Real Wedding Inspiration – Janita Toerien

Surely you would agree that one couldn’t help but fall in love with Janita Toerien’s breath-taking designer wedding dresses! She is a designer dedicated to creating a uniquely handcrafted gown, which is elegant, sophisticated and bespoke. Her bridal gowns own a certain panache that enthrals the Bride’s audience.

You had a beautiful dress designed by Janita Toerien!! Tell us more about it!

Thank you! I absolutely loved it! Stumbling upon Janita Toerien one afternoon on the Internet is what I call serendipity! I had decided to put the wedding dress shopping on hold until after the Christmas break. I immediately emailed her and she responded almost instantly! I like the fact that she kept me involved with every single detail of the dress. She even takes you fabric shopping! The whole design process was very consultative which I enjoyed. The design studio is about 5 min from my work, which meant we could do some of the fittings over my lunch breaks. Very convenient! We clicked from the first meeting and the fittings really felt like going to visit a friend. She got married two months before me, so there was always a lot of wedding talk at the fittings. I had about 4 fittings to make sure the dress fitted like a glove, which it did! I loved the buttons and the little bow at the back the most!

Choosing your photographer is always a tricky part in the wedding planning process, how did you decide on Tanya Jacobs as your photographer?

Yes, It’s even trickier when you are planning a wedding in Durban being whilst living in Cape Town! We had looked at a few photographers’ work online. We browsed through Tanya’s blog and we liked her work. We liked how the couples she had photographed all looked relaxed and at ease! We liked her even more upon meeting her a week before our wedding! We had an engagement shoot a week before, which served as a dry run and left us completely relaxed and at ease with her for the wedding shoot.

What made you choose your wedding venue? What was your venue short list?

Braeside has the most beautiful wedding venue with perfectly manicured gardens and amazing giant trees. This provided the perfect setting for our garden ceremony and post ceremony drinks and canapés .We also didn’t have to leave the venue for the pictures. The reception hall was also big enough to accommodate our 180 guests! Their in-house coordinator is present on the day to make sure everything runs as planned. Other wedding venues we considered were Collisheen Estate, Boulevard 44 Boutique Hotel, The Zunguness and Lythwood Lodge.

Where did you get most of your ideas and inspiration from?

Mostly wedding blogs. And yes, Little Pink Book is definitely one of them! A friend also introduced me to Pinterest. I have been hooked ever since!

Any hints for other brides on how to keep your wedding budget friendly?

Decide what is important to you and spend the most money on the important things. That being said the photographer should be one of the big expenses. The pictures are all you will have long after everything has been forgotten. There are a lot of great DIY ideas on the Internet. Its also important not to get carried away, to take a step back and re-assess your budget constantly. Don’t be scared to ask for help!

Any time saving or organising tips?

It’s never too early to start planning! The best venues and photographers get booked out as far as a year in advance! You will change your mind a couple of times on certain things but at least the important things will be sorted.

What was the ‘theme’ of your wedding?

We wanted the wedding to reflect our personalities. We wanted something elegant, classic, with an air of romance but completely relaxed at the same time. We wanted all elements of the big day to reflect this. We decided on classic colours of white, black, some silver with a touch of lemon. All elements of the wedding reflected our personalities from the invitations, to the décor, to the music, the cake and the outfits.

What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome while organising your dream wedding?

We decided to plan the whole wedding ourselves. So we were involved in every bit of the planning. A very brave move as we both live in Cape Town and got married in Durban. So it took a few trips to Durban, some calls, many emails and text messages to bring our dream wedding to life!

Were any of your family members or friends involved in the wedding and what was their contribution?

Yes, they were. My sister was incredibly hands-on. My family offered to help in every way possible and assisted us financially. My family-in-law was a great support and made sure the wedding stress didn’t get to us. Our friends also offered to help and supported us all the way through. My girls couldn’t wait to take me dress shopping from the moment we got engaged!

What were the highlights of your wedding day?

It was such an amazing day that the whole day was one massive highlight!! It was really great to see everything finally fall into place like one big puzzle. A few things that really stood out for me: My mom getting me into my dress. It was such a special moment. I will forever cherish it. My dad’s face when he walked into my dressing room and saw me in my dress for the first time. Completely priceless!! And most definitely walking down the aisle towards my husband-to-be when everything came to an absolute standstill!!

What every Bride should know:

Start planning early. Don’t worry about the small details. Relax. Smile, smile and smile some more. You will be the most photographed person on the day! And lastly it is your BIG day, enjoy it!

What every Groom should know:

Your best man is one of your greatest assets, he can help keep people in line and get things done. Most importantly your Bride knows best, so don’t bother to argue, you’ll lose anyway.

By Leachen Kuffner