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Blue was the colour, and stripes was the pattern for Jacqui and Matthew’s contemporary wedding in South Africa…

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How they met

Jacqui fell for Matthew on their very first meeting. “I was a bit tipsy, and started calling him my husband, even though we’d never met before!” she laughs. Two weeks later, the couple met for coffee. “We still laugh about our first date,” Jacqui says. “I refer to it as ‘the interview’ because Matt kept asking me all these serious questions!”

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The proposal

It was third time lucky for Matthew when it came to proposing to Jacqui. “We were on holiday in Zanzibar, and Matt was about to propose when a huge group of kids ran up and started trying to communicate with us,” Jacqui explains. “Then on his second attempt, he’d hired a private boat, but I got really seasick.” Matthew finally managed to do the deed early one morning, on the beach in the gentle rain. “He’d designed the engagement ring himself, and it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen,” Jacqui adds.

The bride’s outfit

Jacqui wore a spectacular custom-designed gown by designer Julia Ferrandi, whose work she had seen in a magazine. It featured a sweetheart neckline, a mermaid-style skirt of draped tulle and duchess satin and a detachable Art Deco crystal belt. “It was absolutely stunning, and once I had all my accessories on with it, I felt like a real bride,” Jacqui says. The lucky bride won a pair of Benjamin Adams shoes in a competition, and chose a 1920s-inspired design made from the same fabric as her dress.

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The groom’s outfit

Matthew took Jacqui’s breath away with his choice of wedding outfit, a tuxedo suit with grey trousers and a black bowtie from Trenery. “I had never seen Matt in a tuxedo before, and I was overwhelmed with love and emotion,” Jacqui smiles.

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The bridesmaids

Jacqui chose her sister as maid of honour, with her friends as bridesmaids. The girls looked chic in flattered navy blue full-length dresses. “I found them online and sent one of my bridesmaids out to buy them, as I live in South Africa,” explains Jacqui. “I trusted her to make the right decision.”

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The ceremony

Christians Jacqui and Matthew were married in a religious service in Netherwood, a contemporary venue with its own chapel on a working farm in South Africa. “One of my fondest memories is of walking down the aisle with my dad next to me. I saw each and every person looking at me and wishing me well, and then looked into the eyes of my future husband,” Jacqui recalls.

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The flowers

The creative couple put together their own floral displays with flowers, vases and glassware purchased from the local flower market the day before the wedding. The arrangements featured white blooms including orchids and gypsophila, along with touches of blue and orange.

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The reception

After enjoying ample canapés following the ceremony, the guests were treated to a three-course dinner of seared salmon, coriander-encrusted rack of lamb with mustard mash and the venue’s famous blueberry cheesecake. Later, they were entertained by a DJ, a flash mob, and a romantic choreographed first dance to Jason Wade’s You Belong to Me.

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The details

The couple chose a striking navy and white striped colour scheme, with bright orange and mixed metal accents. “We’re a very creative family, so we decided to do all the decor ourselves,” explains Jacqui. “In the year leading up to the wedding, we collected copper and pewter vases from charity shops, as well as owl ornaments in tribute to my grandmother. We also made giant paper flowers to decorate the wall behind the top table.”

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The cake

The modern navy and white striped three-tier cake included two layers of rosewater and pistachio sponge with lemon curd filling, topped with a classic fruit cake. “The top tier is now in our freezer, ready for our first baby’s christening,” adds Jacqui.

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The honeymoon

The lucky lovebirds enjoyed two honeymoons – a five-star spa break immediately after the wedding, and a dream holiday to Mauritius several months later.

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