Sarah & Tim’s Crisp & Contemporary Black-Tie Wedding
When the bride works for Ralph Lauren, you know her day is going to be full of contemporary-cool and classic style. Sarah & Tim’s black-tie celebration at the stunning Nooitgedacht Estate in Cape Town simply oozes sophistication. I adore their monochrome palette with pretty touches of blush in the prettiest bouquets and flowers, the groomsmen in traditional English morning suits for the ceremony and chic black-tie for the evening affair. Sarah wore a bespoke dress from a local designer, I’m just loving the lace sleeves and back, I think Ralph would approve! The whole thing was perfectly captured by Christine Meintjes, whose crisp contemporary style is the perfect match. Oh, I do love this one.
Tim and I met in London on a warm summers evening in June 2011. We were both having drinks with friends outside and as it started raining rushed under the umbrella. Squashed up against each other Tim turned around to shout at whoever was pushing him but when he realised it wasn’t some other guy started chatting to me and immediately we felt some sort of connection. Tim proposed in early December 2012. We had put our Christmas decorations up the night before and I arrived home on a Monday evening to find the house covered in about 100 candles with all the Christmas lights on. As I walked in the door he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
I went to a number of wedding dress shops in London and found some wonderful styles but nothing was perfect. My dream dress was then created by Robyn Roberts, a Cape Town designer. I loved working with Robyn and felt so clam and confident that she would turn my vision into a reality. I only had one fitting before I arrived in Cape Town a week before our wedding so although most brides would be very anxious I knew it would all come together in those last few days. My mum had my earrings custom designed by a local jeweller and gave them to me as a surprise gift. My shoes were from Jimmy Choo. I wanted my hair and makeup to be very classic and simple. I had my hair in a low bun and soft natural make up. It turned out just the way I hoped it would. My bridesmaids wore black and white dresses. They had a full length black tulle skirt with white lace one shouldered bodices. As Tim is English, he wore a morning suit for the ceremony as did his groomsmen, but then changed into their tuxedos for dinner.
We got married at Nooitgedacht Wine Estate in Stellenbosch. I had been to a wedding there 7 years before and fell in love with the venue then. I loved the rustic feel of the building which was an old converted wine cellar and thought it would look spectacular covered in crystal chandeliers. The chapel, attached to the reception venue, is a beautiful long narrow room. I loved the old stone walls and the romantic feel when it was covered in candle light on the day. We also wanted a venue where no one had to travel between the church and the reception and Nooitgedacht was the perfect location for this.
We wanted our wedding to be a sophisticated black tie affair but with a beautiful romantic feel. Originally I wanted to have all white but was advised to go with a touch of blush pink to soften it. This softened the setting and helped create the romantic atmosphere we were hoping for. The Petals Group did all our flowers and décor. I chose to have lots of smaller arrangements on the tables in varying sizes and shapes. I had my heart set on peonies for my bouquet, as it was not yet the season my mum called everyone in the country to find some, eventually she surprised me and flew some down from Bloemfontein for my bouquet. I wanted the bridesmaids to have soft white bouquets as well, which were classic and simple against their dresses which were more dramatic.
We had a Mediterranean duo playing the violin and guitar during the drinks out on the lawn and this created the most wonderful atmosphere while the guests enjoyed champagne and canapés. We both love nothing more than long summer evenings outdoors and really wanted our guest to enjoy this time of day in the beautiful Cape Winelands. For the interior décor we had silk cherry blossom trees in the reception area which were spectacular and something I had never seen before. When we went to see The Petals Group they told us about these trees and immediately I knew they would create the perfect atmosphere for our wedding reception. We had soft lighting projected on to them to create the romantic atmosphere we were going for. Hanging from the rafters were beautiful crystal chandeliers. I wanted to keep the original rustic flooring, but to demarcate the dance floor we had four large urns filled with green and white flowers. I had seen this at another wedding and felt it created such a fantastic feature.
Cakes by Wade made our beautiful four tier cake. This had white fondant icing with cascading flowers in white, nude and a very light soft blush pink. The flowers were soft open roses and peonies. Each layer of the cake was different, we chose our favourite flavours; carrot, red velvet, vanilla and lemon.
Christine Meintjes was our photographer. I had been a bridesmaid at a friend’s wedding where Christine had been the photographer and fell in love with her work immediately. I loved how she captured the moment without it being staged and unnatural. Christine created the most incredibly calming atmosphere, I could not have asked for a more wonderful photographer.