Planning a wedding has got to be one of the most enjoyable, stressful and exciting times of one’s life!
After 7 years of dating, Springbok Rugby Player, Steven Kitshoff popped that important question to now-wife, Aimee Steenkamp.
“We got engaged in December 2016 in Dubai. We went on a desert safari after which Steven got down on one knee and proposed to me in the middle of the desert,” says Aimee Kitshoff.
We caught up with Steven & Aimee and got wedding “wise” with regards to their wedding that took place on the 7th December 2018 at Ashanti Venue.
- MAKE THE ANNOUNCEMENT:
As a couple, we didn’t feel right if anyone knew our big news before our parents and other close family members did. If possible, tell both sets of folks in person. It makes it that much more special… Whilst we were in Dubai, only a few people were sent messages. We then shared our exciting news on Social Media. We are quite a private couple, but it is something we were both so excited about that we wanted to share with people.
- TURNING A DREAM WEDDING INTO REALITY:
Sit down with your fiancé and talk ideas. Think about the style you’d like, the colours, the theme, the overall mood you want to create. Aimee has the concept for our wedding in her mind long before I even popped the question. Aimee was inspired by this Russian photographer (Murad osmann’s) wedding. Very whimsical and a little different. Very ‘out of the box’ and mystical. She had this décor design idea for many years and it stuck with her. Goeters Company, came on board to assist us with making my décor dreams come true! We sat and discussed all the elements we needed and wanted to incorporate and they put together an incredible design for us that matched our overall brief.
- ROUGH OUT TIMING:
As a sportsman, my schedule is pretty busy with tours and practice, so we had to find the perfect time that would suit all our guests, especially since some of my guests are my rugby teammates. Aimee also has friends coming from abroad so we needed to iron out dates way in advance. Once you know your date, you’ll know how long you have to get things organised. We set aside December 2018 as our timeframe, as the rugby season was coming to an end. A few weeks before the wedding, I found out I was playing in the Barbarians game, which meant I was only returning to SA, 4 days before my wedding.
- NOW TALK MONEY:
It’s rare these days that the bride’s parents pick up the whole bill, so decide on your bottom line. Even before getting engaged, if you know this is something you are going to do soon, start saving. You will be surprised as time goes by, of the unforeseen costs that spring up, so rather be prepared. Aimee’s parents were very giving in wedding-sense and assisted with many of the costs as that was very traditional in their minds. However, todays day and age, anything goes so be honest with your partner.
- GET ORGANISED:
I was lucky enough to have a great PR company taking care of my brand, so they were able to assist me with many wedding matters, but if you are not as lucky, start making lists and more lists. Write down the amount you want to spend on the item and then note your expenditures. As you near your limits, you can start to figure out ways to cut costs. I would also suggest that you set up a wedding email address, and use that for all correspondence so that you can track all items, as well as use it to send out invites. Be sure to set a date whereby all Save The Date’s must go out, followed by the actual invite at least 2 months following that.
- FINDING YOUR VENUE:
The venue should portray you as a couple! Start looking around and schedule as many visits to venues as possible. I firmly believe though, that when you see your venue, you’ll just know – that was the case with Aimee. We wanted a venue that would lend itself to our theme. Ashanti is absolutely gorgeous. It’s a little European inspired which reminds us of our time living there. Also their gorgeous high sealing was an instant hit with Aimee for her decor ideas. Aimee was insistent of finding a very specific venue to match our wedding theme and Ashanti ticked off all those boxes.
Once you know the look, feel, venue and date, start sorting out your stationery and decor. We opted for minimal stationery as we felt that the décor itself must be the biggest talking point. The décor on it’s own is an overall statement piece. It’s very different with an art deco feel. We added over 1500 origami birds to the ceiling, as well as brought in flamingo statues. We also have Comedian and Steven’s good friend, Siv Ngesi acting as MC on the evening. Our wedding favours included mini perfume and cologne bottles from Fragrance Boutique with a thank you card that read, “Nothing brings to life again a forgotten memory like fragrance.”
- WEDDING ATTIRE – BRIDE & BRIDESMAIDS
Aimee: This is possibly one of the most important and thought-through aspects of any wedding.
My dress is made by the incredible Chris from Galuzzi e Gini. We live close to their atelier and I drive past it every day. I saw the most gorgeous dresses in their window and after doing some research I was happy to find that Chris was the incredible talent behind them. Chris and Claudio helped and guided me all the way and I think we really created an incredible elegant dress. It’s a strapless ball gown with a regal feel.
They also designed the bridesmaids dresses which are each custom made to match the bridesmaid’s personalities – all the same shape and fabric, yet different shoulder designs. The Galuzzi experience was simply remarkable and something to remember!
- WEDDING ATTIRE – GROOM & GROOMSMEN:
TM Lewin came on board to dress the gents as we felt they were the best brand that fitted the brief and the overall style of the wedding. We went for a classic navy for the groom, and black for the groomsmen. Something stylish but classic, and an added twist to the groomsman suit.
With sportsman, we needed a brand that would fit the broad shoulders of rugby players and TM Lewin was one of the rare brands that could come to our rescue when it came to that!
I wanted to do something special for my groomsmen, so I had the wonderful team at Silvery.co.za to create personalised cufflinks with their initials, for the special day. To keep with the colour scheme of the wedding, we got bright and fun socks from Toeporn socks to match the bridesmaid’s dresses – which was a fun touch.
We also arranged to have Groomed Men come in whilst the gents were getting ready to give us the perfect cut and shave, prior to heading to the venue. This was an awesome experience for the gents to enjoy together, and the Groomed Men was absolutely wonderful and so professional!
As a couple we are very healthy and active, but there was no holding back on our wedding cake. We just love the idea of a tiered wedding cake, as it gives you the feeling of a fairytale. We opted for the talented jenny from Emma’s Cakes who make our dream cake brief become a reality. We went ahead and chose a 3-tiered wedding cake with two flavours – Aimee’s favorite flavor is red velvet and mine is vanilla. The cake boasted a beautiful simple marble finish and a golden ribbon touch. The shape is very art deco to match the overall wedding theme.
- BAR & ENTERTAINMENT:
Bar costs – we opted to offer all our guests free wine, beers, and ciders on the evening. We met with the most incredible team at Zorgvliet Wine Farm who gave us a personal tasting session and allowed us to first-hand select which wines we wanted to showcase at our wedding. It was such a wonderful experience. We also aligned with Simonsig and Graham Beck for champagne toasts.
Entertainment – what do you want to offer your guests, especially as they wait for you to take pictures? For entertainment, during pre-drinks, we arranged for the talented ‘The Black Ties’ band to perform to the guests on a high-rise balcony overlooking the guests. We also booked DJ Ryan Engelbrecht from Silkmusic for the music – which was another important elements for us as we wanted our guests to have FUN!
Lastly, FOOD! Ensure you cater enough food, for the number of people you’re hosting. We opted for food that we both love and enjoy, which was important to us. The portions were a little larger than usual for the rugby players of course. We also offered a harvest table filled with snacks, treats, and delicious canapés.
Our menu included:
Starters – camembert & phyllo with fig.
Mains- pork belly and ribeye steak duet.
Dessert – dessert station and cake.
A few other items to consider are the transport which we organized after the wedding for guests, the wedding night accommodation, the honeymoon and so much more.
But if there’s one thing we want to emphasize, is that this is an exciting journey and shouldn’t cause any tension between you and your partner.
“I am so grateful to have had such a wonderful and understanding partner, who allowed me to also be a part of every decision and the wedding process.” says Steven.
HAPPY PLANNING and may your wedding be everything you’ve ever hoped for, and more.
VENUE: ASHANTI ESTATE
Kristin du Toit +27 21 001 3198
VIDEOGRAPHER: DAWID BOTHA
Dawid +27 76 173 0203
PHOTOGRAPHER: RYAN GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY
Ryan Graham +27 71 444 7716
SUITS (Groom and Groomsmen): TM LEWIN
Gayle Pullen +27 21 447 7718
DRESSES (Bride and Bridesmaids): GALLUZI E GINI
Cristian and Claudio +27 79 4287942
WEDDING BANDS: PRINS & PRINS
Riana Courtis +27 21 422 1091
(Aimee’s Engagement Ring: PURA https://pura.co.za)
CAKE: EMMAS CAKES
Jenny Mielacher +27 83 986 5894
WEDDING FAVOURS: FRAGRANCE BOUTIQUE
DÉCOR: BAIE GOETERS
Nicola Kaden +27 72 671 5919
Ilse Louw +27 82 095 9222
MANAGEMENT TEAM: KDT Comms
Kerryn du Toit +27 82 888 2369
GROOMING: GROOMED MED
Eric Way Lovemore & Martyn: +27 71 352 3202
Socks: Toeporn https://www.toeporn.co.za/
Personalised Cufflinks: Silvery https://www.silvery.co.za