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HB Thom Theatre Engagement.

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H.B Thom Theatre Engagement.

~A Shakespeare Chapter.

Stellenbosch is known for a few things, but it’s University and the bustling student life is probably one of many people’s fondest memories.  Francelle and Ben met, during their days as university students in this quaint little town, more than ten years ago.
Their love for theatre and the performing arts has been one of their many shared passions.  We thought there were no better way to celebrate their engagement, than the stage of H.B Thom Theatre.  The little hub where they spent a big part of the first few years of their relationship.

The Oaks Estate Wedding – Why intimate weddings are so unique

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The Oaks Estate Wedding

A full moon chapter.

Natalie & Rian’s The Oaks Estate Wedding will always be one I will remember.  Their compassionate way of life, their kind natures and genuine emotions shared on the day are some of the rare gems we still find today.  Their wedding took place a day after my birthday and on a full moon evening, so the best birthday present I could have received from anyone, was to be invited to document their special chapter and milestone of their union, so unique and so blessed in love.
Enjoy their wedding with me by reading their story below:

 

How a new journey started.

My ex husband actually introduced us.  It was a work introduction but secretly my ex thought that we would hit it off, which we clearly did.  We had such a good connection and rapport from the beginning.  I knew that didn’t come along everyday.  Rian still had to learn that and he was going through a divorce after 16 years of marriage.

There are some keen attributes about each other that draws us closer
Rian says that when I enter a room my smile and personality changes the atmosphere.  To me, Rian is a good man, not an everyday find, and of course his ‘George Clooney’ good looks! haha!

The proposal that didn’t include a tree.

The proposal happened on my birthday.  He took me to the plot we had bought together, told me that my birthday present would be the cornerstone of our new home.  I was expecting a tree.  He got down on one knee and presented a beautiful Protea diamond ring.  Not quite a tree!

 

The Elizabeth Stockenstrom Dress – Why a custom made dress isn’t for everyone.

Rian’s cousin is quite a famous designer and I went to see him for my dress.  However, in my heart I wanted to not have my dress made as I was too nervous.  I wanted to see my dress, fit it on and immediately know I had found the one.  So I didn’t use Victor Kok, but he did give me the name of a very talented photographer who had taken photos for his website.  When I saw the photos I knew she was the one!  My Pilates instructor happened to mention Elizabeth Stockenstrohm for wedding dresses and I fell in love with her style!  I found the one that fit my personality and style on the day.

Talita from Mist Make-Up.

I used Talita from Mist make up who does airbrush make up resulting in a very natural finish.  I went to Talita for my hair and make up trial and then also ended up doing microblading through her.  At the end she felt like a friend!  As I didn’t want bridesmaids she was the one who helped me get dressed.

The Oaks Estate

Greyton was a special place for us as we had spent an impromptu and very romantic weekend there after a break in our relationship, and that weekend will always be considered as a special reunion.  After the engagement we decided to tour some of the wedding venues/farms around Greyton.  The Oaks Estate was at the end of the road and when we saw its beauty and elegance I just knew it was the place for us.

Our wedding is what I believe is termed a destination wedding.  It was held on The Oaks Estate and took place over the entire weekend,  The actual wedding had the theme of an elegant dinner party, complete with a jazz band and wine and food pairing.

We used Marianne , the owner of The Oaks Estate as our wedding coordinator.  She knows The Oaks Estate the best and it all looked unbelievably beautiful! From the wedding arch she built and decorated to the beautiful flowers everywhere!  Lanterns and firepits throughout the garden.  It all created a fairtale look!

 

Most memorable moment of the day:

The merging of our two families in such a special way as part of the ceremony.  Rian stood at the alter flanked by his two eldest boys.  I had my son walk me down the aisle, led by the little ones Caitlin and James.  We exchanged vows on the most perfect of winter days with the mountains in front of us, the birds chirping, donkey baying and our good friend leading us in our exchange of vows!

Photography by Organictales.

Landi and Ronel made both Rian and I feel so relaxed.  I knew I was in great hands with Organictales.  We didn’t want to be away from our guests for too long and Landi respected this and kept her shots within the allocated hour.  However, in that hour we went bundu bashing up mountains, into forests, chasing the sun to  get what I know will be unbelievable shots!

Rian used his creative designer who specialised in videography to shoot our wedding video and he created a stunning montage including drone footage of the farm.

Jazz Band named Moonshine from Shoutmc.

Rian and I both love music and one of my desires was to have a jazz band at the wedding.  Landi told me about an amazing band she had just seen at one of her previous weddings which I then got in touch with.  Dan from Shoutmc provided both the jazz band Moonshine and a DJ.  The jazz band was one of the highlights for me really adding to the theme of elegant dinner party!

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Catering by Herman & Phillipus @254 Driefontein.

The Oaks Estate recommended Herman and Phillipus form 254 , just down the road from her at their farm, Driefontein.  They invited us to one of their Sunday lunches they do on the farm and we were sold!  As Rian and I are foodies, great food had to be a big part of the wedding.  I was inspired by the Tasting menu served at Chefs Wharehouse and that became our inspiration.  Herman and Phillipus were very excited as they had never done anything like this before.  We had a three course tasting menu paired with some exceptional wine chosen by our friend Shelley who is somewhat of a wine expert!
We had a cash bar since wee supplied all the wine and bubbly but thought it best that people pay for their own hard tac

Shelley’s Pairing with the Menu:
In selecting and pairing wines with food, two primary aims evolved:
for the wine to complement and highlight the main components and special notes within the food, and for the selected wines to reflect and celebrate some of Nat and Rian’s special experiences and qualities.

First course

Black Oyster Catcher -White Pearl

Like our couple, this is a full-bodied and complex wine, the components of which have been handpicked with care, and allowed to join and release their unique qualities with minimal interference.

Described by the estate as an exceptional food wine, it is fully French in origin . the 60% Sav blanc brings fruitiness and a crisp minerality. which matches the green asparagus, and complements our rich and flavourful N European salmon. The 40% wooded Semillon offers a mouthfelt creaminess. as well as citrus and ginger notes, which are also to be found in the warm and gently spiced pumpkin soup, with its gingerbread croutons – isn’t that such a clever idea ?! Together the complexity and creaminess of the blend stands up to, and complements, the foresty burnt sage butter and the softly piquant shells of the pasta.

And then, to return to our couple and their union: this beautiful blend comes from the BlackOysterCatcher winery at the Cool southern tip of Africa, at Elim – which is right near Nat’s holiday home at Struisbaai, which has for some time already been shared with and enjoyed by this new blended family.

Second course 

Fairview Piekenierskloof Grenache

Our second course is a Mediterranean course of risotto and caprese salad. It is paired with Grenache, a cultivar originating in the Mediterranean region as well.

You may be interested to know that Pinot Noir is the red wine recommended to be served with seafood risotto.  I believe Nat and I show our class (or strength of personality?  or lack of class?)  by rejecting this lighter pinot noir, which is made from vines that are quite fragile and difficult to grow.  Instead, we have chosen a wine light enough to respect rather than overpower the delicacy of the seafood – but a more robust earthy peppery option to meet the richness of the risotto as well as our desire for abundance and wildness … sorry I’m getting carried away let me just refer to the wild red berry flavor.

This particular Grenache was sourced from Fairview, where we have spent many good times with a friend of ours who manages the farm there.

Like each of these two beloved and newly married people, these Grenache grapes from the Piekenierskloof, north of Paarl near Citrusdal, are amazingly robust and rewarding living things.
The high lying vines, withstand and even thrive in poor environments and under extreme (weather) conditions, to deliver profound style and joy. Sound like our peeps?

Grenache is usually used in blends to provide backbone (our couple has plenty of that) and to support other varietals in living their best life (our couple , as you know,  are dedicated parents and back friends in this way too).

Fairview has allowed Grenache to have its day in the limelight and be the centre of its own story, as we do for Nat and Rian today.

Third course 

Chocolate block

Some of you may have been exposed to the combination of red meat and chocolate some years back, but we are not going retro tonight.
And while it is no mystery how Nat feels about chocolate… [for laughter] there is some ongoing and unexplained mystery about the name of this blend from Boekenhoutskloof in Franschoek, as it is not a chocolate wine.

The wine, like our couple, has secrets to keep –  in this case the secret of a changing but consistently high quality and rich blend for each season (or year).
The wine, and Nat and Rian, are full in body and structure and flavor.
This 2016 blend, which is a Rhone (rather than a Bordeaux) blend, comprises 79% syrah (the French style of shiraz), Grenache (11%), Cabernet Sauvignon (6%) in new oak, Cinsaut (3%) and Viognier (1%).

It seems important to acknowledge the role of intuition and pure indulgent pleasure in the couple’s choice of this wine.

Because the wine offers  an indulgent pleasure:  Opulent and silky on the palate, deep with red and black fruit, soft in spice and tannins, slightly sweet with hints of violet and turkish delight, a breath of black pepper, a long lingering finish .. which all together actually bely a good press of alcohol…

And the highly personal and instinctual, rather than cerebral, forces involved in making this a favourite wine of Nat and Rian , have also resulted in the presence of a wine on our tables that has been described as a red for reds – and what are we about to enjoy but a course of red red and red meat !
A wine that is sweet and soft enough for the heat and fragrant spice of the curry, dark and structured to complement the delectably rich and tasty parcels of lamb with mushrooms and port, and refined and peppery enough for the classic beef fillet and its creamy sauce.

So, a nod to our beloveds for their good taste, and an invitation to the figurehead on the label of this brand to accompany Rian and Natalie: a lady who carries a dove of peace and hope, and guards intrinsic quality.

A magical day surrounded by love and beauty!

The day was a fairytale and I would change nothing! Other than the fact that our MC drove off with our keys so we had to, along with all our kids, sleep in my parents cottage.  My mom woke up the next morning to find a kid on every couch! Her response was: “Oh how lovely! You are all here!”

Advice to other couples:

Plan as much as you can before the time but then there comes a point where you have to leave everything in the hands of the professionals you have hired and just relax and enjoy the day!  The other thing I would really recommend is a wedding weekend.  The Friday night dinner is an icebreaker for the bride and groom to greet their guests and for the guests to get to know each other.  This takes so much pressure off the day, as everyone has already met and you don’t have to go table to table.  We could actually just relax and enjoy our dinner!

 

Service Providers –
(PLEASE DO NOT LIFT IMAGES FROM THIS WEBSITE. PLEASE CONTACT LANDI BEFORE DOWNLOADING IMAGES)

Photography: ORGANICTALES
Photography Assistant & Second Photographer:  Ronel Strauss
Venue: The Oaks Estate
Dress: Elizabeth Stockenstrom
Make Up & Hair: Mist Make-up
Music: Shoutmc – Moonshine Jazz Band
Catering:  Hermand & Phillipus @254 Driefontein Farm Restaurant

Swiping right on Tinder resulted in Winning a Free Wedding!

By | Uncategorized, Wedding | 4 Comments

Jonkershuis Groot Constantia Wedding

~A Tinder Tale.

Nicola and Tiaan jumped in to my heart with a bang!  Every year I choose one couple and do their wedding photography at no cost.  Every year I meet the most amazing, beautiful individuals through this process and they always turn in to life long friends.  This year was no different and our initial meeting turned in to a two hour spree of laughter and milkshake.  I knew I chose the correct couple this year and the process was so rewarding.  But wait – Nicola and Tiaan did not only get their photography for free, they also won their videographer!  Talk about the stars aligning and the universe putting everything together for two beautiful individuals to be together.
Read their story here:

 

Swipe Right, and let the Tinder sparks fly!

Tiaan:  We met on Tinder and from the first moment I saw Nicola I knew she was the one for me.

Nicola: What drew me to Tiaan on his Tinder profile was his eyes. I knew I just had to meet him! I still have that profile picture he used – it’s a firm favourite of mine. We spoke for hours on the phone before we met, and it was definitely love at first sight when we did eventually meet, two months later.  He arrived to pick me up on our first date with the biggest bunch of roses I’ve ever seen! Now every month on the 8th I get a bunch of flowers ( 3 years running).

A Paternoster Proposal.

He had taken me away to Paternoster for the weekend – it was our 2 year anniversary.  I was hoping he would pop the question, but he gave no hint that it was going to happen.  The day of our anniversary we went for breakfast, then did a bit of sight-seeing, had lunch, went shopping, then went back to the cottage to start up the fire.  I was in the kitchen prepping to make potato bake when he walked into the kitchen and took my hands. To be honest I can’t remember what he said because once he dropped down on one knee I went speechless! When he asked me to marry him, I jumped into his arms and said yes!

A personal wedding with our own personal style.

We wanted to make our day very personal, so I did all the decor and flowers on the day! I loved the colours navy blue and rose gold, so I started from there.  Collected jars and candles for over a year.  We made our own save the dates, invites, stationery etc.

I wanted a bit of a vintage/rustic style vibe, and we definitely pulled it off. At first Pinterest was my go-to, but then we started coming up with our own ideas! I’m so glad we did, because it really was so much fun planning the wedding. All the detail that went into it was so special to us.  Tiaan and I sat for days and days punching out our heart confetti from vintage love novels, poetry books and church hymns. I adored the table names we used for our guests… I got a thick branch from my sister’s garden and had slices cut out. Guests’ names were added to their own slice as their places names for the table.

Say “Yes” to the Dress!

I thought I had an idea in mind, but then it completely changed when I saw my dress. Myself, my sister and my mum were at Canal Walk one afternoon, doing a spot of shopping when we saw that Bride and Co was having a winter sale! We thought we’d pop in and see what they had (not intending to buy anything!!) We all then decided to have a bit of fun and I tried on a few dresses.  Then there it was, my dream dress… exactly what I wanted. Soft, flowing, elegant, just perfect.  We walked out with the dress that day!

 

Wearing her Grandmother’s ring every day.

Tiaan: I designed Nicola’s engagement ring myself with some help from one of Nicola’s friends who was the jeweler who made it.  Nicola loves rose gold, so that had to be the main element.

Nicola:  My wedding band was extremely special, too.  It was my Nan’s ring.  I had asked my mum if she didn’t have a ring of my nan’s lying around that I could use as my wedding band instead of just buying one.  My mum and I were so excited to start looking through what she had.  We ended up finding one of her mum’s rings that was just perfect.  It’s such an honour to wear it everyday.

My engagement ring from Tiaan… WOW… I still can’t stop staring at it! It’s absolutely beautiful – he knows me so well!

The Best Make-Up Artist in Cape Town.

Nicola: I had the BEST make-up and hair artist for the day, Candice Leigh Arnott.  Apart from being an award winning artist, she’s a family friend and all round amazing woman.  I had a vision of what I wanted for my hair and make-up, and she nailed it first time round.  I felt amazing, and looked amazing thanks to Candice.

Jonkershuis Venue to fit the Jonker Name.

Tiaan:  We had a look at numerous venues, with Jonkershuis being one of them.  We told ourselves that this venue is way out of our league. But still, Nicola went to go and have a look and chat to the manager due to the fact that the Jonkershuis had my Surname in it, we sealed the deal and knew we had to have a Jonkershuis Groot Constantia Wedding!

Nicola:  The location was breathtaking! My dream was to have a winter wedding and Jonkershuis in the winter is gorgeous.  What sold me was the reception area and courtyard.  Fairy lights, lanterns, wooden tables and chairs – exactly the look we were going for.

Arriving at the chapel in style.

A huge thank you to Maynard from The Kombi Company for being absolutely amazing and getting me to the chapel on time! The ride there was one to remember – 80’s hits all the way! And then for driving us all to the venue after the ceremony – such  a legend.

The best wedding moments to remember.

Tiaan’s best memory of the day was by far that moment he saw Nicola walk down the aisle.  And oh! What a moment it was!

Nicola has quite a few favourite moments!
She remembers arriving at the church, and for the first time that day feeling nervous and excited at the same time – she just couldn’t wait to be his wife! Another favourite moment for Nicola was the VW Hippie Vat that Tiaan rented for her to arrive in! That was an absolute dream to have on the day!  And of course – Saying their vows to one another.

Our favourite Pastor and friend officiated us!

It was such an honour to have our Pastor from our church marry us.  Tiaan and I strongly believe that God sent us to one another, and it’s such a blessing to have a man in my life with the same outlook on faith as I do.  Our Pastor is a fantastic guy and we wouldn’t have asked anyone else.

Sister Clair to the rescue and planning!

My sister Clair helped me plan this wedding from start to finish.  She was fantastic! She took on the role as sister, friend, Maid of Honour, MC and the go-to for any queries on the night from the venue.  An absolute blessing to us both.

A Photographer full of love and laughs.

Landi’s service was FANTASTIC!! Firstly, we adored Landi from the minute we met her at Tigers Milk at our meeting.  We both felt so comfortable throughout the day with all the poses we needed to do.  It was brilliant.  Our couple shoot was so beautiful and Landi took us to so many stunning spots for the shots she needed.  When you have a photographer like Landi at your wedding, it just makes your day even better! Her vision, professionalism, loads of fun and loads of laughs made our day one to remember for sure.

A Videographer full of creative ideas and friendly smiles.

Our wonderful videographer was Jesse from Barefeet Videography.  Our experience with having Jesse there with us capturing all our memories on film was phenomenal!  Such a fantastic guy, so friendly, professional, easy going and loads of fun.

A menu you won’t easily forget.

Menu:

Starters:
Panned Panko Fishcake with house tartar, pickled cucumber salad OR Bobotie Roll with apricot chutney, coriander and cucumber salad.

Main: 
Parmesan & Herb Crumbed Chicken Breast with sweet potato puree, lemon cream & greens OR Sliced Sirloin with potato puree, exotic mushroom sauce & green beans.

Dessert: 
Vanilla Creme Brulee, rooibos & cardamon infused ORFarm Apple Cake with butterscotch sauce, cinnamon swirl ice cream.

Nicola & Tiaan’s Wedding Planning Advise!

Don’t start with the planning too late! I started not long after Tiaan asked me to marry him ( a year ahead) and I can honeslty say that that year helped me immensely.  I wasn’t stressed months, weeks, days before the big day, and everything was done and dusted well ahead of time.  I had so many ideas and they changed constantly, so always leave room for change!

 

Service Providers:

Photography:  ORGANICTALES PHOTOGRAPHY
Assistant: DEREK WHITTON
Videography: BAREFEET VIDEOGRAPHY
Venue: GROOT CONSTANTIA – JONKERSHUIS
Make-up and Hair: CANDICE LEIGH ARNOTT
Dress: BRIDE AND CO
Transport: THE KOMBI COMPANY
DJ: The Party Technician

 

De Uijlenes Forest Wedding

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De Uijlenes Forest Wedding.

~The Rustic Farm Chapter.

De Uijlenes Forest Weddings have that special touch of magic to them.  A popular venue and for good reason!  The service delivery is top quality, and let’s not even get started on the amazing food!
The day before the wedding, torrential rain poured down with heavy clouds filling the skies.  Despite the weather forecast predicting more cloudy weather and rain for the next day, in my heart I knew that some miracle will happen and so it did!  Not even one single cloud on the day of the wedding!  Joadri and Jacques Matthee chose the most perfect day at the most perfect place.  Here is their story.

 

A Pearly Beach Braai.

In a small town named Pearly Beach, we were both invited to a braai with friends of ours.  Believe it or not, but at the start of the evening we really did not like each other very much.  But as the night progressed it turned out as we never could have guessed.  The evening turned in to a night of dancing on the beach and chatting to each other all through the night.  What pulled Joadri to Jacques was the fact that he was such a fun person, a good listener and definitely his attractive and beautiful eyes!  Jacques on the other hand was drawn by Joadri’s beautiful smile and how that smile can just light up everyone around her with her beautiful personality.  She is such a warm and beautiful woman with an even more beautiful heart.

 

A Proposal in the Sand.

After 3 years of love and laughter, we planned a picnic at Pearly Beach together.  The same beach where we danced all night long that very first time.  At the end of the picnic, right before we were ready to go home, Jacques told me to turn around and come see what he wrote in the sand.  Joadri turned around only to find Jacques down on one knee with a ring.  In the sand he wrote, “SAL JY MET MY TROU.”
After crying for almost 10 minutes, Joadri finally said yes!  Completely taken by surprised, especially since they planned the picnic together!

Rose Molteno Creations.

I went to a bridal expo and received a free fitting from Molteno Creations based in Woodstock.  I absolutely loved her dresses. After my second fitting with her I found my dress.  She also made my veil and garter.

 

The most memorable moment!

We didn’t see each other for 4 days prior to the big day.  So naturally the moment I walked down the aisle and saw Jacques standing at the front, waiting for me, was such a highlight moment of the day.  Jacques felt like everything around us just disappeared and that we were the only two people there between 150 guests.

Honeymoon Surprise!

Joadri had no idea where they were going for the honeymoon.  She only found out at the airport that they were embarking on a journey to Thailand!  They visited Phuket, Phi Phi, Koh Samui and Koh Toa.  They also spent a day in Dubai on the way back.  Definitely the best holiday ever!

 

Service Providers:

Venue:  De Uijlenes
Photographer: ORGANICTALES
Dress: Molteno Creations
Flowers and Decor:  Mother of the bride and De Uijlenes
Music: Sunset Seat Shop

Chris & Anje’s Knorhoek Wedding

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Knorhoek Autumn Wedding

~A Photographer’s tale.

I met Chris & Anje a few months back while attending the Admired in Africa Photographic Conference.  During one of the practical sessions, I got to photograph Anje in one of her Silver Swallow dresses and I remember thinking, “Wow!  She is such a dream to photograph!  She’s going to be a stunning bride one day! Lucky photographer who gets to photograph her wedding!
So you can imagine the excitement I felt when she contacted me, asking for my wedding collections.
Chris, on the other hand is an extremely humble and fun guy who made the day such an easy breeze of laughter.
Together they manage a successful photography business named Madison & West.
Read their story:

 

When Photographers fall in love.

We met through mutual friends (Taryn aka mev Pretoria and our MC Quentin).  Chris was their Wedding photographer and I was Joshua’s (their little boy) first nursery school teacher.

It wasn’t love at first sight, but we had a mutual love for photography and we became friends instantly.  I was drawn to his honesty and the fact that he loves Christ and he liked the fact that I had the same passion for God & photography and that I was a teacher. 

Our friendship bloomed into an unfailing love and 6 months down the line we found each other’s hearts.

 F.R.I.E.N.D.S Proposal in New York.

It was a very cold and wet day in New York.  We were looking for a coffee shop where we could get something to drink but, most of the shops were packed because it was pouring down with rain.  We found a little stationary shop where I bought 2 books, a pen and a pencil and then I realised that we were near the F.R.I.E.N.D.S apartment building (the one they show in between scenes, with the red coffee shop) and suggested that maybe it would be a cool idea to go and have coffee there as it was our last day in Manhattan and we are such F.R.I.E.N.D.S fans.

The coffee shop was full but they had a little ledge in the window slil where we could sit and wait for a table…as it was super cozy, we decided to have our coffee right there instead of waiting for a table.  Chris wanted to write me a little note in my book so I gave him a moment and when I turned around, to my surprise I saw a note along with my engagement ring.  The note read:

Cnr of Bedford & Grove

“I’ll be there for you”

Wel vandag vra ek my beste vriend om te trou.

F.R.I.E.N.D.S

Ps-dink dis nogal ’n cool spot

Baie lief vir jou

I was overcome with emotion and said yes instantly!

Lady Anne Bridal and Mia’s Make-up.

Chris’s mom has a bridal studio called Lady Anne Bridal.  I absolutely adore her wedding gowns as she stocks some of the best names in the wedding industry.  I chose the Katerina by Enzoani (Blue collection 2018) and I felt like a princess (which is so very cliche, but on your wedding day you don’t care for feeling like a million bucks…oops, another cliche!).

Mia from Mia’s makeup.  We didn’t have time for a trial and I have got to say, she nailed the look I wanted!  Super happy!

 A Classic and Humble Style.

Because Chris and I are both Wedding photographers, we have seen so many different settings and themes.  So we instantly knew what we liked and disliked as we have discussed this on many occasions.

Cape Town was a great influence for us.  Since we love the Cape so much, we decided to get married on Knorhoek wine estate.  Fynbos that was in season was also a big influence on our day.  We felt like we wanted to be reminded whenever we see that specific fynbos, that time of year, to transport us back to our wedding day and how beautiful everything looked.  We also decided to have olive branches as a representation of new beginnings in our decor.  

With our wedding style we tried to keep it classic and humble.

We love everything about Knorhoek wine estate and the people on the farm are like family to us.  So when we started looking at venues we knew immediately that this is where we wanted to get married as it wouldn’t feel right to get married anywhere else.

The Most Memorable Moment of the Day.

For me:  Definitely when I saw Chris as I walked down the aisle.  When we met each other at the front, he couldn’t stop telling me how beautiful I looked.

For him:  When we walked out of the venue as husband & wife. 

For us:  The breaking of the glass which serves as a symbol that no one will drink from our Marital cup.

A Father’s message.

My dad officiated the ceremony.  It was a personal decision, one that we are very glad we made and something we will cherish as his message was confirmation on many things we have prayed about without him knowing.

Photography & Videography on the day.

Landi is a very hands on photographer.  Her communication was thorough throughout and we loved all the sneak peeks she sent us.

As we are both wedding photographers, we understand that Landi experienced extra pressure regarding our photos.  So far we are pleasantly surprised with her skill, not only regarding taking photos but also her editing.  She has really bent backwards for us and we can see the passion she has for capturing people’s stories.  She is not just a photographer who captured our special day, but also a friend and we will highly recommend her!

Willem and Conrad Kriel from Willem Foster Photography, did the videography of our wedding.  They had fine attention to detail and handled us with great care.  Very focussed, they know what they want to shoot and they worked well with Landi and with us.  The way Willem also treated our guests was also something that stood out to us.

Jewelers with attention to detail.

We work with wedding jewellers as we are both photographers.  Suvette and Johann (from Piccolo) are true artists and we value their artistic expertise. Suvette phoned me one day with a cool idea to engrave the word “Friends” on the inside of Chris’s ring and I loved that she thought of little details such as this as this just added so beautifully to our story

Towerbosch co-ordinators!

Lize and Marquerite from Towergoed was our wedding co-ordinators.  They listened to our ideas and turned that into something spectacular.  We didn’t have to worry about anything because they were on top of everything and we would like to really give our sincere thanks to these two awesome women and dear friends of ours.  We wouldn’t have trusted anyone else with our wedding day & they made it extra special with your fine attention to detail, love and care. What a great team! 

The reception was at Towerbosch restaurant, and by far has the best cuisine we have ever tasted.
On the menu:

Starter:
Sesame crusted chicken salad.

Main:
Braised Lamb Shoulder
Beef Fillet
Golden Roasted Potatoes
Melange of Vegetables
Polenta
Pumpkin fritters

Dessert:
Towerbosch “Grootgebak” and Wedding Cake.

Advice to other couples.

Make sure that your wedding portrays who you are as a couple.  So many people are so obsessed with trends that they forget to “check” if that trend fits their personalities that when they look back at their wedding images 10 years from now their wedding feels very outdated and sometimes over the top.

The Day described in one sentence.

A humble, yet great celebration of two best friends who promised to love each other for the rest of their lives.

Honeymoon in New York.

Our honeymoon was the best!  We went back to New York City and obviously enjoyed every minute.  We also visited friends in Vegas and had the opportunity to do a few shoots there as well.  Pictures below are some of the photos we took of ourselves.

Service Providers:

Venue:  Knorhoek 

Photography:  ORGANICTALES PHOTOGRAPHY

Videography:  Willem Foster Photography

Dress:  Lady Anne Bridal

Make-up Artist:  Mia’s makeup

Hair Extentions:  Strands of love

Cake:  The Perfect Match

Sheep decided to photobomb this wedding and here are the results!

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The Nightjar Wedding.

~The log cabin tale.

 

Where the story began.

We first met when we were introduced by a mutual friend at a bar. Our friend handed me Mark’s business card as some sort of a pick up line but we were both shy and never really said anything to each other the whole night. With the weeks that followed we kept bumping into one another until one night on the 1st of June we were the last people standing after a friend’s birthday. Neither of us were ready to retire for the night so I invited Mark to come to my place and watch movies with me. Mark accepted my invitation. When we arrived at my place we started talking and ended up speaking for hours. We did eventually watch a movie and four days later he took me out on our first date.

Although our initial attraction may have been a physical one, our late night conversation made us realize how much we had in common from our general interests to our similar tastes in styles, music and food of course. Between us there was very little we could disagree upon. For me Mark was the most genuine and kindest person I had ever met. For Mark he loved my honestly and kindness (something we seem to share). He also enjoyed my cheekiness from time to time.

A Proposal as a Birthday Present.

The proposal was masked as my 25th birthday at Meerendal Wine Estate. All of our friends and family were waiting inside the restaurant to surprise us as we walked in. Right before we sat down to eat lunch Mark wanted to make a speech during which he proposed.

The choice behind the venue.

The style of our wedding was rustic chic – most of our inspiration followed the booking of our venue.  We were initially interested in a De Uijlenes wedding because it was a beautiful farm venue which offered an outdoor ceremony area as well as a cosy log cabin for the reception. Essentially I think it was the rustic feel of the venue itself that drew us to it because we are simplistic and down to earth people.

Something borrowed, something white.

The dress was hired (somewhat my something borrowed) from Urban Bride. Strangely enough the dress was not supposed to fit me at all since the sizing was too small, but, when I tried it on it fitted perfectly as if it was made for me.

Anja Le Roux did my make-up, although she no longer does make-up for weddings she offered her services because she is a dear friend to me. All of the bridesmaids jumped in to assist me with my hair.

An officiant with a touch of humour.

Andred from I Do Weddings officiated the ceremony. We were referred to him by another officiant, Troy Goldie, when we found out he was not available for our wedding date. We chose him because without having to explain in excruciating detail he had us pegged and understood exactly what we wanted – a well-rounded ceremony that was personalized, relaxed, serious when it needed to be, had a touch of humour to keep things light, and retained our guest’s attention throughout. We also felt that during our ceremony he spoke to us in a way that calmed our nerves and made us feel as though we were having a conversation just between the three of us.

Love and Memories go hand-in-hand.

It’s difficult for us to pinpoint the most memorable thing from our day. To us everything was perfect… Then again, the love that was shared with us on that day from our guests has to be the most memorable. We can personally say that on our wedding day our hearts felt so full that they were going to burst!

Husband & Wife Coordinating Team.

We had an “On the day” wedding coordinator which was included in the venue hire. We found this service extremely beneficial as our coordinator was helpful when planning various details of our wedding. On the day I have no idea what we would have done without our coordinator as she ensured all our service providers arrived on time and that the day ran according to plan. Everywhere we needed her, she was there. Everything we hadn’t thought of, she had.

We would like to highly commend Christien and Nel Schrecker from Husband Wife Team for their incredible service. They assisted with our planning, supplied our décor, made our very scrumptious wedding cake and provided our on the day wedding coordination. They are a power husband and wife duo!

A picture is worth a thousand words.

As the idiom says, “a picture is worth a thousand words” and this is the epitome of Landi’s work. Landi is a talented photographer who is able to capture the essence of a wedding day in a way that words could not simply describe. Our wedding photography was extremely important for us and Landi exceeded our expectations. Her services at our wedding were truly the greatest gift anyone could have given us and we can only compliment her on the outstanding work she did.

There is a special story behind the engagement ring…

In April 2016, 8 months before Mark proposed, the person who was tasked with wrapping up his grandmother’s estate contacted him. According to the gentleman Mark’s grandmother, Lily, had set aside some money which she has specified was only supposed to be released on this particular date 3 years after she had passed away. In her will she stated that the money was for her grandson Mark to buy an engagement ring for his girlfriend Holly. Strangely enough Mark had already begun the process of saving up to buy an engagement ring in order to propose so everything had been perfectly timed. Liliy had only known me for fewer than 10 months, but, she knew her grandson Mark and somehow she knew that someday we would get married.

On The Menu:

Pre Snack / Starter:
Harvest Table with homemade bread, party wheels, biscuits, homemade jams, butter, cheddar cheese, camembert cheese, brie cheese, sweet chili cream cheese, salmon cream cheese, chicken liver pate/snoek pate, vegetables crudities, preserves, assorted cold meats.
Main:
Pulled pork, slow cooked in ginger beer, served with spring onion, coriander, sour cream, Mexican three bean salad, baked sweet potato, aubergine lasagne bake, grilled corn with butter and parsley.
Dessert:
Churros with a chocolate dipping sauce.

 

On the Playlist:

Rory Batl-Ax Rijkers was our DJ. He played a great selection of music and managed to keep our guests dancing until the reception doors eventually closed at 2am (Mark and I included). As a matter of fact, three guests attending another wedding at De Uijlenes came to join us because they heard us having such a joll on the other side of the farm.

Challenges Overcome.

If we could change anything it would be to have all the speeches in one go instead of doing two here and two there since people tend to all run out for a smoke so you have to heard them all back inside again.

We had the most difficulty with the bridesmaids’ dresses because we wanted to have them made. But, if I could advise anything rather buy dresses for your bridesmaids because this eliminates a lot of potential headaches. The infinity dress is super versatile for any body types and comes highly recommended in my books.

It was extremely helpful to choose a venue that offers multiple services/an all-inclusive package such as catering, décor, wedding cake, venue setup, accommodation, flowers etc. This eliminated having to deal with multiple suppliers and transporting of various items.

 

Honeymoon tales!

Eat. Sleep. Swim. Repeat.

We spent a week at Emeraude Beach Attitude in Mauritius which was the perfect place for some much needed RNR after months of wedding planning and preparation. During the week we indulged in the buffet, drank unlimited cocktails and lounged by the poolside/beach.

On one of the evenings the resort arranged a romantic four-course dinner for us which rendered us unable to move from our seats.

We also took some time to go snorkeling (which we loved) and took a boat ride out to explore Île aux Cerfs where we met a few little critters.

 

Wedding Day in One Sentence:

Just as our cake topper said it was truly the “best day ever”

 

 

Service Providers:

Venue: De Uijlenes
Photographer: ORGANICTALES
Dress: Urban Bride
DJ: Rory Rijkers
Officiant: Cape Town Officiators

This groom went all the way to Dubai to pop the question!

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Weltevreden Estate Wedding.

~The Secret Garden Chapter.

Brad & Tayla is the perfect example of fate bringing the right people together.  A simple tweet to go hike Lion’s Head turned in to the most beautiful romance.  Read their story below and get a glimpse of what I saw on their beautiful wedding day.

 

Destination – Fate.

Tayla and I both moved to Cape Town 5 and a half years ago. Tay from Durban and I from Johannesburg. We first started chatting on Twitter like real Millennials. I still remember the first time I saw Tayla in person and remember thinking – “She is way out of my league”. Luckily, she hasn’t realized this yet!

Dubai – The City of Gold, Diamond and Proposals.

In December 2016, we planned a cruise around the UAE, visiting Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Oman. Little did Tayla know, that’s not all that was planned! It was the 25th of December and I needed to find a way to get Tay dressed up. I managed to convince her that it was family tradition to dress smart for Christmas which seemed to work and so, off we went, in 30+ degree weather, on a tourist bus and looking very out of place. We booked a trip up the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. We wondered around and around, admiring the view (actually while I tried to find the perfect backdrop) and eventually I got down on one knee and proposed.

Weltevreden Estate Wedding.

We wanted the style of our wedding to reflect the abundance of natural beauty our venue, Weltevreden Estate had to offer. We decided to stick to a neutral colour palate of greens, whites, greys and silvers to compliment the Cape Dutch architecture.

We chose Weltevreden Estate as it encompassed everything we had envisioned for our day. The gardens at Weltevreden Estate are stunning, which allowed us to have a beautiful outdoor ceremony. The venue had a vintage-feel, due to its Cape Dutch architecture but still a hint of modernism, which was a perfect fit for the style of wedding we were planning.

 

Rose Moltena Couture.

When I first went dress shopping I wasn’t set on a particular style of dress. I did, however have a designer in mind. After trying on numerous dresses at various wedding boutiques across the Western Cape, I decided to book an appointment with Rose Molteno. From the minute I entered her show room I fell in love with the simple yet elegant bohemian style. All of her dresses were fascinating, and it was evident that she puts tons of love into each and every design.

 

Flawless Hair and Make-up.

Leandre van Rooyen was the hair and make-up artist for me and my bridesmaids on the day of our wedding. She was absolutely fantastic and far exceeded my expectations!

The moment.

Bride:  The most memorable moment of the day for me, was walking down the aisle towards my future-husband. That is the moment when all the nerves and excitement started kicking in, and the moment when I realized that this is our day and the beginning of the rest of our lives together.
Groom:  Taking Tayla’s hand at the altar. I was in complete disbelief that this was my wife standing in front of me and how lucky I was.

The harpist and flutist from Zest music complimented the serene environment. The duet played at our ceremony and canapés.

Our Marriage Officiant.

Our officiant was Basil Sparks from Durbanville Baptist Church. We choose Basil as we look up to his wisdom and his ideologies surrounding marriage. Basil delivered a very meaningful message during our ceremony that has really stuck with us.

Photographer Research.

We searched high and low for a photographer that suited the style of photography we were looking for, for our special day. Tayla has always had a great interest in photography so she knew exactly what she was and wasn’t looking for in a photographer. When we found Landi we knew she was the one! We booked our photographer before we booked our venue!

 

Rings are eternal and so are Tattoos!

Groom: I stalked Tayla’s Pinterest with the jeweller but already had 2 styles in mind. Eventually, with the help of Grand Diamonds, the perfect style and stone was chosen.

Bride: Brad wasn’t all that keen on wearing a traditional wedding band and even considered getting a tattoo! We found Brads ring at the Canal Walk Wedding Fair. Brads ring is made of black tungsten and rose gold.

Weltevreden Estate Caterers.

Weltevreden Estate did all of the catering for our wedding. For starters we had waldorf salad, caraway beetroot, crème fraiche & orange segments and Maple & pumpkin pie. Mains were served as a buffet and included a variety of catering options to suit everyone’s dietary needs. For dessert we had panna cotta, vanilla & roasted white chocolate sponge, strawberries & cream and our salted caramel wedding cupcakes from Tessa’s Bakery.

Alcoholic and non-alcoholic punch was served at the canapes. We ensured that there was enough champagne to go around during the speeches and each table was set with a bottle of red and a bottle of white wine from Somerbosch winery in Stellenbosch.

Brad & Tayla’s Advice.

Do your research on your service providers and read the reviews!

The day in one sentence.

Everything we hoped and dreamed it would be – the perfect start to our happily ever after.

 

 

Service Providers:

Venue:  Weltevreden Estate
Photography: ORGANICTALES
Dress: Rose Molteno
Music: Zest Music
Florist: My Green Love Affair
Hair & Make-up: Leandre van Rooyen
Gowns: Vows Adornments
Photo Booth: Fun Photo Booth
Fairy Lights: Lekker Trou
Cake & Cupcakes: Tessa’s Bakery

How a Fortune Cookie predicted this Pregnancy

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Newlands Forest Maternity Photos

~Zara’s first chapter.

Let me read your fortune.

Donna: I took about three different pregnancy tests that afternoon. It showed all positives. It was so overwhelming. I so much immediately wanted to share the news with Graeme but decided to wait and do a surprise announcement the next morning. The pharmacist said it was better to test in the mornings for confirmation.

So, I went to buy a few fortune cookies at ‘Jewel of the East’ in Rondebosch. So, what I did was that I wrapped the one fortune cookie in a wet damp serviette and microwaved it for 30 seconds. I unwrapped it and opened the soft fortune cookie and swopped the note out with my handwritten one. I then closed the fortune cookie and it went hard in a few minutes. I put it back in the same plastic packaging and used the GHD to seal end of the packet. It looked brand new and not tampered with.

Graeme: I got up early in the morning as usual and I went to make my coffee and Donna’s tea for her sleeping in bed. The weird thing was Donna was up and about as well, with a big silly smile on her face.  I felt there was something going on. Then, Donna said that she has a surprise for me. It was a fortune cookie but I still had no idea. And when I opened the fortune cookie. It said ‘You are going to be a father J ”. I felt so overwhelmed and started getting teary eyed.

Can you guess the gender?

Graeme: I always wanted a girl and I always knew it was going to be a girl. I knew I was going to get a girl anyway because of my sins. Haha. And my wish came true.

Donna: Being the tomboy in the family, no doubt, I always had a feeling it was going to be a boy. Looking at my family side, all boys were born first. The boys outnumbered girls by 3 to 1. So, when we went for a fetal assessment scan at 12 weeks and she was a girl! I just couldn’t believe it! Graeme was right!

 

A name for a Star.

Graeme: We were going through a million names and one day I came across Zara, the name just felt right. It sounded exotic and unusual to me. I like the Z. It is the last letter of the alphabet and it means Princess in Russia or star in Arabic. 

Donna: Her full name is Zara Georgia Galloway. Why I chose Georgia as a second name is that she named after both my deceased grandmothers from my side of the family. Both had the names Georgina.

Actually, Zara was conceived the same week when my grandmother passed away. I could pinpoint the date with my ovulation days. It is quite bittersweet because my grandmother is always asking when we going to have a baby.

 

 

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