What a truly gorgeous and unique wedding this was, one that I (Kim) was lucky enough to be a part of! From the moment Faye asked me to be one of her bridesmaids, I knew that not only would I be wearing a pretty dress (that she let us choose ourselves!), but that her whole wedding would be beautifully detailed and organised to a tee - she has great taste and style. Faye and Simon had their wedding at Freedom Cafe in Durban, and they honestly couldn't have asked for a more stunning venue for their big day in the city. We will let their photographs by Summertown Pictures speak for themselves!
Full names of the bride and groom: Faye Lillian & Simon Ross Norton
Date and year of your wedding: 19 July 2014
Venue: Freedom Cafe, Durban.
Colour and/or Theme: Grey and ivory
So what’s your love story?
Simon & I met at one of the unlikeliest places - a Halloween party at Burn night club in Durban in 2009. After dating for a year, I then went to live in Australia and 9 months later we met up in Bali, the spark was still there so I moved back to Durban at then end of the year.
Simon and I were actually officially married last year on 29th June 2013. We were already engaged and I was planning our wedding for 2014. However, Simon got offered a job in Shanghai and they explained that it would be easier for everyone if we came across already married. In one month we put together a small, intimate and beautiful ceremony with family which was held at Simon’s parents house in Kloof overlooking the gorge. This time around it was to celebrate with all of our loved ones and so I could wear the big white dress of course!
How did he propose?
We went away to the Berg for my Birthday and on the first evening after dinner, he brought through a Lindt Easter bunny for dessert. When I cracked it open a box fell out and there he was, down on one knee asking me to marry him.
What was the best lesson you learnt through planning your wedding?
Keep a status with records of where you are with each aspect of the planning. This way you can ensure there are no double ups or little things that slip through the cracks. I saved emails so I could go back and check on correspondence to see what had been discussed with a particular supplier. As I was planning our wedding from overseas, emails were very important to me as I wasn't able to meet with or call suppliers.
Any tips for brides to be?
As we were already married I felt calm and relaxed this time around as there was none of the big stuff to sweat about. So I would have to say delegate, your bridal party and family are there to help - use them (and as much in advance as possible). We had all the decor and DIY elements done and delivered to the venue 5 days before. This way, on the actual day you can all relax and enjoy the long getting ready process and then you can concentrate on what is important, celebrating your love for each other with all you closest and dearest.
How did you decide on the colour or theme of your wedding?
Grey and ivory are just two colours that I love and felt go so beautifully together. We wanted a beautiful day that we could celebrate our love with all our friends and family, so it just kind of developed from there.
How involved was your husband or family in the wedding planning?
My husband went through phases, some things he was very involved in, for example; the stationery. For other things that didn't really matter to him, like the decor, he wasn't very involved. He did help out a lot the week beforehand with our DIY elements and finalising seating plans, transporting everything and so on. My mum and sister helped out a lot with the DIY elements and flowers, my dad was the go to man for all the practical needs (as usual!) and Simon’s parents organised the wine from one of their favourite wine farms.
What would you change about your wedding day if you could?
Nothing. It was such a wonderful day - we had an amazing time!
Were there any elements of your wedding that you did yourself?
We didn’t have many DIY elements as we live in China I was able to source most of the elements either ready made or only assembly was required. We did make the paper garlands which were hung on the back of chairs and from the tree for the ceremony. There were other smaller things like sticking buttons onto pegs.
Did anything unexpected or extra special happen on your wedding day that surprised you and your husband? (Or just you!)
I got two surprises - lucky me!
Firstly, for the procession song, I wanted the bridesmaids to walk into a song by Passenger called Life’s for the Living and then for myself and my parents the wedding march but more of a rock version. So our fantastic band The Shotgun Fakes put together a remix of both as a surprise and performed it live while we walked in.
Later on that evening, my husband had rewritten the words to Hey Ho by the Lumineers (one of our favourites) and with his groomsmen as back up, he sang it to me. It was such a special moment, still brings tears to my eyes!
What was your wedding song?
We aren't really big on traditions, especially as we had already been married for a year so we didn't have a first dance. I think Simon’s song topped any first dance though!
What was the flavour of your cake?
We had a rainbow cake with marshmallow icing. It was delicious.
Did you go on Honeymoon? And if so, where did you go?
We went on honeymoon last year to Borocay in the Phillipines, it was such a wonderful holiday and everyday was spent on the beach. This year some of my friends gave us a pamper day and night at Indigo Fields in the Midlands which was just perfect before heading back to the rat race that is Shanghai.
Venue: Freedom Cafe - Lucy Markewicz - firstname.lastname@example.org
Coordinator: Myself. Lucy’s staff were hired to do set up.
Photographer: Summertown Pictures - Katie-Lee Wisdom - email@example.com
Decor: I bought all the lanterns, fans, twine, paper straws etc from China. The lights, chairs and tables were hired from Lucy.
Stationery: Ruby + Swallow
Illustrations for Stationery: Luke Molver
Dress (including bridesmaids dresses): Zhao Sister Studio
Bridesmaids dresses, groom & groomsmen suits: Tony & Helen Tailors in Shanghai
Hair: Hair Fusion - Claire Carter - firstname.lastname@example.org
Make-up: Sherese Lubbe - email@example.com
Flowers: Midlands Flower Hub - firstname.lastname@example.org
Labels: Durban, Durban Weddings, freedom cafe, real wedding, weddings