Alexandra and Andrew decided on Cape Town as the location for their wedding celebration after a search that also took in venues across the UK. In part, Cape Town won the day because Andrew grew up in South Africa and has close family ties there, but another factor was that they both know and love the city. Alexandra says: “It is a place close to both of our hearts and we have very special memories there”. In a region known the world over for amazing landscapes, culture and hospitality, they were spoilt for choice when it came to choosing a venue. After considering the Winelands and a variety of other locations, they decided on Tintswalo Atlantic.
This stunning boutique hotel located down a private road in Table Mountain National Park has views over the Atlantic Ocean and Sentinel Mountain. “We were able to get married directly overlooking the beach, making this a stunning backdrop for photography and videography,” says Andrew. “We could also hire the whole venue to ensure total privacy – something that was very important to us”.
Another factor in their decision was that the hotel offered superb accommodation for family and friends, many of whom were travelling long distances to celebrate with them. With individually designed oceanfront suites, and vistas over the bay from every function room, this was a place just designed for a relaxed party. “It meant we could host family and friends altogether the night before the wedding for the rehearsal dinner and on the night of the wedding.”
Alexandra and Andrew had a clear idea of the theme of the day. Alexandra says: “We wanted the ceremony to be a celebration of local colours, with flowers such as proteas in the wedding bouquets and table decoration.” A key feature was a floral ceiling, using a palette of pale pink and blue, lilac and white hanging orchids.
Blended with hints of gold, these colours were carried through the other key elements of the design, including place-name cards and dessert table. There were also distinctively African references. Rather than numbers, each table was assigned a vintage safari animal drawing to identify it.
As anyone who has visited the Cape Town region can testify, food is a real star and for Alexandra and Andrew this was central to the whole celebration. Alexandra says: “We chose a seafood tower and oyster station to start, with mixed canapés. Then we featured South African dishes, expertly put together by Chef Guy, including kudu, ostrich fillet and dukkah-crusted tofu with rooibos sweet potato.”
“We wanted the ceremony to be a celebration of Cape colours, including the local flowers”
The ceremony was timed for later in the afternoon and took place in mellow sunshine. Alexandra looked stunning in her romantic gold-trimmed white gown, accompanied by bridesmaids in chic sequin dresses. Andrew and his groomsmen wore pale blue jackets and blue paisley-pattern pocket squares, continuing the bridal colour theme with floral buttonholes. There was a traditional South African gospel choir and friends and family played a key part in the ceremony. “My brother James and Andrew’s godsister Emily both gave readings and my niece and nephew were the perfect flowergirl and page boy.”
The lush floral arrangements by Heike Hayward of Fleur Le Cordeur dressed the ceiling and tables beautifully for the feast. The cake table was also a thing of beauty, with an array of delicious cakes and patisserie picking up on the wedding colours. “Wade from Wades Cakes provided the most incredible dessert table I have ever seen, it was an absolute work of art.”
“Dancing under the stars to great music mingled with the sound of the ocean was magical”
Alexandra and Andrew can’t speak highly enough of the whole team of local suppliers who supported them on the journey of planning a wedding long distance. Alexandra says: “In particular, Jeantelle from Tintswalo was a real star. As we were organising everything remotely it was amazing to have her on hand – she made our lives so much easier. We also owe a huge thank you to hairdresser Kevin Epstein, who stepped in on the morning of the wedding when our original hairdresser was suddenly taken ill!”
Beautiful photographs by Shanna Jones capture the magic of the day and the couple and their guests loved every last minute of this amazing celebration. Even so, says Alexandra, the planning process had its moments. “With all weddings – and especially if you are planning a wedding abroad – there are so many moving parts that no matter how organised you are there will always be something that doesn’t go exactly to plan. Looking back, I would tell myself not to stress over the small details and changes of plan.
Andrew adds: “I’d also advise couples planning a wedding to take time out, as it does tend to take over your life. And if you’re planning a destination wedding it’s a good idea to set up other events before the wedding day. We organised several in the run up, including a boat trip and rehearsal dinner. This meant the majority of guests had a chance to meet and mingle, so there was a relaxed atmosphere on the day”.
Alexandra and Andrew’s Cape Town wedding sourcebook
Photography: Shanna Jones; shannajones.com
Venue: Tintswalo Atlantic; tintswalo.com/atlantic
Minister: Patrick Boucher
Flowers: Heike Hayward from Fleur Le Cordeur; fleurlecordeur.co.za
Cake: Wade from Wades Cakes; wadescakes.co.za
Bridal make-up: Algria Ferreira; instagram.com/algriax
Bridal hair: Kevin Epstein; kevinhairguru.com
Videography: Ian Badenhorst; visiononfire.co.za