Brides who have planned their own wedding know what to expect and they end up giving the greatest advice. Lauren-Kate Bydawell had one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever seen – although I am a little biased, since she is one of my closest friends and I was a bridesmaid – so take a look at the beautiful photos and look out for her helpful tips:
1. How did your fiancé propose to you?
We were watching the sunset on Chapman’s Peak on a warm summer evening. Lost in the moment, Stephen called me and as I turned around he was on one knee, shaking, with a beautiful ring. He said in a nervous voice “Lauren, will you marry me”. Shocked and excited, I cried “yes”. All the observers clapped and gave me hugs. A really special and emotional moment.
2. What was your favourite thing about the planning process?
The best thing about planning a wedding is that all your friends and family are integral to the process. There is always an excuse to spend hours with them. Wine-tasting and exploring the various venues (such as the winelands and coastal regions) is an essential part of the process!
3. And your least favourite thing?
My least favourite part of the planning process was probably the pressure of all the copious tasks ahead with a dooming deadline. Stephen and I were also moving our lives to Joburg immediately after our wedding, so the idea of leaving our friends and family wasn’t easy.
4. Describe your wedding:
The idea we had behind the wedding décor and theme was “in the garden”. We wanted to emulate the serenity and beauty of a lush summer garden. Our Colour scheme was mint, grey and natural browns–although the brown was more subtle. We complemented this with white followers, twine, origami cranes and lanterns. Towerbosch was an ideal venue for this theme, as you feel as if you are inside a tree. The restaurant hones with branch like features pillaring the walls and looming from the ceilings.
I didn’t want to be overly stressed about DIY so the wedding was a mixture of a lot of hard work as well as venue that didn’t require a lot additional décor. The primary DIY involved was, making 100s of origami cranes and putting them on strings, making batches home-made Turkish delights for wedding favours. Chalk boards, flower vases, and other simple décor. Most of the effort went into the ceremony venue, which was a separate venue from the reception.
5. What inspired your wedding theme, decor and colours?
I love Cape Town and how beautiful the everyday nature and scenery is, so, we wanted a wedding that was relaxed, serene that highlighted our personalities. I already had ideas from browsing Pinterest, but the seeing actual venue completed it.
6. How involved was your fiancé in the planning process?
Stephen was equally involved. Seriously, he was amazing. We both had ideas that we brought forth and spent the same amount of time planning, arranging and making things happen. He was also the one who found the venue and insisted that we saw it. Furthermore, he also planned the entire honeymoon as a surprise for me.
7. And your family and bridal party?
I don’t think it is possible to plan a wedding without the help of your family and friends. I am so grateful for my family and the bridal party who literally made the whole event come to life. Besides giving pictures of the flowers I wanted, I had no obligations; they were arranged set up and even paid for without me having to lift a finger. One of my bridesmaids drove to an industrial area to find one bottle of rose water syrup, so that we could finish the Turkish delights. Two days before the wedding our friends came over and helped us make the Turkish delights and package them. The generosity of their time was unprecedented. Stephen’s grandparents, notably, kept surprising us with selfless gifts and service. But honestly family, the bridal party, and close friends were an essential component of making our wedding happen.
8. If you had to redo your wedding, would you change anything?
The day after, we woke up and talked about how amazing the day was and how we wanted to go back and re-live it. I would have grabbed more cupcakes on my way out!
9. What was your most memorable moment at your wedding?
Until you have got married, no one can fully know what it feels like to stand next to someone and openly proclaim words that can never be taken back; making promises and sacrifices to the one and only person you give your heart to. It is something that is beautiful and spiritual. That was what was most memorable to me, the surreal experience of the actual wedding ceremony and publicly giving over my life into Stephen’s hands.
10. Any advice for brides planning a wedding?
1) Do what you want, don’t let anyone manipulate you and your husband’s ideas and plans for your special day. Of course listen to the wisdom of others (other brides offer a lot of great insight) but don’t let yourself be forced into doing what you don’t want.
2) Enjoy the process, and make sure that it is not becoming a chore.
3) Learn how to delegate tasks.
4) Spend wisely and save lots of money for your honeymoon and future too, those are just as important as your wedding day.
5) Research; there are a lot of options out there and a lot of cheaper ones too.
Wedding date: 19/01/2013
Photographer: Love Made Visible
Make-up artist: Erin Ismay
Hair stylist: Personal Hair dresser
Dress designer/shop (bride): Michelle from Robyn Roberts
Dress designer/shop (bridesmaids): YDE dresses
Venue: Towerbosch, Knorhoek wine farm Stellenbosch
Co-ordinator: n/a (Lize from Towerbosch managed the staff and venue)
Entertainment (band/DJ/etc): Matthew Mole and Ash Stephenson