Real Bride - Jennifer Thorpe

Posted on May 14 2018

Real Bride - Jennifer Thorpe
Jennifer Thorpe - Wow what and honour and privilege to be able to make this incredibly talented woman's wedding dress! Yes that's right Jennifer Thorpe - feminist, writer, and a gender equality researcher.  Writer of the Novel "The Peculiars" and editor two collections of non-fiction feminist writing - My First Time, Feminism Is.
We loved reading her book the "Peculiars", so you can imagine how excited we are that she has written about and shared her very special day with us!

Tell us how you met your partner (please include the proposal story:)
Sam and I met at a friend’s wedding by chance. Originally I was supposed to be going on a trip for work, and his invitation hadn’t reached him via email. So we weren’t supposed to be there, and we weren’t supposed to meet.
But I chose not to go on the work trip, and friends followed up about Sam’s invitation, and the rest they say is history. We started talking about books, and running, and all sorts of weird and wonderful things, and we haven’t stopped talking since.
After almost two years of happiness I decided that I had to ask this man to marry me. He was kind and good looking and smart and creative. For month I had the ring tucked away safely in a bed side table. On New Years eve, after the bustle of a festive season, I couldn’t wait for ‘the perfect moment’ anymore. I asked Sam to marry me after a lazy afternoon nap on 31 December 2016. At first he didn’t believe I was serious, but said ‘of course!’ anyway. When I showed him I had a ring, he said yes for real. We celebrated that evening with friends. It was the best end and start to a year.

When and Where did you get married?
We got married at Elandskloof Farm Cottages on 7 October 2017.

What made you choose the venue and the date?
Sam and I are both from KZN. We love lush vegetation and being outside. We both knew that we wanted to get married in a forest, and we’d browsed a few venues online but nothing really spoke to us. I stumbled on Elandskloof’s website and we thought we’d take a look. After the first look at the amazing oak forest, we were certain it was the right place for us. 2017 has been a busy year for both of us, but I’ve been travelling a lot in particular, so we knew we needed a bit of time to plan. So we chose October, and Elandskloof just had the 7th available. 
What was the theme of your wedding?
We didn’t really have a theme. We just knew that we wanted to keep it simple and natural.

How did you hear about Blackeyed Susan?
I had seen a few of Blackeyed Susan’s products at one of my favourite local shops – Mungo and Jemima – and knew that the simple and classic style was something that I’d be comfortable in.

What made you choose the dress you chose?
My prerequisites for a dress were simple – it had to be comfortable, and I had to be able to wear normal underwear with it. I couldn’t imagine spending my wedding day squashed into something, or wearing weird frilly broeks just to look good. I love dancing, and I wanted to be certain that my outfit would allow me some space to move.
When we went for the fitting I tried on a number of dresses, and settled on the beautiful skirt I chose because it had the added bonus of pockets – which I absolutely loved. It fitted almost perfectly straight away. I liked it straight away because it met my criteria, but when I came out of the change room and my mom and sister got teary-eyed, I knew that it was the one.

How was your experience with fitting your dress and the final product?
Great. I loved how comfortable and casual it was, and all the advice I got was helpful. I was so pleased with my final dress.

Any advice or tips for bride-to-be’s when choosing their dream dress?
Choose something comfortable, that you know you’ll be able to sit and stand and dance in. Take your family with because they’ll be more honest than friends.

Your beautiful documentary style photos were taken by Dear Heart Photographers. Why did you choose this photographer to capture your special day?
When we got engaged the photographers were one of the first things we started researching. October in Cape Town is wedding season so we knew that we’d need to get our booking in early. Instagram was our best friend in this search, and Lindsay’s photos are magnificent. Each wedding looks like the most special wedding, and she and her team manage to capture all the right moments. We’re so happy with our choice, and with our photos.

What was your most memorable/favourite part of your special day?
Instead of Sam waiting at the front and me walking down the aisle to meet him, we decided to walk down together. Our families entered the forest from two different sides, and so we had a little family gathering before they left us.
When they had gone down the aisle ahead of us, we had a few moments in the forest with just us two. In that moment I couldn’t see or hear anyone else because I was so focussed on Sam. I wasn’t nervous at all, just filled with love and the certainty that this was the one person in the world that was meant for me. That all the moments in my life before meeting him had led to that, and that all the moments after our wedding day would be had as a team, and would be filled with love. It sounds so cheesy, but it’s the truth. You can see it from the enormous beaming smile I have on my face in our aisle photos.
The whole day was wonderful. It’s both a strange and incredible feeling to have so many people you love staring at you and smiling at you and sending their love your way. You feel like you are floating, and is overwhelming, and there were a few times in the night where we just said to each other ‘hey, are you taking this in’.
Any advice for future brides for the overall planning of their wedding and how to deal with their nerves on the day?
Find your tribe and love them hard. I am so grateful for the support of my close friends, my sister and her boyfriend, and my family as a whole. Be honest with your partner. Talk to each other in the months leading up to the wedding and be honest about your fears and hopes and what you want the day to mean.
Don’t go crazy with your budget. Don’t have the wedding that you think will look nice in photos, or will make your parents or whoever else happy. Keep things simple where you can.
Remember that although it is an important day it is just one day, and you won’t feel nervous if you know that. Some things will be perfect, and others will be strange. Allow yourself to laugh at things that go wrong. Surround yourself with good friends and family who will help you make it work.

Please List Vendors/services involved in making your day so special:
Wedding Dress - Blackeyed Susan
Venue - Elandskloof Farm Cottages
Photographer - Dearheart Photos
Cuisine - The Kitchen (Woodstock) did our food and it was AMAZING. We’re vegetarian and it was such a pleasure to rely on Claudia and her team, and to know that they were going to make us something delicious.
 • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Song of Soloman 8:3
"I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine." 


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