Lauren + Marcel | Real Wedding Feature
An intimate wedding day and a whirlwind honeymoon, we absolutely LOVE this wedding!
Lauren and Marcel decided to share their wedding vows in front of just 20 of their closest friends and family members. They kept things simple and intimate and rather spent their “wedding money” on an incredible honeymoon, spanning almost three weeks and covering 4 different countries.
If the thought of dropping your hard earned dollar on a one day celebration, is making you weak at the knees, then maybe draw some inspiration from these two.
There are no rules when it comes to weddings these days and you don’t have to invite your great-aunt-Suzie and her 3 step children, twice removed. If you would rather keep things simple and intimate, (an elopement perhaps?) and travel the world with your brand new bae, then we say WHY NOT!
Over to these two xx
Hooray: First off, tell us about yourselves.
Lauren: Marcel and I are a fun loving couple that enjoy going against the norm and are always eager to experience new travels and adventure. Our combined love for food, travel and dogs are among the few reasons why we get along so well. I’m more into the creative and visual arts, whilst Marcel loves his sport and music.
We met in our first year at Varsity in PE where I joined my sister at her friend’s digs, and Marcel happened to be there too. Nothing happened that night, but fast forward a few years later and we bumped into each other again, this time, a spark formed and we kept in contact until I finally moved up to JHB to be closer to him.Hooray: Tell us about your proposal in Rome (oh so romantic)
Lauren: I’ve been fascinated with Italy and it’s culture since I was a child. We planned a beautiful holiday to Italy (Rome and Venice), Croatia, Montenegro and Greece for the European summer of 2016. I fell in love with Italy, the beautiful architecture, language, fashion and of course the food! (Marcel is a brilliant cook and this inspired our life long quest for authentic Italian pizza and pasta!) I loved the beauty of the city, enjoying wine and Aperol Spritz and even eating pizza and gelato on the marbled street curbs. We loved every sight and experience. It’s hard not to be impressed by the Italians.
During a visit to Palatine Hill in Rome, overlooking my favourite building, the Altare Della Patria, Marcel got on one knee and proposed to me at sunset! I said yes before he even finished his sentence! We celebrated with a superb bottle of South Africa’s own pinotage wine, in order to bring in the occasion. We decided to tell our families a day later, in order to just enjoy the moment and be in the present.Hooray: How difficult was it planning an intimate wedding?
Lauren:The planning went amazingly well (there are many creative people in the family) and it was certainly a lot less stressful than if we did a large wedding. I was so excited by the prospect of planning an intimate wedding! There are truly hundreds of possibilities, venues and ideas that can work for this. From rooftop city weddings, to beach escapes, under starry farm skies or even on a yacht. You can truly create a day that is ‘yours’.
Marcel originally wanted a bigger wedding and I wanted to elope…so we met in the middle. I grew up at the sea and always envisioned a wedding by the beach. We created an intimate, sophisticated event using clean lines, geometrics and a copper and white theme. The ocean and sunset provided the perfect backdrop which we couldn’t compete with. A beautiful setting for 20 special individuals.Hooray: Was there any flak from family and friends who were not included?
Lauren: Thankfully, none! We invited immediate family and 1 friend couple each. Our extended family and friends are understanding and amazing people. They were really happy for us and were pleased with our decision for an intimate wedding. Everyone was so supportive, even offering help and ideas.Hooray: What was the best thing about your first look shoot?
Lauren: This was such an incredible and personal moment. I think we were quite nervous (despite my attempts to take calming meds beforehand. Haha) Having this on the rooftop of the venue, with an endless ocean panoramic view, added to the moment. Our best man, Denver, dad and the photographer, orchestrated the timing, whilst the assistant stayed with me. It was an emotional, yet loving moment. Denver had a drone that recorded the moment and the beautiful ocean views. Brides have often told me that the walk down the aisle or ceremony was a bit of a blur with many tears. I wanted us to have our moment before it was shared with our guests. Allowing Marcel to lift my veil and to see his expression was beautiful.Hooray: Your dress was custom made, tell us about the experience.
Lauren: The experience was a wonderful one and it showed me that it is possible to have a custom made dress sent in from abroad. I was fortunate enough to choose 2 designs from images that I liked. I contacted the Wedding Dress boutique and she sent the designs, my measurements and fabric samples to her dressmakers in America. Within 3 weeks it was made and sent back to SA for my viewing. I chose a lace applique bodice, with open back, in a mermaid style in order to create a lovely silhouette. I wanted something simplistic, yet elegant with a touch of sexiness. My dress had a beautiful long, lace train and I borrowed a friend’s exquisite veil as my ‘something borrowed.’
Hooray: And Marcel’s look?
Lauren: Marcel chose a ‘broken’ suit look as it was unique against the traditional suit (Ryan Gosling’s broken suits in La La land were an inspiration.) A Beautiful cream blazer and mustard pants, with a geometric wire heart pin (which I made for him, the fathers and the bestman.) He wanted something more masculine than a standard flower lapel and this piece matched perfectly with our theme.Hooray: Tell us the biggest mistake you made
Lauren: Everything was perfect. Even if there were hiccups, only the bride would know, so don’t stress the small stuff ladies. (Okay, 1 thing happened, but it wasn’t a problem – I snagged my dress during the First Look on the rooftop, but mom had a trusty mini sewing kit to quickly sew it closed before the ceremony-ta daa, good as new. No-one but mom and my sister knew). But, in all honesty I could not have asked for anything better. Even the weather was perfect!Hooray: And the highlight of your wedding?
Lauren: More like highlight(s)! They all tie. Our First dance on the beach was something I’ll never forget. Watching the dolphins swim by whilst having my hair and make-up done. Seeing Marcel for our ‘First Look.’ Enjoying a moment with mom and dad and seeing the love they have for me. Dad leading me down the aisle to the instrumental version of ‘Say You Won’t Let Go’ by James Arthur. Having my twin sister by my side as my Maid of Honor – her presence meant so much to me. Seeing the sentimental little blue ribbon from mom, sewn inside my wedding dress. The card from Marcel, expressing his love and **surprise**, booked salsa lessons (for our trip to Cuba.) The food – the chefs at The Views are incredible! From the Italian harvest boards (to remind us of Italy) to our delicious meal. Our beautiful honeymoon suite – floor to ceiling glass windows and a breathtakingly beautiful ocean view. And finally, waking up the next day as ‘Mrs Malherbe.’Hooray: Being travel lovers, we are sure you had an amazing honeymoon, share the deets:
As we had an intimate wedding, we decided to go all out on a larger honeymoon for almost 3 weeks. We flew from SA to NYC, stayed a night, then headed to Panama city and our final destination – Havana Ooh naa na!
Cuba, you took our breath away with your old world charm, free spirit and love for life. The rhythm running through the people’s veins, the smell of cigars and coffee and the stories your architecture could tell. We stayed there for 2 nights before boarding a cruise that took us from Cuba to Jamaica, Cayman islands, and Cozumel
After 7 days of sunshine, salsa, reggae, cocktails, swimming with stingrays, catamaran trips, lobster lunches and beautiful white beaches with crystal clear water, it was time to head back to Cuba for one last taste of her festive spirit .
We purchased an Air BnB experience with Yandy from ‘Havana Classic Tours’ –this was truly the best experience ever and such a beautiful way to experience all that Havana had to offer. He walked us through the town, we visited historical places and spots where many famous writers and creatives had found their inspiration. A trip to enjoy authentic mojitos, churros and visits to exclusive hotel rooftop bars and dining experiences. And of course, the classic car ride through the inner and greater parts of Havana. We highly recommend Yandy and his tours. Cuba has such an exciting future and I really hope everyone has a chance to visit. It’s such a vibrant, safe city with old charm and cultural excitement. A place that your heart will never forget. It was a bittersweet moment to leave, but exciting as our next flight was to NYC!!
The next 6 days was spent in NYC, being proper tourists and seeing all that could be seen in this short time. Another place that’s pure magic with something for everyone. We enjoyed all the tourist favourites, picnics in central park, a trip to the quirky Magic Hour bar with a limo ride, China Town, Little Italy, Queens, Wall Street, a sunrise walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and a trip to see our own Trevor Noah for his Daily Show.
Our honeymoon was the stuff dreams are made of and only encouraged us more in our quest to travel more of this beautiful Earth together.Hooray: The best thing about your honeymoon?
Lauren: Cuba and New York City hands down! A beautiful combination of city life and coastal bliss, the modern and old.
Hooray: Advice you can offer brides who are wanting the intimate wedding but are torn between offending friends and family?
Lauren: Don’t be afraid to have a wedding that is actually about you and your groom. It is your day. Remember that this is something special, not only for loved ones, but for the bride and groom-take time to have a few moments to yourselves, to enjoy each stage of it all. Fall in love all over again on your magical day.
With our wedding, we wanted to highlight how elegant and beautiful a smaller or intimate wedding can be. There was certainly less stress, a relaxed atmosphere and a time to remember and enjoy every person there that is celebrating with you. We made a long weekend out of our wedding, which gave all of our guests a chance to enjoy our day, to explore the Garden route and have a mini-holiday. I truly feel that wedding traditions have changed over the years and one can really do what you feel is perfect for you and your husband on your special day.
Stay true to yourselves.
Lauren, thank you so much for sharing your special day with us.
We are sure your wedding will inspire others to have an intimate day too.
Venue and Catering : Views Hotel
Hair and Make-up: Wilna Allpass
Photographer: Christelle Rall
Wedding Dress: Wife Material, custom made in America
Groom’s Suit: Country Road
Rings: Fulgeo Diamonds
Wedding Officiator: Gavin Brown