We’ve done it! We’ve actually done it! I am officially a Mrs! The truth is, I have had so many emotions about getting married over the years that it’s quite remarkable that we’re here. But more about that another time. For now, let’s talk about the awesomeness that was our wedding day!
In true “Sprout” style, Mr John and I decided to get married our way. And what a beautiful day it was – literally and figuratively! We had so many friends and family members join us from all across the WORLD! Including from Scotland, England, Switzerland, Portugal, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Pretoria and Johannesburg. What a blessing to be surrounded by such special friends and family. We felt truly honoured.
We really wanted our wedding to be centred around 3 important elements:
- The people closest to us
- An inner city venue and
- A bloody good time!
These were the 3 things we really didn’t want to compromise on and we were luckily enough to achieve them all. Because we’re pretty modern, we had all the traditional elements, but slightly remixed.
*Photographs by John-Henry Bartlett Wedding Photography
THE LOCATION – Inside Cape Town Harbour
After working as a wedding DJ for 5 years, I’ve been to A LOT of wine farms. They really are beautiful, but Mr John and I love the city bowl and wanted to do something different. Many of our friends have kids now, so we felt going away for a weekend would be an extra expense
read stress, so we chose to get married in town. That way our guests could have a killer party and Uber home; enter the Royal Cape Yacht Club.
Set along the N1 and railway tracks, surrounded by hundreds of boats with the Waterfront, Signal Hill and Table Mountain in the background, we couldn’t have asked for a better setting that was urban, but elegant.
*Our reception at the yacht club was excellent, but organising the wedding before the time was incredibly difficult. The club’s admin was very poor, with the ‘goal posts’ being moved and little communication. On the day, however, the staff mostly did a good job and the venue came together well. We have sent our official feedback to the club, who have acknowledged our notes.
THE DRESS CODE – Smarth with Comfortable Shoes
Having DJ’d 62 weddings, I know people can’t wait to losen their ties and kick off their heels. The weddings where they doesn’t happen, don’t tend to be the best weddings. People want to relax, be happy and focus on celebrating. We, therefore, opted for a smart dress code, with comfortable shoes, which was the perfect blend of looking smart and feeling good.
Our friends are pretty alternative people with diverse backgrounds, religious believes and attitudes in general. Bottom line – they do not want to be preached to – and neither do we. But because I did want to have some kind of ceremony, I decided to look for someone who would give us a sense of occasion without isolating anyone.
We opted for a female officiator and was thrilled when I found female minister Jean Keys. KEYS?! A musical reference?! I knew it was a sign. Jean did a beautiful ceremony without the usual, ‘You shall obey’ old school nonsense. Our best man, Julian, and maid of honour, Angela, helped with the rings and ‘tying of the knot’. Jean did a superb job, no one was bored because it was short and sweet while being sincere, funny, fun and filled with love and joy!
MY WEDDING DRESS – Robyn Roberts
Strapless wedding dresses. The end. It seems this is the ONLY style women go to for their wedding day! And I understand why – it’s flattering. Sadly, I wanted the same as I often wear stressless dresses when I go out (while most women do not), but because it’s been so overdone, I really had to consider my next options in order to have something different.
After considering my options, I created a dress based on my favourite styles and body type. After trawling wedding dress websites (and shops) for a few weekends, I turned to Robyn Roberts to create my vision. I’m THRILLED with the outcome and LOVE my wedding dress. I wanted to go classic and classy. I think Robyn executed my vision perfectly.
Mr John got his suit & shirt at Woolies and sneakers at Shelflife.
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES CAPE TOWN
I had 4 bridesmaids as I have really good friends located across the globe. But four bridesmaids = four different heights, sizes, complexions and locations – with one living in Pretoria and one living in Scotland!
Initially, I wanted to do the ever-popular whole wrap dress style, but you have to measure your bridesmaids and that just seemed like a mission to get right with everyone being so far apart. I know,
since not being able to fit into anything at YDE for the last 10 years, that Truworths has dresses for adult women with boobs and butts so my Mom and I popped in and found perfect dark blue dresses.
They had the same dress, but the brief was to style them in their own flavour. So uniform, but not. You can see the outcome below – I LOVED IT! It was a celebration of life, love, the people and relationships we are blessed to have in our lives.
THE LEGO WEDDING CAKE
Throwing back to another wedding gig I did; the couple had the most awesome red lego cake! I KNEW Mr John would LOVE it and it would suit our friends and family perfectly. (I know a lot of ladies want to go more formal and that’s amazing. I’ve just never been a girlie-girl, bridie-bride so I preferred something more niche and unique than beautiful, so to speak).
Created by Marelda at Have Some Cake, it was an absolute hit on the day, with guests enjoying a cupcake when it suited them. We still have our Lego ‘bride and groom’ because they are too cute to throw out and they still smell awesome 2 YEARS later! #TrueStory
One of the most difficult task at a wedding is keeping the schedule on time. There are a LOT of people to coordinate and many moving parts. Because of this, a lot of weddings run late because of the weather. When it’s hot outside people don’t want to move inside, the photo’s take longer because they’re trying to get that sunset, gold goodness, but then EVERYTHING runs overtime.
Because we got married in March, we opted to have our starters outside. Guests are hungry around 6pm and it’s an easy way to enjoy the last of the summer light while still carrying on with ‘proceedings’. We ordered quite a lot of them as well so that the guests wouldn’t go hungry and everyone could enjoy the weather until 7pm.
FOOD BEFORE SPEECHES
So often at weddings guests find it hard to sit still during speeches as they’re hungry. Most weddings serve a starter before speeches, but it’s often not enough as people have been drinking and have “ants in their pants”.
I’ve seen one too many people drag themselves up for the first dance and then immediately sit down again, as they’ve just eaten their mains before the first dance.
At our reception, we chose to serve our mains before the speeches, which allowed guests to sit back, relax, pay attention, digest a bit and THEN party.
Our dessert table also had a selection of treats for guests to snack on throughout the night. Our wonderful friend Christine put the table together which was so beautiful and welcoming, I loved it!
THE MUSIC – Shout Music Company
#FACT The bridal couple 110% sets the tone for the wedding day, right from the bride’s very first entrance song. We chose fun, big, uptempo music as we wanted to encourage our guests to be happy, positive, inspired, relaxed, cheerful, excited and full of love! We believe we achieved that 🙂
Wedding Ceremony Entrance Song
For my Dad and my entrance song I chose a classic track from the 60’s called Do You Believe in Magic by The Lovin’ Spoonful. It’s a really cute, upbeat song and I love the words, which include,
“Do you believe in magic in a young girl’s heart? How the music can free her whenever it starts…I’ll tell you about the magic and it’ll free your soul…”
Wedding Venue Entrance Song
For the venue entrance song, we wanted something big, bold and punchy, to really create a positive impact that means business. And so we went with none other than Queen B – Crazy in Love. This horn section was perfect!
First Dance Song
Inner City Life by Goldie was our first dance song BUT it was the jazz version. I found the Re: Jazz version on iTunes one day and knew it’d take a special drum n bass song and make it wedding appropriate. While attending the Goldie lecture in Cape Town, Goldie himself played the jazz version to us! We took it as a sign to use it on the day and we did. Most of the guests weren’t familiar with the song, but those who love drum n bass as much as we do, knew it and loved the rework. We only played the first 2 – 3 minutes or so of the song and then went into Moonshine! Jazz with a Kick.
Entertainment – Moonshine – Jazz with a Kick!
We HAD to have a touch of music at our wedding considering my brother is a saxophonist, my Dad’s a bass player, I was a wedding DJ and Mr John is Hyphen! Music has always been a big part of our lives, so it only made sense for us to include music at our wedding. And what better than my brother’s swing, wedding band Moonshine, Jazz with a Kick!
Our friend and saxophonist Marc De Kock also jumped on stage and added another horn player to the band, creating more fun and swing to the group! Hits like Shake, Rattle and Roll, Hit the Road Jack, You Never Can Tell and Blueberry Hill made everyone feel welcome and included everyone! You never usually see drum n bass DJs dance, you did this night! People had a blast!
I wanted something timeless and classy for our tables so we just went plain white and green. We preordered our flowers from Engelke Blomme in Phillipie; an old family run business. They have many of the same suppliers as Woolies – at half the price.
My mom collected old jars that had flat tops (that didn’t screw so they didn’t look like coffee jars) and I created the labels and menus on Canva. We hired the glasses from Ten of Cups in Stellenbosch, so that we would have more tasteful glasses than the yacht club’s stock. My aunts and friend lay the tables for me on the day, with the help of my Mom.
INNER DECOR & DRAPING
I know draping can be a bit old school, but the roof of this building is corrugated iron! Most events held there don’t bother covering the roof, but – although we had an inexpensive wedding, I still wanted it to be a special occasion. I feel this looked A LOT better than a corregated iron roof!
I stole an idea from my brother’s wedding. He and his wife had a big screen with photographs of all the guests. It really helps the guests see where others fit in and how they know the bride and groom. It makes everyone feel included and it was wonderful to be reminded of so many good times with such special friends and family, I HIGHLY recommend doing this!
SWISS WEDDING GAME
My beautiful friends from Switzerland spoilt us with a wedding game. Mr John and I were put back to back with a sign that had his name on one side, mine on the other. We then had to vote for the person who we thought did whatever the question was. So the best man asked, for example, “Who has the most shoes?” I did Mr John, he said me! He was actually right! Then if we agreed or got it correct then they would give us a little prize. It was HILARIOUS! And SO MUCH FUN! I’m so thrilled we had the opportunity to add another level of fun to the day.
We had the most WONDERFUL day with SUCH special friends and family! WOW! I wish I could do it all again, divide myself into two or three and have quality time with every single person that was there. It was such a blast and no matter how I tried to enjoy every moment (and I did) it was still a total whirlwind.
I can only say thank you to EVERY SINGLE one of our friends and family who made the day SO amazing! I think I will wear my wedding dress every single anniversary from now on!
(Caveat – it’s been 2 years and so far, no wedding dress on my anniversary LOL!)