Real Bride - Karla

We met Karla in a whirlwind, she had booked a bridal fitting with us one Saturday she flew down from Secunda to our boutique in Durbanville. She brought both her Mother and soon to be Mother-in-law to the fitting. She explained to us that she would only be available for this fitting as she would need to return home and would not be able to come for a second fitting so we had to make sure our measurements were exact! We loved making this dress for Karla and sending her precious package to her. We usually see brides for a 2nd and sometimes a 3rd fit so this was somewhat nerve wracking hoping that the dress would fit, only seeing the end result in the beautiful photos. Karla's Mom-in-law also chose to wear a Blackeyed Susan Dress for the special day. 

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Tell us how you met your partner (please include the proposal story)
My husband, Murray, and I met at church and got to know each other in a small group that meets once a week. He is younger than I am, so a romantic relationship definitely did not cross our minds initially. As we got to know each other, we realised that there were more than platonic feelings. From early in the relationship I realised that he ticks the boxes and when we got engaged on a secluded beach close to Stilbay on 12 November 2016, I couldn’t wait to start the rest of my life with him.

When and Where did you get married?
In Port Elizabeth on 11 March 2017.

What made you choose the venue and the date?
When we got engaged we felt that the goal of an engagement is marriage (and not to be engaged for ages), so we asked what a realistic time would be to arrange a wedding. We decided on 4 months, which was 11 March 2017 (which was on a Saturday and two weeks before another wedding we were to attend where my husband was a groomsman).  We started browsing the internet for venues and had a choice between Murray’s hometown area (Joburg), my hometown area (Port Elizabeth) and close to where we work (Mpumalanga area). When we found Roof Garden Bar in PE, we loved the uniqueness of it – a see-through tent on a roof top in Port Elizabeth’s city centre. The ceremony was in a Gothic style church, dating back to the 1900’s, just up the road and the canapés at the Donkin Reserve, which is a public area with a big lawn and interesting local art. We really liked the look and feel of an urban wedding and the scenic walk the guests would take from the ceremony to the canapés area to the reception venue.

What was the theme of your wedding?

I don’t think there was a specific theme, I tried to incorporate things that I‘ve loved forever into the wedding (botanical prints for stationary, crisp white flowers, clean lines obtained via glass décor and an informal feel via wooden furniture, a view of the Indian ocean from the venue).

Any tips for future brides when choosing a theme?
Don’t go after trends (which will date your wedding 10 years after that in any case), but choose colours and items that you’ve always loved. I think if I came across some plastic flamingos I would have worked them into the wedding somewhere!

How did you hear about Blackeyed Susan?
I browsed the internet and found most dresses to be far from what I had in mind. I wanted a simple and elegant dress that would be easy to move in and not make me look uneasy or tense. I found some Blackeyed Susan dresses on the Wedding Collective site (store in Pretoria that stocks Blackeyed Susan Bridal) and decided to visit the Blackeyed Susan site to see more. I was so surprised when I could see myself in every dress on the site, so I decided to fly to Cape Town a weekend in January, because I knew I would find something there. What made it even better, was that the dresses were all affordable!

What made you choose the dress you chose?
I tried on four dresses at the Blackeyed Susan shop in Durbanville. When I opened the dressing room curtain while wearing one specific dress to show my ma’s (mom and skoonma), both’s eyes went big and they said “that’s your dress”. It was elegant and felt light, the A-line shape I was looking for and Melissa was able to make mine in 3 weeks (which was totally unheard of elsewhere, where the manufacture time is 4 – 6 months)!

How was your experience with fitting your dress and the final product?
The sample dress was quite close to my own measurements, so there were only a couple of small adjustments that had to be made. Since I wasn’t going down to Cape Town for another fitting, I trusted that Melissa was able to make my dress according to my measurements. She couriered it to me and I was delighted to have a perfect fit dress 3 weeks later. The dress was packaged in a white box with a branded ribbon. I felt like it was my birthday and I was opening a present.

Any advice or tips for bride-to-be’s when choosing their dream dress?
I think it’s so easy to go into analysis paralysis when choosing a dress. When trying on dresses, take someone with you whose opinion you can trust. Know what you like and what suits your body type. Like everything in life, the last 20% of an activity takes 80% of the effort and there will always be another style and colour to experiment with. For a 4-month engagement period I did not have the luxury of trying on 100’s of dresses and I tried to remember that the wedding is the first day of the rest of my life with my best friend, so the dress is special, but it is not everything. 

Your beautiful documentary style photos were taken by “Juné Joubert Photography” Why did you choose this photographer to capture your special day?  

Juné is a very good friend of mine and I love her style of photography, so it was a no-brainer to choose her as my photographer. She was also one of the guests at the wedding.

Would you change anything, (or do anything different) about your day?
Definitely not – it was the best party I’ve ever organised!

What was your most memorable/favourite part of your special day?
Being able to make a meaningful promise to my best friend that I’ll share my life with him.

Any advice for future brides for the overall planning of their wedding and how to deal with their nerves on the day? 

Know what you like and then use bridal magazines and other tools to guide you in the right direction. You don’t have to look at all the flowers or all the glassware or all the chair options to make an informed decision. It’s really OK if something doesn’t work out perfectly. Four days after the wedding I realised that we forgot to arrange the dessert plates, but it didn’t seem to bother any of the guests. For the nerves: if a bride realises that it’s the marriage that counts, not just the first day, it puts the wedding day in context and becomes less of a stress mountain, but a fun event organised by the couple for the loved ones in their lives. 

 "The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

 - Zephaniah 3:17 -

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See more of Karla & Murry's beautiful wedding celebration HERE

1 comment

  • Maureen Mundell

    Well done Black eyed Susan, to dressing this radiating princess ! Congratulations Karla and Murray. Karla you truely reflect the purity and beauty of the Bride of Christ. As a guest it was an honour to behold the beauty of this amazing Godly union. Murray and Karla’s warm natural symplistic yet stylish personalities were carried through into every small detail, and we as guests enjoyed every moment of this special day, well done to you both.

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