Real Wedding: Danielle + Matt

A while ago we showed you the typographic and modern styled invites we designed for Danielle and Matthew. You know, that crazy couple that surprised their guests with an engagement-party-come-wedding and planned it all in less than a month? Today we're showing you a glimpse into that special day where everything came together to create the perfect day where love, friendship and laughter were shared. James Gibbs along with his wife Cally, were there to capture every moment, including Danielle's beautiful wedding dress that was made in one week. Yip, you read it right, one week. Beautiful madness!
Full names of the bride and groom: Danielle Brock & Matthew Laubscher
Date and year of your wedding: 27 July 2013
Venue: Eagle Wind Manor, Botha’s Hill
Colour and/or Theme: Rustic with a contemporary twist 

So what’s your love story?
Matthew and I actually went to brother-sister schools, Pinetown High Schools, and lived just a few kilometres apart. We also shared many a weekend together as our best friends at the time were dating, but we didn’t even take notice of each other until many years later.  It’s funny how things happen, hey? It was while I was studying at Rhodes University, and Matt at Durban University of Technology, back in 2008, that we really got talking and thought, ‘why not?’ and started a rather treacherous long-distance relationship 800km apart, me in Grahamstown and Matt in Durban. We dated for two years before we both packed up our memories and moved to the big smoke of Johannesburg to begin our careers – me in Journalism and Matt in Photography.
We just loved setting up our home (three times) and playing house with our two little children (read cats), Major Tom and Girlfriend, and after over five years together we thought ‘why not?’ and decided that it was time to get married.
How did he propose?
Well, in true Matt-Dan style, we did things a little differently. Getting engaged was a mutual decision for us and so, on a winter’s evening while popping to our local mall to get a few groceries, we walked by Browns Jewellers and did a little window shopping. Within seconds, window shopping turned into trying a few rings on and just a few minutes later we had several sales ladies surrounding us, waiting to pop their celebratory bottle of champagne in the honour of our engagement! With the chosen ring on my finger, I turned to Matt and said, ‘Are we doing this?’ to which he answered, ‘why not?’ There was a shriek from the staff at Browns, a pop of a cork, and many iPhone photos ready for Instagram. It couldn’t have been any better in my books as I’m not one for romance or surprises (I’m too much of a control freak), and after all, it was a team effort – a sign of things to come for our future. 
What was the best lesson you learnt through planning your wedding?
I am a control freak of note, and have notes everywhere of things I always wanted for my wedding. However, when the time came and you realise that you are getting married for marriage, and not married for a wedding, you go with your gut and together with your fiancé, make decisions that you both agree on, on the spot. I guess we had added pressure as we put our wedding together in less than a month! So yes, I think I learnt not to over-think things, go with your first decision, and with what you and your fiancé want (no one else) because after all, it is YOUR day! 

Any tips for brides to be?
As a bride, you become overwhelmed with the wedding. You feel like the whole world is watching you to see how great it will be. Remember, it is your day, and if something isn’t completely right on the day, no one will know except you. Include your fiancé in the wedding planning. Matt was absolutely amazing with this and we would spend an hour or two every evening going over a few more wedding things, and making sure we were both happy. He even joined the girls for our DIY craft night just before the wedding! It brought us so much closer together and makes you learn so much more about your husband-to-be.
Delegate. As mentioned, I am a control-freak, but if I had done everything myself, I would have hated my wedding day. I had a great team of bridesmaids, as well as my parents, helping me out every step of the way, and Matt had his responsibilities too. We were planning the wedding from Johannesburg, so them being in Durban made the planning process a lot more bearable! It also made my loved ones feel included in this special time.
On your wedding day, forget about all the hard work and planning that you have put into the day and just enjoy it. Who cares if the cake is on the wrong table, or the wrong flower arrangement is on the wrong table? No one else has noticed, so neither should you. Just enjoy it. And use your bridesmaids. They are honoured to be by your side on your special day and as much as they want to party with you, they are there to find your missing bouquet for the bouquet toss, and lift your dress when you need the loo. 
How did you decide on the colour or theme of your wedding?
When we decided to get married, we knew we wanted something small, set in a pretty garden, and then go into the evening from there. We then found our beautiful venue, Eagle Wind Manor, and took inspiration from there to finalise our ideas for theme and colour. We wanted things to be very rustic and natural, with as little sparkle as possible. In terms of colour, I was inspired by the King Protea. My engagement ring is the Browns Protea ring, and the very day before we got engaged Matt had bought me a beautiful bouquet of Proteas and fynbos. It just seemed like it was a perfect fit and I just loved the colours and how rustic they were. From there we finalised the colour palettes and a Protea design, and left the rest to my very capable and talented Maid of Honour, Filipa of Ruby + Swallow.
How involved was your husband or family in the wedding planning?
Matt was involved in every step of the way – he may have coined the term, ‘Groomzilla’. He was more of a girl when it came to some things than I was! It was great though, because it showed just how important this day was to him too. My family was also very involved, thankfully! My mom and dad handmade important elements of the décor, searched the best cake (my dad loved that part) and sorted out my dress while I was still in Johannesburg. My older sisters were on point, providing me with checklists of what needed to be done, organising amazing pamper-parties and even doing the bridal party hair on the day!
What would you change about your wedding day if you could?
I wish we had more people with video cameras there! We didn’t really want a videographer but because our wedding was, in fact, an engagement-party-turned-wedding, the bridal party entered the ceremony flash-mob style to ‘Forever’ by Chris Brown, and I wish more people had caught that on camera for years of laughs to come!
Were there any elements of your wedding that you did yourself?
99% of our wedding was done ourselves! DIY is not only an amazing money-saver, but I am an avid pinner on Pinterest and just love DIY, so it would have just killed me to have all that inspiration and not use it. So pretty much everything, from bunting, flower arrangements, boutonnières and bouquets, to wedding favours, the cake and even our music with the help of our MOH's plus one, Richard, who took us through the ceremony and the crucial elements of the reception!

Did anything unexpected or extra special happen on your wedding day that surprised you and your husband? (Or just you!)
Well, I think our guests were more surprised than we were, actually! As mentioned, we had invited everyone under the pretence that they were attending our engagement party. It wasn’t until the bridal party flash-mobbed their way down the aisle that they realised that they were, in fact, attending a wedding.
And then Matt had sneakily arranged a Ferrari as his getaway car from the wedding. We had never even thought of that as we were having the ceremony, reception and spending the night at our venue, but Matt is a car fanatic (he would marry Jeremy Clarkson over me) and I must say, the red looked gorgeous next to my white dress! 
What was your wedding song?
Music is so important to both Matt and I, and I think we probably spent more time working on our playlist than our guest list! That is probably why we decided on our wedding playlist as our wedding favour. Two songs stand out for me from our special day, that you could call our wedding songs:
Bittersweet Symphony – The Verve: I walked down the aisle to this song. I have loved this song forever and every time we heard this song together, we would look at each other with that little look as we both knew that one day I would be walking towards Matt to this song.
(I’ve had) The Time of My Life – Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes: This was our first dance song. I love Dirty Dancing (which girl doesn’t?) and I remember the day we first watched this movie together in his little flat while we were still studying. I said that one day the man I marry will dance with me to this song. And there we were! And, to make it extra special, Matt and I choreographed the first few minutes of the song, copying the actual dance from the movie! It was a lot of hard work, but when he walked across the dance floor calling me with this index finger, I fell in love with him all over again! And we also kept this as our own little surprise, giving those who knew about the wedding (our families and bridal party) their own little surprise! 
What was the flavour of your cake?
We decided on red velvet, with a cream cheese icing.
Did you go on Honeymoon? And if so, where did you go?
Matthew and I will be in the UK next year, so we have decided to celebrate our honeymoon and our one year paper anniversary with some tickets to a European tour – we can’t wait! 
Venue: EagleWind Manor
Coordinator: Myself and my super-talented MOH, Filipa de Oliveira
Photographer: James & Cally Gibbs
Decor: The bunting was made by my mom. All wooden décor – flower boxes, chalkboards etc. were done by my dad. Flower arrangements by myself and my sister, Bernadette. Candles and candle holders by myself and my sister, Bernadette.
Stationary: Filipa of Ruby + Swallow
Dress (including bridesmaids dresses):
My wedding dress was made, in a week (amazing) by the very talented Shona Goldstone of Shona’s Wedding Collection.
Bridesmaids dresses were purchased from YDE and my sisters outfits were made by my mom.
Hair: Our hair was done by my sister, Tina.
Make-up: Debbie Foster of Spoilt!
Flowers: We purchased all the flowers at the Boeremark in Pretoria and drove them down to Durban. My sister, Bernadette and I, did all the arrangements, and I made the bouquets and boutonnières.  
Catering:  The catering was supplied by Eagle Wind Manor, by the very talented Jenny Ambler.
Cake:  The cake was made by my mom’s friend and iced by Matt’s mom, Rosemary. 

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