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Chrisna & Phillip Engagement

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Chrisna & Phillip

How the Proposal went down.

One weekend I was visiting with a friend where we were invited to spend the weekend like a real bunch of farmers next to a dam.  This farm just happened to be my future husband’s farm!  When we first met, I thought this guy was a real show-off and didn’t quite like him as much.  But there was a specific photo taken that weekend which my friend really wanted, and the week after I decided to just ask him via Facebook for it.  As I was about to send Phillip a message asking for the photo, he sent me a message at the same time and that’s when we started really talking!

A week later I was meant to be someone’s date at a wedding up in Bloemfontein.  After flying up to Bloemfontein, the most humiliating experience happened as my date did not read his invite and realized at the last minute that he couldn’t bring a date.  Embarrassed and sad, I got on a plane back to Cape Town and Phillip was the one who fetched me at the airport.  He gave up his Sunday and took away all the pain and humiliation.  After a month of talking and lots of sushi dates, I started to realize what true love looked like.

In December 2017, we went to my family’s farm in the Free State for Christmas.  Phillip gave me the biggest surprise by asking me the big question on top of a little rocky hill.  He had it all carefully planned with my mom, without me suspecting a thing!

Where and When do you plan on having your Wedding?

We decided on Die Woud in Caledon.  I have always dreamed of a wedding under trees and Die Woud is just perfect for this.  They also have a beautiful glass reception area which really adds to the atmosphere.

 

How do you know your fiance loves you?

Chrisna: I can see in Phillips eyes and the way he looks at me that he truly loves me.  You can feel when someone really loves you, they don’t even have to say it.

Phillip:  I know that Chrisna loves me because she does everything to the fullest for me.  She always gives her best and tries to spoil me in some way.

 

What do you look most forward to about your new journey together?

To not being alone anymore and to have my best friend by my side for the rest of our lives.  To start a family and decorate our house.  I look forward to holidays, ups and downs together and spending life with my best friend always and forever.

peppertree wedding

The Time Grandma Caught the Bouquet!

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Pepper Tree Wedding.

~A Classic but Timeless Chapter.

I first met Carla & Janco about a year ago when I photographed another unique wedding in the heart of the Karoo.  If there is one thing I always single out as my favourite part of my photography journey, it is the fact that I meet so many amazing people at my weddings.  Cara and Janco are just some more proof of that.  So I was pretty excited when Carla contacted me a few months later to say they got engaged and that she needed to book me as soon as possible!  I knew this would be a unique journey and even their engagement images were a treat!  Scroll down to read their story from how they met to how they abseiled down a cliff on Honeymoon!

 

Tell us about how you met and the attributes that drew you to each other?

We met in September 2011 on the dance floor of a Bloemfontein hang-out spot.  A bunch of friends and I wanted to dance, but sadly we didn’t know any men to dance with us!  As fate had it, I bumped in to an old friend who introduced us to a bunch of men in the same dilemma.  A perfect match!  Before I knew it, there was a tall, brown-haired man with a flowerprint shirt standing in front of me asking if I wanted to dance.  To my own astonishment, I jumped up and yelled “Yippee!!”
We started dancing and talking that night and we just never stopped again.  It was the start to the dance of the rest of our lives together.

Some of the attributes that draw us to each other is most definitely the fact that we find the other extremely attractive!  Janco describes it as an “internal happiness” he can see in my eyes.  Janco on the other hand can literally talk to me about any topic you can think of!  Even flower arrangements!

The Proposal.

One afternoon after work, we drove through to Kimberley for a bit of shopping.  On our way back to Boshof we decided to pop in at KFC which made the day feel like a hot summer holiday from the movies.  I told Janco that I feel like painting my nails just because I can!  He immediately agreed that we should do that later!

When we got back home, my neighbour and I took my bulldog pup for a walk and by the time we returned it was already quite dark, only to find ourselves in a moment of infamous Load Shedding without electricity.  Janco already had the house set up with a bunch of candles, a bottle of wine, music and the nail polish ready.

After my nails were dry, Janco gave me a hug and I could hear his heart beating right out of his chest!  I became so concerned that something was wrong and kept asking if he was okay.  The next moment the man went down on his knee, holding a ring towards me.  He was the most beautiful picture framed through that ring! I became so excited that I started running around in the house from excitement.  He had to bring me back and calm me down to give him my answer.  But I only gave him my “YES” after he reassured me that he had my parents’ permission! Haha!

Pepper Tree Wedding Venue.

The style of the wedding was only confirmed once I had my dress.  Classic and Timeless.  The flowers had to be different colours and there had to be a hint of rose gold.  In the end I decided that nothing matched, but overall it still made a beautiful image together.  My inspiration of course came from Instagram and Pinterest.

We only looked at one venue in person and then decided to just look further online.  I only had one request which was that the chapel should not have a thatched roof and that there needs to be a lot of natural light available.  Janco also only had one request and that was that everything needs to happen inside since we did not want to stress ourselves in regards to the weather.  We saw Pepper Tree Wedding Venue online and booked our date and a viewing.  We fell in love with the garden, the timeless feel and how welcoming everything was.

How did you decide on the dress and where did you find it?

One morning during the June Winter Holidays, my mother and I went to Bloemfontein to go dress shopping.  We went to 3 different stores, yet I had no idea what I was looking for.  They say the dress first needs to fit your body and second your taste! Haha!  At the third shop I probably fitted about 13 dresses in 5 minutes!  In that pile of dresses there was one that just kept talking to me and eventually stole my heart.  Bridal Emporium in Bloemfontein really helped me so much!

Is there any special story behind the rings.

Janco designed and drew pictures of my ring while he worked in America for a year.  I never really showed him what I liked, but I did tell him that if a ring is rose gold, I would like the diamond to be a clear white diamond, but if the ring was white gold then the diamond had to be pink!  He clearly did listen to me and when he returned to South Africa, he had it made by Philip in Kimberley.

His ring, on the other hand, is completely the opposite.  It is rough and something very different.  He is a farmer and works with his hands a lot and well… Janco himself is also very different.  His ring is oxidized silver with a golden rif welded on top.  It is also bruised and hammered to give it its rough look.  It represents the fact that not everything is perfect but in the great picture everything still remains beautiful and unique.

 

Who made sure your make up and hair looked beautiful.

Vanilla Moon in Bloemfontein is a bride’s one stop shop!  They definitely made sure I looked absolutely gorgeous and knew exactly what I wanted.

Most memorable moment.

I really want to say that the whole day was a memorable moment!  But there definitely were highlights!  One of the moments I will cherish was when I walked down the aisle with my dad, and seeing Janco waiting for me in front.  I felt so excited and yet so calm!
Another highlight was walking through the confetti and all the special dances that followed that evening with my husband and then also with my  dad.  A favourite moment was indeed when my grandmother caught the bouquet!  We joked with her before the wedding that we will set her up with a handsome hunk for the night, and what do you know! There she caught the bouquet!

How did you experience your photographers services….

WOW WOW WOW! When Landi Groenewald walked in to my room that morning while we were getting ready, everything started feeling real!  She was great!  I figured that if I book Landi for the photos I wouldn’t need a videographer! Haha!  She made us feel so at ease and she literally gets along with everyone and every guest on the day!

Who were the caterers.

Pepper Tree Wedding Venue was in charge of the catering.  The food was unbelievably delicious! My mother baked the cake and cupcakes and two friends helped her to decorate it all.

We also had a gin bar that was open during the Canapes.  A cash bar with extra cooldrinks and water were available during the canapes time, and later for everyone else’s hard tac.  We provided the Sparkling Wine for the toasts and enough wine for everyone who wanted to give the bar a skip.

 

Who made sure there was good music and sound?

Our DJ was Gert Deysel.  A man of many talents!  He is a dairy farmer as well as a DJ!! How awesome is that!  The chap lives right around the corner from Petrusburg and he had all our guests dancing and moving to the beat!

Is there anything about the day you wish you could change?

I actually never thought about that question!  I wouldn’t change a thing, come to think of it.  Even though it rained, the day still turned out perfectly magical!

Any advice to couples still in the planning process.

ENJOY the planning process and… MAKE LISTS.  My mother was the one who suggested and enforced the plan to make lists because I more often than not have the attitude of “let’s just wing it!”

Tell us about the Honeymoon….

We don’t kiss and tell….
Haha! We went to Clarence for 1 night, then 4 nights in Uvongo at Pebble Beach and lastly we spent 2 nights in the Drakensberg mountains at Berghouse Cottages. It was so unbelievable!  I don’t think we have ever laughed or ate as much!

Janco also had me abseil down a 160m high cliff at Oribigorge in Kwazulu-Natal!  The man is testing my limits! Haha!  But as a result I received my first certificate with my new surname on it!

Describe your wedding day in one sentence.

“Classy with a twist, friends,  music, fun, love, happiness, flowers, family and LOVE.”

 

SERVICE PROVIDERS:

(Please do not screenshot or copy images from this webpage.  A download link will be made available to the bride soon)

VENUE: PEPPER TREE WEDDING VENUE

PHOTOGRAPHY: ORGANICTALES

DRESS: BRIDAL EMPORIUM

FLOWERS: WALDORF

DECOR: HARTSLIEF

STATIONARY: TROULANTYNTJIES

HAIR AND MAKE UP: VANILLA MOON

DJ: GERT DEYSEL

ASSISTANT: ANGELA BUTLER

 

Win Free Wedding Photography

By | Couples, Photography, Wedding | 16 Comments

Win Free Wedding Photography

– A chapter on giving

 

I know I’ve said this a thousand times,
but I feel so passionate about the importance of capturing life’s most precious moments.

Every year I try to give back to the universe for blessing me over and over again.  I was given a talent and there are few things in life that makes me happier than being able to share and give the fruits of this talent to other.  So every year I choose one deserving and loving couple to photograph their wedding free of charge.

One thing you’ll always hear me say is, if there is one thing at your wedding that you should invest in more than anything else, it is your wedding photographs!  Your venue will look great, the décor will be perfect, the food will be delicious, the music will sound tasteful, your dress will look stunning on you and your hair and makeup all will have you transformed for your most beautiful day.  But the only thing you’ll take home with you is the captured memories.  This is why I value the wedding day photography above all else since it is the only part of the day you can take with you 50 years down the line.

.

So if you haven’t booked your photographer for your 2019/2020 wedding, keep reading!

Win Free Wedding Photography

Win Free Wedding Photography

Win Free Wedding Photography

Win Free Wedding Photography

Organictales will offer one lucky couple  a chance to WIN FREE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY worth R20 000!

 

“I’m excited to see your dress! I’m excited to see your hair and makeup. How you’ve made up your venue and I’m excited to see all the happy memories shared between you and your loved ones!”

THE PRIZE

* A Pre-Wedding Shoot with 30 High Resolution Images
* Pre-Wedding Meeting and Discussion
* 10 Hours Wedding Day Photography.
* High Resolution Digital Files on a personalized USB

 

But that’s not all! ORGANICTALES will offer a 10% discount to anyone who entered the competition but didn’t win! (T’s & C’s apply)

ORGANICTALES PHOTOGRAPHY will also sponsor up to 3 other prizes for people who entered this competition but did not receive first prize.

 

Win Free Wedding PhotographyWin Free Wedding PhotographyWin Free Wedding PhotographyWin Free Wedding Photography

THE COMPETITION:

Being able to capture the love union of two people is a big honour and blessing, so choosing winners for this competition will rest on a few things that will let me know how highly you value photography in your lives.  Last year I did a similar competition and the entries and stories were so lovely, they had me laughing and crying with emotions.  It was a pretty hard decision to make and I am sure this year will be just as much of an experience.  This is why I spiced it up a little more.  This year’s competition will have finalists who will go through to the next round where a final winner will be announced.

Building a relationship with all my clients is very important to me as it greatly aids in being able to capture your unique personalities on the day.

Couples chosen as finalists must be able to meet with me for an in person OR Skype interview.

 

 

 

So how do you enter and Win Free Wedding Photography?

 

  1. All you have to do is fill out the survey at the bottom of this post.
  2.  To better your chances you have an OPTION to also go LIKE my FACEBOOK page and invite 5 – 10 friends (or more) to also like my page so they can support you.  How do you do that?    When you visit my page you will find a section on the right (circled below in red) that says “Invite friends to like this page”  Please make a list of the people you invited and include it in the survey where it prompts you to do so.  Please note that this second step of the competition is OPTIONAL, however it will increase your chances to win free wedding photography.

Win Free Wedding Photography

 

3.  For some extra points you can also go and FOLLOW me on Instagram and like 5 – 10 of your favourite images on my feed @Organictales

 

Fill out this survey and send through to organictalesphotography@gmail.com and stand a chance to WIN FREE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

Entries Close  23 Feb 2019 at 23:00.  Entries valid for weddings taking place any time between March 2019 – July 2020.

Good luck everyone!!

SURVEY

Please use GOOGLE CHROME / SAFARI to submit your survey 🙂
Please DOUBLE check that your email address is correct. If not I will not be able to respond to your entry.
If you have any problems submitting – please email your answers directly to:
organictalesphotography@gmail.com  /  info@organictales.com

  1. Which of these options would you use MOST when searching for a Wedding Photographer?
    Word-of-mouth (friend recommendation)FacebookGoogleInstagramWedding Expos
  2. When looking for a Wedding Photographer, which editing style do you prefer?
  3. Which of these styles do you think will still look beautiful and timeless 20 years later?
  4. When receiving Pricing from a Wedding Photographer, which package options do you prefer?

    (Packages include options that differ in amount of Hours / Albums / Products etc to choose from)
    Single Package Option1 - 5 Package Options1 - 3 Package OptionsFixed Price with additional add-ons (Albums / USB / Additional Photographer / Extra Hours / Canvas)
  5. When choosing a Wedding Photographer, what shooting style is most important to you?
    Candid moments and real expressions for the whole dayPosed and guided photosPosed Couple Portraits but candid real moments at reception
  6. When viewing different Wedding Photography Websites, do you prefer it if the photographer has a section where you can view full weddings previously done, or do you only want to see a slideshow with a selection of only the top 10-20 single images chosen by the photographer as his/her best.
    I prefer viewing a full wedding to see how a photographer documents an entire day.I am able to judge a photographer’s ability by 20 images only.
  7. What is your Wedding Photography Budget?
    R8000 – R10 000R10 000 – R15 000R15 000 – R20 000R20 000 – up
  8. Should you not be chosen as a winner, would ORGANICTALES still be one of your options as Photographer for your wedding?
    Yes, I would still consider ORGANICTALES as my photographer.No, I am only interested if it is Free
  9. Why would you like ORGANICTALES to photograph your wedding?
  10. When searching for a Wedding Photographer, what is MOST important to you?
    PricePhotographer’s Experience and Skill in the Wedding Industry.
  11. Which of these Weddings do you enjoy the most and why?
    Karoo Street WeddingBuitenverwachting WeddingRose Barn Wedding
  12. Examples

    Karoo Street Wedding   Buitenverwachting Wedding   Rose Barn Wedding

  13. If you are chosen as a finalist, would you be able to meet for an In-person OR Skype interview?yesno
  14. If you have trouble uploading your photos here, please email them to organictalesphotography@gmail.com with your names and wedding date as the email heading.

Win Free Wedding Photography

 

 

*Organictales Photography reserves the right to cancel this competition or disqualify any entry without notice*

 

 

 

 

Delsma Farm Venue – Riaan & Mardené

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Delsma Farm Wedding

~A Chapter about family and friends.

 

How a cow brought two people together.

Riaan grew up in Mpumalanga and I grew up in Cape Town. In 2011 I went on a Christmas family holiday to a farm in Mpumalanga where my uncle worked. During the same time Riaan stayed with his uncle on the neighbouring farm. During the second week of our holiday, a cow went into labor on the farm and with all the commotion, Riaan came from across the river to find out what was going on. This is where we ‘formally’ met for the first time.

This was followed by a new year’s dance, ‘first date’ at the movies, myself surprising him on Valentines and Riaan coming to Cape Town for the first time to ask me out.  Riaan is a real gentleman from the farm; and this was always the image that I had for a dream husband. This tall guy with a soft heart.

Riaan says that Mardené’s smile stole his heart and he simply could not resist her long blond hare.

The Proposal.

It was a busy week leading up to the proposal that Saturday. I was overseeing all the preparations for a voyage the following week. A voyage that would take me to the southern oceans and at sea for 3 weeks. In addition I was also working at an event that Saturday. During the week Riaan asked that we go out the Saturday afternoon before I was set to depart. This was nothing new and more a tradition.

Riaan picked me up from the event and we went home. After the crazy week, I asked him if we could not rather stay home as I was exhausted. He explained that everything was already booked and paid for so off we went. We left home driving into the opposite direction that he told me we were going to and ended up at Majik forest. I was a little bit suspicious, as we climbed out of the car and took nothing with on the supposed “picnic” he had planned. He led me to one of the trails where there were black boards hanging out of the tree and roses on the ground. He asked that I read the boards and pick up the roses.  By the time I turned around he was on his knee. I can’t remember a word he said as everything was spinning! I realized, when he stopped talking, what was going on and that I probably need to respond! With a huge smile I said “Yes!”

Why did you choose Delsma Farm Venue?

With most of our family travelling from far we wanted to find a venue with enough accommodation. Also, we are family & friends type of people and wanted to have a weekend wedding. Braai for the Friday evening, Wedding the Saturday and Sunday morning breakfast. We were sold when we saw the outside venue for the ceremony at Delsma FarmVenue which is on the river.  Delsma Farm Venue also has a modern reception venue and enough beautiful accommodation for our guests.

Riaan and I both love the farm life, so going with a rustic vibe was a default. We also wanted to keep to a formal, modern wedding. Most of the ideas came from Facebook and Pinterest.

The Dress – Something Old.

The dress is a story. The tradition ‘something new, something old, something borrowed, something blue’ was used.

Something new: My shoes and bracelet

Something old: The diamonds from my mother’s wedding band was used in my earrings.

Something borrowed: The dress. My mother’s cousin offered her wedding dress, which happened to be the type and style of dress that I love. I tried it on and it fit perfectly. I knew this was it. Her dress also had a netting underneath which spilled some of the main colours of her wedding. The idea of doing the same and changing it to burgundy was ideal and fit in so nicely with what I wanted.

Something blue: The garter

Is there any special story behind your rings? Where did you find them?

With the help of my Maid of Honour and best friend, Riaan got some pictures of what I like when it came to the engagement ring. He then went to a designer and together they designed a ring.

Riaan’s ring was also designed. In my mother’s wedding band there were 3 diamonds, the 1 were used for Riaan’s ring and the other 2 for my earrings.

Who officiated the ceremony? How did you find him and what made you choose him?

Gerhard de Jager, is an old friend of ours. We have known Gerhard for the whole duration of our 6 year relationship. He was the Youth Pastor at our church and even though he moved away from Cape Town we knew we wanted to ask him. Gerhard and his wife, Elricka de Jager, are mentors in our life and play a huge role in our Christian life.

What was the most memorable moment of the day?

Walking down the aisle. For both of us. Nothing beats the point where we saw each other for the first time.

How did you experience your Photographer’s service and where did the importance of photography fall in your day?

Everybody’s advice to us was: Get a Photographer who knows what they do, it will be the only thing that you have after the wedding, your partner and the photos. We were in love when we saw Landi Groenewald from Organictales’ photos! We wanted photos of our wedding day that will remind us of how special our day was and Landi just knows how! After the venue, Landi was the second booking that we made for our special day. It was important to us to get the best!

Who was your videographer and how was the experience of having them present on the day?

After months of backwards and forwards in deciding whether or not to have a videographer for the special day, Riaan and I decided 2 weeks before the wedding that, Yes we should just do it.

We wanted the opportunity to relive our wedding afterwards. We were lucky to have Blue Owl Media videographers. Having videographers at our wedding gave us the opportunity to catch all aspects of our wedding.  It was an honor to have them there to catch the special moments.

Did you have a wedding/event planner and how did this service benefit you before and on the day?

Not officially. Family friends, Estelle Pretorius and Minette Nel jumped straight in and assisted with the planning of the wedding. Estelle ran with wedding in and outs and Minette worked with the accommodation on the venue. They saved us from so much work and stress that no words can express how grateful we were for them.

What was on the menu for the evening?

Our wedding venue, Delsma Farm Venue did the catering. We only heard positive remarks about the food and knew our guests would be treated to the best. Our menu consisted of:

Canapes:
Biltong sticks, slap chips, beef samosas and chicken kebabs.

Main meal:
Roast Chicken Pieces done with a Creamy Sage Sauce, Springbok Pie covered with Puff Pastry, Long Grain Rice, Roast Baby Potatoes, Pumpkin fritters (It was a MUST at our wedding) served with Cinnamon Sugar, Rocket & Roast Vegetable Salad topped with Feta.

Dessert:
Koeksisters, Melktertjies & Chocolate Eclairs and of course the wedding cake!

 

We had a cash bar. We made sure of wine and champagne on the tables for a starter and formalities. The reason for this is that the guests could control their own use of the bar.

Who made sure there was good music and sound on the day? How did you and your guests enjoy them?

Our DJ is a family friend, DJ Feerless. He knows Riaan and myself well and the type of music we love. We also had a family friend, Mariette play the violin for us during the ceremony. This gave a special unique touch to the wedding that we were looking for.

If there was anything about the day you wish you could change what would it be?

Nothing really, maybe the time. To rather start at 15:00 and not 16:00 to have a little more time with guests before photo hour.

The wedding was perfect. Will do it again any day.

Any advice to other couples still in the planning process? What was the most difficult and what really helped?

It is not easy to arrange a wedding on your own. Get help. Either wedding planner or family/friends that know what they do and are more than willing to assist. Take all the advice you can get! Have an open mind about everything and I mean everything. Prepare yourself for a day that will fly! Enjoy every moment and take it in. It only happens once.

 

Tell us about the Honeymoon!!

Going overseas was a definite! After some time we decided to go the Phuket, Thailand. It was worth all the hours spent on an airplane to get there. We are both adventurers and wanted to experience everything. We did 2 boat trips which included snorkeling, visiting the famous James Bond Island, having lunch on the boat and also at a village that is built on stilts. We bought too much but it was fun! It was a well deserved break, but we were glad to get back home to our dogs and cat.

Describe your wedding day in ONE sentence.

As perfect as it could be!

 

Service Providers on the day:
Venue: Delsma Farm Venue
Photography: ORGANICTALES
Videography: Blue Owl Media
Decor: Function Hiring 4 You
Design: Happy Trees
Flowers: Bunches for Africa
Flowers: Joel Farm
Cake: Tihmily Cakes
Photobooth: All About Photography
Lawn Games: Mr & Mrs M

HB Thom Theatre Engagement.

By | Couples | 2 Comments

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

By | Wedding | 3 Comments

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!

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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

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