This bridal interview is quite a personal one for me as my interviewee is my best friend, Robyn. I was also her Maid of Honour on her big day and so I had a front-row seat for the day and the planning. Robyn planned her wedding from across the world, which she made look much easier than it was! Hopefully, Robyn’s story will encourage any brides out there considering an international wedding to give it a go – there are some great benefits!
Robyn’s wedding was so wonderfully here. Classy, rustic and personal. I know for a fact that there wasn’t a person in attendance who hadn’t known the bride and groom for a couple years already and I think that’s honestly what it is all about. Guys, we can have the perfect dress, the perfect venue, the perfect day but it is whose there to share your moment of pure love that will ultimately bring you the most happiness.
I can attest to the fact that Robyn worked really hard on planning her wedding and it definitely paid off. The wedding was wonderful. Read on for the inside scoop on her day…
QU1. Please describe your wedding day me, in as much detail as you can.
Our wedding day was just like we are: a little bit quirky, somewhat unconventional, relaxed and totally informal! That’s not to say that we had a wedding themed BBQ with the bride in jeans and the groom in flip flops but we definitely took a relaxed approach to our Big Day.
Our wedding was small – just 48 guests in the end which was exactly what we wanted. Our nearest and dearest were all there to have fun and celebrate the fact that we’d finally tied the knot – 9 years and a beautiful 3-year-old daughter later! We had our ceremony in the beautiful South African sunshine under a chuppah which is something I had always imagined. The service was short and sweet with lots of laughs and some great moments. The groomsmen looked dapper in dark blue suits and the bridesmaids were gorgeous in a mix-match of dresses, each chosen to suit their body shape and personal style.
Then on to super yummy canapes and a hilarious photo shoot with family and the bridal party. We were all in such a happy silly mood and this is very clear from the photos which are fun, festive and actually quite funny in some cases. Luckily our photographer did manage to get some traditional shots where we look like the couple on the cover of a wedding magazine too!
The reception was perfect! We had delicious food – we chose all our favourites for a rustic harvest table and I think everyone really enjoyed it. The speeches were heartfelt and eloquently delivered and the room looked amazing with tons of fairy lights, mismatched chairs and old books as table numbers. We ate, we drank, we danced: it really was our best day ever with close family and our best friends.
QU2. What was your most memorable moment of your wedding?
Ooh, this is such a tough one! There are so many great moments but I think one of my highlights was our first dance. We forgot all the moves but had the best time! We’ve always loved dancing together (we met on a club dancefloor) so we just spun and dipped and laughed like loons as if we were the only two people in the room. I’m sure it looked terrible but we had such a good time!
QU3. How long was your engagement?
12 – 18 months
QU4. Where did you get married?
The Stone Cellar, Heidelberg, South Africa
QU5. What made you end up choosing your venue?
Google it – you’ll understand!
QU6. Please describe your venue in 3 words.
Rustic, quirky, relaxed
QU7. Did you hire a professional wedding planner?
QU8. What did you find the most challenging part of planning your wedding?
Planning it long distance! We planned a South African wedding from the UK which came with a few logistical complications. For example, the first time we saw the venue was a week before the wedding.
QU9. How involved was your husband in the planning?
Very! Sure there were some things that he was happy for me to take control of but he was pretty hands-on with things like food and music selections plus he designed our save the dates, invitations, seating chart etc.
QU10. What did you find the most surprising about planning a wedding?
How much work went into it. Sometimes it felt a bit frustrating to come home from a long day at work and then still have a mountain of wedding homework to do. So many decisions to make!
QU11. What’s the one thing you would change about your wedding or planning process and why?
The flowers. I know it’s such a silly thing to dwell on but there was a bit of a mix up with our florist which resulted in flowers that were beautiful and that the guests really loved but were pretty close to the opposite of what I had asked for. As far as wedding regrets go, this is definitely a very minor one thank goodness!
QU12. What would be the one thing you would recommend that a couple spends good money on for their wedding?
The venue. Choose one with the facilities you need and a team of staff that you feel comfortable with.The ease with which you are able to plan the rest of the wedding kind of stems from this as well how smoothly things will actually go on the day.
QU13. What did you learn about your husband during the planning?
I don’t think there were really any surprises! When it comes to Guy and me, we are who we are – no excuses. I think our approach to wedding planning really demonstrated that!
QU14. What did you learn about yourself?
That I secretly wanted the princess wedding dress that I had always sworn I would never wear to my wedding! It totally surprised me when I tried it on and I really did feel like a princess for a day.
QU15. Give us future brides one, none cliche piece of advice.
Avoid foundation with an SPF on your wedding day – it makes your face look white in photos. Is that non-cliche enough?
QU16. If you did not hire a wedding planner, would you do so if you could go back in time and tell us why?
No, I wouldn’t. We just didn’t have the kind of wedding that warranted hiring a planner. We did have an on-the-day wedding coordinator though which I would highly recommend!
QU17. Lastly, would you do it again if you could?
Hell yeah! I think we should all get the opportunity to do it all again – if for no other reason than so we can wear our wedding outfits one more time 🙂
Do I get special BFF points because my favourite part of the wedding was also the brides? (I think that I do). I really enjoyed this interview, although I might be a tad bias! I really hope you did too. Thanks to Robyn for sharing her special day with us.
*If you are recently married and feel that you have some great tips and tricks for future brides, please do get in touch – I would love to hear from you! Or maybe, you just want to relive your special day – no judgement here, this is a safe place for all of those slight wedding obsessed.