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The Offbeat Bride: Chantal, Graphic Designer

Her offbeat partner: Stefan, Computer Engineer

Date and location of wedding: Galagos Country Estate, Cullinan, South Africa — November 11, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We knew from the start that we preferred to have a venue who would do as much as possible for us, which is why we eventually found Galagos. Including the venue hire, they also did the catering, and provided a wonderful DJ for us (who's also a big fan of heavy metal and rock, by the way!). We also had great decor, thanks to Red Ruby Events. We told them that we wanted a blue/lilac themed wedding, and they really helped us out.

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They were also really excited when I showed them my idea of a bouquet! And yes, I got the idea from Offbeat Bride.

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Tell us about the ceremony: We decided on a Christian ceremony, to keep our parents happy (I'm actually pagan, but they don't know it yet). We found the greatest pastor who was perfectly ok with marrying a non-Christian couple – he even suggested a bilingual ceremony (Afrikaans/English), as it would be more discreet (and much shorter) than the traditional Christian ceremony. In the end, it was a beautiful ceremony, and I'm not sorry we didn't go for a handfasting or a plain civil ceremony.

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Our biggest challenge: My biggest challenge, I would say, was the table plan – I wanted it laid out in such a way that no one would have to be at the same table with whomever they were having issues with. In the end, though, everything worked out perfectly, and my uncle actually told me that I started something peaceful between the families there, so that's great!

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It's also very easy to become overwhelmed by all the details, but luckily I had a lot of help – the original beading on my wedding dress didn't work for me, so my mother-in-law offered to fix it for me. She also helped me with the wedding favours. We decided to keep it simple, and just add a thank you card to some cherry sweets.

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My favorite moment: This is so difficult! The whole wedding was amazing, so it's very hard to figure out which was the most meaningful moment! But, there were three: the first, when the ceremony began, and my song started (Nina Simone – “My Baby Just Cares For Me“). I got goosebumps!

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The second, when Stefan and I walked into the reception hall — they played “Cadence To Arms” by the Dropkick Murpheys, and we had to walk straight to the bar to drink our shooters. The moment we downed the shooters, the non-traditional part of the song started to play. It was awesome! My third most meaningful moment, was when my sister-in-law (who was also my maid of honor) made her speech. Another great thing for me was to have both my grandmothers there.

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Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? The cake! On the wedding day, I asked my maid of honor to go find out if the cake arrived, and apparently nobody knew where the cake was — in the end the cake was apparently delivered the day before, and they almost forgot about it! But it wasn't such a bad thing, the cake was at the reception by the time we arrived there. So there wasn't really any near-disasters.

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My advice for Offbeat Brides: Go with your gut. If you don't want a white wedding dress, for example, then don't go for one! And don't let anyone pressure you into doing something you don't want to. We went for a venue that is actually very expensive, but we got married on a Sunday, which was much cheaper. If you find a venue that you love, find out what days are cheaper, and how you can pay, etc. Also, shop around! Some vendors are very, VERY expensive, but if you look around a bit, you will definitely find something more for your budget, and just as nice.

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What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Have fun! Don't be afraid to ask for help! There are so many people willing to help you if you have a problem, so take advantage of it! But we also didn't want to load too much stuff on those who were willing to help — so with most of it (like the decor and bouquets, etc.) we just hired people who did most of it for us. And a very important thing I've learned, that I know I will remember: don't look at all the planning still ahead, because you will get overwhelmed! Take it one step at a time.

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Comments on Chantal & Stefan’s rocking South African wedding

  1. I completely forgot to add – my makeup was done by Karen B Make-up & Hair: http://www.karenb.co.za/

    Thanks, offbeatbride, for posting my wedding! I got most of my inspiration from you! 😉

    • Absolutely lovely! Chantal, I have a few questions about Bride-Zilla (dress) and the pastor you used. Would you mind contacting me please? We’re getting married in July :))

      • Sure thing! Our ceremony was done by Weddings by Jaco – it’s a company of over 20 marriage officers, they have years and years of experience, and they also deal with all the legal stuff so you don’t have to: http://www.wedbyjaco.com/

        How can I contact you? I would love to help! 🙂

  2. Beautiful! I want to wear a blue dress as well, and I love seeing pictures of someone wearing one in an actual ceremony!! Just stunning 🙂

    • Oh man, if you want SO many more blue dress inspiration pictures, check out our archive full of ’em:

      (Also, Offbeat Bride pro-tip: at the end of each post, you’ll see a little series of words that says READ MORE POSTS ABOUT: and then a list of words. Click any of the words to see more posts about that subject!)

      • Thanks so much! I will certainly be checking that link out, and thanks for the tip! 🙂

  3. I love that blue dress. I think of blue as the color of fidelity…”true blue” and all that. Very nice wedding.

  4. Thank you so much, everyone! The very nice thing about the company that made my dress, is that they will make any dress for you, in ANY colour… 😉

  5. I loved the photographs in this wedding . The colors and the elegance really gave me a smile . Beautiful, great work

  6. Amazing. . .so happy to read about another Christian wedding ceremony done in English/Afrikaans. My fiance and I are being married on November 22nd and have asked a close family friend to work with our priest so that we can surprise his family with Afrikaans. 🙂 🙂 Beautiful photos and so envious that you are in R.S.A!!

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