FIFTH EDITION FEBRUARY 2012
INDEX FROM ALEIT
Opening letter from Aleit
WELCOME TONY PENG
The Aleit Group anounces the new Senior Wedding Coordinator
CANAPES & COCKTAILS
Stir Food together with Shake and Serve to pair some funky canapés with some cool cocktails...
Mandi & Eddie Monique & Quintin Tamsin & Markus
Daniela & Casper
ALEIT’S BALINESE EXPERIENCE
Feeling inspired by the book and movie ‘Eat Pray Love’...
SERVICE PROFESSIONALS IN CLOSING
Closing letter from Aleit
Cover - Ryan Graham Photography Index - Ryan Graham Photography Opening Letter - Jean-Pierre Uys Photography Tony Peng - Johan Wilke Photography & - Ryan Graham Photography Canapé & Cocktails - Cari Photography Service Providers - Lizelle Lotter Photography Closing - Ryan Graham Photography
And all the while, we thought that putting a wedding together was hard work with great complexities? Well we can safely say that a fashion shoot is not for the faint hearted. Sourcing dresses and suits for 35 employees who are not model size zero’s – each one with specific requirements and body shapes was quite an arduous task. Sourcing attire from five different suppliers that matched our criteria was required and we eventually had everybody dressed and looking fabulous by three in the afternoon. We’ll just touch on the fact that around fifteen ladies had to be made-up and ready for action at the same time… but we’ll leave this ordeal to the imagination and move on!
FROM OUR CEO & FOUNDER We are wedding planners. We cover a lot of ground and manage a vast amount of information on a daily basis. But planning and styling a fashion shoot - well that is something we do not get to do every day. The one thing that does come naturally to a wedding planner however, is multitasking and being able to adapt to new environments, new personalities and new ideas. For us, this is a trait that equates to breathing. It was certainly the case as we entered Johan Wilke’s world for a week… a universe of “vogue” fashion styling and the related mayhem!
Prop sourcing and re building a mini set after each shoot was fun but also quite an experience and here we have to thank Isabella Niehaus for her limitless imagination and invaluable help. Isabella’s intervention resulted in everyone and everything coming together perfectly - without her professional eye and Midas touch, we would have been utterly lost. (It is at times like these, that the idea of a wedding planner clarifies… how do brides who have no experience in coordinating weddings get by without the help of someone experienced?) As we write this, the challenges have passed, our shoot has been completed and our re-launched website speaks of the magnificent results. Strangely… all we can think about is; “when can we have the next one”. The website shoot ended up being the best team building experience ever nothing like a good, old fashioned ‘fashion shoot’ to make everybody feel like a celeb for the day!
WELCOME TONY PENG It is with great excitement that we announce the appointment of Tony Peng - Senior Wedding Coordinator to The Aleit Group. Aleit’s travels - both within the borders of South Africa and abroad - often results in the accumulation of a few unbeatable ‘finds’...and this does not always pertain to his wardrobe! Over a year ago Aleit was invited to deliver a presentation to the students at the Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein. Tony, a lecturer at the university at the time, was greatly impressed by The Aleit Group and what it had to offer. He wasted no time in enquiring about possible career opportunities and 12 months later...we welcome him to the fold. Here are a few snippets about our new colleague!
BLOEMFONTEIN TO CAPE TOWN – WHICH IS BEST? “Undoubtedly Cape Town. I grew up in Bloem and my family are there...but Cape Town is most certainly on par with the top global destinations. There is such a variety of things to do, the quality of life is amazing...the scenery one laps up on a daily basis is mind-blowing...and I’ve not even started on the restaurants, bars...and shopping!” SPEAKING OF RESTAURANTS....WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE? “Sevruga in the V&A Waterfront” YOUR FAVOURITE CHILL SPOT? “Not sure yet as I have not had time to chill...but I’ll keep you posted when I’ve figured that one out!” WHAT’S ON YOUR IPOD ON THE MOMENT? Adele WHEN YOU WERE A KID, WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN ‘YOU GREW UP’? A chef...but not anymore! WHO HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON YOUR LIFE? Definitely my mom. IF YOU COULD INTERVIEW OR SPEND TIME WITH ANYONE, LIVING OR DEAD, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? Randy Pausch... because he has truly inspired me to dream big. Pausch learned that he had pancreatic cancer in September 2006, and in August 2007 he was given a terminal diagnosis: “3 to 6 months of good health left”. He gave an upbeat lecture titled “The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” on September 18, which became a popular YouTube video and led to other media appearances. He then co-authored a book called The Last Lecture on the same theme, which became a New York Times best-seller.
CANAPE & COCKTAIL With Summer well under way and inspiration in abundance, we combined the Stir Food and Shake & Serve teams and delivered a challenge - ”Pair some funky canapés with some cool cocktails and show us what you’ve got...” The results speak volumes, well done Johan and Gustaaf! Poisson cru served in a gem lettuce cup with pina colada – (Tahitian classic – tuna marinated in lime & coconut)
Use as a welcome cocktail-come-snack at your next dinner party and you will win the favour of your guests forever!
First up was a Tahitian inspired fish dish – the quintessential summer snack. It consists of tuna, cooked using lime juice and salt, which is then balanced in freshly squeezed coconut milk. This was paired with THE classic Pina Colada - the sweetness of the pineapple adding a tropical taste to this summery affair.
“Biltong” topped with beetroot puree & dhukkah, served with apricot mampoer
“Pig & Pinot” – terrine de champagne served with hazelnut puree and pinot noir – (great French country terrine using charcuterie and belly pork with pistachios and figs) Think rustic French countryside overlooking heavily laden vineyards and the perfect picnic spread. With Pinot Noir’s increasing popularity yet somewhat of a newcomer to the South African market - this pairing is the perfect introduction to the wine. You would be surprised how well a red wine can pair with white meat. Duo shots of prawns “Lorenzo Marques” & mango daquiri’s – (original style peri peri prawns from mozambique) Consider this combination in peak mango season... making use of the fruit when it is most juicy and at its tasty best. Mango and crustacean is a match made in heaven! Mango also has the ability to soften and balance the flavour of the chilli.
A truly South African inspired combination...with a bit of a twist. This would be great served at the start of an evening ‘braai’. The saltiness of the biltong with the earthy taste of the beetroot stands up well to the ‘kick’ of the mampoer. The foreign palates amongst us would get a real taste of what South African flavours are all about. Moroccan style lamb kofta’s topped with tzatziki, served with iced hibiscus tea Spicy meat, refreshed by cooling tzatziki in the sweltering African sun. The tannins in the sweet hibiscus tea cut nicely through the fattiness of the lamb and pair up elegantly with the spices of North Africa. Chicken & cranberry white rock roulade topped with candied lime & served with mini Cosmo’s This is sure to be popular with the ladies - featuring both elegance and lightness in the ingredients. The slightly tart cranberry and acidic lime is matched beautifully with the creamy white rock and delicately poached chicken.
MANDI & EDDIE
HOW THEY MET
A twist of fate perhaps? Introducing Eddie: he comes to Stellenbosch to visit friends studying at the university. Enter Mandi: the roommate of Eddie’s good friend who is desperately eager to introduce exhibit “A” to exhibit “B”. Mandi (exhibit B) is not too interested it seems. After all, he’s going back to Namibia so what’s the point? Later in the year however, December to be exact, Mandi visits her roommate in Namibia and Eddie re-emerges. But his plans to go to Potchefstroom the following year seem to present a dead end once again. Never fear, after a fabulous holiday, Eddie sees the sense in amending his plans and decides to head for Stellenbosch instead. “I didn’t know about this at all.” says Mandi. “He surprised me by appearing in Stellenbosch on 20 January 2006 and we have been together from that day on.”
“Eddie ‘faked’ a business trip to Mpumalanga to ask my parents’ permission to marry me. He even had a dummy file disguised to look like work in case I asked about his meetings. The following evening we had a dinner with our best friends, after they left Eddie seemed so weird and so I simply ignored his behavior for a while. Suddenly he was on his knees in front of me, all these ‘big’ words tumbling from his mouth… I can’t even remember most of them. At first I didn’t realize what was going on, until I saw his hand trembling and then I saw THE ring! I had no idea - not even a clue. It was the biggest shock and the best surprise of my life.”
THE WEDDING DAY
MolenVliet – the chosen site for the couple’s nuptials and subsequent celebrations. Sunny – the weather kindly supplied by the Gods. Extraordinary – the list of additional items the A-team was not to forget (such as: hand towels,
stationery, shoe polish, one giant canvas, bunting, charcoal to draw the cake, glue gun and glue stick, dry pastels, sharp chef’s knife, one Aleit Wedding card, seven clip boards, one fine liner pen, ribbon for vegetarians, hay bales). Spectacular – every aspect of this amazing wedding day further emphasized by the choice of recessional music, a “Beautiful Day” by U2! The pre-drinks session was disguised as a festive street party with a play on South African ‘braai’ food. Guests were in for further treats as they entered the reception venue to the sounds of James Frank and the Sticky Triggers coinciding with attentive pampering by well versed service staff and the presentation of fabulous food, ending with a party second to none. While quizzing the lead coordinator on this project he throws back his head in laughter and says with a huge grin, “A vintage mess is what we called it. The client’s brief was to ensure everything was “miss matched”... but with great harmony and that is what we achieved at the end of the day. Doilies, lace, antique silver and vintage linen was the order of the day.” Mandi and Eddie were well primed by their friends. “Everyone told us to stay calm and to take everything in our stride because the day goes by so quickly... and so we really did try to savour every instant, but it all boils down to that one perfect moment - the minute we saw each other. We just knew everything was going to be simply perfect. Everyone that we love was under one roof to celebrate our marriage - they were there just for us. That was really special!”
THE BEST MOMENT
“Eddie’s best moment was when he saw me walking down the aisle. My best moment was waking-up on the morning of the wedding and realizing this is the day that I get to marry my best friend. The day I’ve been waiting for since I was a child. The sheer excitement of knowing that life is starting NOW!”
“Eddie planned everything and told me nothing! Finally, after arriving at the Airport I found out we were headed for Greece. Oia in Santorini is the prettiest place we have ever seen!”
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY ABOUT US “Johnny actually became our friend and not merely our Wedding Planner. Some days I miss him more than I miss planning the wedding. Everything was taken care of, we didn’t have to worry about a thing. The Aleit team made our guests feel so special and this made our parents so proud. But most of all, our fairytale day came true.”
THE COUPLE’S ADVICE TO FUTURE BRIDES AND GROOMS “Try taking as much leave before your wedding day as possible!! “
MONIQUE & QUINTIN
HOW THEY MET
Monique and Quintin met at a restaurant - invited to dinner by mutual friends. Coincidentally, they both had been traveling extensively and neither was looking to get involved... Monique on one end of the table, Quintin on the other - stealing furtive glances ever so often. “Towards the end of dinner we decided to go to a bar. He offered to buy me a drink and we spent the rest of the night talking while the party continued around us. As I arrived home I received a text message from him...and needless to say we now spend all our time together. Even though we weren’t looking to get involved right then, it was clear that this was a union that was simply meant to be!”
There is a period in the year when Dubai has a number of bank holidays neatly lined up in a row. The couple used this to plan a vacation to India with some friends. The week leading up to their departure saw Quintin frantically trying to get Monique to dine with him but work commitments prohibited it. “As Quin and I take a lot of pride in our home, we finally decided to have a romantic dinner right there. After such a busy week at work it was a treat. We’d finished packing and he led me into our garden where he had prepared dinner. The table looked exquisite - there were candles and burners in the garden with our favorite tunes playing in the background. I honestly thought how lovely it was as we hadn’t been able to see much of each other that week. Before I knew it, Quintin was on bended knee asking me to be his wife! I agreed of course and off we went on an incredible vacation – newly engaged!”
THE WEDDING DAY
Monique and Qunitin chose the historical Grande Roche Hotel located in Paarl as the site to exchange their vows and celebrate their marriage! Classic styling was combined with modern lighting elements using a palette of grey, white and green with gold highlights. The after party offered an Arabian feel – a total departure from the rest of the day and a signal for guests to let their hair down and boogie! “Our wedding was absolutely fabulous. Planning your wedding from abroad is never an easy feat emotionally or physically, but having Aleit and Chanel on board really allowed me to let go and I LOVED every second of it. The day went by in a whizz and we danced the night away in true love!” says Monique.
THE BEST MOMENT “Has to be Quin’s speech.”
“Our honeymoon was absolutely magical. We went to the W HOTEL in the Maldives which of course is WOW, WOW, WOW!!! Their philosophy of whatever, whenever, wherever really applies and our whims were catered to at every moment. We enjoyed the beach, snorkeling from our suite every day with the house reef shark, went on a few dives, and paddled in a transparent kayak which allowed us to view the reef below. We ate, drank, relaxed, laughed and played! It was honestly incredible.”
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY ABOUT US
“Aleit and Chanel are incredibly special human beings. They take your dreams and turn them into the best day of your life. I would never have been able to enjoy myself the way I did if I wasn’t secure in the knowledge that our day was in perfect hands. Quintin was equally grateful for the hand-over which allowed me to let go! Living in Dubai made our decision to hire a coordinator easy, however looking back - even if I lived at the venue I would still want Aleit to be involved! Their attention to detail is just phenomenal and their friendly nature makes it even more of a pleasure. I feel as if I have gained special friends - I would trust them with my life!”
THE COUPLE’S ADVICE TO FUTURE BRIDES AND GROOMS
“Remember that you are getting married, that you are there to declare your love to the world which is first prize - not whether you first look left or right before you walk down the aisle. Do it your way – it’s your wedding, your rules! Enjoy the process and all the emotions that go along with it. Before you know it, the clarity of the memories start to fade and life carries on.”
TAMSIN & MARKUS
HOW THEY MET
Tamsin and Markus fell in love somewhere between the savannas of South Africa and the city streets of London. Coming from Australia and Finland respectively, and meeting in London, their family origins could not have been further apart. “Our first trip together (four weeks after we met) was to South Africa and so we were thrilled to be back in Cape Town for the wedding,” says Tamsin.
Markus and Tamsin got engaged on a secluded beach on Lizard Island at the northern most point of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. He had the resort staff and the chef primed and everyone except Tamsin knew what was about to happen. After an aperitif at the bar, Markus walked Tamsin to a secluded table on the beach which had been painstakingly planned (it had to be perfect!) and a bespoke seven course tasting menu commenced. After the main course, Markus and Tamsin took a walk on the beach. As they stood, staring at the star filled sky; Markus took Tamsin’s hand and dropped onto one knee. The rest is easy to imagine and guess what??? She said yes!
THE WEDDING DAY
“The wedding was spectacular because our beautiful friends came together from all over the world to celebrate the occasion with us.” For most guests, this was their first trip to South Africa and the Western Cape certainly did not disappoint.
The wedding was hosted at Holden Manz Wine Estate in Franschhoek and the weather on the day was perfect, with dramatic clouds curling over the mountains combined with clear blue skies. “The Aleit Group had it all under control so that we could relax and enjoy every eventful moment! From the Moyo Choir and chitenge fabrics reminiscent of time in Zambia, to the amazing food stations during pre-drinks; from the incredible selection of music at such pertinent intervals, to the orchid chandeliers and “canvas cake”….not forgetting the carefully crafted menu based on our favourite foods and wines. The wedding was action-packed, delicious, lighthearted and fun…and most importantly, it truly reflected us as a couple.” “Africa is mystic; it is wild; it is a sweltering inferno; it is a photographer’s paradise, a hunter’s Valhalla, an escapist’s Utopia. It is what you will, and it withstands all interpretations. It is the last vestige of a dead world or the cradle of a shiny new one. To a lot of people, as to myself, it is just home. It is all these things but one thing — it is never dull.” - Beryl Markham
THE BEST MOMENT
“It has to be the vows. I’d recommend writing your own vows to any couple contemplating marriage. Looking into each other’s eyes and committing to one another for life is an incredible feeling.”
“After spending some time at the Oyster Box Hotel we headed to a gorgeous safari lodge in KwaZulu Natal, we then spent a week at Medjumbe Private Island in Mozambique. This tiny, idyllic island has phenomenal staff who pampered us all week long and shared with us their gorgeous scuba diving spots.”
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY ABOUT US
“Johnny is one of the most creative people I’ve ever met. He understood us completely, and came up with ideas that pushed the boundaries exactly what we wanted!! Like the giant canvas cake. “
THE COUPLE’S ADVICE TO FUTURE BRIDES AND GROOMS
“Our big piece of advice: no matter how busy you are in the lead up, make sure that you are responsible for nothing except having fun on the wedding day! “
DANIELA & CASPER
DANIELA & CASPER These are rather special people who chose to celebrate their love amidst a nucleus of nearest and dearest…they take no short cuts and will settle for nothing less than the very best! This was certainly the case on a sunny day in December, when Daniela and Casper decided to tie the knot at Molenvliet Wine Estate. Keywords are undoubtedly: glamorous, romantic, vintage and intimate. Tears of joy streamed down the bride’s face as the Daniela and Casper exchanged their vows. We all agree, this is a couple who have the utmost respect and endearment for one another and are perfectly matched. MolenVliet Wine Estate was the perfect backdrop for Daniela and Casper’s perfect day. After the ceremony, a festive ‘high tea’ was hosted between the vineyards and guests nibbled on wedding cake and petit fours. Delectable canapés were served, each kind a tribute to the couples favourite country. Guests were led by a Jazz Duo to the reception area which had been set-up in the courtyard of the main venue. A clearly audible “intake of breath” could be heard as friends and family viewed the glitzy, candlelit dinner table that awaited them – set under a canopy of fairy lights and crystal chandeliers. To begin, the lady guests dined on salmon done three ways and it was cured venison for the gents. Main course was a banquet fit for Royalty...whole beef fillet and freerange chicken where accompanied by bowls of pomme lyonaisse, Provençal style vegetables and frisse aux lardon salad. As Daniela and Casper gazed into each other’s eyes during their first dance, it was the groom’s turn to shed tears of joy. Their love was tangible and everyone knew that this was a match made in heaven!
ALEIT’S BALINESE EXPERIENCE A few weeks ago I arrived back in South Africa after the most remarkable trip. After feeling inspired by the book and movie ‘Eat Pray Love’ (by the way, the book is better...) I decided that it was time that I too went on a selfish, all-onmy-own travel experience to Bali. This turned out to be an incredible and remarkably inspiring journey of self discovery. What a country! I am in no way an ambassador for Indonesia; I do however feel that it is my duty to urge each and every one to attempt this journey. I met the most incredible people from all over the world and friendships were formed... friendships that will be treasured for many years to come. I admit, the local Balinese were the ones who enlivened me most. Their simplistic lifestyle in combination with a true belief in Karma are two elements that contribute to peace and contentment within their existence. They are earnest, unpretentious and truly value life. The Balinese inspired me to be grateful for everything I have, my family, my daughter, my wonderful colleagues, amazing clients and a company I am so proud of. When one thinks of all of these things it is always important to acknowledge the source of your happiness and success. Besides all of the amazing spiritual benefits, Bali is a beautiful and unspoilt country.
I explored parts of the Island by bicycle (yes… unashamedly imitating Julia Roberts in ‘Eat Pray Love’) and managed to soothe my senses on pristine beaches. My mind was further soothed, or should I say numbed, by way too much Bintang - the most amazing Balinese beer. Best part is that it does not leave one hung over! I befriended the locals, and benefited from a few cooking lessons which, as I absolutely love good food, is an experience I will treasure forever. I have touched on the first two aspects of the book - now for Love. Is it not Love that drives this wonderful business of ours? It is with true heartfelt emotion (and often a tear or two which I try and hide) that I witness how true love can exist between two people. And how wonderful – it is our job to ensure that the dreams of these couples become a reality. In conclusion I leave you with a quote: “You were given life, it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.” Elizabeth Gilbert, “Eat, Pray, Love” - Elizabeth Gilbert
SERVICE PROFESSIONALS - EXTRAORDINAIRE MANDI & EDDIE FLOWERS PHOTOGRAPHER VIDEOGRAPHER VENUE FOOD DJ BAND WEDDING DRESS LIGHTING & SOUND HIRING STAFF
Floral Affairs Ryan Graham Magic Hour Productions MolenVliet Wine and Guest Estate Stir Food DJ Piet The Sticky Triggers Kobus Dippenaar Something Different Concepts & Shows Top Table Shake and Serve
TAMSIN & MARKUS VENUE Holden Manz Wine Estate MINISTER Mr Jones (the Bride’s Father) MUSIC Sticky Triggers Moyo Choir DJ Rene PHOTOGRAPHY Jean-Pierre Uys VIDEOGRAPHY Fresco Pictures FLORIST Okasie FOOD Stir Food STATIONERY Elsje Designs SOUND Presentation Staging LIGHTING Something Different Concepts & Shows WAITRONS Shake and Serve HAIR & MAKE-UP Luciano dos Santos HIRING Top Table TENT Nomadik Tents FLOORING Event Flooring
MONIQUE & QUINTIN VENUE MINISTER WEDDING CAKE MUSIC JAZZ DUO DJ SOUND LIGHTING STATIONERY FLORIST PHOTOGRAPHY VIDEOGRAPHY SET-UP STAFF BEAUTY HAIR & MAKE-UP FLOORING HIRING SUIT HIRE
Grande Roche Hotel (Female Rabbi) Dr. Tzili Wade’s Cakes Aleit Music & Entertainment Gary Deacon Roy Hendrickse Roy Hendrickse Something Different Concepts & Shows Elsje Designs Floral Affairs Ryan Graham Vicky Goslin Video Productions Shake and Serve Escape Wellness Studio Top to Toe Something Different Concepts & Shows Top Table Top Hat Clothing Co.
DANIELA & CASPER VENUE MINISTER FOOD CAKE WAITRONS BAND DJ STATIONERY FLOWERS LIGHTING PHOTOGRAPHY VIDEOGRAPHY HAIR & MAKE-UP HIRING
MolenVliet Wine and Guest Estate Charl Janse van Rensburg Stir Food Nelle Cakes Shake and Serve Sound Image Darren Rose Elsje Designs Floral Affairs Something Different Concepts & Shows Lizelle Lotter FJS Productions Alicia Buckle A Vintage Affair Top Table In and Out Events
IN CLOSING Gone are the days when planning a wedding on your own is pure fun. There was a time when immediate family and friends would gather together and make sure that they took care of the entire affair! Thanks to changing times, the popularity of destination weddings, greater expectations through media influence and couples marrying later in life with access to personal funds... arranging an entire wedding has become a cumbersome process. It is no longer possible for the families of the Bride and Groom alone to take care of the entire programme without someone having a nervous breakdown - most probably the Bride! No wonder the wedding planner now gets ‘top billing’. Allocate an agreed amount of cash and let someone else take care of your wedding plans, allowing you to enjoy the experience from beginning to end. We are indeed happy to say that it’s become quite clear that bridal couples are by now educated in the benefits a wedding planner service affords them and are becoming discerning shoppers... which translates into “only the best will do”! In that case, we look forward to receiving your call!
ALEIT SWANEPOEL CEO & Founder - The Aleit Group
Published on Feb 26, 2012