When South African Ex-Pats Shirley and Dw returned home from London for their wedding, they wanted it to reflect the way they are together: Simple, sentimental and down-to earth. The couple had been going out for eight years and Shirley surprised herself with her reaction to being proposed to: “I never saw myself as someone who wanted to get married. When Dw asked me to be his wife and I just knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. He also knew that I would be ready eventually…and he was right!”
Their beachside wedding is full of wonderful details – storm lanterns, succulents, and one very happy couple. Put the kettle on, this one’s epic. All photos by the lovely Warren Williams, whose images have the most wonderful tone.
They celebrated their UK connection in various ways during their wedding day. Having lived in their adoptive home since 2006, they enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate with their loved ones. ” I remember sitting at our table and remembering to remember everything about this day. So I took a breath and saw all these amazing people that’s sharing this day with us, laughing and celebrating.”
The British flag was a welcome reminder of their English connection. All the people in the photos with the flag were people Shirley and Dw spent time with in London, some of whom have now permanently returned to SA.
Time for the DIY:
Instead of a guest book, Shirley and Dw had a memory cloth (a table cloth where guests can write their tips and tricks to having a successful marriage.) “I wanted to be able to have something that I could use afterwards, instead of a book that you put on the shelf, and forget about. I treasure that cloth so much!” Definitely a family heirloom in the making.
As thank you gifts for the girls, practical was the order of the day: “We bought some Rots Rosies – they’re similar to a cactus but without thorns - from a farm, and my mom found these awesome rustic pots for them. We had tags made for each thanking them for spending the day with us and tied it with string.” Jennie, their wedding planner helped with putting it all together – before the couple arrived over from the UK.
Shirley’s friend Leani made her something blue - A London underground pendant strung into a blue ribbon to tie to her bridal bouquet.
No to be outdone, Dw did his own DIY – which was to get his groomsmen dressed and ready – and to pour the champagne!
Shirley had lots of advice for us brides-to-be. First up, don’t fret the small stuff. “I know it is the small things that make all big things worth while – but it’s really important to enjoy every part of the process.”
If you have bought flowers for the wedding (instead of hiring them), Shirley suggests bringing them, along with some left over cake to your local retirement community or charity. “Sadly my granny was not able to be there on our day – but we visited her the day after and took her my bouquet. The rest of the flowers we took to our local old age home. And it is just MAGIC how a few flowers can brighten up someones day.”
Another tip for brides planning their wedding is to get a wedding planner. “It really really is worth it! We wanted our parents to enjoy the day with us and not have to stress about the cake or flowers ect. We could not have done it without Jennie. She was a absolute star!”
Finally, Shirley says to choose your photographer wisely “In the end, your photos are all that is left to remember your day with. It’s an investment. It is important to find someone that you are comfortable with and someone that reflects you as a couple. Warren Williams is a superstar!”
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