A Fun, Elegant, traditional celebration with lots of DIY elements

Imagine getting married at your place of work, for some this would be a horrendous thought, but for this special couple, they could count on the people they knew and trusted to make it the most special day of their lives.

Lara and Allesandro worked at the same hotel, The Indaba. She had only been there a couple of weeks when the Chef walked in and asked her some random questions. She had no idea who he was, but found out later that he was in fact the Chef at the time. Then a year later the hotel received tickets to the Confed Soccer Cup and these particular tickets were for the Italy game.  Allessandro being Italian would not have missed the game for the world, so a bunch of people from work all went to watch the game, some for the game and some for the beer, and Lara having zero knowledge about soccer, attended purely for the beer!! On the way back from the game on the bus, Allessandro and her made a connection and along with two other friends went out for another beer, and, the rest as they say is history.

Lara does not enjoy surprises and secrets, so she chose her own ring.  She knew he would propose, but the ring lay around for months before he actually asked, (if you can call it that).  They are both very relaxed and laid back people and do not enjoy drama in their lives, so one lazy Sunday afternoon after a nap, whilst they were sitting watching some TV with his little dachshund, named Green Bean, he spoke to the dog and said “ask mommy if she will marry us?”  He then went to fetch the ring and they called their parents.

Lara says, “as boring and unromantic as it might seem to some people, Allessandro’s proposal to me was super special and says a lot about our relationship. In my book, if he wanted to marry me at my worst, then he will definitely love me at my best”.

They admit that they had real concerns about getting married at the place where they work and that it would feel like an average work day and not special.  But after much consideration she realised that she would have all the confidence in the staff, the venue and everything that goes with planning a wedding as she had seen it happen so many times and knew that they would do everything to their best ability to make her wedding dreams come true.

To this day their guests are still raving about the delicious food, the amazing service, the wonderful accommodation and the perfect location of the Indaba Hotel and of course the stunning cake that Allessandro created for their day.  Lara says she was made to feel extra special like any other bride would have on her wedding day and not just like an employee.

With both of them being in the hospitality industry, which, for people in the know, is always on the go, they find their equilibrium in their home to provide the calm they need. Fortunately Allessandro has taught Lara not to sweat the small stuff and his favourite saying is “we will make a plan” which he has always lived up to whether it be the big things or even the little ones. So when a bird flew into their reception and pooped on one of the table cloths the day before, “a plan was made” to fix it.

A lot of the wedding details were made and planned by the couple and Lara, with the help of her maid of honour and mom endless creativity helped to pull off the wedding they had dreamed of. The vision Lara had for her day was to include as many antique or vintage elements as possible, however, the groom had his own ideas as he wanted the wedding to be elegant and include splashes of red (not really something you can include in a vintage wedding), however they made the compromises and everything turned out stunning.

Lara being the down to earth person she is,  really was not too fazed to have an abundance of flowers at her wedding, however, her mother insisted on including flowers around the arch in the chapel. Michelle from Shelly-B which Lara had confidence in as she had seen her work many times before, made their décor dreams a reality.

Lara found her dream gown coincidentally at a tiny, out of the way boutique in Pretoria.  She had reservations when she walked in, however; she was taken under the wing of an experienced lady at that very boutique that clearly knew how she could make Lara look amazing.  She found the perfect dress for her and felt completely confident in her look for her wedding gown.  One thing Lara was not going to compromise on was that she wanted purple shoes for her day.

When asked about the highlight of her day, Lara says that for her it was incredibly special that her mom hand made her bouquet. She loved that she could express her gratitude to her guest with homemade sweet biscuits in Consol jars with little stickers that read “Grateful for sweet friends like you.”  She is grateful that she got to share her special day with friends, some who she has known since she was 6 years old. She was overjoyed that she was privileged enough to have her parents attend her wedding (unfortunately the grooms dad had passed away before the day).  She was amazed that everyone loved the food, the music and just that everything went as well as it did.

Her words of advice are easy in hindsight, but honestly don’t sweat the small stuff. Do what you can from your side, and trust the people that you appoint to make it happen.  Enjoy the day, take a moment to look around and appreciate all the small things and hard work.  EAT!! Enjoy the delicious food and last but not least get THE BEST photographer.  It’s all you’ll have after the day has come and gone.