Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011 : a spot of reflection

If you will allow me the indulgence of wrapping up 2011...

But before that, a funny story. Yesterday the Nicholas and I met with the wonderful man who will marry us before God - my cousin Don. After we had some (totes amazing) coffee (really, EL is not as backward as it may seem! I bought the cutest dress at Hemingways Mall for a steal, something I can NEVER find in Jozi.) But I digress.

So we finish the amazing coffee and our chat about all the important things at our ceremony - seriously there should be a handbook, thank goodness for ONE person who has done this all before. Amazingly Don says most church weddings and funerals are run according to a formula. Yes, weddings AND funerals. Tells you something about weddings...perhaps the death of freedom? Kidding! I got too much sun yesterday. Then Nicky starts wrapping up the meeting. Like one would at audit firm? What are the action points, summary of who said what, he fell just short of keeping minutes.

At least I know the man means business.

Back to 2011. Not a great one for me I must admit. I lost a doggie friend, struggled through my last year of articles, fought with the most inconsiderate neighbours known to man, and had an uphill battle just finding a bloody pair of shoes in supposedly the shopping capital of Africa.

Fortunately I also started this blog, found a passion, planned most of our wedding (hence the blog), got advice from some amazing ladies on the pretty blog and bijoux bride, got up the courage to have my long outstanding knee surgery, went on a few wonderful weekend getaways and shared another year in a tiny flat with the love of my life.

But 2012. Now she will be a wonderful year. I'm getting MARRIED to my Nicky. we are making a few major moves (more on that next year) and I am determined to continue following my heart.

Thanks for all the support this year...HAPPY 2012 :)

100 layer cake blog

photography fridays #11

I chose this picture more for the content than the photography itself. But a girl is allowed to indulge her “just cos it’s so purdy” every once in a while...
This bride is everything I want to be on my wedding day (in TWO WEEKS eekkk) – glamourous and different. Don’t you love her accesorries, that necklace, those shoes?!
So I have two weeks to become a brunette with a face like Keira Knightley and find a cream chaise lounge. Not likely. But I'm ok with being blonde, glamourous and different. Teehee.
Thanks to that haven of bridal perfection Style Me Pretty. 

Friday, 23 December 2011

photography fridays #10

Can’t believe I only have 3 Fridays left before the Big Day.

Let’s not even consider what I will do once it’s over. Still have Photography Fridays, but maybe include some nature and fashion too...?

Losing my blog doesn’t bear thinking about.

This photo is by the crazy talented Lizelle Lotter. I love it because it shows a sweet moment between Mom and Bride. My mom and I are polar opposites, in personality, looks, interests, you name it! But my wedding has really shown me how much she loves me. She even bought a sparkly clutch for the day. If you knew my Mom, you would understand – it’s like me buying a pair of brown Crocs.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The Hair Dilemma

Today I got my dress! Altered, pulled in, buttoned and perfect. Although my poor boobies need to hold up like 5kg worth of dress. 

I had an epiphany a while ago, a real Oprah AHA moment.

My dress is quite fancy, quite formal, quite out there. And I am not having a fancy or formal or out there wedding. And I certainly am NOT changing the dress. It is my One True Love Dress.

Then I had another epiphany. You CAN wear almost any dress you love. And change the feel of it with accessories and the way you wear your hair and make-up. Wearing your hair down, loose and perhaps a bit bohemian, can change your whole look.

So, despite everyone asking “So are you wearing your hair up then?” like it's a statement not a question, I am NOT. Another of those situations where everyone thinks they know best. And is likely to get a klap from me if they mention it again!

Here are my sweet down do inspirations: 

Stephanie Williams
La Boheme on Etsy
Style Me Pretty
100 Layer Cake

Style Me Pretty
Style Me Pretty
100 Layer Cake
Style Me Pretty
Beautiful hey? I will be walking down the aisle in all my down do'ed glory in just 23 days time. (Just an aside, I spent the entire car ride back from picking up my dress crying my happy eyeballs out. How emo am I?)

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

cake toppers - old school cool

At the beginning, before I entered the sultry and addictive world of wedding planning, I thought cake toppers were lame. Now I pat that deluded muppet on the head and think how far I’ve come...

I mean why? They serve no logical purpose. But then neither does a long train or sparkly lights behind the wedding table or initials carved out of wood for photos...but they so PURDY!

Mine are birdies. But of course.

Succulent flower topper from Pinterest - this still counts as a cake topper right?

Pink ombre cake with bunting topper from Pinterest

Fresh flower cake toppers from Martha Stewart weddings

Cake topper from Le Magnifique

Birdie cake topper from Style Me Pretty

Cake topper mice from Etsy

Wire love topper from Pinterest

Wooden topper from Style Me Pretty

Cap Classique's blog post on cake toppers, 'tops' mine a hundred times over, thanks to her for the inspiration!

Friday, 16 December 2011

photography fridays #9

Today is a public holiday. Whoop whoop! And I am busy with some cool stuff that will change my life...Promise will tell all when it's confirmed (and no, it's not getting married, you all know about that duh!). 

I have been admiring photos like this one for a while now. Where the bride and her veil share an intimate moment. And the light is just right...

The effect is beautiful. W. Scott Chester have such a unique style, many of their photo's border on the grainy.

(An aside, this wedding was in Florence, how romantic is that?)

Wednesday, 14 December 2011


Oh my word. So excited I can barely breathe. Still thinking about the purple sponge.

Mrs C - wife extraordinaire - coming soon.

(Yes, this is me...jumping in the air...I’m that excited)

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

wedding wisdom #2

Work out what works best for you and make sure you incorporate both your personalities on the day. Figure out what’s really important and what you can do without. Don’t fuss too much, but try and relax and enjoy the day as much as possible. Think about the day as a celebration for the two of you, but also as a party for you guests and try and be as good hosts as possible:
it’s all about you but it’s not all about you.

Just because this made me relax and stop fretting over the dream I had last night where my bouquet was made of a sponge (really, my subconscious?) and the colour scheme was deep purple. Horrors.

From a beautiful and genuine wedding on bijoux bride. Something about this couple exudes happiness and calm and sincerity. And when last did you see a Japanese-Canadian-Dutch wedding in London?

Monday, 12 December 2011


As I’ve said before, every bride wants to capture her wedding day in a little bottle to sniff at inappropriate times and invite others to do the same.

Videography is an unbeatable way to capture The Big Day. Some couples think it’s lame, or unnecessary. But I think of it like this...

My Nicky will make the romantic speech to end all romantic speeches. I will cry and get butterflies in my tummy and want to kiss him all over his face. And not hear every precious word through all of this mush. This way, when we come back in February to the harsh realities of life, I can put on my video and store away all the words in my little bottle.

Nic and I went with Brad from Fab. The hilarity of which has not escaped me. I think I may have gone to high school with this dude. That’s East London for you. We looked at some CD demo’s first and Fab really are good. Of excellent sound and image quality, they don’t get in the way and most importantly...

DO NOT add Celine Dion to a slideshow of photographs and call it a wedding video!


to the good ones

This blog has been chockablock with pretty ideas, pretty pictures and things that make me happy. But there has been a down side to planning our wedding. The ugly, unpretty, reality stuff that I didn’t want to sully this blog with.

So without going into the gory details, some things have been rough. I have seen the true colours of some people that I would have rather not seen.

The upside is that the true friends, the faithful family and the beautiful, giving, caring people in Nicky's and my life have shown themselves. So I can easily forget all the nasties.

I hereby dedicate this blog post to you guys. Thanks for everything. For the missioning, and stuffy roadtrips and expensive plane tickets. For finding accommodation on your own, using up your leave balance and coming to the small town that means so much to me. Bring on the pretty!

Lizelle Lotter

Friday, 9 December 2011

photography fridays #8

You know that feeling you get when someone tells you something about yourself? That feeling did I not realise that?

Well that happened to me this week. My friend Tam said in passing that I seem to like dramatic photographs. And she is totally right! I like a photo to take reality and make it more dramatic, more eye catching, more emotional. But that’s how I am as a person too. I take great liberties with reality!

ZaraZoo are photographers of the dramatic kind. And this one is a killer example. I love it.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

the groom

So we know the flowers in the guest bogs are usually considered more than the poor groom. NOT in my case, but in most.

Saying Nicky’s outfit for The Day has caused quite a bit of konsternasie would be putting it mildly. I have trust issues when it comes to men and clothes.

My poor father went from being dressed by his mother in brown and khaki with langkouse to my mother dressing him, thankfully in more colour. My brother hasn’t worn an item of clothing I have not purchased in about 15 years. His idea of fashion is wearing his clothes from the day as pyjamas. And hence smelling like a mine worker by the morning. My ex was also dressed by his mother. So when it came to Nicky’s suit, I was concerned. VERY concerned.

For nothing.

His suit is AWESOME. Barney “Suit up” Stenson awesome. And he chose it all on his own at a suit hire place of much repute in East London.

I have issues. Clearly. Regardless of that, my future hubby is going to look HOT. Eat your hearts out girls :P

Here are some other AWESOME groom outfits I have collected:

The Super Suave Groom - 100 Layer Cake

The Old School Groom - Nicola Cornick

The Trendy Groom - Rensche Mari Photography

The Creative Groom - Style Me Pretty

Friday, 2 December 2011


My favouritest month of the year.

It’s my birthday YAY, Christmas carols (for some odd reason I love Michael Buble at this time of year), beach (because Nicky and I have two holiday homes to choose from at the coast hehe), family and friends and NOT work.

Oh and of course gin. Lots of gin. What’s not to love?

And sorry ladies, I possibly have one of the only men alive today who know how to spoil a lady properly on her birthday! There are boxes and packets hidden all over the flat (which is really tiny, hence I always stumble upon them when hauling out my old bikini’s from the depths of the cupboards) and a whole day planned tomorrow. I am like a bloodhound when it comes to surprises though, slobber included. This year, however, Nicky has got quite shneaky and I have no clue. Despite the fact I told him what I would like for my birthday. He is amazing.

Eeeekkkk last day of my mid twenties!!!

from 9gag

photography fridays #7

There is nothing I like better than finding a jaw droppingly talented wedding photographer, especially if they are as amazing as Yvette Gilbert

I happened upon her on junebug weddings. They list her as one of the top six wedding photographers in South Africa. I tend to agree.

It was so hard to choose just one of her photographs, but this one captured my heart because it shows you can still have amazing pictures in the rain. And we know my thoughts on the likelihood of rain!

Take my advice: get a lovely cup of tea, settle in your desk chair and go to her website. Happy Friday!

Friday, 25 November 2011

happy weekend

This cheerful yellow and pink engagement shoot from Style Me Pretty - complete with 100s and 1000s and milkshakes - makes me feel happy. 

And I don't know about you, but I could do with some happy this weekend!

photography fridays #6

This week I am cheating a little with three photos. Naughty naughty.

But...I thought it would be a shame not to include all of these. This gorgeousness comes from a real Southern wedding I saw on 100 layer cake, with a bazillion strong bridal party and bales of hay and Southerny sorts of detail. The photography is from Simply Bloom, their stuff is incredible, most of it soft and romantic just like this.

I am praying for light like this on our big day. Sadly we may be disappointed, with the arrival of La NinaWench.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

guest books/thumb prints/blogs/trees

Nicky and I have been throwing around some ideas about a guest book. Well, alternatives to a guest book. (When not working or eating or having anxiety attacks or considering petrol bombing the noisy club up the road - bloody hell it's been mad.)

Because let’s be honest, even with my above average writing skills, I can’t come up with anything better than “Good luck for the future” when writing in these nightmares at weddings.

Most of the time wedding guests are too tanked or too unimaginative to really think of something interesting and unique to write. If something unique even exists!

So is there a point?

Well yes. To starkly contradict myself. 

Every couple wants every possible record made of their big day, because it’s over so quickly. Photos, video (more about the sensibility of this in a later post) and well...books.

Here are some unique ideas, we will hopefully decide on one of these before January (holds thumbs):

The colourful "balloons" above the bicycle are actually thumb prints of the wedding guests in different, bright colours. Thanks to Champagne Taste Events' tumblr.
The very popular wedding tree guest book. Again, the guests make their thumb prints, but in this one as leaves. (As a side horror: some couples leave a note saying "leaf your thumb print". The HORROR!). I love this one particularly because of the cute birdie drawings. Thanks Green Wedding Shoes.

The guest blog. Most original idea. EVER. Love this. Although when I broached it with the Nicky, he conjured up an image of his 75 year old Granny Dot attempting this. Hilarious. Impossible. This idea also came from Green Wedding Shoes.

This probably comes closest to solving the "what to write" disaster. Where do you see us in 25 years? Although that brings up another whole set of problems, I mean you can't be honest and say "Divorced". That would definitely mean immediate ejection from the wedding reception. Teehee. From every housewives favourite jailbird, Martha Stewart.

Friday, 18 November 2011

photography fridays #5

Another beaut don’t you think?

It looks like this bride just pushed open the French windows to a cool breeze and a new, wonderful, married life...

See this wedding at Style Me Pretty.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

comments fail

To everyone trying to comment on my posts and it's BOMBING OUT...

I'm sorry. Sad bunny here. My settings seem to be fine, must be an issue with Blogger. Now would be a good time to be more computer geeky me thinks :P

Feel free to email them - you know where to find me!

Monday, 14 November 2011

wedding wisdom

Thank you bijoux bride for reminding me what is important.

PS: this will be my mantra for the next two months, along with "I will not be controlling and scary and make my fiance' regret asking me to marry him" :P

spa weekend

This weekend Nicky and I went to Kievitskroon on their Summer True Romance package. Can you tell from the name it is perfect for a couple’s weekend without the kids (in our case bunny and kitty)?

It made me think of our honeymoon – one of the places we are staying at comes with our own Jacuzzi ;)

If you live in Gauteng and miss the Cape, this gorgeous place is perfect for you...

They don't call it the Winelands in Gauteng for nothing!

Friday, 11 November 2011

photography fridays #4

Today we are back to people I know and love!
My friends Kerryn and Martin were married last year at the beautiful Backsberg wine estate. I missed it thanks to my final Board exam – big sad – but from the pictures and tales of dancing and eating (and knowing Kerryn) it was a gorgeous wedding!
Their photographer was the outstandingly talented Annemari Ruthven and this is my favourite of all her photos. The giant, gnarled tree is quite intimidating, yet the result is an artistic photograph, where the couple are the focus and the tree an impressive background.

Friday, 4 November 2011

photography fridays #3

This one appeals to my whacky side. The photographer, Jonas Seaman, has created a photo that looks surreal. It kind of pulls your eyes to the sides in a topsy turvy wonderful way.
I love how the couple look like stick people amidst the huge and green wonderland of the Snoqualmie National Forest. Yes that’s actually a place. Only in America.

Photo found on Green Wedding Shoes
And then just as a tidbit, this article on the etsy blog looks at how cellphones (mostly the iPhone) are changing photography, something I have never really considered. Makes me think, how much touching up means that a photo is no longer a photo – of reality - but a picture, an artwork? Or have photos always been pieces of art, there to make us feel things, rather than represent reality?

Thursday, 3 November 2011

alarmingly similar

Hint hint...
The details in this wedding (photographed by Christine Meintjes) bear a STRIKING resemblance to the picture in my head of our wedding. Minus the exposed brick and beige runners. For some reason I dislike table runners. Lack of imagination I suppose.
I would go so far as to say some of the flowers are exactly the same as ours...*wink wink*

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

our honeymoon

Righty ho, spill time J Whether you like it or not, you’re about to hear more than you ever wanted to know about our honeymoon. OK, not THAT part of course. Sis!
I helped plan our honeymoon (read here: controlled every element of our honeymoon), although Nicky organised all the nitty grits with much man efficiency. I am not the easiest soul in the world to plan a holiday with I know. He’s a saint.
We went through the normal thought process...budget vs time, sun or snow, Overseas or home, drive or fly?
And we came up with what we wanted. Sun, beach and cocktails but without the long flight. And it had to be two weeks. No compromise. So we decided home would be best. Considering I have no fingernails before we’ve even left home for a flight to Durbs for a long weekend, I shudder to think how nuts I will be before a long flight Overseas. I mean ANY number of things could go horribly wrong.
Nicky and I are going to explore a jaw droppingly beautiful part of South Africa...

We are doing the Garden Route. Well, the Eastern Cape part at least, with maybe a little day trip to Knysna if we feel up to it. And we are going to a monkey sanctuary near Plett. Much excitement for me, Mom to a monkeylemurowlcat, as it has lemurs as well. Hands down the most awesome animal on Earth. I know, love is blind. Luckily he thinks I’m adorable.
So we are spending time at the incredible Sands at St Francis (Bay), in Nature’s Valley, and then the rest at Storms River and Addo Elephant Park. I agree, not for everyone, but it suits our personalities down to the ground. Lots of adventure, activity and nature.
And no Nicky, under NO circumstances may you bring your bike.