On Saturday 28th of March, Ashley and I headed out of the city and into the beautiful Cape Winelands to attend the wedding of our dear friends, Ilse Fourie and Ivan Colic. The couple exchanged their vows and hosted a lavish reception party against the stunning backdrop of the Franshoek mountains.
Ilse and Ivan have been a couple for more than 10 years and surprised us all with the announcement of their engagement at Ilse’s birthday party two years ago. With both of them working in advertising, they have very particular tastes and are both self-professed perfectionists. This was evident on their big day because every little detail of the wedding was so unique and tastefully done.
The wedding guests comprised of family, friends and colleagues who were an eclectic bunch that blended perfectly in celebration of Ilse and Ivan’s big day.
“Nestled on the banks of the Kastaiing River, The Conservatory is set amongst vineyards, ancient oaks and herb gardens…”
The wedding was a stylish affair which was hosted at The Conservetory, located in Franschoek. The day was blessed with perfect sunny weather and the bride and groom looked very relaxed throughout the day, while mingling with their friends and family.
After the ceremony, the bridal couple had their photographs taken by their wedding photographer, Jilda of Jilda G Photography. While they were busy the wedding guests mingled on the lawn over cocktails and appetizers and enjoyed a few lawn games of crocquet and boules. The summer afternoon had a very relaxing atmosphere which was so fitting since both Ilse and Ivan are by nature very laid back people.
The Wedding Reception
After all the photographs were taken we moved indoors to the reception area. Once we were seated they announced the newly married couple and we all stood and wildly cheered and applauded them as they entered the building.
I absolutely loved it when, during the applause, Ivan took a step back and redirected all the applause to his new wife. I thought that this touching gesture was a perfect representation of the dynamics of their relationship. Having known the couple for some time, I am always struck by how completely they accept each other and how they always give credit to one another.
Once seated, we heard some very interesting stories about the couple as told by their friends and family. By listening to these stories it was apparent that both the Fourie and the Colic families are not very conventional in their own right which makes for a perfect union.
One of the many highlights of the day for me was meeting Ivan’s feisty Serbian mother and chatting with Ilse’s lovely mom, Louise, whom I had the pleasure of meeting two years ago at their engagement party.
It was very interesting to note the differences between the two mothers. When you meet Ivan’s mother you immediately think of the very apt statement: “Dynamite comes in small packages“. She complimented my dress for the wedding and I almost felt glad for her approval!
My first impression of her was of a very hardworking woman who is not afraid to say what’s on her mind and is very domineering as only a mother who raised boys can be. I also discovered that she has a wicked sense of humor when she turned away from me and said over her shoulder: “I blog you!“.
Ilse’s mom, Louise, is a crafter and a teacher by profession and as a result is more accommodating and has a very gentle way about her. I commented on how gorgeous Ilse’s wedding dress was and how absolutely perfectly it suited her daughter. The ivory color and the lace sleeves and even the detail in the bodice and back of the dress reminded me of Queen Elsa (from the movie Frozen for those of you who are not currently raising a little girl). She told me that she is a hobbyist seamstress and had lovingly handcrafted her daughter’s wedding dress because they were not happy with the dress she had had made by a professional seamstress!
So it seemed that the mothers of both the bride and groom were not afraid to roll up their sleeves and personally delve into the preparations for the wedding thus both ensuring the overall success of the event for their children. What a family!
The Protea (our national flower) and other indigenous plants were used quite extensively in the decor, center pieces, on the wedding cake and even in the bridal bouquet and lapel pin of the groom. The effect of these floral arrangements against the stark white and chrome style of the reception venue was quite stunning.
All the guests were asked to sign an initialed canvas with their inked thumbprint which they will frame as a keepsake of the wedding. Cute!
The Wedding Favors
I have to mention this because it was one of my favorite details of the event – the wedding favors were these little black notebook and pencil sets which were placed on each table setting with a note saying simply “THANK YOU”. These wedding favors were both cute and functional! I don’t know where the inspiration for this came from but it was ingenious and I have definitely stored this in the recesses of my brain for future use.
The Wedding Dinner
The food was AMAZING! I especially enjoyed the roasted vegetable dishes. In keeping with the “unconventional” theme of the wedding, the main course dishes were all served on platters to be shared amongst groups of people. There is something very sociable about “breaking bread” together and the way in which the main course dishes were served made all the guests feel more comfortable to initiate conversations and get acquainted with those seated around them.
As part of our dessert we were treated to authentic Serbian shortbread biscuits called “VANILICE” which were made by groom’s mother. The other desserts were also quite delicious but the main feature of the dessert table was the stunning wedding cake. How well did this rustic looking ivory cake suit the style of the decor and the wedding dress?
After the formalities were over and dinner was served we basically just had one big celebration with everyone at some point or other letting loose on the dance floor. The music was a wide mixture of all the classics and we were treated to some very authentic Tina Turner and Micheal Jackson moves from some of the guests (I am not at liberty to mention any names but you know who you are…).
We had a WONDERFUL time making new acquaintances and celebrating the marital union of Ilse and Ivan in such a spectacular fashion. Every detail of the event was tasteful and a perfect representation of Ilse and Ivan’s creative personalities. Their love for each other was well celebrated into the night and in the end the day could not have been more perfect.
To Ivan and Ilse, may God bless your marriage, may your future be liberally sprinkled with happiness and may you rise together for every challenge with a love that shines for each other.
We wish them all the best as they embark on their new adventures as husband and wife!