The Real Wedding Of Nicole & Josh
Finding themselves called to the scenes of Cape Town time and time again, Nicole and Josh share how, and why, the enthralling city of South Africa’s capital is the center of their nuptial journey.
The Love Story
“For years and years, I kept on saying, ‘the drums of Africa still beat in my heart’…” Bride Nicole begins.
“Then, as if it were written in the stars – my heart led me home in the summer of 2016, where I met Josh in Cape Town and fell in love. We endured an on/off long-distance relationship for a few years, until I finally took the plunge and moved to South Africa to be with him in February of 2020. Unbeknown to us at the time, COVID-19 was about to spiral – and just three weeks later, the President of South Africa locked us down, and Australia locked us out. ”
It was there – in a small, unfurnished and empty apartment – in the midst of a global pandemic that the new pair were faced with a situation that would make or break them. And as fate would have it, the pair thrived under the circumstances.
“Fast forward two years, Australians were finally allowed to travel, and my mom visited us from Sydney. Josh asked her, my dad and stepdad’s permission to marry me – and at a casual lunch in his parents’ home to my complete surprise, he proposed. It wasn’t what he had planned as he wanted to propose in Cape Town a few weeks later but the importance of having a member of my family with me after so long took priority, and it was simply perfect.”
Originating from Australia, Nicole shares how the couple’s guest list was a perfect blend of both their worlds as beloved elements of each were incorporated into the day.
“The day was so true to us as a couple, and this was reflected in every facet. From the outfits to the food, the order of events and especially the music and entertainment – we really focused on merging the best parts of both cultures and countries, and our favourite things into the day. From the Aussie caterers to the African drummers – the blend was just incredible and so special for everyone involved.”
Bringing her mom onboard for the wedding planning, she tells Wedded that, “It was really special to plan and conceptualise everything together because we really are one and the same in our style and vision. We had so much fun and worked so cohesively together as we always do to bring our ideas to fruition.”
“The vibe was electric because our wedding was one hundred percent, authentically us – and nothing was contrived or forced in any way.”
“The most unforgettable moment of all was without a doubt when Josh and I saw each other for the first time. There is a custom in Jewish religion whereby the bride and groom separate for a week before the wedding, with no communication. On the wedding day, I got ready with all my female friends and family and the important women in my life, and Josh did the same. We then made our way to the Bedekin; the veiling ceremony – which takes place right before the chuppah. After a week apart and all the built-up stress and excitement, and without being able to talk to or see each other, our closest friends and family sang us to that moment where we locked eyes and were reunited. It was beyond special. The Bedekin is always my favourite part of any wedding; and the love, happiness, atmosphere and spirituality that emanated ours will stay cherished in my memory always.”
“The moment we walked into the marquee was also unforgettable. You can plan and plan so that the song is perfect, the room looks perfect, everything is perfect. What you can’t plan is the energy from your guests and the vibe they bring. As we walked in, the entire room of guests swarmed into the middle of the marquee and surrounded us in a mosh pit – and what was meant to be one entrance song turned into a ten- or so-minute rave before we even sat down! The mood was absolutely electric, and I remember Josh and I looked at each other and said ‘what is going on!?’ It was unbelievable.”
“My dream has always been to get married in Cape Town. It is my happy place. Then, I met Josh in Cape Town and it is there we shared our first kiss, first dance, first new year’s etc. Then, in the peak of COVID-19 – we spent a big portion of lockdown in Cape Town. Naturally, after all this and based on the original dreams we both had, we just had to get married in Cape Town!”
“When we saw Quoin Rock for the first time we were blown away. Cape Town and the Stellenbosch region is magnificent everywhere you look – but the Manor House at Quoin Rock is possibly the most beautiful place we had ever seen. With the Dutch colonial inspired architecture and 360-degree views of the mountains, nothing could beat this spot. Waterford on the other hand has a very Tuscan feel and felt homely and intimate. The perfect place for a family style Shabbat dinner. Both venues suited their purpose so well and made for the most magical few days of celebration.”
“The process of getting a dress made from scratch wasn’t for me. I’ve always been a lover of high fashion, even working as a personal shopper and stylist when I lived in London; and I always wanted my dress to be the creation of an esteemed designer – and in my opinion the quality, detail and craftsmanship of both Elie Saab and Oscar de la Renta is unrivalled.”
“I had such a clear vision; my wedding gown was the first I tried. I’m a jeans and white t-shirt girl and always wanted my wedding dress to reflect that and to feel like an elegant ‘white t-shirt’ … very simple, classic but modern, no beading or lace, ‘less is more’ aesthetic. The fabric and fit were my priority, and nobody does this better than Elie Saab. In fact, it felt as if Mr Saab had made this gown especially for me it was so perfect. The Oscar was a complete contrast to this, in that I knew I wanted to party and dance all night long. I love to sparkle… and nothing says afterparty more than being covered in sequins!”
I was also lucky enough to wear a bespoke Suzanne Neville dress the following night, to our post-wedding Shabbat. A crisp white corset adorned with feathers and flowers – it was the perfect piece for a romantic dinner in the winelands.
“They say you want to look back in 20 years at your wedding photos and have no regrets. I know this will be the case… not to mention I felt like a rockstar princess in every single outfit!”
Advice For Future Brides
“So many of our married friends told us to take a moment at the wedding, walk away, and look back at what we had created. We made sure to do this – and it was unbelievable to see the joy, love and enthusiasm that surrounded us. The day goes so fast; and this moment enabled us to just pause, and take it all in.”
“More significant though I would advise any bride-to-be to remember that the wedding day is just one day – it’s the marriage that is most important. Try not get worked up about small details and focus on the big picture and exciting future ahead. It is all about love after all.”
All The Behind-The-Scenes Details
- Bride & Groom: @n__bernstein & @joshbernstein7
- Venue: @quoinrock & @waterford_estate
- Planner: @bntmanagement
- Co-collaborator: @annemanncelebrates
- Florals: @fleurlecordeur
- Dresses: @eliesaabbridal @helenrodriguesbridal, @oscardelarenta @belinda_international & @suzanneneville
- Suit: @canali
- Photography: @blumenthalphotography
- Videography: @sodafilms
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