Real Weddings

Li-Chi Pan & Kevin Lin’s Cape Town Wedding

Photography by Jack Henry.

li chi pan lin wedding

Cape Town Wedding Venue

Our Story

Names / Li-Chi Pan & Kevin Lin

Wedding Date / December 25th, 2022

Guest Numbers / 45

 

li chi pan lin wedding

Cape Town Wedding Venue

Engulfed by Cape Town’s World Heritage Site, Table Mountain National Park, Kevin and Li-Chi were married beneath large European oak trees at sun-drenched Silvermist Organic Wine Estate. With the Constantia forest as their canvas, the pair selected an organic color palette used throughout their decor. For their ceremony backdrop, a floral arch was created with foliage from trees on the private estate, to seamlessly blend with its serene surroundings, while orchids and roses were incorporated for a striking contrast.

The bride wore a series of three gowns, crafted with personal significance by weaving in elements from different chapters of her life, each dress symbolizing and celebrating her journey as a creative.

Understated elegance was the theme of the day, captured by Jack Henry.

Cape Town Wedding Venue

How We Met

Kevin and I dated when we were 16, 14 years later we finally tied the knot! For years, Kevin and Li-Chi were ships passing in the night. The two grew up in South Africa; she was in Johannesburg, he was in Cape Town. After attending the same youth camp at sixteen, the two had intertwined social circles and made multiple mutual friends—before finally reconnecting again during the Pandemic.

Prior to the Pandemic Li-Chi had moved to Sydney to complete her Masters of Architecture whilst Kevin moved to Cape Town to complete his studies in Computer Sciences. The two continued to miss one another until the universe decided it was time, and they finally met again. Almost fourteen years, Kevin and Li-Chi connected over Instagram messages. After countless chats on the phone and weeks of non-stop messaging Kevin decided it was time they meet again – he drove up thirteen hours from Cape Town to Johannesburg to see his very first girlfriend. “We knew we had mutual feelings and there was a sense of familiarity … but I don’t think either of us knew what was in store,” – says Kevin.

Our first meeting was long awaited due to the strict domestic travel protocols. However, our first date took us back to the first time we met again. We decided to take a spontaneous road trip to where we first met and fell in love quickly and effortlessly. “Kevin, was my person from the very first day we met,” says Li-Chi. Two and a half years later, we are not only best friends but parents to our beautiful son, Noah, and life partners.

Li Chi Pan Wedding

li chi pan lin wedding

 

 

Our Engagement Story

After our third date – Kevin said he was going to marry me. I laughed as I didn’t want to take his words too seriously – in case of being disappointed at the very end. After three months of dating – Kevin booked a little spontaneous getaway to our favorite city – Cape Town, during the lockdown of June 2020. He proceeded to organize an intimate picnic/dinner set which came in a little box organized by La Colombe (which later turned out to be the venue for our rehearsal lunch) and made a warm, crackling fire on the deck of our Airbnb overlooking the mountainscape.

As we watched the skies turn a soft pink and orange – we walked to the balcony to look at the view. Unexpectedly, I turned around to look for Kevin and found him on one knee.  I couldn’t help but feel a sense of shock and excitement all at once. I had the biggest smile on my face and nodded my head and hugged him tightly. My granny always said to me, when you know, you know. It’s just about two people meeting at the right place, right time, and under the right circumstances. I couldn’t believe all three had finally aligned for Kevin and I.
I was engaged to my first boyfriend whom I dated when we were teenagers from Summer Camp. I couldn’t help but feel emotional – knowing how much we’d both been through.

 

Marriage To Us Means…

A lifetime of commitment and loyalty. It means honoring, protecting, and loving one another no matter how difficult the circumstance may be. Marriage is also about creating and writing a new chapter together. It’s about making unforgettable memories, challenging one another, and learning to fall in love with the same person as they evolve – time and time again.

Cape Town Wedding Venue

“We were inspired by the backdrop of the mountains and forests in Constantia. We decided to go with an elegant French garden wedding theme. I’ve always loved and admired the quintessential Parisian style of 19th-century architecture that still defines Paris.”

Li Chi Pan Wedding

Li Chi Pan Wedding

The Setting

 

Wedding Location

Located in a secluded estate situated on mountain slopes in the heart of the Cape Peninsula, was a picturesque setting that Kevin and I instantly fell in love with. The location was surrounded on all sides by some of the most famous local attractions, such as the Constantia Wine Route and Chapman’s Peak Drive. Silvermist offered guests some of the most diverse and unspoiled terrains in the city, from the organic vineyards to hiking in the world-famous fynbos floral kingdom. With its central location and unparalleled beauty, Silvermist was the perfect nest from which we wanted to fly. We decided on this location as we thought it was convenient that we could do Chapman’s Peak Drive right after our wedding celebrations.

Our magical Summer wedding ceremony was situated at Silvermist beneath the over-towering European Oak trees. Which provided a shaded and intimate spot for guests. We decided on Louis XVI Styled Chairs – This French Neoclassical design is distinguished by an oval back and is typically upholstered in natural linen. These chairs were a must for our ceremony and provided a contrast against the luscious greenery.

The reception was held at Silvermist Wine Kraal – a pleasant five-minute walk from the ceremony which overlooks a lush vineyard surrounded by the mountains of Cape Town. The wine Kraal was enclosed by a rustic wall made of hand-chopped wood – which was built by the owner himself, Greg. We opted for a singular linear table with fairy lights hovering 3m above the table set-up. We worked closely with Shirle on custom-made ceramic vases and hand-picked the luxury French linen, tableware, and ivory-colored chairs to give a  European feel to the space. The breakout space consisted of French linen chairs. We also put up a warm fire for guests as evening drew near and ended up sharing intimate stories with our guests around the fire pit.

li chi pan lin wedding

Aesthetic

We were inspired by the backdrop of the mountains and forests in Constantia. We decided to go with an elegant French garden wedding theme. I’ve always loved and admired the quintessential Parisian style of 19th-century architecture that still defines Paris. It helped us to decide on the style of chairs for both the ceremony and reception very easily. We also drew a lot of inspiration from Musée de l’Orangerie. From Monet’s Water Lilies painting to Tuileries Garden – we decided on an outdoor wedding to reflect our love for nature.

The Tulleries garden is filled with symmetry and feels structured yet the flowers are scattered in a variety of shapes and sizes to give one a sense of freedom. We drew on a lot of inspiration from some of our favorite French artists as well as the architecture of Paris for the floral design. We also incorporated handmade ceramic vessels, French linen, and handmade plates with crystal glassware for the reception.

 

Preparation

I got ready at the venue of Silvermist. We had booked out all the rooms on site for our International guests. On the morning of our wedding, I gifted all my bridesmaids a piece of jewelry that I had hand-picked from APM Monaco. It was a really special moment to be able to have all my girls with me in the same room all at once. One of my bridesmaids had landed the morning of our wedding. I was so appreciative of her being there as I knew how tiring the journey had been for her to fly so far to attend.

My bridesmaids had flown in from Singapore, San Diego, Boston & New York to celebrate this big day with me. I had never had all these women whom I loved so deeply all in one room at the same time. I loved being able to spend quality time with each and every individual as they helped me to get ready.

li chi pan lin wedding

li chi pan lin wedding

Photography

Jack Henry Steel photographed our wedding – I have known Jack for over six years and he always made me promise him that when I tied the knot he’d be the person to shoot it. I kept my word and as soon as we got engaged I messaged him and booked his flights to South Africa. I’ve always loved his eye for capturing the in-between moments. He really has a special way of seeing things. Kevin fell in love with Jack as soon as we picked him up from the airport.

I loved that Jack never made a fuss about anything – he was so easy going and I never knew he was there taking photos. He was so discreet. He never asked for posed images – just asked us to be ‘ourselves’ and that his camera would do the rest. Thank you for the most special set of images Jack! We loved all of the captures.

 

Videography

We hired Visuddhi Ung to capture the wedding on video. He did an amazing job. I’ve worked with Visuddhi on plenty of jobs and knew I wanted him as our videographer. I had introduced Visuddhi to Jack on a work trip to Europe so they already knew of one another. Everything worked out perfectly. Visuddhi captured all the little moments and made beautiful 20-45 second clips for us of the pinnacle moments from the wedding.

li chi pan lin wedding

li chi pan lin wedding

Style Notes

 

Ceremony Décor

We wanted a minimal and simplistic ceremony – the décor had to be understated but elegant to honor the beautiful wedding venue. Shaded beneath the large European oak trees we decided to go with a ceremonial arch that would blend in seamlessly with the fauna and flora of the Constantia forest. We added pops of white from the white roses and orchids to bring out the contrast. We used French linen chairs for the ceremony and simple locally sourced florals lined down the aisle to bring the outdoor garden ceremony together. A white aisle runner was used from Okasie to bring a touch of elegance down the middle of the ceremony.

 

Reception Décor

As the space was very intimate we decided on one singular linear table with fairy lights overhanging the setting to bring a romantic element to the setting. We wanted it to feel like a big family gathering for our guests. We draped the tables with white linen and styled them with elegant menus printed on handmade Cotton Rag paper. For the table setting, we used handmade white ceramic plates, and three types of crystal glassware and added classic silverware cutlery to give the overall table setting an elegant touch to it. Down the center of the table, we added handmade ceramic vessels, sculptural florals, and candles. We wanted a simplistic but elegant and memorable setup.

Cape Town Wedding Venue

li chi pan lin wedding

Wedding Planner & Stylist

I hired Lauren Easton from SB events to curate and plan my wedding. She has worked with the most exquisite brands and clients to date. We’ve been friends for over six years and I knew right away that I wanted her to assist me with planning my big day. She had two assistants who helped her with setting up the grazing table, styling the reception as well as the ceremony on the big day.

Lauren assisted me with coordinating all the wedding vendors – from the florals to the musicians, marimba band setup, dropping off of the cakes, setting up the macaron tower, assisting the DJ with setting up, organizing the catering and furniture drop off. She also ensured that the bump out on the following day was seamless. I didn’t need to worry about the collection of furniture, crystal glassware, ceremony chairs, or flowers. The SB team ensured that everything was packed up and bumped out efficiently the following day. Her team ensured that the venue was spotless and left as we found it. I couldn’t recommend her services enough. She allowed me to truly enjoy my day and focus on being a bride. Thank you so much Lauren!

li chi pan lin wedding

Li Chi Pan Wedding

 

 

Flowers

When choosing our wedding flowers, I wanted a very small, understated, and simple arrangement that wouldn’t take away from the ceremony dress. We opted for some beautiful locally sourced flowers and added a few small orchids and dahlias. For the ceremony, as the wedding venue was so beautiful, we honestly didn’t need to do too much to the space. We added florals down the aisle, for the color palette we worked with white and green so that it would blend in well with the natural fauna and flora of its setting.

The wedding arch consisted of greenery sourced from trees from the venue itself so that it would look like it was part of the existing setting and added orchids and roses for a pop of contrast. We also had ceremonial rose petals in a basket which were distributed to guests at the end of the ceremony.

For the reception, we opted for a more sculptural take on the flowers. Paired with the handmade vessels we wanted the florals to look like artwork themselves. We gave this brief to the Wildflower team and they ensured this was done. We also used dried bleached hydrangeas for the bar to bring the sculptural element together.

li chi pan lin wedding

Stationery

We wanted to create a sustainable invitation for our ‘save the date.’  Kevin and I opted for a website design featuring pre-wedding images of us with elephants captured by Megan and I. Being a designer myself – I created the website easily using a template from Squarespace. We gave all our guests a password that they could enter to view the website. For the reception, we had the menus printed on Cotton rag 300gsm handmade paper. Many of our guests took the invites home with them as mementos and two of our guests even box-framed the invite to our surprise when we visited them!

 

Favors

Jana Nel, a talented artist based in South Africa, worked closely with us for our wedding favors. She made customized little carafes for all our guests with a custom logo stamp with our initials and wedding date at the bottom of each little carafe. We also included little cards for each guest for attending our wedding. Kevin and I have always been lovers of art & ceramics – so we knew we wanted to gift our guests with a piece of art from our special day.

li chi pan lin wedding

li chi pan lin wedding

 

 

Cake

Our wedding cake was an Antoinette vintage cream cake using traditional piping techniques with red cherries on top from Chiffon Bakery in Cape Town.We didn’t want to have any wastage – so we requested that the three base layers could be done in foam. We had a small wedding party of 45 so we asked her to create a cake to feed 50 guests or so. It worked out well for our overall budget. Flavors were Japanese Cheesecake with Matcha, Berry & Earl Grey. We also had a beautiful French macaron tower made by Marnella Macarons. This was a beautiful feature of the wedding which the guests loved.

 

Food & Beverages

Before the ceremony, we prepared a grazing board for guests to snack on. For the reception, we had a buffet menu and an open bar. We knew we wanted the catering to be welcoming. We didn’t want guests to go home hungry. The catering was home made prepared by my father’s friends and served in chafing dishes. We had so many guests compliment the cooking saying how much they felt at home with the Asian-styled meals.We had a variety of dishes which included lobster and garlic noodles, steamed fish with ginger and shallots, Peking duck, braised ribs, sweet and sour chicken, stir-fried noodles, and rice and vegetables in XO sauce. We wanted to share our heritage and culture with our guests – so we knew from the beginning that we wanted a Taiwanese buffet. We didn’t want guests to feel shy to get seconds and wanted everyone to enjoy the food.

li chi pan lin wedding

Fashion & Beauty Notes

 

Bride’s Dress & Shoes

I wanted the dresses for my wedding to reflect and tell a story about the various chapters of my life. I specifically reached out to Pallas Couture from Sydney (as this is where I spent 11 years of my life as an Art Director), Sadie Bosworth Atelier (a South African-based designer – as this is where I grew up), and Nicole & Felicia – a Taiwanese designer to celebrate my heritage. My dress selections were intentional and reflective of my personal journey as a creative.

I wanted to pick shoes that were comfortable and could be worn for both my ceremony as well as my reception. I selected the Averly pumps from Jimmy Choo which features hand-tied mesh fascinator bows, making them perfect for our summer wedding. My Averly pumps were made from white crystal-encrusted satin with leather insoles, buckled ankle straps, and 100mm stiletto heels.

For my ceremony dress, I worked closely with the Pallas Couture team in Sydney and flew in twice for a total of 3 fittings. My best friend helped me to hand carry the dress to South Africa. The custom-made ceremony dress was made of billowy and flowing tulle. We added a twisted bandeau for the top, a bow on the cuff of the sleeve as well as minimal and elegant beading across the bodice of the dress.
We also wanted the dress to be somewhat conservative but with a modern twist to it. We ensured it was floor length with full sleeves but added the twisted bandeau and open back to give it that romantic edge.

After the ceremony – Kevin and I took the Impala convertible and drove out to Chapmans Peak with our photographer to take some one on one images together. I changed into my second gown from Sadie Bosworth Atelier. This dress was custom-made for me. It took over a year to make. I have always loved Sadie’s nature – she’s got such a calm temperament and her designs are always so elegant. I saw the dress for the first time (two days before the wedding) and instantly fell in love.

For the reception, I wore a beautiful Nicole & Felicia Couture dress from the newest FW23’ collection. The detachable two-piece set – allowed me to remove the skirt for the afterparty which was great and gave me the freedom to dance the night away. I loved the versatility of the gown. I knew I wanted to support a Taiwanese designer to celebrate my heritage – so this was a personal element for me.

li chi pan lin wedding

Bridesmaids’ Dresses & Shoes

I had 5 custom-made bridesmaid dresses from Li’dée Woman. I collaborated and worked closely with the team in creating dresses that were unique for every bridesmaid. Each of my friends picked a cut they thought was comfortable and complimentary to their body type. I wanted each of the girls to be able to re-wear the dress on another occasion so I told them to pick a cut they’d love. I picked a uniform pink pearlescent color for all the dresses–  but various cuts to fit the different body types. I feel lucky to have been able to work closely with the team from Li’dée in bringing these beautiful dresses to life.

 

Wedding Rings

For our wedding rings, my engagement ring was a classic cut, round solitaire ring with a platinum band. Kevin’s band was also platinum.

 

Jewelry / Accessories

The only piece of jewelry I chose to wear on my wedding day was a beautiful gift from my two best friends from University, Sarah and Angela. The day before my wedding they gave me the most beautiful set of Dior Tribales earrings, which I fell in love with. They complimented my dress perfectly. I also gifted my bridesmaids jewelry from APM Monaco to wear on our big day. It was a little thank-you gift for attending the wedding.

 

Hair & Makeup

I opted for a simple clean-up-do/bun for my hair. My make-up look was glowy & dewy – I asked the make-up artist to keep it natural. I wanted to still look like myself without caking on too much makeup. I did a lot of skin prep – prior to my big day and stayed hydrated.
We used a face mist, face primer, foundation, highlighter, blush, and bronzer. On my eyes we used the Chanel Les 4 Ombres palette– giving it a natural finish. For my lips I wore Natural Charm N914 from Chanel.

li chi pan lin wedding

li chi pan lin wedding

The Details

 

Trasport

Impala 1964 vintage convertible car.

 

Honeymoon

We went to Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani in the Maldives for our honeymoon. We knew we wanted to spend time on a secluded island that had little to no wi-fi. We loved the concept of the ‘no shoe policy’ on the island as soon as we arrived. We spent every day barefoot on the island, biking, snorkeling, swimming, and eating nutritious food. We specifically picked this resort in the Maldives due to the sustainability aspect, from the coral propagation investment to recycling 140 tonnes of recyclable waste to installing solar panels on the island. Ever since Soneva Fushi opened in 1995 sustainability has been at the heart of the company’s purpose. Soneva was founded with the vision of proving that luxury, sustainability, and profitability can go hand in hand.

 

Gift Registry

We didn’t have a gift registry – we simply asked guests to be present and at the moment with us, that was the best gift we could’ve asked for as a couple. For friends and family that were insistent on a gift – we asked them to kindly donate to a charity of their choice for our wedding.

 

Wedding Songs

For our wedding songs, we had a celloist and pianist play ‘I’m Kissing You’ by Des’ree for our ceremony song. Our after-ceremony song was, ‘Marry You’ by Bruno Mars.

 

Entertainment

We had a live marimba band that played during the reception, a live celloist and pianist (who played during the ceremony and post-ceremony) as well as a DJ for the afterparty.  We asked our best friends to create a playlist on Spotify of our favorite tunes – and edited it the day before the wedding before giving it to the DJ.

Celebrant

Anesu Mbizvo was our wedding celebrant – we loved her holistic nature and warm aura. Anesu and I also went to boarding school together. We were roommates since high school. It was a really special moment when I asked her to be my celebrant. She had done a few weddings and it was so special to have someone who has such a personal relationship with me be the celebrant of our intimate ceremony.

 

Readings

Instead of reading traditional vows, I opted to write a poem for Kevin which I read out in front of our friends and family.
Kevin also surprised me on our wedding day by reading an intimate paragraph that he had written out for me, he is usually not a fan of public speaking in front of a large number of people- so it was a really pleasant surprise.

li chi pan lin wedding

Our Advice

 

A memorable moment…

Having a daughter and father dance. We picked a childhood song entitled, 老鼠愛大米 – I listened to this song during my road trips as a little girl with my father. The song’s lyrics when translated say, “I will do my very best to treat you right and never ever change. No matter how far the journey, we will make it to the end. I will whisper in your ear, to tell you. I love you. No matter how many storms we need to weather, I will always stand by your side. I miss you, I am missing you. No matter how hard it is, As long as I can make you happy, I will do everything for you and love you like this for eternity.”

That dance meant a lot to me – as my father is one of the busiest and most hard-working people I have ever met to date. As he handed me over to Kevin – he told him to take care of me and said this was probably the last dance we’d share as father and daughter and told me how proud he was to be my dad. It was a very touching moment.

 

One thing I wish I knew before I started my wedding plans…

Give yourself a good 6-8 months to plan ahead of time. There are plenty of little details involved that you might miss if you start planning too late. We curated a personalized three-day itinerary for our International guests to show them our favorite parts of this city which we both loved so deeply. The itinerary involved visiting our favorite wineries on a wine tram in Stellenbosch, a fine dining experience at La Colombe, Hiking up Lions Head, as well as having a Private high tea at the Silo Hotel and visiting the infamous Silo Museum Art Gallery.
I’d highly recommend getting a wedding planner and stylist – select someone who shares the same vision and style as you. Vision alignment is important so that you know what to expect on the day.

Don’t spend a fortune on catering – we’re really glad we put a budget aside to make a home-cooked spread of food for our guests. Remember that this is your day – you should also invite guests whom you are closest to. Also, do a make-up and hair trial if time permits – so you know what to expect on the day and that there are no surprises!

 

 

Sources of inspiration…

Pinterest was a massive help for our wedding! We spent a great deal of time gathering pins from weddings we connected with. We knew we wanted an intimate ceremony with only our closest friends and family so that assisted us with deciding on details quickly from the get-go. We also follow a beautiful South African stylist named, Kraak – which draws a lot of inspiration from South African and European influences.  We loved their mixing and matching of textures. We also drew plenty of inspiration from local artists such as Jade Paton ceramics and visual artist, Lulama Wolf – when finding ideas for our wedding.

 

li chi pan lin wedding

Our Contacts

 

Wedding Venue / Silvermist

Wedding Stylist / Lauren Easton

Wedding Stylist Assistants / Arvin Prem Kumar + Michaela Taylor

Wedding Planner / SB Events

Photography / Jack Henry

Photographer Assistants / Michaela Taylor & Megan and Dewaldt)

Videographer / Visuddhi Ung & Kohki Yamaguchi

Bride’s Dress  (Ceremony) / Pallas Couture

Bride’s Dress  (Reception) / Nicole & Felicia Couture /

Brides Dress (Photographs with vintage car) / Sadie Bosworth Atelier

Bride’s Shoes / Jimmy Choo

Bridesmaid’s Dresses / Custom L’idée Woman

Bridesmaid’s Shoes / Tony Bianco

Groom’s Formal Wear / Eremengildo Zegna

Wedding Rings / Browns Jewellers

Jewelry & Accessories / Earrings by Dior and Amber Sceats

Hair / Lauren Van Den Berg

Makeup / Angelique De Amaral

Stationery / SB Events

Florist / Wildeflower Studio

Cake / Cake Chiffon

Catering Homemade Asian buffet

Celebrant / Anesu Mbizvo

Honeymoon Destination / Maldives – Soneva Jani & Soneva Fushi

Entertainment / Live local bands + DJ Mika Williamson.

Transport / A vintage Impala 1964 convertible

Other / VesselsDinnerware & Cutlery, Crystal glassware, Table linen, Dining chairs, tables & barMacaron tower,Bomboniere

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