I recall sitting in bed on a stormy daydreaming about having a reason to create something magical. Don’t ask me to draw or paint you a picture – my creativity doesn’t lie there. But it lies within, brewing at the randomest of times.
I finally figured out what I could create – a beautiful boho Garden Party with some of my closest girl friends for my birthday, which was happening in a month. If you’re an August baby, you’ll know how challenging it is to plan an outdoor event for. You never know which season/s you’ll be getting on the day. But I remained hopeful, and started to create a concept board.
I had such a specific image in my head, and in all honesty, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to pull it off. With the event industry really struggling due to the Pandemic, I wanted to support them by working with some of my favourites, but I wasn’t sure they’d be able or willing to collaborate.
I was blown away by the enthusiasm and excitement in the responses I received. I’m always one to send out proposals confidently, but then I’m like, ‘crap, how am I actually going to make this happen?’, yet somehow I always do. I also usually work with someone who helps me make my concept a reality, but this time I decided to do it myself.
On set up day, I started wondering what on earth I was thinking. However, by the time the photographer had arrived, everything was exactly the way I had imagined it to be, and my heart was so happy. It looked magical. Just the way I’d promised it would be in my proposal to the brands.
Now part of why I do these collaborations is because I truly do believe in supporting local businesses. I love sharing the amazing experiences I’ve had with local creatives that deserve to be given some spotlight. I chose each of these businesses because, firstly, they’re owned & run by women, and also because of their amazing service. I’ll never share brands with you that I had bad experiences with – so trust me when I say that I was blown away by every single one of the following companies.
Balloons: Cape Town Balloon – over the years, I have formed such a wonderful relationship with Emma and her team. This year, I wanted something more boho inspired. They only use biodegradable balloons, which is the only reason why I use them. Before I had a balloon arch done by them at an event, I had no idea just how much of an impact it made on the overall décor. They were in and out within about 45 minutes, and they manage to make it all look so effortless.
Florist: Botanica Flowers – Rowenna was so quick to jump on board and after my initial conversation with her – just giving her a breakdown of the colour palette and spaces I needed filled, I left it in her hands. She arrived on the day with the majority of the arrangements already done and in the vases, and quietly worked on a few additional tweaks and arrangements. Her and her lovely Mom who assists her, even helped me finish off the table setting. Their work is just exquisite, and they just got it all perfect! The textures, colours, quantity, everything!
Décor: The Souk – I heard about The Souk years ago, and instantly fell in love. There have been so many events I’ve wanted to use them for, and just never quite got there. So I was over the moon when Emily, the owner was willing to trust my concept and jump on board. They have various curated packages you can choose from, or a catalogue with individual items which can be hired. I went for the Garden Birthday package which really comes with everything you need – the rugs, table, tablecloth, cushions, cane stool, gold table and it also comes with a bamboo tent and shepherd’s hooks, which I didn’t use. They are so punctual and reliable when it comes to delivering, if your car isn’t big enough to collect, which I found out the hard way. I loved finally having the opportunity to work with them – it was a dream.
Crockery & Cutlery: The Hire Haus – I indirectly used a few of their plates for our wedding in November last year, but this time I got to deal with them directly. The Hire Haus is owned and run by 4 lovely women who know the wedding and event industry inside out. I dealt with Cara who was so helpful in assisting me with making my selects for my event. It was all wrapped up securely and ready for me to collect on my day of collection. They have a stunning variety of table décor for any events – a birthday, special dinner, baby shower or wedding. They also have large quantities and are really affordable per item. It was an absolute pleasure working with them!
Candles: Amanda-Jayne Candles – I’ve been so lucky to have been gifted a few candles over the years from Amanda, and I am just so inspired by her. She is a wife, a boy mom and an incredibly talented Girl Boss. I currently have her Ginger Cake candle burning while I type this, because nothing leaves me more inspired on a gloomy Monday. All of her candles are hand poured in small batches. They are made with natural soy wax and scented with pure essential oil blends. Amanda assisted me in matching which scents to use together on the day – and we selected the Ginger Cake (my personal favourite) and Orange Blossom. The girls raved about what a special touch it was to not only be able to enjoy the visual aspects of the table setting, but to also have that scent and ambiance. I couldn’t have agreed more.
Savoury Platter: Plate & Platter – I was searching for a company that made beautiful platters that would fit the overall look and feel of the décor. I wanted something sophisticated, and also wanted a variety so that it could be our main snacks for the event. Linde was amazing, and recommended her Cheese Board which comes with 5/6 cheeses, preserves, nuts (guys, she does not skimp on nuts – there were even Pistachio nuts!!!), dried fruit, grapes, berries and crackers. I was blown away by the quantity, but also by how incredibly beautiful it gets presented! This was more than enough food for the 8 of us, and there was so much variety, none of us were left wishing she’d included anything else. Linde does a variety of platters – sweet, savoury, etc, and if you have a look at her Instagram page or website, you’ll know exactly why it didn’t take much for me to contact her. She knows what she is doing!
Sweet Platter: Roses Artisanal Confectionary – I discovered this incredible company when they’d reached out to me a few months back to send me a press drop to try out all of their delicious sweet treats. From truffles, to fudge to nougat and the best Turkish Delight I’ve ever tasted, they have the most delicious variety of decadent treats you’ll ever taste. It was a no brainer to ask them if they’d collab with me, and I was over the moon when they agreed. They sent me an abundance of their truffles from their Pick-a-mix range, and they added such a lovely touch. And they were enjoyed by everyone!
Cake: T Tarts – My dear friend, Tiana has baked a few cakes for parties over the years, and they are always such a treat! I had a very specific cake in mind this time, and sent her a picture of what I was wanting. I was blown away on the day, when she delivered it and it looked almost identical. Tiana is a Mom and also works at The Wedding Boutique – she was the one who did my wedding dress consults with me. But more than that, she is an incredibly talented chef and baker and just made the most divine cake that we all enjoyed for my birthday celebration.
Champagne: Graham Beck Bubbly – We all know that a Garden Party needs a Mimosa Bar. And a Mimosa Bar cannot be a Mimosa Bar without Bubbly. I was so excited to work with Graham Beck for my event, as I’ve always enjoyed their bubbles. Their Pinot Noir Rose 2014 was the perfect addition to my event. Honestly, I think the orange juice felt a bit left out, because after alcohol had been banned for so long, and the ban finally being lifted a few days before my event, nobody was interested in diluting this goodness. Not only does it look beautiful, but it tastes wonderful too.
Mimosa Bar Sign: Kikki & Franki – I cannot rave about this brand enough. I had sent an email through to Stacey and within an hour I had a response from her. But more than that, it wasn’t even a week and it had arrived at my doorstep – perfected. I was blown away by her efficiency and service. What a pleasure it is to work with a brand who just gets it done, and at a high standard. I loved the touch that this added to the Mimosa Bar, and I love that I can reuse this for future events too! They can custom make any vinyl & laser cut wall art for any occasion or space, but they also have a variety of other products available on their website, such as Mural Packs, lighting, an educational range, leather range, etc. I promise you, you can thank me later if this is the first time you are hearing about them!
Hair & Makeup: Makeup Mish – If you don’t know who Mish is by now, you clearly don’t take much notice of my posts from my shoots. Mish has become a very good friend of mine over the years – after she did my hair and makeup for my engagement shoot. She is such a talented makeup artist, and always gets it right! She is represented by Bird On A Wire when she works on set for commercials, etc. Ever needing a makeup artist for an event or shoot – her rates are so affordable for her skills. I also feel like I’m glowing once she’s done with me!
Photography: Life by Ayeh – I have known Ayeh for many years, and it has been so beautiful watching her talent unfold. Ayeh started out as a wedding photographer, and has traveled all over the world to photograph weddings. She has such a unique style, and just captures such raw and authentic moments and emotions. Ayeh has recently started photographing families, maternity, branding and portraits. I have no words for her talent and for the emotion that is portrayed through every single image. It was an honour to have her photograph my event, and she did such a wonderful job at capturing it just the way I wanted to portray it to you. If you are Cape Town based and need someone to photograph your products, or need a family shoot done – Ayeh is your girl!
I think after reading about all of these amazing businesses, it’s quite clear as to why and how this event turned out so beautifully. I love bringing creatives together to create a magical space. And I feel like that is exactly what happened. We have so many talented individuals in Cape Town, and it was an absolute honour to work with just a handful of them.
I’m still in shock that I managed to pull this off, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of all of the above businesses. I was also in shock that we had a perfect summers day for the first time in ages! I hope you feel inspired to create something beautiful, and to do it for you! For nobody else. We all deserve to be surrounded by a little bit of magic that makes us happy, even if there’s no reason for it!
You can have a look at some of the other images I have posted from the event on my own personal Instagram account too!