Whitney and Francois were married in early Fall at the Laguna Presbyterian Church, followed by an elegant reception at the Monarch Bay Resort. Whitney surprised her husband Francois who is from South Africa with unique cultural touches. This gorgeous wedding was lovingly and exquisitely photographed by Lawrence Crandall with the wedding cinema/videography shot, produced and edited by the skilled pro’s at Plug Films.
How did you meet?
We met online actually on Match.com. He was living in NY at the time but was scheduled to move to CA about one month after we were “matched.” He phoned me the week he was settled in Redondo Beach and we had our first date…the rest is history.
How long did you plan the wedding after the proposal?
14 months; We were engaged in July, 2015 and were married September, 2016.
The top 3 challenges/difficulties of planning the wedding
1. Francois is from South Africa so I wanted to be sure to include some cultural touches from his country to surprise him as well as our guests whom traveled from SA. It was difficult to figure out how exactly to best do it, but it was definitely a hit. We had a double ice luge martini in the shape of an “M” (our last name initial) where on one side, our signature drink poured and the other side, a popular South African liquor called Amarula, poured. We also had a candy bar with 1/2 American candies and 1/2 SA and also had the band learn three songs in his native language, Afrikaans that were played during the open dance.
2. Deciding on a videographer. We initially were unsure if we wanted one altogether and when we decided we did it was difficult to narrow down which company to go with. We were thrilled with the vendor we used and would highly recommend for every couple to have a videographer. We love to watch the video together – as it is all so new, we seem to be watching it quite often!
3. I knew from the get go that I wanted to use Nisie’s Enchanted Florist as my floral vendor which made that part easy. I loved the meeting where I saw a mock up of the floral arrangements that would be used in our wedding. It was the first sense of having my vision come to life.
What fun/unique feature of your wedding made you the proudest?
I would say all of the South African touches – music, drink and candy (details provided above). It was a surprise for everyone, from Francois to his family and friends from SA, and the looks on their faces when they saw it all was truly priceless.
Francois is also a fan of whiskey and I had a whiskey expert whom hosted a whiskey tasting of (6) top whiskeys for the guests in the foyer of our ballroom. This was also a surprise for him and it was definitely well received by all the men at the wedding 🙂
If you had it to do over, what would you change, add or do differently?
I am sure every bride says this, but I truly feel everything about our wedding was so perfect. I would not change a thing from the day.
Other vendors recommended by the bride and groom:
Dance lessons: All The Right Moves (located in Newport Beach; Sharon was amazing to work with and we received many compliments on our dance)
Invitations: Patricia Ducharme
Calligraphy: Cathy Kinney
Candy Station: Two’s A Party
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