Coterie Retreat 2017 – The White Party with Preston Bailey

05 Jan Coterie Retreat 2017 – The White Party with Preston Bailey

The Coterie Retreat is a world-renowned Wedding Conference that came to South Africa for the first time this year and we were incredibly excited about it. It was a great honour to be chosen as hosts for The White Party, which was to be held on the second day of the conference.

When Jackie Nwobu, the founder of Munaluchi Bridal Magazine and The Coterie Retreat, first visited the White Party venue with us, she envisioned the keynote speaker, Preston Bailey presenting under the African skies. The Cradle Boutique Hotel is situated in the heart of the Cradle of Humankind, a World Heritage site. The Cradle Restaurant is architecturally magnificent with extensive outdoor seating with a 180° view of the game-filled valley below, the rolling Magaliesberg hills, and the vast African sky.

The main event of the evening, and one of the most highly anticipated of the Retreat, was the presentation of keynote speaker, Preston Bailey. Named one of the best designers in the world by Vogue Magazine, Preston Bailey is considered by many to be designer royalty in the wedding and events industry. Since opening his design studio in 1980, Preston’s designs have quickly made him a pillar of the industry with a vast range of clientele, including celebrities and royal families, all spanning the entire globe. Having authored seven books, many of them on the bestsellers list, Preston’s vast knowledge of the craft makes him an authority figure and source of great inspiration. Retreat attendees were delighted with his very informative lecture on the wedding and events industry, some of his achievement highlights, and the mistakes he’s made along the way – helping to shape the designer he is today. It was an honour and a privilege to host him under the African sky!

On the morning of The White Party, it poured and it poured… and it poured some more. Rain is welcomed as a blessing in Africa and we were certainly getting thoroughly blessed! A beautiful break in the weather came as Preston Bailey climbed out of the game drive vehicle in the African bush to an array of Zulu dancers, Marimba players and wedding industry professionals from all over the world. He presented his keynote speech under a white marquee on a chic African inspired stage in the cradle of Africa.

A stunning sunset saw the guests driven up to the restaurant where the party was in full swing. Face painters, an epic DJ and flowing bottles of Moet kept guests smiling as they took up photo opportunities and book signing with Preston. A decadent three-course meal followed while guests got to mingle with each other and be inspired by fabulous wedding gurus. It didn’t stop there as the DJ pumped up the music and those glamorous all-white outfits saw their fair share of the dance floor. What a party!

Our decoration inspiration for the evening came from the nature itself as we wanted to create authentic elegance and being environmentally conscious at the same time. We were in the heart of he Cradle of Humankind. Our floral centre pieces  came from the trees that needed a trimmed after heavy rains, along with priceless fossils which were sourced from this historic site. The fossils were displayed on the wooden tables and looked gorgeous at night lit by multitude of candles, they were then gently placed back into nature the following morning. Kristy Rice from from Momental Designs created most stunning stationery featuring the White Protea – South African national flower that complimented the table setting perfectly.

To find out more about this amazing event follow Munualuchi Bridal and search Instagram #coterieretreat17


Photography: Rensche Mari Photography

Cinematography by Tristan Barrocks

Milton Lawrence https://www.miltonlawrencephotography…

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