Photographer: Page & Holmes
Venue: Summer Place, Hyde Park, Johannesburg
This formidable couple met for the first time on Facebook, however, Sean was not a total stranger as he happened to be a friend of a friend, but Tatjana says it’s a long story. Tatjana says that she got a glimpse into just how unpredictable Sean was on their first date. He took her to enjoy milkshakes, little did he know that Tatjana does not like milkshakes at all but ordered one to be polite. Sean however, promptly ordered a beer!!
They both love to travel and explore the world, and it was on the cards for Sean to move to London and Tatjana to move to Barcelona, which they both thought on their first date, was a great idea. However, a couple of months into their relationship, they were both devastated that this was actually happening, and they tried to keep a long distance relationship going, which didn’t work, so Tatjana ended up moving to London, just in time for their first anniversary.
Two years down the line, they were invited to their friend’s wedding in Puerto Rico. Tatjana says it was beautiful and vibrant in Puerto Rico. Carefully orchestrated by the bride and guests, she caught the bouquet, and Sean the garter!! Two days later on the island of Culabra in Puerto Rico, Sean woke Tatjana at 6:20 am. Tatjan was not happy to be woken that early on a holiday morning, so she had to be coaxed out of bed to go for a walk on the beach. After walking a few minutes, Sean turned to her and pointing he said “What is that?” He had been down to the beach earlier and had scratched “Will you marry me?” in the sand. Tatjana says it felt like she was playing a part in a movie, as she turned back to Sean, he was down on one knee with the ring in his hand. “Everything he said after that is a blur, partly because I was overcome with emotion and partly because I was still half asleep” laughs Tatjana. She of course said yes, and they spent the rest of the day dinking cocktails on the beach which resulted in them “turning the colour of love”, says Sean. Tatjana, however, blurts, “We got bladdy burnt!!”
Summer Place was their venue of choice and they say they fell in love with the gardens and the wide open space outside as well as the fresh feeling of being surrounded by all the greenery, the trees, and of course the refreshing sound of the majestic fountain in the gardens. Tatjana says that the indoors at Summer Place is warm, inviting and comfortable and it almost feels like you are in your own home.
Tatjana and Sean both like breaking conventional behaviour while respecting traditions. It all started with Sean buying a sapphire engagement ring instead of a diamond. To add to that, they had their ceremony in a catholic church, and then danced out before the guests. We are both quirky and like to surprise people by putting twists on things which seem normal. Sean does silly actions and Tatjana makes punny jokes. They both have a strong sense of adventure and have travelled to many places together, hence having more than 26 cities to choose from for their table names. “We would rather travel than have a couch – literally, we have a spare bed as a couch at the moment, we call it our sleeper couch”, beams Tatjana. Sean loves to snack and she loves to cook – this is how it works for this couple. On base level though, they have the same moral grounding and feel a responsibility to help those around them, which they find, grounds their relationship firmly.
They both agreed they wanted the emphasis of their day to be “happy” so their save the date cards, set the tone with, ‘Whoop whoop! We’re getting married!’. The invitations that followed, were bright, colourful magical and sophisticated, designed by Tatjana herself.
To add to the happy factor, they wanted a colourful, quirky yet classy wedding. The dress code was formal with a splash of colour. All the bridesmaids were dressed in different bright colours and Tatjana admits that she was jealous of the fact that they could wear stunning coloured gowns, until she found her “in white” gown, and then could not imagine being in anything else.
The vision they had for their flowers was organic and fresh with lots of diverse flowers and of course lots of different colours. Summer Place does not need much internal décor as it is just simply beautiful on its own, so the table décor was a collection of different sized vases with the colourful flowers, and tea lights on a mirrored base to reflect the colour. To add to the fun factor, they had some giant balloons, and these turned out to be the back-drop to their stop-motion photo booth.
Tatjana says she wanted a “classic with a twist” look for her wedding day. She was mesmerised by tattoo lace and she knew she definitely wanted lace on her gown. She found her perfect gown, which did not have the lace, but she had alterations made to the gown, to lower the back so that there was more space to add the lace. She also added nude mesh, satin buttons down the back and finally placed the organic, asymmetrical guipure lace, which made it just perfect!!
Her hairstyle for the day was soft curls with pieces of lace woven into a plait and for her makeup she wanted something natural. She says that her makeup artists did a stunning job, subtly enhancing her features without being too bold.
For their wedding cake, they went for different flavours. The bottom layer was burnt butter with cooked vanilla and salted caramel filling; the top layer was coconut and lime with white chocolate ganache filling. The cake was iced with vanilla buttercream in a rough palette knife style and then dressed with a few flowers to match the décor. They also served cupcakes as part of the dessert and they went down really well. The flavours were Ferrero Rocher, Raffaello and vanilla with lemon and strawberry.
Their first dance after a couple of lessons and several hours of practise turned out as a bit of a mess as Sean could not get around Tatjana’s dress “even though it wasn’t that wide, but we just kept going and had fun with it. I’m still happy with how it turned out as it still felt like our moment and it was sweet” she says.
Tatjana’s advice is to not have a long engagement. “We were engaged for 2 years and it just leaves a lot of time to fret and change your mind about everything. At the end of the day, you still land up doing the bulk of the organising in the 3-5 months before the wedding. Get engaged and make it happen within a year is what I would say.”