French inspired wedding {wedding tips}

Chani & Wihan got married in April this year. I’ve known Chani since primary school and with facebook we have been able to keep in contact and often share emails about our love for photography and pretty things.
Chani loves all thing french and I loved how the venue and all the french inspired decor complemented her so well on her wedding day, so I asked if I could post her photos on my blog. She agreed and we even did the whole wedding blog question thingy. She shared some really great tips for brides to be (me!). Enjoy!


Tell us your story, how you met, fell in love and got married!
We met at a mutual friends’ house party during our matric year. A few weeks later we were at my best friend’s house – he’s friends with her brother – when Vincent (best guy friend since I was 4) got in an accident. I got a little freaked out when he came back and he was full of blood, so I went for a walk – Vincent asked Wihan to follow me and check that I was okay. We ended up walking and talking for 5 hours about everything: family, school, our past, where we grew up, our likes, dislikes. And that was the night I started falling for him – hard 🙂
It took a few weeks to convince him that I really did like him – I was popular and outgoing, he was shy and a little dorky – but on the 9th of Feb he asked me out at break. I’ll never forget, he said: “Will you be my girlfriend? I wanted to wait till Valentines Day but I couldn’t wait that long!”
August 9th will be our 6 year and 6 month dating anniversary
He proposed the year after school, and we wanted to get married straight away, but then the reality of me supporting him during his studies dawned on us and we decide
d to wait until he was done with his studies. Last year was his final year and we could finally set a date!

How did he propose?
We spend our December holidays down at Gouritsmond (4hours from Cape Town). My family has been going there since my mom was in high school so it’s a really special place for us. On the 9th of December (our monthaversary – hehe) I woke Wihan up so we could watch the sunrise, but it was completely overcast so we couldn’t see anything. He promised that he’d wake me later that holiday so we could watch the sunrise.
The day after Christmas he woke me up early in the morning and told me we were going for a drive – we got in the car and he drove me down to the rocky part of the beach. We sat there (me still wearing my pjs) until the sun started coming up. As soon as the sun started peaking over the ocean, he went down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was perfect!

What was your favourite part of the wedding day?

I loved all of it! It’s very hard to choose one specific moment, but I’ll mention two of my favourite parts:
1. The moment before the church doors opened right up until I was standing next to my groom. There are so many emotions going through you at that moment: seeing your dad next to you nervous and on the verge of tears, your maid of honour (or in my case maids of honour) and flower girls all nervous and excited, walking down the isle and seeing all your guests smiling and some sobbing, and seeing the look on you soon-to-be husband’s face… It really is too much to handle
2. Our first dance. We had been going for lessons for 3 months and we both loved our dance, the song, everything. It was just so special to have all our guests watch us take the floor and Mr and Mrs. I loved seeing how nervous my husband was but how much he was enjoying it.

Did you do any DIY projects?

I did quite a few: the table names, seating charts, signs ie “sign me” which was put up at the guest book table, “Mr & Mrs” which was pinned to our table, “history” which hung over the stand with all the old wedding photos of family members. The scales used in the centre pieces are all old family scales.

 What was the style/theme of your wedding?

The theme was Vintage French, but it was a very informal French and not the “uppity” French with glassware and crystal etc.

Any tips on being budget friendly?

We saved on a few things that we felt really weren’t necessary: we didn’t hire a DJ (saving of about R5000) and instead I created playlists on my iPod and we plugged that into the sound system in the chapel and reception hall. It added to the fun as anyone that wanted to request a song could just go search it on the iPod. Of course I had a WIDE variety of music and different playlists for during dinner and after for dancing; then we didn’t have a cake but had dessert instead (which was included in the buffet meal option we took); we supplied one bottle of wine and one bottle of champagne per table, other than that it was a cash bar.
At the end of the day you have to realise that it is YOUR day and spending a fortune catering for the people that are joining you in celebrating is ridiculous – they’re not there to be served, but rather to enjoy the day with you.

Anything you wish you knew before your big day? (any tips for future brides)

* Get a nice hanger to hang your dress on – you might not think it’s a big deal, until you see your dress hanging there on a wire hanger and realise how much it spoils the photos
* Get as much sleep as possible – I was still doing DIY projects until 11/12 the night before and then I couldn’t sleep after 3am! By 9pm I was super tired but partied on till just after 11. Our guests stayed up till past 4am though!
* During dinner, ask the servers to put some take-aways in a holder for you and your husband – you’re too nervous and busy greeting everyone during supper to really eat and enjoy the food, and when you get to bed you realise you’re starving
* Keep the following handy: Handy Andy (for spills on the dress – consult the designer beforehand of course), safety pins
* Anyone will tell you that the day goes by quickly, so enjoy every minute! As you’re walking down the isle, pry your eyes away from your groom for a few seconds and look at all your guests – you might not get a chance to greet each of them later during the day
* Ask the photographer to take photos of your guests as well during the ceremony (and not just of you)

This is just a suggestion but we had a “stay-over” wedding – those guests that wanted had the option to sleep over at the venue (at their own cost) and have breakfast the next morning. I think that’s one of the reasons why our guests had such a great time.

What songs did you: walk into church with ; walk into venue ; do you first dance to?
Church entrance: Lenka – We Will Not Grow Old
Church exit: The Proclaimers – Then I Met You
Venue: The Proclaimers – 500 Miles
First dance: The Goo Goo Dolls – Better Days

Vendors: Hair; make-up; venue; dress; photographer; cake; etc

Hair: Lizelle from Headfirst (0126621545)
Make-up: I did myself with a little help from a friend that did beauty studies
Venue: La Petite Auberge in Witbank (they supplied all the extra decorations that we didn’t bring/make as well as catered – the food was DELICIOUS!)
Dress: Lise Design (bought it at her March sale for R2000!)
Photographer: Quintin Mills
Flowers: The Green Chameleon


Thanks for sharing Chani. ♥

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