A timelessly elegant NATAL MIDLANDS WEDDING featured on Junebug Weddings
I can’t think of a better way to kick off a new year than by sharing one of our many stunning weddings of 2019! The main reason I’m starting with this one before any others, is because it came through you guys – our followers on IG. Tori (who you may know as beauty blogger, Kiss Blush and Tell) had put a query on her profile last year, asking for wedding planner recommendations from her readers. If it weren’t for your recommendations for OHD on KBT’s posts, Tori wouldn’t have found us. So thank you ladies, for spreading the love and suggesting our services to Tori. We’ll always be forever grateful. As our own personal kind of thank you, I’m dedicating this blog post to sharing some insider secrets about our highly confidential vendor library, as well as some ideas as to what you can expect from our services (should you hire Oh Happy Day for your wedding).
Tori and her husband Marc were married on a glorious August afternoon at Bosch Hoek in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands. The couple, who are based in Johannesburg, dreamed of a wedding that was classic, timeless and modern for their South African destination wedding. Utilising a clean palette of green and white, we filled their glass marquee with fresh white blooms, hanging garlands of greenery interspersed with crystal chandeliers, and hundreds of fragrant candles. It was absolutely magical! And the wedding world seems to agree, with images from Tori and Marc’s big day already going viral on Instagram, and a gorgeous feature on top blog, Junebug Weddings. Today, I’m excited to share some of my favourite moments of our wedding planning journey with Tori and Marc, as well as an insight into the incredible team of suppliers who worked with us to bring this dream wedding to life (side note – I don’t often share insider secrets like this but this is a special circumstance as it’s my own way of saying thank you to all the KBT followers who suggested us to Tori).
Obviously, all our brides’ journeys with OHD begin with a creative consult – generally over Skype, if the bride lives outside of Durban. Tori and I had our initial consult over Skype, but I think one of my first and fave moments about our journey together was our initial team meeting with Tori, where she flew in to Durban and got to meet the rest of the core team members (Tegan, Jess and Rowena) and chat about her day with us all, in person. What followed on from here was a few more Skype and Whatsapp meetings, before Tori flew down to us again for her décor and floral viewings, meal and cake tastings and makeup trial. Part of our job as a KZN luxury wedding planner is building relationships with suppliers who match our ethos in terms of level of service and quality of work. Although we have a very extensive vendor library, we carefully select each vendor based on the couple’s personalities, and who we think will best match their style and vision. It’s also why no two OHD weddings ever look the same, because every aspect of each wedding is tailored to each different couple – from floral design down to vendor choices on makeup, cakes, stationery and even music. Nothing is left to chance with us!
Needless to say, bridal beauty was a key element for Tori. We had no hesitation in matching her with Blend Make Up for both her makeup and hair styling. Kezia and Britt head up the most amazing team of makeup artists and hair stylist in both Johannesburg and KwaZulu Natal and every one of them is an absolute pro! We work with the Blend girls regularly, and they always finish on time and according to the timelines given to them by Oh Happy Day, leaving our brides enough time to relax and gather their thoughts and hearts before the ceremony begins. We arranged for Kezia and Tori to do a trial before the wedding (this is so important – trust me!) and Tori was thrilled with the results. On the day of the wedding, Kezia styled the bride while the rest of her team attended to the bridal party. They all looked absolutely stunning, and the bride was a vision in her customised White Lily gown. (You can read more about Tori’s bridal beauty here.)
Food was another element that was really important to Tori and Marc. They wanted something a little bit different that would wow their guests, an Ottolenghi-inspired dining experience that reflected the kinds of food they love to eat at home. The Delish Sisters worked perfectly for this brief, with their delicious (and beautifully styled) harvest table and fresh chicken curry mains (what better for a Durban destination wedding!). I can’t recommend this dynamic duo enough! Instead of sit-down desserts, there were cheese boards, pastéis de nata, and wedding cake. This came from the talented Bron Celine, who created a beautiful white semi-naked cake in carrot cake and condensed milk flavour.
Another moment that stands out for me, is the image Vanilla Photography took of Tori and Marc walking into their venue once the candles had been lit and the chandeliers were dimmed. It was such a stand-out moment, frozen in time, and highlights the magic that comes with having a marquee wedding. I have written a blog post on the complexities of marquee weddings which you can read here, but as you can see in these images, a clear marquee was the obvious choice for Tori and Marc’s wedding (considering the beautiful surroundings of their chosen venue, Boschoek.)
The marquee décor was absolutely breathtaking too, as I’m sure you’ll agree! The Wedding Table – one of our favourite table top service providers – helped transform the marquee design with their wooden cross-back chairs and trestle tables, then decked the tables with their gorgeous range customised to suit our bride’s crisp and classic vision. Tori wanted to keep the tables minimal, modern, and clean, so glass elements were a key factor. The Wedding Table provided an assortment of glass candles and ornate glass accents, as well as specialty gold cutlery, which was the perfect finishing touch. The Wedding Table was also present on the day of Tori’s décor and floral viewing, so that they could make suggestions where necessary and support the design process.
The wedding florals were done by our in-house team, who (without sounding biased) are kind of amazing, and Rowena and her assistants did such an incredible job ‘bringing the outside in’. Tori had been quite specific with us about her décor brief, but only in getting to know her at our initial meeting, were we able to make decisions about our floral choices used at her viewing. I clearly recall Tori asking us at the end of her viewing “But how did you know that I didn’t want roses as I don’t think I’d even mentioned that?” It was from spending time with our client, and getting to know her sense of style, that Rowena was able to make such decisions. This kind of attention to detail and personal service is what all our Oh Happy Day couples can expect when they hire us.
Another of the design elements I absolutely loved was the incredible canapé lounging areas and cocktail seating pockets created by House of Hudson. We actually got to try these out ahead of time when we set up the cake tasting on the same day as the couple’s viewing at House of Hudson. It was such fun sitting in the chill pods eating wedding cake – and the guests loved them just as much on the day! A combination of crisp whites and neutral accents was styled perfectly in line with Tori’s vision of contemporary elegance, as well as the chic bars. The House of Hudson team were present on the day of the wedding to personally set up and style each area, which again speaks to the level of service you can expect from our carefully vetted suppliers!
Some of the other talented suppliers who I want to mention are Dane from The Minerals (one of our favourite film companies to work with!), and Bron from Vanilla Photography, both of whom captured the essence of Tori and Marc’s day so effortlessly. Not forgetting our DJ, Richard Anderson, who kept the dance floor pumping until the wee hours! Having spoken with the couple about their style of music and the vibe that they were going for, we decided that Rich would be the perfect fit. Tori and Marc gave him a playlist of must-haves (and please-don’ts!), which Rich added to his existing repertoire. He absolutely nailed it!
Here’s what Tori had to say about her experience working with us:
“The Oh Happy Day team came highly recommended to me, and I am so happy I trusted the rave reviews I got as they really did live up to all of these! The journey to our wedding was so much fun and the actual day could not have gone smoother (and been more relaxing for myself). So grateful to the OHD girls for that.”
Photography: Vanilla Photography
Event Planning & Floral Design: Oh Happy Day
Ceremony Venue: Michaelhouse
Reception Venue: Bosch Hoek
Catering: Delish Sisters
Wedding Cake: Bron Celine
Live Music: Dave Starke
Videography: The Minerals
Makeup Artist & Hair Styling: Blend Make Up
Wedding Dress: White Lilly Bridal
Bridal Accessories: Jimmy Choo
Bridesmaids’ Apparel: ASOS
Groom’s Apparel: Tiger Of Sweden
Groomsmen’s Apparel: Woolworths
Decor: The Wedding Table, House of Hudson