Real Wedding | Ian & Tammy, Montpellier, Western Cape


It is really popular for a bride and groom in lieu of wedding favours to donate an amount of money to a charity of their choice. But to ask your guests not to purchase you a wedding gift and rather donate a ‘box of happy’ to those less fortunate than you just takes it to another level!

When we first saw this wedding published on the talented Jenni Elizabeth’s Facebook  page we  were not only blown away by Tammy’s gorgeous gold dress (which we have subsequently discovered was designed by the amazing Janita Tourin) but also by their amazing outdoor reception complete with a dance floor under the bright Western Cape stars. After digging a little bit deeper, we discovered that these amazing humans, in lieu of wedding gifts, asked their guest to donate a shoebox towards the Santa Shoebox Project.

How amazing is that?

This wedding was filled with all the good feels that come with having an amazing heart and we are so honoured to be featuring it on Hooray Weddings today. As you know from our previous posts, we fully support those who give back to the community and Ian and Tammy, you guys have some serious good karma coming your way!

There is a poll at the end of this post asking what you would do with your wedding gifts, take a few seconds to select your choice and let us know where you stand on sharing the love.

But now, it’s over to Tammy & Ian.


Hooray: Montpellier is amazing! How many other venues did you look at before deciding that this was the one?
Tammy: Montpellier was the only venue we even considered. As a little girl my mom and I used to take drives into the country and visit small towns on the weekends. One of those towns was Tulbagh. When I saw the gorgeous chapel at Montepllier, perched in the middle of a vineyard with the beautiful mountain backdrop, I said that’s where I would get married one day. So 6 months into our relationship, Ian and I went away to Tulbagh for a weekend and we went to go and look at Montpellier. The weather was storming, but when we walked into the chapel, we both knew. Ian secretly booked the venue a week later.


Hooray: Tell us about your favourite feature of your wedding?
Tammy: The reception under the trees and the dance floor under the stars.


Hooray: We love love love that in lieu of gifts, you asked your guest to donate a Christmas Box to Santa’s Shoe Box. How did your guests react to this and did they meet your expectations?
Tammy: Our guests responded really well. We donated 35 boxes out of the 48 guests. It was great that so many people were willing to go that extra mile and donate to a cause we felt so strongly about.


Hooray: Can we just discuss your dress for a second! We LOVE the gold. What was the inspiration behind this?
Tammy: I think a lot of people expected me to wear a simple white lace dress. And I wanted to really surprise them and feel like an absolute princess while doing it. The most extravagant thing I could think of was a gold dress. After a bit of research I found the most gorgeous gold dress designs and just knew it was the colour for me! It also became the colour palette for the wedding – white and gold.


Hooray: We are huge fans of Janita’s work. What was is like working with her to bring your dream dress to life?

Tammy: The reason I chose Janita is because she isn’t afraid to work with bold colours. Janita is a perfectionist, which is what you want from a dress maker. I gave her a lot of creative freedom when designing my dress, and could see her mind wondering as soon as I requested a gold dress. There were 2 fittings that particularly stood out for me: for 1 hour she hand-pinned the incredibly delicate gold lace perfectly around my body in silence. She apologised for being silent because she was concentrating so hard. I didn’t see it as awkward silence, I saw it as watching a true artist put her absolute all into making sure my dress was perfect. The second memory was my final fitting, where she called her seamstresses out of the sewing room to come and look at my dress. She jumped up and down she was so excited. I’ve never felt more beautiful. She has such an excellent understanding of the female form – while you would think that that comes standard for a dress maker, it really doesn’t for a lot, as far as I’ve heard. Having your wedding dress made is quite an emotional journey and you want someone who will make you feel like your dress is their main priority. Of course, being surrounded by all her gorgeous designs every few weeks was such a treat for my eyes!


Hooray: Ian, we just love your little pre-shoot with your groomsmen in the cellar. We see you got them little gifts, what was in the gift boxes?
Ian: I wasn’t particularly fussy about what the groomsmen wore and let them wear whatever colour suit and shoes they wanted. However it was also important to me that they had some elements that set them apart from the other guests, because they were my main mates. So inside the boxes were a pair of socks, a tie and a pocket square. I really enjoyed picking these and was happy that Tammy gave me full license to choose whatever colour and style I wanted.


Hooray:  Ian tell us the first thought that came to your mind when you saw Tammy?
Tammy’s dress was beautiful and she looked more breathtaking in it than I ever dreamed and imagined. I really had to hold back the tears.



Hooray: Tammy how did you feel walking down the aisle?
I was concentrating really hard on not crying. It was quite windy outside, but as soon as I walked into the chapel, everything was so still with just the flickering of the candles. I did’t see anyone except for my Ian standing at the end of the aisle with Tracy Chapman playing in the background.


Hooray: We just love the simplicity of your white bridesmaid dresses and the contrast against your gold dress. Did you always know you wanted your bridesmaids in white?
Tammy: Because I wasn’t wearing white, it was important that someone wear white lace at the wedding. I wanted that to be my bridesmaid.


Hooray: Your outdoor reception was just out of this world! Was this always what you envisioned this?
Tammy: Our inspiration was a Midsummer Nights Dream. Everyone feasting under the stars at one long table with candle light. We got exactly that. We never even considered having the reception indoors except of course if the weather turned horrible. But from the first day of planning, everything was done with an outdoor reception in mind.


Hooray: Did you ever worry about the weather?
Tammy: We accepted fairly quickly that we have no control over the weather and came to terms with the fact that if it rained, we would just move it inside. The one thing we were really worried about though was wind. Because our reception was outside, there were lots of moving parts that could blow away. I could see the reception area being set up from where I was getting ready with my bridesmaids and the wind picked up all of a sudden and started blowing everything off the tables. It was my worst nightmare. But from the moment we walked out the chapel after the ceremony, the wind just stopped and everything was back on the tables by the time everyone sat down.


Hooray:  Was there a downside to having the wedding outdoors? Bugs? Cold? Wind? Did you do anything to overcome or prepare for these events?
Tammy:The wind was the only thing that was really a concern for us and we had blankets on hand for if people got a bit chilly.

Hooray:We are huge fans of Dear Rae, did they custom make your wedding bands for you?
Tammy: We chose 2 of their existing designs, I just made a few changes to my design. We then had them engraved. “My doe” on my ring and “my dear” on Ian’s ring. Dear Rae were professional, their designs are lovely and they were so efficient.


Hooray: What was the best advice you received?

Tammy: Just take a moment, lean back and take it all in.

Hooray: Anything you wish you didn’t bother with?
Tammy: …the salads. We over-catered!



Hooray: Any regrets or mistakes?
Tammy: The biggest mistake I made was…not getting an event organiser to co-oridnate on the day. Ian and a good friend of ours set up and did an amazing job, but they should’ve also just gotten to relax.

Hooray: Tell us about the best part of your wedding day.
Tammy: Surprisingly, walking into the garden reception as Mr and Mrs Barber. Montpellier has an old bell that they rang and Boom Clap by Charlie XCX was playing while our guests were standing and cheering.


Hooray: Best money spent?
Tammy: The DJ! We were lucky to find a DJ who did the lighting and sound. He took a lot of pressure off us, made the venue look amazing, and effortlessly transitioned between music, first dances, speeches and lighting changes.


Hooray: What was your “coolest” idea?
Tammy: Instead of wedding favours we wrote every guest a letter thanking them for sharing the day with us and what life lessons they taught us that we would take into our marriage. They doubled up as place cards.


Hooray: If you had an unlimited budget, would you have added anything?
Tammy: Live music during pre drinks and a videographer.


Hooray: Any advice for when your bestie gets engaged?
Tammy: I’ll make sure to pass on…the name and number of all our vendors. The most expensive doesn’t mean the best.


Supporting Cast:
Jenni Elizabeth
 Montpellier de Tulbagh
Dress: Janita Toerien
Hair & make-up: Genee Foulston, Radi8
Flowers: Botanica Flowers
Cake: Chocswirl cakes
Rings: Dear Rae
Sound/lighting/dj: Tantra sound and Lights
Caterer: Malita Joubert Catering


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