Wedding tips from one bride to another: Kirsty Nortje

I’ll never forget Kirsty and Dale Nortje’s wedding. Partly because it was on my birthday, but also because it was a really relaxed yet elegant event full of life and joy! Kirsty’s simple, uncomplicated style shone through in her decor, so take a look at the beautiful photos and helpful wedding tips she provides:



1. How did your fiance propose to you?

Dale took me out to ‘celebrate the end of exams’ during the final year of my undergraduate degree. We went to the spot where we went on our first date 6 years before, where we had an amazing picnic and sipped champagne before he popped the question. What followed as an amazing meal at the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, ending with a movie and milkshakes in the movie cinema there- which we ditched half way to dash home to our families!


2. What was your favourite thing about the planning process?

My favourite thing about the planning process was the people I shared it with. We had numerous family members, bridesmaids, groomsmen and friends who would come to appointments/meetings/viewings/wine tastings with us. Having them share our excitement, as well as the organising load, made it a relatively stress free process.


Although it’s not something I planned, my kitchen tea and hen night were also massive highlights! My bridesmaids were AWESOME, I was showered with love, presents and surprises


3. And your least favourite thing?

The hundreds of emails I sent out to almost every venue in Cape Town, and the then hundreds of replies containing wedding brochures/packages I had saved, and trying to remember which one had quoted me for tables but not table clothes, which allowed corkage and which didn’t, where you had to pay extra for a dance floor etc etc etc.



4. Describe your wedding:

Our wedding was in March (an awesome month in Cape Town, in my opinion) Not too hot (guys sweating in full suits on those 30 degree days in summer-not ideal)- but not too cold (Goosebumps on your arms as you try to show off the dress you spent so much time designing/making). Due to the massive number of people we wanted to invite (we had about 150 at the end of the day), our budget leant itself more to a morning wedding. We wanted something elegant, but relaxed. Our ceremony was outside on the lawns of our venue under an old Bell Tower. Croissants, champagne and orange juice for ‘canapes’ were followed by a massive breakfast brunch buffet. The colour scheme was navy blue and grey, and then anything that toned with those two colours . I am not the creative, make-your-own-seating-chart type, so I tried to cut admin and outsource as much as I could (it did make things more pricey in some cases, but was the better choice for me and my stress levels). The venue had everything sorted, as well as an in-house wedding coordinator. All our stationary and lots of décor was done by the talented Nikki of Moonbeams and Polkadots. Our flower buckets on the table were from Flowers for Africa in Retreat.


5. What inspired your wedding theme, decor and colours?

My love for simplicity and trying to cut out admin, the venue, the budget, colours I love, blogs I had seen and the skin tones of my sister/bridesmaids


6. How involved was your fiancé in the planning process?

He was ever present, ever supportive and had a very (sometimes overly) positive outlook on everything. We laugh now as this could get painful at times, like when we would go from one venue to another and he would be equally excited about each one – looking back he admits he was quite indifferent, he just wanted the date set and me to be happy


7. And your family and bridal party?

They were very involved and supportive. All of our parents generously contributed financially to give us the most stunning wedding. Some were more involved in the prep, like my sister, mom, and bridesmaids, but everyone pitched in and made a valuable contribution.


8. If you had to redo your wedding, would you change anything?

Nope….Nothing I can think of right now…. Oh actually, I would get my bridemaids dresses from Posh Frock

[Yes, Posh Frock is awesome – go check them out by clicking here]

9. What was your most memorable moment at your wedding?

There were so many, so here are a few: Seeing my Dad’s face when he saw me before he walked me down the aisle and then seeing Dale’s face as he saw me coming! Our mentors and friends Mike and Shells praying for us, the speeches, and the hysteria during our bridal party shoot – Becs and Bruce were the BEST, so relaxed and easy going.


10. Any advice for brides planning a wedding?

I think it is important not to be too set on anything, to prevent frustration and disappointment when you can’t get exactly what you want or had pictured in your mind, be a bit flexible. On the other side of that scale, don’t be too flexible. Having a good idea of what you want can save you piles of emailing, blog searching ad indecisive moments that can make you unsettled. Take advice and sometimes stick to your guns. We really valued the input we got from family and friends, but there is a fine line between getting input and being bullied into living out a wedding dream of a family member. Take into account the thoughts and suggestions of family and friends, but be happy you have made the right decision for you and your fiancé at the end of the day! 



Wedding date: 21 March 2010

Photographer: Becs and Bruce of Love Made Visible

Dress designer/shop (bride): Robyn Roberts

Dress designer/shop (bridesmaids): Desray

Venue: Allee Bleue

Entertainment (band/DJ/etc): Shen FM



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