My Wedding Dress & Accessories

Us girls spend a lot of time getting ready on a normal day. So why should a wedding day be any different? I really love my wedding dress and all the little accessories that complemented it and I would love to share some photos and stories about how it all came together:

Makeup

My lovely friend and Maid Of Honour, Kelly, is a makeup artist. As one of her gifts to me, she did my makeup on my wedding day. It was such a special time and I am so happy with how she made me look. Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-4Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-191

Hair

Another lovely friend, Nicole, is an incredible hair stylist. Two weeks before my wedding she dyed my hair a little bit darker and we had a trial. I absolutely loved that my hair was a neater version of its natural waviness and Nicole made me feel so great!

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The Gold Leaf Headpiece

One of the decor touches we had throughout the ceremony and reception was gold leaves. I continued the theme with this gold leaf headpiece I bought at Forever New. It was the very first thing we bought for our wedding and it really set the tone for our decor and stationary.

Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-89The Gold Leaf Bangle

Continuing the theme of gold leaves, I found this beautiful bangle at a wedding expo earlier this year.

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Perfume

You know that feeling of nostalgia you get when you smell sunblock? It has this way of bringing back memories of fun times on the beach and by the pool. Well, soon after I got engaged my mom gave me this beautiful perfume. I wore it each time Glen and I went out venue hunting and whenever we sat down to do wedding planning. We had a lot of fun planning our wedding and the idea is to have memories of those times come back whenever we smell the perfume.

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My Bouquet

All the girls had the same bouquets, mine was just a little bit bigger. Glen’s mom took my very simple idea and put together my dream bouquets! They are made up of beautiful Eucalyptus leaves, tied together by pink ribbon.

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My Veil

Another lovely friend (I know right – how blessed am I?) and bridesmaid, Rochelle, is a talented fashion designer. She made my veil out of champagne coloured material we bought at a fabric store. I tried on a few veils in different lengths and styles and there wasn’t anything I particularly liked, so I told Rochelle to just turn the material into a veil (every designer’s nightmare) and what she created was absolutely perfect.

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What Kept Me Warm

I wasn’t particularly keen on buying a cardigan and throwing it over my beautiful wedding dress, essentially hiding everything I love about it. So, while I was veil hunting, I ended up finding the perfect calf-length lace shawl at Forever 21. The off-white colour worked perfectly with the colour and style of my dress and it kept me warm on a chilly Autumn evening.

Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-672The Dress

Girls spend months looking for the perfect dress. I had a secret Pinterest board, of course, and I looked at quite a few wedding dress websites hoping to find something. I had a lot of ideas of what I didn’t want (white, something Princessy, strapless, anything poofy) and a couple of ideas of what I did want (blush pink, something lacey, some tulle, something comfortable). With those guidelines in mind, I tried on dresses and didn’t really find anything suitable. Then, one day while I was out shopping with my bridesmaids for their dresses, we walked into a clothing store and I spotted my dream dress. It isn’t a wedding dress but it ticked all the boxes and I bought it right then and there!

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Our Wedding Cake Table

Yes, we had a cake table. When you have so many cake flavours that sound amazing, why choose one when you can choose five?

Our incredible friend, Seline, had the idea to create a cake table with all sorts of amazing flavours and we loved it! We met with her over lunch one afternoon and she showed us photos of previous cakes she’d made and we loved every single idea she had.

Fast forward to the week before our wedding… Seline spent three full days making cakes, biscuits and icing in Glen’s parents’ house while we gathered all our decor and did all our last minute wedding things. Along the way, we got to have little tasters of the icing and cakes and we were over the moon!

Seline also happens to have a new website up and running, where you can have a look at the food she has prepared and get in touch with her! You can find her website here or you can just email her at info@esbyseline.co.za.

Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-128Seline suggested the flavours and we chose our favourites. This is what we ended up having:

1. Dark chocolate cake with dark chocolate ganache (our main cake)

2. Vanilla and Rosewater cake with blobs of Turkish Delight

3. Coffee cake with a Buttercream icing

4. Peanut butter and chocolate cake with white Italian meringue

5. Vanilla and caramel popcorn cupcakes

And if your mouth isn’t watering enough, have a look at the photos:

Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-126 Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-127 Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-129 Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-130 Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-460Glen and I chose to cut the cake right after our ceremony and share all the deliciousness with our guests to kick off the celebration!

Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-453 Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-454 Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-458Wedding tip: Ask your bridesmaid/mom/co-ordinator to put a slice of cake into a box (or in our case, a slice of each cake) and put it in your car. That way, you can take it with you on honeymoon and enjoy the cake without having to worry about spilling it on your dress or getting pieces of chocolate stuck in your teeth. That’s exactly what we did, and we really got to enjoy our cakes over cups of coffee and glasses of champagne while relaxing in our hotel room. That’s the dream, isn’t it?

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Meet The Groomsmen

Glen and I each had our 9 best friends on our bridal party and it really was so special having such an epicly big group with us! I would love to introduce you to Glen’s groomsmen, because they are also 9 of my closest friends. I am so honoured to be able to call each one a friend of mine, not just Glen’s.

I love their outfits so much and I have to brag about how stylish these guys are. We found a few photos of ideas we had but they just ran with it and put together their own outfits, with Glen’s help. My only request was that their pants and jackets were different shades of brown.

Our idea for the morning of our wedding was to relax with our bridal parties. So, while I was having a chilled morning with my ladies, Glen was having an equally relaxing morning with his groomsmen. They had breakfast together, got ready together and exchanged many jokes and laughs.

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I would love to introduce you to Glen’s amazing groomsmen:

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This is Garth: Glen’s brother-in-law, and now mine. We think about Garth and Lauren often and we wish they didn’t live in Oxford. Garth is always encouraging, he speaks his mind and he isn’t afraid to slap you on the hand when you need it, but always out of love.

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Ayden, who is also newly married, is a big coffee snob and he likes to cook delicious food. We love hanging out with him and his lovely wife, Lisa, and playing Dutch Blitz together. Ayden and Glen have been friends for years and I can’t imagine doing life without him!

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Nathan, one of Glen’s Best Men, who is also newly married, goes way back with Glen. They have been friends since they were children and I always get to hear stories about silly things they did together. Nathan always prays for us and encourages us!

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This is my brother Matthew, and now Glen. It is so special having a husband who is my best friend, a brother who is my other best friend, and knowing that the two of them are also close. Sometimes I think they like each other more than they like me.

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Justin R, Glen’s other Best Man, is such a great friend to Glen. They went to school together and they are still very close. Justin is extremely welcoming and popular and I have never felt anything but hospitality from him.

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Justin S is one of the friends we see most often. He shares Glen’s passion for soccer, FIFA, board games and late nights and he is quick to say “yes” to an adventure or a challenge.

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Stephen and his amazing wife, Lauren-Kate, are two of the people I miss the most when I look through my wedding photos. Whenever we visit them in Joburg they let us stay in their home and make us feel welcome. Stephen is extremely smart, loyal and humble and I am happy to call him my friend.

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Chad is quite possibly the most generous person I have ever met. He always thinks of others and is always ready to give whatever he can to make others feel loved. Him and Glen share a love of soccer and FIFA and they often interrupt my naps with loud roars of excitement during soccer games.

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Daniel is my birthday twin! He is always up for an adventure and he can survive on very little sleep. I have never seen Daniel scared of anything or anyone and I really admire him.

Wedding Gifts

On the morning of our wedding, Glen gave each groomsman a tie and a note to say “Thank you”:

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Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-113 Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-521How great do these guys look?

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Our Wedding Song: Silhouette

My incredible husband spent weeks writing a song for me to share on our wedding day. You have to know that usually when he writes music, I get to hear all his ideas throughout the writing and recording process. He even asks for my opinion from time to time. So, this time he got to write a song and create a beautiful lyric video in secret.

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During our wedding ceremony, we played the video in front of all our guests and I got to see it for the first time along with everyone else. It was an incredibly special song and video and words can’t describe the emotions I felt while watching it!

I hope you enjoy it:

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Meet My Bridesbabes

I’ve been saying all along that I can’t wait to start blogging about our wedding and sharing all our incredible photos that were taken by Bruce and Rebecca from Love Made Visible. One of the blog posts I am most excited about it this one, so I thought it would be appropriate to start with it: Meet My Bridesbabes.

In an unconventional twist, Glen and I each chose our 9 closest friends to stand with us and share our day with us in a more intimate way. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a big bridal party and we had a lot of people say things like “Whoa, that’s a lot of people!” and “Why didn’t you just choose 4 or 5 of them?”. Well, to tell you the truth, when you have 9 best friends that you love equally, it is literally impossible to choose which of them should be given the title “Bridesbabe” and which should be guests at your wedding. So, we decided to make our jobs easier by choosing them all, and that is a decision I will never regret.

Here are a few things you should know before I introduce you to my 9 favourite friends:

1. They each chose their own dresses. All I had to do was give them a colour palette and make sure all 9 outfits worked well together. Our wedding theme was “pink and gold” with a woodlands backdrop so each girl wore a slightly different shade of light pink with nude heels.

2. Half the bridesbabes don’t live in Cape Town so I was incredibly impressed (and surprised) by my amazing kitchen tea (which I will blog about at a later stage) and how well organised it was. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to plan things amongst a group of 9 people who live on different continents. Well done, ladies!

3. There are some incredible photos of all of us getting ready on my wedding day. Those photos remind me of what I visualised for that morning: my closest friends all huddled together, laughing, drinking tea and helping each other look beautiful. And that’s what happened. The lack of “professional” beauticians making the girls look good was exactly what we all needed to relax and have a calm morning. (Side note: Kelly did my make up and my lovely friend Nicole did my hair).

With all of that in mind, please have a look at my beautiful bridesbabes:

Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-4 Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-5 Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-10 Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-25 Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-84 Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-121 Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-140 Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-142 Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-165 Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-518I would love to tell you a little bit about each bridesbabe…

Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-172This is Katie, my newest best friend. We tend to bond over tea and a lot of talking. Although we only met a few months ago, we have gotten to know each other so quickly and I have instantly fallen in love with this girl’s heart of gold and her passion for Jesus.

Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-173Megan is the bravest person I know because she has absolutely no fear. She is also the type of person who says “I’m so unfit” and then comes first in an 8km trail run. Megan inspires me in so many ways and I am so thankful to have such a bubbly and lovable friend like her.

Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-174Candi is the friend I see most often and I think we’ve struck a good balance between deep conversations and silly chats filled with a lot of laughs. Candi is the person who reminds me that the sky is the limit and that I should never settle for second best. She is also flippen gorgeous!

Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-176Every short girl needs a tall friend and luckily Lauren-Kate is more than just that. Our husbands grew up together and Lauren-Kate welcomed me into their little group almost six years ago. She is one of the most creative, artistic and articulate people I have ever known and her life is basically one big Pinterest board.

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Rochelle is the nicest person in the world and she has never been mean to anyone. I really admire her ability to love everyone and tolerate the most annoying people (usually me). She also made my veil and added the beautiful detail to the bottom of my dress and I am so thankful!

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This is Lauren, my sister, officially! Lauren is also the most clever person I will ever know and her way of pursuing her dreams is such an inspiration to me. She is beautiful, friendly, witty and humble and I wish she didn’t live in England so I could see her more! Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-184

This is my other sister, Jess, well almost. Jess is marrying my brother in August and I can’t wait to call this girl my sister. She is lovely and she isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. I love that about her!

Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-185This is my Babe of Honour #1, Welmie. We met 17 years ago when Welmie and her family moved next door to my family. We spent most of our time hanging out at the park and pretending to be Spice Girls, stuffing our bras with socks and watching every Olsen twins movie we could find. To this day, we share an unbreakable bond and we just “get” each other in a way that we can’t explain. Welmie is extremely organised and I have no doubt that she is one of the main reasons all the bridesbabes were calm and relaxed.

Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-178My Babe of Honour #2 is Kelly. We met at a preschool holiday club and she was the first person I had ever met who shared my name (until then I thought I was the only Kelly in the world). Our friendship didn’t start well but we have certainly made the most of the Kelly bond and remained best friends for years. I have many fond memories of giggling in class while passing notes around instead of focusing on our work.

Wedding gifts

My wedding gift to my lovely ladies was their gold earrings. Half the group had long dangly gold leaf earrings while the other half had gold studs in the shape of leaves. I really wish I could’ve kept their gifts because they were so beautiful. Added to the earrings was a little pack of things they could use during the day (like pain killers, gum, an energy bar, etc) and a special note from me.

Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-149 Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-152 Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-154 Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-156 Glen_Kelly_lovemadevisible-162Aren’t these girls awesome?

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My Biggest Wedding Planning Tip

I’m getting married in one week. Sometimes I can’t believe how quickly time has flown. Sometimes I wonder why we didn’t start doing certain tasks sooner and other times I am so thankful that we have been so organised.

As a wedding co-ordinator planning my own wedding, I’ve been asked by some friends what my number one wedding planning tip is. So, although I still have one week to go, I think I’ve figured it out…

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My biggest wedding planning tip is: Make lists of everything!

It really isn’t rocket science. Having a list of things to do will help you to feel on top of everything. Planning a wedding is a big deal and there are lots of things to think about: the wedding itself is the biggest event you will probably ever host with your spouse; your wedding day is the first day of being married to the love of your life (that in itself is extremely emotional and overwhelming); for most couples, a honeymoon follows the wedding and as you may know, going away on holiday has enough stress of its own (planning a holiday, taking time off work, making sure your house is looked after while you’re gone, to name a few); and lastly, for couples who only move in together after the wedding, you’ve got the added stress of moving house right after a big event and holiday.

So, with all of these crazy events taking place at the same time, you are bound to feel overwhelmed. I have very diligently created lists of things to do so we don’t feel like we can’t handle things. At the beginning of our engagement I started using a wedding planning checklist. It’s a generic checklist of things to do each month. Obviously, the closer we got to our wedding date, the more personal touches we added to the wedding and therefore the more things we have had to add to our list. So, I’ve kept our checklist up to date so that at all times, so that we know what needs to be done. There is also the added bonus of the feeling of satisfaction when you can tick something off your list. Or is that just me?

To let you into my world, here is an example of the checklists I have at the moment:

1. A list of things to do in the next week (emails to send, people to pay, decisions to make)

2. A list of things to buy now

3. A list of things that can only be bought the day before the wedding

4. A list of decor items we intend to make this weekend with our bridal party (and which box each item will be put in)

5. A list of things to pack for honeymoon (including all the necessary documents for our flights)

It doesn’t matter how you create your lists – by writing things in a notebook, by using an app like Wunderlist, or by using spreadsheets – just do it! The last thing you want is to wake up in the middle of the night, remembering four things you still need to do. That results in sleepless nights running through mental checklists which can result in a stressed out, sick bride.

I can’t wait to share more tips, stories, and photos after my wedding!

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How to RSVP to a wedding

So, you’ve received a wedding invitation and you’re very excited to be attending! Don’t forget to RSVP so the bride and groom know you’re coming. Here’s how to do that:

Step 1: Follow the instructions on the invitation

Generally your invitation would have come with an email address, phone number or website address. Follow the instructions and make the call, send the email or visit the website.

Don’t think you’re the only VIP guest. You may see the couple every week, but an informal “I’ll be there” simply isn’t good enough. RSVP formally as instructed on the invitation. Don’t add to the wedding planning admin by being that person.

Step 2: RSVP in good time

Some invitations come with a deadline and some don’t. Generally, if a couple hasn’t heard from you a month to three weeks before the wedding they’ll come looking for your RSVP. Save them the trouble by sending through your RSVP as soon as you possibly can, even if you think you are super eager.

Step 3: RSVP for the number of guests that were invited

If your invitation says “Dear John” that definitely means that John is the invited guest. Unless otherwise stated, John should not assume that he can bring his new girlfriend. If the invitation says “Dear Jacqui and Joseph” that means there will be two seats reserved for Jacqui and Joseph and not an additional seat for their new baby.

If you are unsure, just ask. Most brides and grooms won’t mind clearing things up for you. Rather that than have you arrive with a stranger that isn’t on their list.

Step 4: If you don’t know, just ask

If there is anything you are unsure of [is this invitation for me only? Am I invited to the ceremony only or can I come to the reception?] just ask. If you feel too uncomfortable asking the bride and groom, compare your invitation to someone else’s or ask a family member or someone from the bridal party.

Whatever you do, just RSVP.

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