Real Wedding | Mountain Splendour
When I saw this image on Facebook, I had a million questions for the bride and knew that I had to get in touch. A non-traditional floral wedding gown, a marquee out in the fields with the Drakensburg mountains as the natural backdrop, burgers for dinner… need I go on? With their quirky personalities, Lauren and Andy are one of those off beat couples whom you can’t help but love and from what I can tell, their wedding was an extension of this. Enjoy. X
Venue: Mountain Splendour Eco-Resort
Canapés: Purple Radish
Food: Funny Bunny
Dress, bridesmaid dresses, flower girl dresses, mother of the bride and mother of the groom dresses: Nicole Hoyer Designs
(I am very proud of my sister)
Cupcakes: Smith’s Bakeshop
DJ: Ross Morum www.mdevents.com
Photographer: CC Rossler
Bar service: Servepro (brilliant service)
Wedding officiant: Fiona from Hatches, Matches and Dispatches
Tent and furniture: Drakensberg Draping and Decor
HOORAY: Tell us why you chose Mountain Splendour? Does it have any special meaning to you and Andy?
LAUREN: I spent a lot of time there on family holidays and Andy loved joining us there on weekends away. It is such a beautiful and peaceful place and it always seemed like a great place for a chilled wedding.
HOORAY: We love the country feel, was this what you were aiming for? Tell us more about your vision.
LAUREN: Our main priority was to have a party and make sure that we, and our guests, had a great time. We didn’t want our guests to sit around and wait aimlessly for something to happen, we just wanted to get straight down to business, which was to party.
HOORAY: Who did your decor and flowers?
LAUREN: We didn’t have any décor per se, but what we did have, we did ourselves. Andy’s cousin generously gave us 600 roses for our wedding from her rose farm. Andy’s mom also grew about 30 dessert cabbages for us for the wedding so all our flowers, apart from some extra odds and ends were home grown. My whole family, boys included, arranged the flowers with some foliage the day before the wedding. We used tomato tins that Lupa had kindly donated as vases; this gave us our colour scheme.
Footnote by Andy-600 roses in buckets of water in the back of a Kia Rio makes for an interesting drive to the Berg.
HOORAY: Lauren your dress is just phenomenal. Tell us more! Did Andy know you were not going to be in all white? How did your guests react?
LAUREN: I think Andy always knew I wouldn’t wear a white dress, it just wasn’t a tradition I ever had an interest in keeping. There were very few traditions worth keeping actually. My very talented sister made my dress. The week before the wedding we scrapped the original dress Nicole had made for me because we all hated it and we went out and bought new fabric and she made my new dress in three days. Andy nearly died when I told him I was changing dresses, but he was much happier that I was happier. Everyone said they loved it but I wasn’t really concerned, it was exactly what I had imagined I would wear and I loved it. It was perfect for our little country wedding.
Footnote by Andy-I KNEW Lauren couldn’t wear a white dress 😉
HOORAY: WE love that you kept things simple with just two bridesmaids – was this a difficult decision?
LAUREN: Not at all, we were all bridesmaids for each other so it was an easy decision. I would not have enjoyed choosing between all my friends for extra bridesmaids so I kept it simple.
Footnote by Andy-I was actually angling to have Lauren’s sisters as groomspeople, but she got them first. I was left with two groomsmen a foot taller than me and a hobbit for a best man, but I guess it balanced things out.
HOORAY: Andy what went through your mind when you saw Lauren walking down the aisle for the first time?
ANDY: I will be honest, it was quite overwhelming. The sudden realisation that it is finally happening, you are about to commit to someone for life, really dawns on you when you see your wife to be. It did help that my wife is a stone cold fox. I guess my most immediate thoughts were that I was winning the party that night.
HOORAY: Did you write your own vows?
LAUREN: Andy remastered some of the usual phrases to make things a little more personal and true to who we are.
HOORAY: Dance floor rules! This is just too cute – did people take note and get into the swing of things? Were there lots of lunges?
ANDY: There was one song were lunges were compulsory, there were many sore quads the next day. In cleaning up, we found a fair deal of blood on the dance floor, we still have no idea whose it was.
HOORAY: The spread you had on offer after your ceremony looks down right amazing! Who did your catering?
LAUREN: Our snacks were amazing! Purple Radish Catering provided us with such an incredible harvest table of snacks, and thank goodness for it, it was cleaned out in no time. Every wedding needs a well laden post-ceremony snack section. For dinner we had delicious burgers from Funny Bunny; they made burgers continuously throughout the night so that our guests could help themselves whenever they felt like some food. It made life so easy, especially as it meant we didn’t have to wait for people to eat or have to set tables etc. This helped us kick off the party nice and early. Then at around 9pm they brought out gourmet mac ‘n cheese which people could help themselves to, I even had some leftovers for breakfast.
Footnote by Andy-I got the last chicken burger at ~ 11 pm. At this stage we were out of buns, so it was just two pieces of chicken with chakalakka sauce between them. Highly recommended!
HOORAY: What was your favourite moment during your creative shoot?
LAUREN: There was a cute little rabbit that jumped out of the bushes whilst we were shooting. Otherwise we just wanted to get it done quickly and painlessly so that we could get back to our guests. Andy isn’t one for photographs (he says that each shutter snap steals a small piece of his soul). (haha)
HOORAY: CC is a good friend of ours so we can list 100 loveable things about her. Can you pin point what attracted you to her?
LAUREN: CC is a fantastic photographer which we found out at my sister’s wedding (Jo) a few years ago. Her photographs are beautiful and I knew she would be laid back and just go with the flow and not make us take silly and unnecessary photos that we didn’t want.
HOORAY: If there is one thing that you could do differently, what would it be?
LAUREN: Andy wouldn’t have had a haircut the day before the wedding (I told him it was a terrible idea and I was right). I wouldn’t have had so many guests, even the 95 or so that we had were too many for me.
Footnote by Andy-We were lucky it never rained. The night before stormed badly and not only wet everything, but knocked the electricity out throughout the entire valley. This was a real roll of the dice and precipitated (no pun intended) a lot of anxiety the next day. I would have liked to have put more energy into flower arranging and less into weather stressing, but such is life.
HOORAY: You have to tell us more about that Ice sculpture!
LAUREN: My cousin, who had come to SA for the weekend from Hong Kong, surprised us with a sculpture of Cathkin Peak, the mountain in the background of Mountain Splendour. Basically it works like an icy funnel where drinks/shots can be poured for maximum downing speed. It was well used for the rest of the night and bled the bar dry of shots. Our flower girl Bella managed a record breaking entire can of Coke (no rum) in less than ten seconds. Good training for student life.
HOORAY: Have you got any advice for friends getting married?
LAUREN: Don’t stress with all the small things that you think are important at a wedding, no one cares, sorry! Just make sure you have enough food, booze and dancing. I love dancing, so a great DJ who could start the night off early was a must. No 10pm starts to the dance party, that is just ridiculous, your guests are either too bored, tired or drunk by this stage.
Footnote by Andy-buy more alcohol than you think you need. If some miracle occurs and it’s not all flattened, then you have treasured keepsakes of your special night that can be enjoyed for months thereafter. Also don’t be afraid to request what you want, it’s your party and your day, so standing on propriety makes no sense if it’s not for you.