Romantic, magical, emotional and unconventional romance


Romantic, magical, emotional and unconventional are just a few words that can be used to describe Umhlanga newlyweds James and Michelle Peters’ wedding in June last year. Unexpected details like a balloon aisle, a confetti bomb and a cocktail evening filled with fairy lights and neon signs made this a unique and memorable wedding.

More than anything, Michelle (a brand merchant buyer for a well-known apparel company) and James (a wedding videographer) were looking forward to having everyone they love in one place. Their chic wedding was unconventional, not unlike the way they met . . . on a dating site four years ago, with their goal to transform Bellevue Café in Kloof into a playful love oasis. We asked them to share their favourite moments from their special day…

The moment I walked down that aisle and saw James with all our loved ones surrounding us was more than I could ever have dreamed of.

My flowers were so special to me. They encapsulated all my favourite opulent colours, they were delicate and dramatic. My florist completely captured my vision and brought it to life.

Giant helium-filled balloons lined the gardens creating the aisle which my brother Grant walked me down, leading me to James.

We sealed the deal with a kiss to confetti bomb explosions. It was so very special having our close friend Matt officiate. I remember looking at James in that moment, saying our own vows and loving it with all my heart.

I roped in a few of my incredibly talented friends and they contributed to some really special details, including our incredible cake made by my friend Danielle. Our wedding cake was a reflection of James and me – opposites attract. One tier was traditional (fruit cake) like James and the other was more contemporary (red velvet), like me.

I love this photo with our families together. We decided to steer away from the traditional wedding photos and go for a more natural take on the day.

This is our fabulous bridal party, the guys in head-to-toe black and my girls sparkling in black and silver.

My three nieces were my flower girls, in pale pink tulle and little fur coats. I will always treasure having them there with us.

Like most brides, I decided to go and try on dresses with the girls for fun and to get a feel. I never thought I would find a dress ‘off the rack’ that I would buy, so it was just for fun. I went off to Toujours and had a fun day trying on gorgeous gowns. I tried on one dress that was utterly beautiful but just not quite right… too classic and not enough drama, but beautiful. I contacted the designers, McCarthy Wolff, who altered this pearl encrusted beauty and added a completely new skirt made up of layer upon layer of tulle, each individually dipped and dyed in pink. They added pearls to the top of the skirt as well as the removable sleeves. I had found my ultimate dress with my ultimate designers and it fitted like a dream. Lastly, we added a petticoat and long soft tulle veil. I was in heaven!

James handmade this Crazy Love neon light for our reception.

Our first dance was to Florence Welch’s cover of Stand by Me. Heart explosions and holding each other tightly, I think the photographs says it all…

Details: Venue and catering: Bellevue Cafe | Photography: Matt Kay Photography | Co-ordination: Lucinda Delaney for Luxe Events | Flowers and décor: Karen Morgan for Story | Stationery: Dru Raymond | Video: Leman Media | Cake: Danielle Wright | Bride’s dress: McCarthy Wolff | Bride’s accessories: ASOS + Dune | Hair: Clair Glancey for Fusion Hair | Makeup: Irina Peltz | Bridesmaids’ makeup: Volenti Laurentina | Groom’s attire: ASOS | Groomsmen’s attire: Suit Yourself | DJ: Eric Rae

Text: Monique De Villiers-Delport | Photographs: Matt Kay Photography