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MR & MRS TEN CATE | olive mystery bapsfontein weddingDecember 4, 2012

posted in Real Weddings

I cannot even begin to describe how much fun I had at Claudi & Luan’s wedding! I couldn’t help but giggle as I edited their photographs – Mr & Mrs ten Cate really enjoyed poking a bit of fun at typical wedding poses! Claudi & Luan said their vows on the 25th of October 2012 at Olive Mystery in Bapsfontein. I adored all the decor and details at their wedding! They put an incredible amount of thought into everything and the blue and red colours just work so well together. The weather also played along perfectly on their wedding day: Claudi’s wish for an overcast day came true and I love how dramatic the sky looks in their couple photographs. I also enjoyed the fact that we had some couple photographs done prior to the ceremony – it really gave us the extra time we needed to get those romantic wedding photographs as well as some random, crazy poses!

Here’s Claudi’s version of how they met:

“Luan and I met in 2006 at the Prue Leith Chef’s College in Centurion. I recognised his name on the class list – although we had never met we had lots of mutual friends and I knew he was also a Kempton Park native. He occasionally gave me a lift home to Kempton Park but that was about all the contact we had during our time at the college. After graduating in 2007, we bumped into each other at the local bar in Kempton Park and suddenly we became best friends.  We spend a lot of time together in 2007 and in 2008 we lost contact again… In January of 2009 he phoned me out of the blue and invited me to go out with him and his friends. They were going to Doors (an infamous metal/rock club in Edenvale). At first I did not want to go but decided to go just to see what all the fuss was about. I loved the place instantly! It was very different from what I was used to but it quickly became our weekly hangout spot. We were best friends again… In June of 2009 Luan asked me to be his girlfriend and for the first time we were more than just best friends. It took us 3 years of either being best friends to having no contact at all to realise we were meant to be together and we have been inseparable ever since!!!! We are like peas and carrots… <3”

Claudi also shared the awesome story of how Luan proposed to her:

“In May of 2011 Luan applied for a position as Inflight Chef for Etihad Airways. He got the position and moved to Abu Dhabi in September of 2011. It was the hardest thing to accept. I knew he had to go as the opportunity was just too good to pass on but I was not sure when or if I was ever going to see him again. We had limited contact as he was flying all over the world. We decided to end the relationship to make things easier on us. In February 2012 he came to visit for the first time since leaving South Africa. It was strange seeing him again but in a good way, a very good way. On February 22 we went for dinner at a Top 10 Restaurant in SA, Mosaic Restaurant at the Orient Hotel in Magaliesberg. It is an amazing restaurant with an elaborate 9 course food and wine pairing menu of pure heaven…  I remember sitting there after 3 courses, drinking wine and feeling blissfully happy when Luan suddenly took my hand with tears in his eyes, with a wooden box in front of him and the waiter standing there talking about the next wine… Everything happened at once! I was so overwhelmed and only heard Luan saying “ek kan nie sonder jou lewe nie” (I can’t live without you), the next minute the restaurant manager is there presenting the next course on the menu which was the tomato course… What an anti-climax! I was crying not sure what had just happened when Luan slid the ring on my finger without even waiting for my response! The manager realised what was happening and said “geluk julle, wat ‘n spesiale oomblik en hier is ek besig om twak te praat oor tamaties” (congratulations you two, what a special moment and here I am talking nonsense about tomatoes). It was the most bizarre and happy moment of my life! After catching my breath I eventually said ‘yes’. I remember fighting with Luan, telling him that there is a very good reason why they wait for the dessert course before proposing in the movies. I told him that who wants to be proposed to while eating tomatoes and having to sit there for another hour with ruined make up and red eyes from crying! Our engagement was as unique and bizarre as our relationship and I wouldn’t have it any other way! ‘YOU SUDDENLY COMPLETE ME, YOU SUDDENLY COMPLETE ME’, the lyrics from our favourite song, Hysteric by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, sums up our relationship perfectly!”

I asked Claudi to tell me more about her thought process behind the wedding planning:

“Neither Luan nor I wanted a stiff upper lip wedding with hours of speeches, a horrible carvery buffet and family members drinking in the parking lot! We wanted a fun, casual, rustic farm style wedding with lots of personality and personal touches and that is exactly what we had! I did everything myself: from the invitations to the flower arrangements, to the wedding cake/dessert table. It was truly a DIY wedding and it was perfect! I never had an exact picture of what I wanted my wedding to look like; I just knew what ambience I wanted to create and we worked according to that. Everywhere I went leading up to the wedding I bought items that I loved, not knowing if it will work or not, and the day before the wedding we just put everything together and it worked perfectly! My mother and I did all the décor and flowers using all the items we have collected and bought in the most unconventional places – it is not typical to buy wedding décor from charity shops, salvage shops and antique shops! I did not want big expensive floral arrangements; I wanted it to look like we picked the flowers and stuck it on the table in grandma’s living room on the farm… To go along with our rustic farm style ambience we needed the farm, but since no one in the family owns a farm, we decided on the next best thing: a farm style venue! Olive Mystery wedding venue is the perfect balance of rustic and sophistication. They were amazing! The guests could help themselves to some freshly made “roosterkoeke” with apricot jam and refreshing lemonade while we slipped away for the couple photo session! All the personal and unique elements of our wedding made the day fun and interesting. Every one of our guests will remember our very different wedding for all the right reasons!”

Claudi’s advice for other future brides is to not sweat about the small stuff and remember what the day is actually about: to celebrate your union as a couple. Relax and enjoy the day! Spend more time planning your future. She also recommends creating an ambience instead of a look and doing as much as you can by yourself as this saves money and makes it more personal and creative. Her most important advice is just to have fun!

Claudi also added the following:
“I would like to thank my Mom and Dad for all their help and support! And of course we would like to thank Izelle Labuschagne Photography! Without you our day would just be another boring forgettable wedding day… You made ALL our wildest photo magic dreams come true! We are eternally grateful for your effort and talent! THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS! We would definitely use you for our next wedding… ;)!”

Well, Mrs ten Cate said it all: the ambience was amazing; the vibe was fun and relaxed and I adore the shots we took on the day 🙂
It is clear to me that Claudi & Luan are meant to be – I can’t believe it took them so long to say “I do!” but I’m so glad I had the chance to be a part of it all.
Congratulations to Mr & Mrs ten Cate! All I can say is your wedding was absolutely gorgeous!
I wish you both a lifetime of random, spontaneous and FUN moments together!

Wedding Dress as well as Bride’s Headpiece & Jewellery: Ivy Bridal House in Pretoria
Venue & Catering: Olive Mystery Wedding Venue in Bapsfontein
Décor, Flowers & Stationery: DaisyDoo Décor and Styling in Kempton Park
Wedding Cake and Candy Buffet: Daisy Doo Designer Cakes in Kempton Park
Make Up: Angelstar Make up – jm@angelstar.co.za
Bride’s Shoes: AWOL
Groom’s Outfit: Markhams
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: China Mart in Johannesburg
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Handmade
Hair: Bruzette Willemse from Ikwekwezi Hair and Beauty in Kempton Park
DJ: Nolz van der Merwe from TUKS FM – nolz@tuksfm.co.za