Blue & White Antique Wedding
I love how the tiniest detail can spark your imagination, decide a whole colour palette and inspire a bride’s whole wedding day look. Today’s bride Michelle fell in love with the beautiful and historic Hawksmoor House in the winelands of Cape Town, and the blue & white antique crockery which decorates the walls of this grand former home. Having visited this beautiful venue myself on a previous trip to Cape Town I can totally understand Michelle’s infatuation, this place is homely, warm and welcoming, yet boasts an important heritage. She used these classic colours and antique details throughout her day, from commissioning bespoke jewellery and making DIY magnets with the all important blue & white pattern, to sourcing French Chantilly lace to give her wedding day outfit an elegant, antique-inspired edge. Cape Town favourite Yolande Marx captured all the beauty.
My mom introduced us on a blind date! (How blind is that?!) Dirk’s sister owns a hair salon and he would walk in, kiss his sister hello and sit at the basin next to my mom, who totally fell in love with him! Mom spent the best part of 5 months trying to convince him to take me out for a coffee, she was so persistent… When Dirk and I were on holiday sailing in Croatia, we stopped at a small island called ‘Miljet’, a national park with a large beautiful lake in the middle. We rowed in a canoe to an old historical monastery and on the way we stopped for a swim. Dirk hid my ring in a rock and told me to come look at an awesome crab! There I found a beautiful cognac diamond set in rose gold instead, and treading water he asked me to be his wife…we never made it to the monastery!
I found a 2 metre piece of exquisite French Chantilly lace and asked designer Robyn Roberts to make my wedding dress. She thought I was quite mad as lace is only 90cm wide. But I was adamant to use the beautiful scrap and came up with a way we could make it. I have never worn something so exquisite in my life! Dirk’s sister (the owner of the hair salon!) styled my hair in a relaxed messy ‘up do’ with some flowers to soften the look. My make up was done by the best makeup artist in South Africa, Algria Fereira, she waves her magic brush and you don’t recognise the girl staring back at you in the mirror! My Bridesmaids chose blue dresses from YDE and Dirk bought his sexy ink blue suit from Topman. I commissioned the talented Michael Chandler to make pieces of jewellery out of antique Willow pattern porcelain and set them in silver. My bridesmaids got given necklaces to wear with their dresses and I had cufflinks made for Dirk.
We wanted a relaxed, private venue that our closest friends and family could spend the weekend celebrating with us. We fell in love with Hawksmoor House , as it is a beautiful historical Dutch wine farm, established in 1692 by the owner, Simon van der Stel whom was the first governor of Cape Town. We got married outside on the lawn by the Italian cypress trees and wild lavender fields, along the aisle were antique thread-bare rugs creating a path amongst a wild herb garden. The venue is historical, beautiful and relaxed with the sun setting over Table Mountain in the background.
The colours were inspired by the blue-painted barn in which we had our wedding reception, as well as the beautiful blue and white “Willow pattern’ ceramic antiques we found in the Manor House. I researched the Willow Pattern and learnt that it was the most replicated pattern in the world and the Dutch travelled to China on a trade route in the 1600s and brought the famous blue and white porcelain back with them from their travels. The Willow pattern depicts a beautiful and tragic love story of lovers that couldn’t be kept apart. We used the Willow pattern as the main inspiration for our wedding theme.
My wedding co-ordinator, Alberto from Robert Sherwood Design makes the most beautiful flower arrangements. I wanted the flowers to look relaxed and organic. I made all the gifts for the guests myself. I broke antique plates and made fridge magnets from them. This way, each woman got a piece of the love story. For the guys, I had a bar of soap made from organic clay and coconut oil with Sandalwood fragrance and embossed “The Cake of Good Soap” on it. This is a play on the phrase “The Cape of Good Hope” as Cape Town was lovingly called.