Tag Archives: durban

Hello, My Name is Lize Hartley

18 Oct

We’re married!

And after almost a month away there is so much to catch up on. For now, a few wedding pictures. You can see the rest here.

The St Anne’s chapel.


The men getting ready.

St Anne’s admin building and front lawn.

My amazing maid of honour, Nina, who I love even a million times more [if that were more] post-wedding!

Reading my vows.

Praying at the ceremony.

My Loubis [of course].

Super love this picture.

One of my favourite pictures ever.

In the chapel.

It was pretty cold. Love this picture, too.

Dancing with my dad.

Just love this picture of my new brother in law.


The night was just perfect from start to finish. Best wedding ever.

I have to mention Clip-In Hair. Yes, Natalie is a magician with hair and make-up but she would not have been able to create such a fab up-style with the measly bit of shoulder-length hair I have! They helped me out with some gorgeous, super duper long extensions. It took all of ten minutes to walk in, find a colour, attach them, and leave! They’re not permanent so you can re-use them as and when you please, without the pain and hassle of those glue-in ones. Can’t wait to use them again and be a Unicorn Mermaid Princess!


Omnomnom Wedding Cake

19 Jun

I was never one of those girls who planned my wedding from the day I was conceived. But one thing I always thought would be quite nice is to have a tower of cupcakes instead of a wedding cake. I mean, not many people actually eat the wedding cake. And wedding cakes can sometimes be awfully over the top. And not too delicious.

However, SC did want a cake. Even if just a small, for us to cut. I am perfectly happy with that! So we decided on a tower of cupcakes, with a small [but not oddly tiny] cake at the top of the tower.

So we chatted to our cake maker, the very amazing Sue Edgcumbe. The initial thought was to have vanilla cupcakes with meringue icing. Delicious, not too sweet, and beautiful and glossy-looking. But since then our decor has headed in a slightly more soft, romantic, vintage direction, so the cupcakes had to mirror this.

It’s a bit tricky, planning a KZN wedding from Cape Town, but this weekend a friend of ours went to Durban, and she brought back our cupcake sample from Sue.

How utterly gorgeous are these?

Of course, we had to sample them…

And by “sample” I mean “eat all of”…

And the best part is, they taste as good as they look!

I don’t think I have ever been so in love with cupcakes.

As for the actual cakes, we’re still playing around with ideas. There are, quite simply, too many options out there!

I mean, do we go for a soft, understated cake?

A floral cake?

A quilted cake?

A lace cake?

A theme cake?

Decisions decisions!

Meantime, please enjoy some of the cakes we will NOT be having at our wedding.

And then treat your eyeballs to some baking heaven.

Venue: Check

10 May

Finding a wedding reception venue in the Natal Midlands is tricky, to say the least.

For us, it had to meet the following requirements:

  • It must be available [obviously. Most venues were crossed off for this reason].
  • It must not be hideous.
  • It must be less than a million miles away from our chapel.
  • It must have Tiffany chairs [I’m sorry, those plastic chairs with the round backs covered in fabric with organza ribbons around them? Not for me.]
  • It must able to seat roughly 120 guests, with space for a dance floor.

Nice extras would have been having accommodation on site for family and bridal party, a venue hire fee which includes tables and chairs and cutlery and all that, somewhere nice to have pictures taken, and somewhere close by but also easy to get to.

After weeks of searching, I was beyond despondent. I was sure we would never find anything. One night, SC did a Google search, an action at which I rolled my eyes because we had clearly contacted EVERY venue in KwaZulu-Natal, when a new place popped up.

I was suspicious. Why was something so fabulous, and on such a prime location, available with under 6 months’ notice?! It had to be a scam. Deposit: your liver. Or after the music stops everyone is kidnapped and sold into slavery. Something awful like that.

But no. Mendola was available because it had just opened. In fact, we found it days after it’s official birth, and it ticks ALL the boxes.

Not hideous [and, in fact, quite stunning]: check!

Under a million miles away from chapel: check. It’s about 2-3km down the road. The same road, even.

Tiffany chairs: check. See? See how much more beautiful and classy they are!

It was available, and seats the exact number of guests we want at our wedding.

It also includes a beautiful location for photography, hire of every thing, a stunning, enormous kitchen, and wonderful people who are friendly and helpful with communication, questions, showing one around, and everything else.

So, it is official, we have our dream venue! And I absolutely cannot wait to get married there.

PS. They’re also on Facebook.

Engagement Party #1: Durban

16 Apr

On Saturday morning we flew to Durban to go view some venues in the Midlands [more on that later]. We almost didn’t make it for many reasons, including one o us oversleeping by an hour, 33 missed calls [on a phone NOT on silent], being locked outside an apartment, inside a stairwell, broken intercoms, and a lack of required documentation. How we got on our plan on time, I do not know.

But we did.

After viewing venues it was a quick stop at SC’s parents’ place, and then off to our first engagement party on Virginia Beach.

It was exactly what we planned: a barefoot gathering of friends and family, barefoot, on the beach, with punch in paper cups, a bonfire, and mini bunny chows!

My fiance is hot!

He also struggles to use my SLR.

Beach vibes! Gotten my Bridesmaid Margie.

Nicky and Greta contemplate how to help the balloons survive the wind.

These guys tried to crash our party.

Bridesmaid Margie creates beach-vibe straws.

SC with Groomsman Will. Future Father-in-Law, without whose help this would not have happened, in the background.

Friends and future family!

Future Mother-in-Law [second from left], who put in tons of hard work for all of this.

St Anne’s girls unite!

Bonfire, beach, bare feet.

I assume it’s a guy thing…

Friends around the fire.

Massive thanks to William The Groomsman and Margie The Bridesmaid as well as SC’s parents who put it all together. They did everything for us. All we did was come up with the idea. And arrive.

Oh, and to everyone who came. It really was quite wonderful.

Wedding Photographer: Check

7 Apr

Finding a wedding photographer is up there with finding a venue: it must be done immediately. This is mainly because these get booked up fast. Of the three million photographers I emailed, about 6 were available for our date, in six months’ time. Of these, a third have absolutely hideous pictures [my absolute worst is the black and white or sepia picture with one colour details, like a red rose or pink balloons or something. It’s the Comic Sans of photography.], and another third’s fees are about as much as a deposit on a Ferrari plus your first born child.

There are various factors to take into account, including [but probably not limited to]:

  • The quality of their photographs. Are they hideous? Does it look like my four year-old sister could do better with a Blackberry? Do they do the one-colour-detail-in-an-otherwise-black-and-white-picture thing? Do they take sepia pictures? Is it very obvious that they are using a giant flash in lighting that is more than adequately light? If you are answering yes to some of these questions, your answer to their quote should probably be “no”. Also, have an idea of what style you would like, and decide from there. You might want your wedding pictures to look like an Instagram album, in which case hiring someone whose pictures are all about the bright, overexposed flash photography might upset you in the long run.
  • Their price. Sure, you don’t want to skimp on photography. But if a local wedding photographer who has absolutely no claim to fame is charging you what Mario Testino would, tell him/her that you would like some of the drugs they are apparently on.
  • Their professionalism. Do they use Comic Sans? This does not bode well. Also, I like to see samples of photography so if the person does not have a website/blog, Facebook page, etc., I’m likely to question their work. In this day and age, being online is a must. Also, look at the way in which they communicate. I like to be contacted in a way that is professional [id est┬ánOt tYp!n lYk d!$], but also friendly. Like we’re connecting. For example, I had a guy emailing me every single day, for no good reason. That is annoying, stop it. Others wrote a cold message that was probably a copy/paste job they sent to everyone. Others wrote one line, followed by “sent from My BlackBerry”. The photographer I ended up choosing checked in now and then to see if I needed anything else, if I was happy, etc., enough to make me feel special, but not so much that I wanted to tell him to leave me alone.
  • Extras. I was looking for someone who also does a coffee table book, for example. But there are plenty of extras that are a great bonus. For example, some people also do a wedding video for you. Some shoot the bride and groom’s preparation, while others only do the bride’s. Some offer engagement shoots, physical prints, thank you card designs- the list goes on. Have an idea of what you definitely want, what you’d like to have, and what doesn’t interest you at all.
  • Recommendations. I found out that friends of ours know our photographer, so before deciding for sure I asked them about him- is he a nice guy? Are his pictures good? It also pays to ask people who are in the industry, who have contacts in the industry, etc. Don’t be scared to ask others. It might save you from hiring a coked up serial killer who just happened to have a very pretty tumblr.
  • Details. Find out how long their turnaround time is. Where do they live? Will they travel? Do they have a car/passport? Are they going to charge you extra for travel? Will you need to pay for their accommodation? These are questions you must ask unless you have a thing for nasty surprises.

These points are all just from my [very short] personal experience of wedding planning and all that goes with it. I’m neither a professional photographer nor serial bride, simply sharing what I’ve learnt so far.

I’m also happy to announce I have a photographer. He takes good pictures, he does not charge a down payment on a Camps Bay beach mansion, he comes recommended by other photographers as well as friends of ours, he offers extras, will travel, and was the best communicator from the start. He’s also available on the day of our wedding, which is obviously fairly important. And then there are the little things, like taking the time to find out if I am on Pinterest so he can get a feel for my “vibe”, offering to meet us before hand so we can have a chat and get to know each other, etc. These things matter, people. You don’t want to feel uncomfortable on your wedding day, or have some meanie barking orders at you on your special day.

So hoorah for Duane Smith.

We look forward to working with him.

Once, Twice, Three Times an Engagement Party

4 Apr

This whole “getting married” thing is going to be something of a cross country affair.

SC and I live in Cape Town.

My whole family lives in Jo’burg.

His whole family live in Durban.

We’re getting married in Hilton, where I went to school.

And our guests are scattered across the globe.

Now, because we are getting married in Hilton, KZN, which is close to where his family lives, we figured we’d have the engagement party in Jo’burg, where my family lives. Something fancypants and formal, like finger snacks and bubbly in a gorgeous hotel.

And then we figured we might as well do one in Cape Town for our friends. Nothing formal, we’d just get everyone together somewhere lovely and we’d all be in a room to celebrate.

And then his mum [Future Mother-in-Law (MIL)] asked whether we could please have one in Durban for his family, as many of them may not be able to see us before the wedding. It made 100% sense, especially since we’d be flying up for venue viewing next weekend! An added bonus is that our Durban friends and family are super awesome and fun to be around.

I wasn’t too keen for more expenses, more phoning/emailing/organising, finding a venue, stressing… All the rest. So I figured we should do something totally the opposite of our Jo’burg engagement party. We’d go totally Durban.

The vibe is meeting on the beach for punch in colourful plastic cups with stripey straws, mini bunny chows [discovered these in December and they changed my life], and have a rad, laid-back time with family, barefoot, on the East Coast. Maybe even a bonfire later!

So that is the plan for our the Durban leg of our engagement festivities.

And here is the invite, which I just think is absolutely gorgeous:

These were done in about a day by Ashleigh, and they are actually what we wanted.

So happy with our first invite going out, I feel it bodes well for the rest.

PS. If you want to use a talented designer who works quickly, does what you want, and is so chilled with taking feedback [I’ve worked with my fair share of designers who cry if you ask them to change something, trust me it is not fun], get in touch: