This is part one of my wedding posts, and this one captures a little bit of the first part of my day and my first dress out of the two I wore. I get a bit particular about sharing moments that are a bit too personal. It was a really happy and emotional morning for my husband, our families, friends and myself, so I’d prefer to keep those key moments and images to myself, however I will at a later stage share more about my reception and some portraits. In this instance though, let’s just say this is more of an extra special look post! For those who may not know, I’m Muslim and of Cape Malay heritage, and it’s our tradition to have an “experimental” dress in the morning (which may be colourful, simple, borrowed, vintage or more conservative), and a more westernised, traditional white dress for the afternoon and evening. I also like to call the morning dress the “personal” dress because it can say a lot about the bride’s heritage, personality and taste. I love that my culture encourages a wardrobe change!
My dress is actually a separate top and skirt, and a very last minute decision to make, as I had initially bought a very simple beaded chiffon Grecian dress in Mecca. However, I found myself very inspired by Zac Posen’s ball gowns with their matte duchess satin, and the antique-looking gold lace used by Dolce & Gabbana a season or two ago. My creativity itched and I couldn’t resist having something custom-made. My top was made by a family friend, Fatima Bagus, who for over a decade sewed for the renowned bridal boutique, Meyer’s in Cape Town, while my skirt was made by my favourite seamstress, my mom!
My hand-beaded headpiece was made by another family friend, Adila Kafaar. Because the actual nuptials (known as the nikkaah) took place in the mosque, all of my hair needed to be covered, as modest-dressing is to be observed in my faith. This was why the cap extended fully over my hairline, and was secured onto a pinned base turban. I softened the look with a chiffon veil as opposed to traditional net veiling firstly because it isn’t as sheer and secondly because I feared looking like those hijabi brides with an overpowering mane of mesh.
As for the finishing touches, my make up was done by my favourite make up artist, Tharwat Dedericks from MAC. I’ve admired her work for years, and she is incredible because she knows how to capture that bridal “glow” instead of caking it. While we did a soft pink lip at our trial, on the wedding day, a slick, dark sweep of ‘Diva’ lipstick by MAC seemed to make more sense.
Lastly, a family heirloom on my wrist completed my look – this bracelet was given to my grandmother by my grandfather for her 21st birthday, and passed down to me before she passed away in 2005. Whenever there’s a major occasion in my life, I make sure I wear it.
I always thought I would be a hysterical, panicked bridezilla but funny enough I was so calm, and incredibly happy on the day, taking it all in and enjoying the time spent with our loved ones. I can truly say seeing my husband for the first time on the morning of our wedding was the happiest and most overwhelming moment in my life.
Photographs: by Lisa Gabriel
Make Up: Tharwat Dedericks @ MAC
Top: Fatima Bagus
Skirt: Sorayah Harron
Headpiece: Adila Kafaar
Perfume: Untold Absolu by Elizabeth Arden
Corsage: Shahida Stoltenkamp