Scarlett Gown – Meghan & Michael


Meghan and Michael


Meghan and Michael

14 September 2019



Olive Rock Wedding and Function Venue is in the picturesque Witzenberg Valley, situated an hour and a half from Cape Town. We chose this venue due to the natural beauty – it is surrounded by mountains at every turn.






Justin and Simone Davis Photography were our photographers for the day.



We got engaged on Devil’s peak! Michael had suggested we go hiking after work one evening. It was a Wednesday, so I didn’t expect anything. When we were halfway up, he said he wanted to ask me something, and when I turned around, he was on one knee with a ring in his hand! Of course, I said yes and then he told me that we were going for dinner to celebrate and that I wouldn’t be going to work for Thursday and Friday. He had arranged with my boss that I get two days of leave. So, the next day I was whisked away to a mountain cabin for three nights, where many bottles of bubbles were consumed!



We wanted neutral tones with a pop of fun and colour. This was achieved with our colourful name tags that matched the bridesmaid’s dresses. It was important to us that the day had a very relaxed atmosphere with lots of fun and laughter.



My engagement ring is a ring I inherited from my late grandmother. It is so special to me as it is 40 years old and I have kept the style the same. Our wedding bands were made by a friend of ours and mine is a simple gold band engraved with “Hodge” and our wedding date on the inside.



Someone had said to us that white proteas were in season in September! We were thrilled as we both love proteas and the white ones are very elegant. We decorated the reception with white proteas and my bridesmaids had a single stem white protea as a bouquet. It was important to us that no flowers went to waste so after the ceremony the bridesmaids placed their white proteas into a vase that formed part of the reception decoration. We also encouraged our guests to take home the flowers which many did, and I still get photographs from friends of the flower arrangements they took home! – proteas last forever! My bridesmaid Lara offered to make my bouquet and used various white flowers (I always forget the names). It meant so much to me that she made my bouquet.



We did something VERY different for our wedding cake, we had a pinata wedding cake! Just before the first dance, our MC called us up and we both whacked a pinata until all the goodies inside fell out. We had filled it with funny headpieces, stick-on mustaches, M&M sweetie packets, funky sunglasses and my favourite had to be the mini sombreros! Everyone rushed to grab something, so our dance floor was filled with friends wearing funky things!



Our first dance song was There will be time by Mumford and Sons and Baaba Maal. We loved that it starts off slowly and then builds up. We aren’t the world’s best dancers so our friend who is dance instructor gave us a few moves that got us through the slow part and then everyone joined the dance floor when the beat dropped! The music for the day varied from a live Marimba band during the canapes to amazing dance music from DJ West who knows how to get a party started!



Rob Stanford the chef at Olive Rock is an incredible chef and he created the most delicious menu. We still have guests telling us how amazing the food at our wedding was. The meal was served to the tables by waiters and they placed wine on the tables. The menu was made up of beef fillets, tuna steaks, chicken breasts, and a vegetarian meal. It was very important to me that we catered to everyone’s dietary requirements.



We went to Sao Tome and Principe, which is a little island off the west coast of Africa. We are both incredibly adventurous and we wanted a honeymoon destination that offered mountains and beaches. We only had 8 days, so we didn’t want to travel to the far east or west. I had never heard of Sao Tome and Principe until a friend who travels extensively into Africa mentioned it to me. After I did my research and saw how beautiful it is, our decision was made. It was an experience I will never forget – it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to in the world. We would spend our days swimming in warm blue water and lying in the sun on deserted beaches.



One of my most memorable moments leading up to the wedding was when I found my wedding dress. I enjoyed the process of trying on dresses more than I realised, and I didn’t think I would feel such a huge wave of happiness once I found my dress. I found wedding planning quite stressful but each time I stepped into the Bo & Luca studio I honestly forgot all about those stresses and really enjoyed being in the moment. My most memorable moment on the wedding day was walking back down the aisle as husband and wife. It was a good feeling.



Stay true to who you are and what you love. It can be so easy to get caught up in how a wedding day “should be”, but don’t be scared to add yours and your grooms’ personalised touch. Your guest will recognise it, and their experience at your wedding will be real and authentic. I would also encourage supporting local and friend’s business when looking for suppliers. You won’t be a number in the process which will contribute positively to the planning process.