Colin and Christelle – the proposal
PHOTOGRAPHY – Nikki Meyer
Colin and Christelle met in 2001 studying in Stellenbosch, South Africa. “Colin moved into an apartment where one of my school friends lived. We were friends for about a year before we realised that we both wanted more. We finished our studies in 2003 and decided to move to London together the following year.”
“We were together for six years before Colin proposed. I was planning a trip back home to my parents in Namibia and he came along – unbeknownst to me, to ask my parents for permission to marry. Namibia also has one of the largest diamond mining industries in the world and he bought my ring in the capital Windhoek.” Colin proposed at one of Christelle’s favourite places – Okapuka Lodge situated in rolling plains, 40km from Windhoek.
Christelle and Colin – The Ceremony
Christelle and Colin’s wedding ceremony took place in a mountainous suburb of Windhoek called Kleine Kuppe. “We got engaged on a mountain and wanted to get married on one too! As a child I also used to come here with my friends to watch the stars and enjoy the city lights, so it’s always been a special place.”
The couple chose Vineyards Country Bed and Breakfast for their reception. “It reminded us of Stellenbosch – so this was our way of remembering where our paths crossed.”
Christelle and Colin – The Ceremony
“We used a taupe colour scheme and a vintage theme based on the typical farmhouse-style weddings in 60s Southern Africa,” says Christelle. Key design features included wooden birdcages, an old-style gramophone and bread cutter. “We added a bit of modern day vintage with wheelbarrows full of veld grass, hearts made from twigs and lanterns,” she adds.
The couple used a wedding planner, Barbara Ferreira, to pull their ideas together – and relied on lots of help from Christelle’s parents. “My mum arranged helped by setting up appointments, sorting the bridesmaid dresses and helping out-of-town guests with accommodation while my dad sorted all the technical stuff like the signage and the challenge of getting the road opened up the mountain.”
Colin and Christelle – The Gown
Back in London, Christelle bought her Maggie Sottero gown at Reflections in West London. “The top part was classically decorated with Swarovski crystals, to catch the light; I had the train removed by a local designer – it would have got in the way and I didn’t want my dress to get really dirty. I bought my crystal and pearl earrings and hair accessories from www.weddingtiarasandjewellery.co.uk, ordered a birdcage veil from the US and wore a bracelet given to me by my parents.” Christelle’s bridesmaids wore dresses by a local Nambian designer Estelle Mudge and carried parasols found on ebay while Colin wore a sand-coloured Moss Bros suit bought from Elys, Wimbledon.
Colin and Christelle – The Flowers
The wedding flowers, arranged by the couple’s planner “were wild and natural, as though they’d just been picked from the bushes,” says Christelle. Multi-talented photographer Nikki also designed the couple’s gorgeous bespoke stationery.
Colin and Christelle – The Reception
“My cousin’s husband married us, so the ceremony was extra-personal and touching,” says Christelle. Afterwards guests arrived at the Vineyards to the sound of local drum band, Ongoma. “Colin and I secretly stood at the top of the hill and watched all our guests at the welcome reception enjoying the music, drinks and occasion. They didn’t know that we were watching, so we were able to absorb our first hour as married couple on our own whilst sipping on champagne.”
Famous Namibian chef and author, Antoinette De Chavonnes-Vrugt oversaw Colin and Christelle’s wedding feast. “The food was very traditional and our cake, a syrup-coated pastry called koeksisters was made by my aunt,” she adds.
Colin and Christelle – The Entertainment
During dinner guests enjoyed some live entertainment organised by Ongoma’s manager, Volker and later on a DJ. “We opened the dance floor with a dance to Take That’s Greatest Day. We love the words and thought they would be the perfect way to start our new life together,” says Christelle.