Christine and Bekircan’s Wedding at Tintswalo Atlantic:
The relationship between Christine and The Rose Cafe goes right back to our little store in Newlands village in 2008. Christine used to supply me with gift cards and that’s how our story with her begins. A few years ago we did the flowers for her sister Nicole and Eric’s wedding and now it was Christine’s turn to wed the man of her dreams. So it felt like a family affair to us and very special to be a part of her beautiful wedding at Tintswalo Atlantic.
We asked Christine and Bekircan a few questions on their beautiful wedding at Tinswalo Atlantic. Here are their thoughts:
How did you meet Bekircan? Tell us your story:
In 2008, I had recently moved to London and happened to be applying for my tax number on the same day as Bekircan. We had exchanged a couple of words of complaint towards the long wait and then carried on our separate ways. Him suited and booted and looking super stressed as he was late for a business meeting and me really relaxed in my slip slops and backpack (a real South African in the city look). A few weeks later when I was at a club a gentleman came up to talk to me and insisted he recognised me from somewhere. I thought this was a very weak chat up line and brushed him off until he mentioned the day at the tax office. Suddenly I clicked and we ended up chatting for the rest of the night, mostly about our home (Bekircan is from Turkey) and our families, which we were missing dearly. We kept in contact and met up a few times until I had to leave London for a job in the country. We continued to see each other and I returned to London a few months later where we carried on a relationship until 27th June 2013 when he proposed, totally out of the blue might I add. We weren’t in a hurry to get married, but realised that as soon as we found our venue, we had to book it which made everything real and the year and a half of planning began.
The venue, the dream, the big picture for your day – what was important to you and what did you want your experience to be?
I was trawling through the internet from my desk in London and found a five star lodge in South Africa which looked absolutely perfect and I was surprised that I had never heard about such a gem.
We had agreed that a summer wedding was a must and I insisted that I wanted to get married in the most beautiful country, my home. We didn’t want a large wedding and knew that a lot of people may struggle to get across the world for our big day, but as long as our families were there as our guests we were happy.
I made a trip to South Africa and my Dad chauffeured me around to just about every wedding venue option possible (and some that were definitely not options). I was most excited about the little lodge that I had seen online in the UK and so arranged a meeting when my Mom and sister could join as I knew a few more opinions would help. Well let’s just say I needed more than a few opinions… and it was to try and put me off this beautiful lodge as it was way over our budget. Every other place I had seen and was to still see could not compare and the fact that my heart jumped into my chest and I felt that I was actually in love… with a venue, made the decision easy for Bekircan – he wanted the day to be perfect and that meant letting me have all my dreams come true.
So a wedding at TINTSWALO ATLANTIC it was and I still smile thinking about how heavenly it all was. Intimate, on the ocean, rustic/chic decor, a delicious menu, service to perfection and dancing under the stars into the early hours in my mermaid dress surrounded by all those I adore….
The day after our beautiful wedding at Tintswalo Atlantic we smelt smoke whilst driving home, but thought nothing of it as we had heard about a fire on the mountains nearby. Waking up the following morning to find out that my most favourite place on earth, the venue I was so in love with and had just had the most perfect day of my life at had burnt to the ground was a real shock. I could not believe it and I was totally devastated. Today the lodge has been totally rebuilt and still looks absolutely exquisite, but my heart belongs to the original and I feel privileged to be, as the wonderful Melissa du Rand introduced me at their relaunch; The Last Bride of Tintswalo Atlantic 🙂
The details! Tell us about the vendors you used…
My dress had to be lace and I knew I wanted it to have straps and a low back. A friend of mine referred me to her friend’s boutique in Wimbledon, Teokath of London ( www.teokath.co.uk ), where I found exactly what I had in mind in the Pronovia’s Marte gown ( www.pronovias.com ).
Rose gold for my shoes, as with my engagement and wedding rings, was a must so when I found a simple pair of strappy rose gold sandals from Reiss, it was too good to be true ( www.reiss.com/eu ) and Helga Strydom and her team did a perfect job with the hair and make-up for my bridal party and I ( www.facebook.com/Helga.Bridal ).
My earrings, bracelet and necklace were from my favourite jewellery designer, Monica Vinader ( www.monicavinader.com ). This was my wedding gift from Bekircan and I was totally spoilt (I bought Bekircan and I leather jackets from All Saints in London – slightly less romantic a gift).
Our rings are from Istanbul, Turkey. Bekircan arranged these. My band is rose gold to match my engagement ring and has diamonds all the way round, while Bekircan wanted a simple white gold band for himself.
I struggled with the bridesmaids dresses as I was in the UK and my two sisters were both in South Africa, one of them being very pregnant. Eventually I found perfect, full-length, flowy gowns at Bridal Allure ( www.bridalallure.co.za ).
The men’s suits were from Ted Baker ( www.tedbaker.com ), and their cravats from Cravat Club ( www.cravat-club.com ). With my brother in France and Bekircans brother in Turkey, we sent them the colour and style we were going for and asked them to go shopping on us to make things easier and be sure that their suits fitted properly. We think they looked dashing!
The wonderful Reverend Daniel Brits married us ( www.tacotsa.com ) and for our ceremony and pre-drinks on the pool deck we were serenaded by Jazz Between Friends ( www.jazzbetweenfriends.com ).
Capricorn Music were absolutely amazing and we danced the night away to their tunes. ( www.capricornmusic.co.za ). I’m a real sweet freak so I had to have a delicious wedding cake. I wanted the style to be really simple and Beate from The Birdcage in Stellenbosch nailed this – the best cake I have ever had. Complete with gold succulents by The Rose Cafe of course 🙂 ( www.birdcageteabar.com )
I am no model and Bekircan and I were really not keen on having the overly posed looking wedding shots. We wanted a natural, warm romantic feel to our images and that is exactly the look that the amazing Tania Timkova’s images reflect. I love her work and her sweet personality really helps makes you feel at ease. She travels worldwide to capture peoples love stories, from Italy, Netherlands and the USA to South Africa, so we were really lucky to have her in the country to capture ours ( www.neverendingmagic.com ).
Ismael from Filmish did an amazing job for us with our video and I always get tears in my eyes when watching it ( www.facebook.com/filmishsa ).
As mentioned before, we had our wedding at Tintswalo Atlantic. Melissa Du Rand was my main contact there and an absolute dream to deal with throughout ( www.tintswalo.com/atlantic ).
For my flowers I wanted a natural arrangement with a Protea in it to match the Proteas that were all around the venue and also because I am very proud of our national flower, especially since I have been living abroad. I also wanted to incorporate the gold echevarias somehow. Bekircan’s family still go on about the beautiful Proteas and always ask me to try and sneak some back in my bag whenever I come to South Africa. My bouquet is now dried and in my room at my home in Cape Town; I’ll keep it forever.
What went through your head when you saw Bekircan / Christine for the first time?
So I was extremely nervous and excited. My poor Dad was really emotional too, but he managed to calm us both down and walked me along the boardwalk to my love. I saw Bekircan through my veil and tried to make out his reaction. The closer I got I could see he was really happy and emotional too. My Dad giving me away in front of everyone was really special and I felt really lucky to be standing next to this handsome man for whom all I could think was.. I’m marrying this man, I’m marrying this man!! And I couldn’t stop smiling into the sunshine 🙂
The only thing I was able to feel was my heart pounding and trying to break out my chest. All of a sudden I forgot how to breathe… And in that tiny moment I had my past and my future flowing before my eyes.
Tell us the key details that stood out for you from your reception:
Finally you can breathe and you look around at everything that you have been planning ever since you can remember and smile at how it actually did all come together on the day, as they all say it will.
I feel like I was on a high the whole time and I wish I could’ve stopped the clock as it all goes by so fast in a dreamy haze.
A couple of key details would be when my 97 year old Bonne Maman (Grandmother in French) called from Belgium to speak to us and wish us the best for our future together. She passed away a couple of months later and having a photograph of us on the phone to her on the day is a reminder that she was also with us on our special day. I also printed out photographs of mine and Bekircans parents and grandparents and had them framed and decorating the shelves so we had everyone there with us.
Another more jolly moment was definitely the dancing in the Jacuzzi in my wedding dress with as many girls and guys in there with me as it could fit. Care free fun that everyone remembers and still laughs about.
Tips from the couple:
I would suggest to any engaged couple, take your time and try to enjoy the planning process. Whether you’re doing it together as a couple or one of you is taking the lead. I was lucky I suppose as Bekircan left the decisions up to me so I pretty much had free reign.
Also, speak to people as word of mouth is a great way to get advice and contacts that will suit you.
Do what you feel comfortable with and not what is expected of you. It’s your day as a couple – we were in a few tricky situations when it came to things like language barriers – a lot of Bekircan’s family could not speak English – so we had an MC who spoke in English and Turkish to make everyone feel like they were part of it all. He was brilliant and is a very close friend so it worked out perfectly for us in the end, even though it was a bit of an added stress.
Make lists and a large spreadsheet to keep on top of it all.
Nothing is worth fighting over so make it work.
Planning a wedding from across the world is hard, but definitely possible and we were very lucky as all our service providers were amazing… especially The Rose Cafe 🙂
Christine and Bekircan’s Wedding at Tintswalo Atlantic