Written by Paula Jones Last updated: September 21, 2006
Bronwyn and Craig
07/01/2006 – St. Bernard’s Catholic Church Silvertree Restaurant, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cape Town, South Africa
How and when did you meet?
We met four years ago in a karate school! We have both been very involved in karate; Craig owns a studio and I started working there as a receptionist during university to earn some extra money. It was a definite case of opposites attract!
How old are you both?
I’m 24, my husband is 37.
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
Craig bought us a new house to share our future in, before he proposed! He proposed at home on my birthday… then rushed off to teach a karate class.
Did you have hen and stag celebrations? If so, what did you do?
I had a hen party, which my bridesmaids organised. It was a Champagne breakfast on a wine farm. Craig didn’t have a stag night as he thinks they have a bad reputation!
How did your groom help with the wedding planning?
Hmm. He was terribly concerned about the budget but not much else! He organised the men’s attire and the car hire and left everything else up to me and our wedding planner.
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
Yes, I got great ideas from the wedding shop and looking at cakes and novelty items for inspiration.
Do you have a confetti web page?
Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?
I ordered one or two things online which I had sent to a friend in the UK who came to South Africa for the wedding. You just don’t get such great wedding items here in Cape Town.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it
It was a white and ivory raw silk ball gown decorated with silk roses. It was based on a design called Theo by Justina McCaffrey and made for me by a local Capetonian designer.
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
Yes, I had my business partner as my maid of honour, a close friend from work as one bridesmaid and the groom’s sister as my other bridesmaid. The bridesmaids wore 1920’s inspired black dresses with dropped waists and the maid of honour had an empire waist dress with a beaded tulle overlay.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
The best man was my husband’s best friend from the UK who flew 6,000 miles to be at the wedding. The two ushers were two of his good friends from the bad old days. They all wore classic black tie.
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
Where did you hold your ceremony?
St Bernard’s Catholic Church.
Where did you hold your reception?
Silvertree Restaurant in Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town, South Africa.
Did you have any special wedding transport?
We hired a vintage car, a 1936 Terraplane, to go with our ‘touch of vintage’ theme.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
120 guests. We had a late afternoon wedding with a black tie dinner to follow.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
Our theme was 1920’s high glamour – so it was very formal. The colour scheme was black and white.
How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
We had big vintage silver candelabras and silver base plates and all decor had strings of pearls and white feathers incorporated, from the flowers to the place names.
Did you give your guests favours?
Yes, the guests received a white organza feather-trimmed bag with silver coated almonds.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
A close family friend did the flowers. The bride’s bouquet was of ‘antique silk’ roses with white feathers and tiny wired pearls. The bridesmaids had smaller versions of plain ‘antique silk’ roses and foliage. The table flowers were on five-arm silver candelabras and all in white and green roses.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
The venue did the catering. We had crumbed camembert and mushrooms with cranberry sauce and yoghurt as a starter, mozzarella and spinach stuffed chicken breasts with vegetables and pear, nut and white chocolate spring rolls with ice cream for dessert.
What did you choose for your wedding cake, and who made it?
Our wedding cake was a four-tier dark chocolate mousse cake covered in white rice-paper ‘feathers’ and tiny hanging silver balls. It looked like a tower of feathers with dew drops on them. It was made by Susan Verwey.
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
We had a string quartet playing as guests arrived at the church, a saxophonist playing jazz during the pre-drinks and a DJ during the meal who played 1930’s music like Ella Fitzgerald, Glen Miller and other big band music.
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
We had a gift registry with Boardmans in Cape Town.
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
We stayed at the Vineyard Hotel on our first night. This was the home of Lady Anne Barnard in the Cape and it is one of our historic landmarks. It is also beautiful, secluded and romantic. We went to Hong Kong, Vietnam and Cambodia for our honeymoon which was booked through Suretravel in Cape Town.
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
Walking down the aisle with my dad and our first dance (it was dreadful!)
Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
The hotel I was getting ready at had another bride staying, and they sent me all of her flowers on the day! I went into a panic because I thought my florist had gone seriously wrong! My husband also realised on the morning of the wedding that we’d forgotten the pre-nup so I had to get fetched from the hotel to meet him at the attorney’s office just before my make up was supposed to be done!
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
Delegate, delegate, delegate. And if anything is not done by the day of the wedding, or if anything goes wrong… leave it! Just relax and get someone else to deal with any issues. It’s your big day and you’ve worked hard enough for it – so enjoy every moment!