play at our wedding. The atmosphere with her playing was electric. We entered the reception on her rendition of “Pata pata”.
Unique Details & DIY elements
All our crockery was sourced by my amazing mom. I showed her a picture of what I wanted and she ran with it. A lot of it was pieces my gran collected, she adores antiques, as I do. When I was a little girl she always took me to antique shops and taught me about the cups, what made them valuable, checking the rims to see if the edges still have all their gold on them. She couldn’t make it to the wedding, she has Dementia, but I know she would’ve loved all the colourful plates and cups.
We wanted the guests to feel welcome and special. We thus tried to choose a book which had some significant meaning to them as a gift. Me and my mom roamed many a second hand bookstore to find one for each of the guests. Their name cards were written on old library tags which go inside books which I bought on Ebay from England. On these we wrote each guest a handwritten note.
We had minimal stationary as this was cost-effective and greener. The seating chart, menu, hymns, program, map, parking info etc was all in one place.
I’m religious so I’d say pray a lot as this helps you focus on what’s important. It’s not true that it’s just about the bride. It’s about a lot of people coming together.
Some of my favourite elements in the wedding were things where not everyone agreed or where I was told “that’s not done on a wedding”. Use tradition if it has a meaning. If it doesn’t make sense to you, then leave it.
Photographer: Michelle Du Toit
Coordination: Nu Experiences
Floral Design: Okasie
Dress: Carina Le Roux
Makeup: Ryan Neves Make up
Rings: Freerange Jewels
Suits: Moi Styling
Bow Tie: My Bro Tie
Venue: Centre for the Book
Pre-Drinks Venue: Truth Coffee Roasting
Catering: Malita Joubert
Tablecloth: Tablecloth Hiring Co.
Bar: Urban Tonic
DJ: That DJ Guy
Band: Sylvia Mdunyelwa