Photographer: Christelle Rall
Marcel and Lauren met whilst they were both first year students at the University of Port Elizabeth, not on campus though, but at her sister’s friend’s digs. Nothing significant happened; however fast forward a couple of years and, Marcel having returned to P.E. from Johannesburg for the holidays, the two bumped into each other again. It was only then that they felt a spark for each other and they then kept in contact until Lauren moved to the ‘City of Gold’ to be closer to Marcel.
A trip to Italy, Croatia and Greece for the European summer of 2016 was planned, and Lauren says she fell in love with Italy and with its beautiful architecture, language and of course food. She makes mention that Marcel is a brilliant cook, and this has helped her discover great food. During a visit to Palatine Hill in Rome, overlooking her favourite building, the Altare Della Patria, Marcel got down on one knee and proposed, at sunset! Lauren says it was such a memorable moment and she said yes before he could even finish his sentence!!
Both of them love to travel, whether it is locally or abroad. Their love to explore new places, sights, culture, architecture and diverse foods, makes both of their hearts smile. They also love dogs and share a great love for all animals. To describe their differences, Lauren says she is more the creative one and Marcel is a great sportsman.
Lauren and Marcel decided against a big wedding and they honestly felt that having an intimate wedding in the company of their closest loved ones was far more meaningful and memorable than a huge affair. She says the beauty of having an intimate wedding allows everyone to spend quality time with each other. They hosted their wedding over the Easter weekend, so their guests could take a couple of days to have a mini holiday and explore the Garden Route as well. Initially Lauren wanted to elope abroad, but Marcel wanted a larger wedding, so they decided to meet each other halfway.
The Garden Route has always been a place with many fond memories for this couple and they both agreed that they wanted to say their “I do’s” there. They found the prefect venue with its spectacular 360 degree, breath-taking ocean view, a 5 star boutique hotel, which ticked all the right boxes, to host an intimate, memorable day, and so the planning begun.
There were only twenty of their dearest and most loved guests, who attended their wedding day, but the up side was an extended honeymoon, which included, New York City, Cuba-Havana, Jamaica, Cayman Islands and Cozumel-Mexico, Lauren says it was the best decision ever. “I truly feel that wedding traditions have changed over the years and one can really do what you feel is perfect for you and your husband and your special day´.
The decor theme they chose was perfect for a small intimate wedding; copper and white with geometric shapes, minimalistic with clean lines. The flowers of choice were bold yet elegant, white Casablanca lilies.
To achieve her look, Lauren wore a mermaid shaped gown with lace applique, and a beaded and open back. Her vision was to create a beautiful silhouette that also looked effortlessly, sophisticated. She wore copper coloured shoes and jewellery which playfully matched their theme. Her hair and make-up artist perfected her preferred smoky eye look and left her hair loose and fuss free, perfect for an outdoor ocean wedding, besides, she wanted the dress to be the star of the show.
Marcel chose a unique ‘broken’ suit look, inspired by “Ryan Gosling’s broken suits in La La Land” movie. Marcel recreated his own look, which consisted of a stunning cream blazer and mustard trouser. He also wore a geometric wire heart pin, which was lovingly made for him, both fathers as well as his best man, by Lauren herself.
What was special to Lauren about her day was the first look, “nothing prepares you, and it is delightful”, she smiles, as well as the first dance on the beach, at sunset, amongst the sparklers, an unforgettable moment. They also had wedding portraits taken at the beautiful Eden House the following morning, as well as a ‘trash the dress’ shoot on the beach.
As wedding favours they gave copper cocktail mugs to each guest, to match the theme, and they hope that the mugs would be something that reminded the guests of their relaxing and memorable time at the wedding and the whole weekend.
Included in the wedding highlights was the first dance on the beach, Lauren says, “this is a memory I will never forget. Having my twin sister by my side as my Maid of Honour, her presence meant so much to me, The little blue ribbon from her mom, sewn inside my wedding dress, as well as watching the dolphins swim by, whilst I was having my hair and make-up done and last but not least, my Dad walking me down the aisle”, to the instrumental version of Say you won’t let go by James Arthur.
Another real highlight and surprise was a card from Marcel, expressing his love and a voucher for booked Salsa lessons, to prepare her for their trip to Cuba!! Lauren says, everything was perfect, particularly the view and the food. The chefs prepared a spectacular meal for their guests as well as an Italian harvest board, to remind them of their trip to Italy. The honeymoon suite had floor to ceiling glass windows, which offered beautiful ocean views, truly breathe taking, and of course, waking up as Mrs. Malherbe.
Lauren says, they are pleased with their decision to go against the norm and rather with their hearts. They wanted something unique and special and they felt it was far more meaningful and memorable for their guests to interact with them and each other and make a wedding a truly unforgettable wedding mini holiday.
Her advice to future brides and grooms is just this, “Don’t be afraid to do what you want to do for your wedding day. Remember that this is something very special in your life, not only for your loved ones, but for yourself and your groom. Take time to have a few moments to yourselves, and to enjoy each stage of the day, and if possible, fall in love all over again on your magical day.”