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Brittany & Samantha – A Chic Boho Wedding in Cape Town

Brittany & Samantha – A Chic Boho Wedding in Cape Town

Lesbian DIY Boho South African wedding captured by Grace Charlotte Photography

We have been together for four years but have known each other for twelve years.

Before we go any further, we should mention that our relationship went through four stages.

The “I know who she is” phase: In 2009, Sam and Brittany met in a bar. Even though we never hung out, we would frequently encounter each other or have shots together through mutual friends. Our paths diverged for a time. Sam remembers Brittany for her red lipstick during this era, while Brittany remembers Sam as the person she was intrigued by.

The “Friendship Vibe” phase: We reconnected five years later through common friends and began hanging out at birthday parties, bars, clubs, parties, and even braais, one of which was held at Brittany’s home. There was no love spark during this time, only a good friendship vibe, which meant we would hang around, chat, and have fun, but we would never hang out alone or message. For a time, our paths diverged once more.

The “Are we really gonna do this?” phase: Brittany walked into a bar, and Sam and her eyes connected instantly. Brittany gravitated across the dance floor to Sam. We reconnected, danced, and caught up some more, but this time with chemistry and flirtatious grins, touches, and banter. Our friends decided to call it a night, so we all went downstairs and piled into a large Uber. But there were two too many of us, so Sam and Lee (Sam’s good friend and Brittany’s Saving Grace and our MC) said they’d get out and get another uber, and Brittany eagerly offered to stay behind with them.

We planned with Lee to return to the bar for Sam’s legendary nightcap as the Uber sped away (Sam loves a nightcap and is known for always wanting “just one more,” never wanting a good night to end). We were itching to remain a little longer and continue our flirty antics. Going in for a kiss, but Sam stopped us and asked, “Are we really going to do this? Because once we cross this line, we won’t be able to go back,” Brittany replied “yes” and went for it. We spent the rest of the early morning trying to persuade Lee to stay longer so that we could spend more time together. To Lee’s delight, we even kissed over his shoulder on the dance floor. Lee screamed, “I’m not sure if I’m ready for Samany!” Little did he know what was to come!

The issue was that we were both finally content in our single lives and weren’t ready for a relationship, let alone ‘the one.’ So we played cat and mouse for a month or four. There were a few more “are we really going to do this?” moments and an enraged toothbrush removal from Sam’s bathroom.

The “Let’s do this!” phase: But our bond won out, and after one of Brittany’s burlesque acts on November 10, 2018, Sam asked Brittany to make it official. Our mutual friends were startled that after knowing us as individuals for so many years, two people they never imagined being together were together and that Sam, despite her image as a bit of a player, was so completely captivated with Brittany.

Tell us about the proposal.

Planning the engagement was rather tricky for Sam as it was lockdown 2020, and, as with everyone else, we were very on top of each other. Although a nosy Brittany was present, Sam managed to organize a perfect proposal that remained a surprise. Sam, who trusts very few, was tasked with organizing the ring without even meeting the person.

Then there’s the matter of hiding the ring from Brittany, who has an inquisitive nature. One night, Brittany was looking for something. So she inspected every jacket pocket hanging in the wardrobe, much to Sam’s dismay, as the ring was hidden in the brightest orange Addidas tracksuit pocket. Thankfully, Brittany never went into every single jacket pocket hanging in the closet.

Sam knew the proposal had to be unexpected, have an element of adrenaline for Brittany’s inner junkie, and be incredibly romantic. So, Sam picked the 4th of July 2020 (which is near to the date of our first kiss), an unassuming date. Even though we were under level four lockdown, Sam persuaded Brittany to spend the weekend at our friends’ house on Lanzerac wine farm (yeah, we are rule breakers!). Brittany believed that we would finally spend a lovely weekend with our friends in the picturesque Winelands, drinking, catching up, and having a good time. Because we were seeing our friends for the first time in a long time, Sam suggested we dress up and even painted Brittany’s nails. Brittany had no idea what Sam had in store for her for the weekend.

We arrived at the farm, opened a bottle of champagne, and, as planned, Lee casually suggested, Let’s have a champagne sundowner on the hilltop, and you can ride the quad bikes to the top with Johan. Brittany was obviously in (hello off-road quad bikes?!).

Brittany was at the wheel of the quad bike while Sam sat nervously in the passenger seat.

To Brittany’s delight and Sam’s dismay, this farm included several sharp bends, speed bumps, and steep inclines. Brittany was laughing the whole way up, almost speeding through a muddy puddle, which Sam had to talk her out of (Brittany is now grateful as mud-covered engagement pictures weren’t what she wanted. When we reached the foot of the slope, Johan said that he would go fetch the boys.

We hiked to the top of the hill, where we discovered a magnificent picnic complete with candles and wild daisies (Brittany’s favorite flower). Why would someone leave this here? Brittany wondered, bewildered. Brittany wasn’t sure what was happening or registering it, but she didn’t want to seem overconfident. But then Sam got down on one knee and said many things Brittany doesn’t recall because she was stunned! Brittany does remember Sam giving her a single rose and saying, “Will you have my final rose?” We are shamefully Bachelor fans. That’s right, and we’re that cheesy.

Brittany then reasoned that why should there only be one proposal since Sam is also entitled to one! As a result, Brittany prepared a surprise proposal for Sam on August 1, 2020.

She chose a ring for Sam that echoed the one Sam gave Brittany but was still the polar opposite, just like us. It has a Salt and Pepper diamond, as Sam signifies the universe to Brittany, and it was the color of our matching kitties. It also had three-pointer diamonds on each side, representing Brittany’s birth date (3/3), constantly supporting the universe.

Brittany snuck out of our home at 6 am, leaving Sam with an elaborately planned treasure hunt that included visits with friends, a trip down memory lane, and a picnic set up at The Homestead, our new wedding/ceremony destination. “Deal or no deal?” Brittany asked as she handed Sam her final box. Ok, it gets worse… we are Deal or No Deal (UK Version) enthusiasts. That’s right; we’re even cheesier!!!

What was the inspiration behind the vibe of your wedding?

We knew we wanted a one-of-a-kind wedding when we started planning it. Brittany is a very creative person, so we knew it would be very hands-on planning and making process from the beginning.

We couldn’t decide on colors or a style. So we thought about what represented our style and realized we liked a chic, boho, laid-back vibe, but we also have a flamboyant side, so this was the glam. So we went with a boho glam look. We loved this idea because it allowed us to have a lot of fun while also allowing our guests to be creative with their outfits! We received a few curious looks or questions about our unusual theme, but everything came together so beautifully on the day that I believe people realized how much thought and love we put into it!

Did you undertake any DIY projects for the big day? 

Yes, there are so many!   

We wanted confetti that was both environmentally friendly and almost love-filled! So we gathered leaves from around the area and sat down in the evenings to make our own confetti with a circle and heart punch. We were ecstatic with the results! So yes, guests did notice.   

We wanted a pressed flower cake, but we knew that edible pressed flowers were scarce! As a result, Sam created a flower press for Brittany. Brittany purchased edible flowers and pressed them. Brittany’s mother picked and pressed edible flowers from her garden. We then gave them to our fantastic cake maker, who created our look!   

We made our own macrame arch, which took an eternity to complete. Brittany was the mastermind, but Sam (who had never done macrame before) lent a hand and proved an expert! Making our arch, which we would literally tie the knot under, was truly beautiful!

We also made our bouquets, floral embellishments (for the DJ stand, macrame arch, and bubbles bar!), and centerpieces. We picked and dried wild grasses for weeks and we even dyed some of the bunny tails we collected pink. And we knew we wouldn’t have to worry about water or keeping the flowers fresh if we used dried flowers.   

We couldn’t find palms, so we made our own out of paper. Achieving the natural look by dying the paper with coffee and tea, and we used food coloring for the pink. Then we folded, assembled, and glued them together.   

We spent hours gluing the floral embellishments and resembling the bouquets and centerpieces with the help of Brittany’s mother (we used old whisky, tequila, and gin bottles as vases). Brittany also made macrame holders for the bridesmaids and other bridal party members.   

Then, as a finishing touch, we made our own vinyl records and named them after songs that meant something to us during our relationship.   

We also created clear menu holders and included pressed flowers as a menu border and our first dance sparklers labels using Canva.

Talk to us about the wedding day! 

It was enchanted and was everything we had hoped for. It had been such an exciting day! Though it was strange because we were so stressed out, and then suddenly we just felt like… well, it is what it is! Instead of stressing, we savored every moment!

Rather than following tradition, we did things our way and what was logical to us rather than just following traditions. Deciding to get ready together with our bridal party. And we were so blessed to have our loved ones go to the venue and set up in the morning, and we can never thank them enough for that support and for allowing us just to be princesses!

We decided to do a first look. It was such a lovely and memorable moment. We decided on a first look to hold each other’s hands on the way to the ceremony and keep our nerves at bay. It also meant we could get that ugly cry out the way!

We then took family and bridal party photos BEFORE the ceremony, while our makeup was still fresh, and so that our guests wouldn’t have to wait around while the photos were being done after the ceremony. This is usually our least favorite part of any wedding we’ve ever been to.

We wrote our own version of Taylor Swift’s “Invisible String,” which Emma and Landi performed as our aisle song in a live performance. It was far too lovely. We felt so much love as we walked down the aisle with our mothers!

Lara was ideal for us because we wanted a woman to marry us. For us, she created a one-of-a-kind and meaningful ceremony. Holding each other’s hands under our handcrafted arch and having this incredible woman marry us was magical.

We decided that even signing the papers was a special occasion. So we enlisted the help of dear family members as witnesses. Brittany had her grandmother (Nanna), while Sam had her niece.

Our ‘cocktail’ hour was magical, with Emma and Landi performing beautiful love song covers on guitar and banjo while the floating canapes were served.

Our wedding was entirely vegan and vegetarian. This was a difficult decision because we knew it would upset some people, but it is what we wanted. Brittany is a vegan, while Sam is a pescetarian who eats mostly vegan food. It was delicious, and no one objected to the delicious food!

It was a dream come true for our couple shoot! At sunset, we went to a nearby trail (where we picked most of our wild grasses) and danced in the fields with the mountains in the background. Our media team was fun to work with and made everything feel very natural. It is critical that you feel at ease around them.

While our guests enjoyed floating mini-meals, we left for our couple shoot! Of course, we were disappointed to miss it, but we needed that golden hour, and the sun only sets around 7:30 in Cape Town during the summer. However, we had a picnic packed for us, so we didn’t miss out on any of the deliciousness!

It was then time for the first dance, for which we had everyone hold a sparkler! We spent weeks practicing our first dance and were terrified, but it was so much fun! Even though it wasn’t perfect! We smile as we watch the videos again!   

We did the bouquet toss because it was something we were comfortable with, but not the garter toss because of the origins. But we both threw a bouquet to everyone single! We then consumed a fair amount of bubbles while dancing the night away! It was incredible!

What are your favorite moments?

One of our favorite moments was the first look. Only the media team was present, so it was extraordinary to have some privacy in such a personal moment.   

We both enjoyed walking down the aisle and seeing everyone’s loving expressions on their faces as they looked at you.   

We obviously enjoyed the ceremony, and it still brings tears to our eyes when we think about it. It was almost as if the entire world had come to a halt, and we were immersed in a magical bubble of love and bliss.   

We enjoyed crying and laughing as we listened to the speeches. Brittany had no idea how much she was going to enjoy the speeches!   

The couple shoot was also a highlight. We took a picnic with us and did this away from the venue. It was truly magical to have this time together away from everyone’s eyes. Just enjoying and being together as the sunset!   

We enjoyed all of the dancing as well! And simply seeing all of our loved ones in one place was breathtaking.

What does marriage mean to you?

Neither of us had any desire to marry. We never kept a box under our beds or a scrapbook of our ideal day. But then we started dating, and it felt so different from any other relationship that we started talking about eternity and imagining ourselves growing old together. It was always just a piece of paper to us.

But now it’s different; it’s a truly magical sensation. We’ve told the world and each other that she’s my person, life partner, ride or die, best friend, lover, and the person with whom I’ll dance through life. Marriage is a team for us, and we will never have to walk this earth alone again. It suddenly feels like you are in this big scary world, and you have someone next to you to help fight the battles. You have someone who is a witness to your life and story. It’s also heartbreaking because it’s the person who will hold your hand in the darkest moments of your life and loses. Marriage is a vow to say, “Hey, I’ll be there for everything!”

Advice for other couples planning a wedding?

It’s all about the details and quirks! Everyone remarked on how special our wedding was because of the personal touches. If you stay true to yourself and your personal style, you will have a much more enjoyable day. It’s amazing how many people are willing to offer unsolicited advice on what you should and shouldn’t do, and you have to remind yourself to ignore this right away. It’s your wedding! There will be disappointments and letdowns (e.g., it’s too expensive, it’s not possible, won’t work at your venue, etc.), but you must rise to the occasion and be solution-oriented. Please don’t get too attached to ideas or things before you’re sure they’ll work. Remember, you’re marrying the love of your life, and nothing, nothing, nothing can compare!

Invest in a professional photographer. Everything else can be cut back on except this. We are ecstatic with our photos, and it’s all thanks to the fact that we went with a seasoned pro. We chose Grace Charlotte because we liked her style and the fact that she does not take posed photos. Also, we loved her vibe and energy. This was effective for us. On that note, consider your vendors; are they a good fit for you? They may be perfect for others, but are they right for you?

Anything you are glad you did? Or wish you didn’t do?  

We’re so glad we were so involved in the decor and planning; it was exhausting and stressful, but because of this, the day was entirely unique for us and magical. We are so happy we were so involved.  

We’re glad we went with the bubbles bar. Initially, we planned to do a cocktail (called the fall from Grace – a play on our married surname), but it was prohibitively expensive. However, Brittany was set on it, and Sam returned home from work ecstatic, exclaiming, “You have a bubble machine. Let’s make a bubbles bar!” So we had free-flowing MCC (South African champagne), aka bubbles bar with real bubbles everywhere! It was a huge success, and we got a lot more bang for our buck than a few sips of a cocktail. Plus, it was a lot of fun!


Photography by Grace Charlotte Photography

Cake Crumb
Catering Food Fanatics
Cinematographer Josh La Grange
Decorative Elements MacStyle Hire, Muse, Blank Events, DIY
DJ Lu Cherry- Little Wolf
Engagement & Wedding Rings ALTERnate Design Jewellery
Entertainment Emma Du Preez, Landi Degenaar- Betsy Beers
Flower Girl Outfits Etsy
Hair Salon Meli, Mop Hair
Lighting | Sound Hire Alwin Roux
Makeup Jeanerien MUA
Officiant Marriage Officer Lara
Outfits Bronwyn Huckle Designs
Venue
The Homestead

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