From Carin and Ilani: We got married in Cape Town, South Africa. It was mid-winter there, but when we woke up on our special day, Table Mountain wasn’t covered in a white cloth, but stood with all its attitude against the bluest sky. We could not have asked for a better view from our beautiful suite at The One & Only Cape Town.
We have been working and living in Taiwan now for a couple of years, but knew that we wanted to celebrate our wedding in our hometown. Looking for the perfect venue in South Africa is like looking for the perfect star in the sky. The area around Cape Town is surrounded with hundreds of beautiful venues. Unfortunately not all venues are open to LGBT couples. (South Africa legalized same-sex marriage in 2006.)
Lucky for us we happened upon The One & Only’s website and we were immediately blown away. Every single person who we came in contact with at the resort was amazing. They catered to our every want and need and planning the wedding from the other side of the world was a breeze. We felt like family by the end of our stay and we will definitely return as soon as possible. One of the highlights was the food. We chose a buffet style menu and it exceeded any expectations. The dry ice sorbet pallet cleanser between courses added to the magic that was in the air.
We made use of the in-house florist, Gerhard (www.dukeandduchess.co.za/). We loved the plain white ballroom with pink lighting. The candlelight from the tables created the perfect atmosphere. We didn’t stick to traditions, but we did have a wedding cake on every table that doubled as a centerpiece. We aren’t big fans of flowers, but we loooove cake. So it just made sense. We donated the cakes that weren’t cut to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital the next morning. Waking up early the morning after was HARD, but so worth it.
When it came to music I had it covered. I have been working on a wedding playlist since birth. We asked Mark from www.dreamweddingdjs.co.za to use the playlist as is. He also supplied our rocking black&white dance floor. Looking back we could not have chosen better songs. We entered our ceremony with Phillip Phillips singing “Home.” It was perfect. We danced our first dance to “Tougher than the Rest” by Bruce Springsteen. It wasn’t a typical song choice, but represented us as a couple the best.
Because we live so far from home we decided to make the invitations, placemats (which doubled as a guest book) and seating chart ourselves. It made us feel more involved in our wedding planning. We ordered custom badges for everyone for the seating chart and that was part of their favor. The other favor was the invitation itself. We made e-invites and put it on USB’s. We posted it to all our guests. It was a lot of fun to make!
We weren’t too worried about what we would wear. We were just happy spending the day with the people we love. We had our dresses made here in Taiwan. We wore matching white converse. I ordered my suit from Her Tuxedo. I loved changing into it for the reception. I was one of the crowd while my beautiful new wife was the only one in white. She looked spectacular! We asked our guests to all wear black for the day. It was a beautiful contrast to our white decor and the pictures came out great.
We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day. The best moment of our lives was announced…
“I give to you Carin and Ilani van Wyk”
Photos courtesy of Greg Lumley.