Dornier Wine Estate Wedding.
How we met and the attributes that drew us to each other?
Adam and I met online in February 2017 and connected from the word “go”. Our first date was at Meerendal Wine Estate a month later and the rest was history. Only after the Gin tasting of course… that’s when I knew he was a keeper and after a Sound of Music movie night… (yes, he suggested it…)
Ciskia: Adam is a genuine, kind- and good-hearted man who just wants everything and everyone to live in harmony.
Adam: Ciskia is a gorgeous woman with a fantastic sense of humor that spreads kindness and happiness wherever she goes.
How did the proposal go down?
It was so beautiful and perfect. We were traveling in Zanzibar at the time with friends of (then) mine, when Adam proposed to me. Firstly, a holiday Adam invited himself on, little did I know how a year and a half later it will change my life forever. In Zanzibar on the second night of our trip, in our room on the balcony overlooking the serene ocean at sunset he went on to one knee and popped the question. It felt like I was in a movie, it was so surreal.
What was the style of your wedding and where did you find your inspiration?
Our style developed very organically from different themes and colours into a classical and sophisticated Dutch/Delft, blue and white, theme with a touch of gold. We mainly used the web for inspiration but were also led by what we could find in stores to finish our look. We tried to keep it simple yet elegant, the venue speaks for itself in its grandeur. I asked a good friend of mine to assist us with the design of our stationary and the look of the wedding and the Dutch/Delft theme just naturally came together.
We chose the Homestead at Dornier Wine Estate as our venue for the reception of our wedding. It is an original design by Sir Herbert Baker and an architectural gem in the winelands. Both of us grew up in Stellenbosch and we were looking for a Cape Dutch style venue by the foot of the mountains and let’s be honest, who does not want to have their wedding on a beautiful wine farm if you grew up in the winelands… Dornier Wine Estate just spoke to us, we fell in love with the whole vibe of the estate, the trees, the mountains, the vineyards, it all completed the picture. The deal was naturally sealed when I saw the original delft tiles around the one fireplace in the dining room. I also really wanted to get married in the Stellenbosch Moederkerk. The saying “be careful what you wish for” really rings true for me. My grandparents and my parents got married in the Moederkerk and it was a dream of mine to get married in the same church as them and in our hometown on a wine farm.
The dress found me, really, no jokes. I decided on renting a dress, so the next best thing to cut the costs and to not end up with a dress in the cupboard, was to rent. I went to a few shops for fittings and did not find what I was looking for although I had no idea what I was looking for… I then visited Ilse Roux Bridal and there it was the perfect dress for me. The moment I tried it on I just knew it was my style. I loved the off-white undertones with the romantic and feminine lace overlays. The neckline was very flattering and I felt comfortable with the long lace sleeves.
Who made sure your hair and makeup looked beautiful?
The gorgeous lady responsible for our hair and makeup on the day is a master in her field. Melissa from SMUK, she truly knows how to transform a person. She just makes you feel so beautiful and at ease, Melissa is truly a trooper to have by your side on your wedding day.
Who officiated the ceremony? How did you find him and what made you choose him?
Our minister was the best, Ds Johan Botha. You just know when you meet someone that they are genuine and that they love what they do. He has a way of putting one at ease with a great sense of humor, while at the same time treating the occasion with the love and respect it commands. He guided us all the way with information regarding the ceremony and gave us great practical tips for on the wedding day.
Any special story behind your rings and where did you find them?
Adam loves the ocean and all the different shades of blue, my birthstone is a Sapphire and that is how we decided on the center stone of my engagement ring. Adam also inherited diamonds from his mother that has been used in the ring. The stones very much dictated the design but we had a brilliant jeweler from Viljoens Jewelry who led us in the right direction and did the manufacturing for us. The wedding band followed the design of the engagement ring to fit together.
What was the most memorable moment of the day?
There were so many special moments and they passed so quickly, it is so difficult to choose one, but the one thing that stood out for us was the rose ceremony. Some other stand out moments that come to mind are walking out of the church as husband and wife and being showered with confetti, being driven to the reception in the wedding car and of course the first dance that will stay with us forever.
How did you experience your photographer’s service and where did the importance of photography fall in your day?
Simply put, we experienced Landi Groenewald nothing short of superb. She and her assistant were at all times extremely professional. They always went the extra mile in trying to get the perfect shots. Having said this, they were also never distracting or in one’s way during either the church service or reception, again showing professionalism and experience. The importance of photography was to capture all the moments and small details of the day, so that we will be able to relive our special day for years to come.
Did you have a wedding/event planner and how did this service benefit you before and on the day?
You read and hear this advice everywhere and for GOOD reason. Spend a portion of your budget on a wedding planner/coordinator, it will be money well spent in the end. I do not regret spending a cent on our event planner, To-Netts from Paarl. Nicole was brilliant, professional, punctual, friendly, helpful – the list goes on… They did a mock-up table for us before the wedding so that there was no surprises on the day and they did all the setting up for our wedding. It was great, no extra stress for the bride and groom on the day! We also had a coordinator from the venue which was great, Jodie managed everything so well and nothing was a problem for her. You definitely need people before and on the day to manage the setup and run of events for you. We also had a great MC who worked well with our coordinator to make sure everything ran smoothly the night of the wedding.
Who were your caterers who made sure your guests were happy and fed? What was on the menu for the evening.
This is a good question! The food! We had THE best caterers in the industry, Zest Catering, you can’t go wrong. We had the tastiest canapes for pre-drinks and for starters we had Spiced pear, watercress, smoked goat’s cheese & honey roasted almonds with an orange, pear and cinnamon dressing. The main course was Rosemary and garlic marinated beef fillet served on potato Pommes Anna with truffle mushroom sauce and sautéed tender-stem broccoli and we had the creamiest vanilla bean and yogurt panna cotta with berries and a sesame snap tuille for dessert. Soete Swaan from Humansdorp made our Stroopwafels which we served with coffee and tea after dinner. Our cake was baked by a good friend of ours.
Who made sure there was good music and sound on the day?
Firstly, I must start with a great friend of mine, Gert Loubser, who is a brilliant musician. He made sure all our guests were entertained in the church whilst waiting for the ceremony to start. Gert also sang us one of his own songs “Sonder Liefde” just after we exchanged rings. Then Matthew Lampbrecht, the son of dear friends of mine played the violin, he played A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman when I walked into the church down the aisle. We made use of SoundPrint as our DJ at the reception, the guys were great! Great service, great music, great people!!! They were so professional and up to date, we hardly gave them a brief and they did exactly what we dreamt of. We had a great evening on the dancefloor!
Any advice to other couples still in the planning process? What was the most difficult and what really helped?
Have fun, don’t sweat the small stuff and ask people for help.
The most difficult and unromantic thing for me about the whole wedding process was the prenuptial contract. Get a lawyer who is passionate about their own marriage to help you set up your contract, I don’t know how to explain this, but our lawyer loves what marriage stands for and he “gets” it, so it was easy for us to understand and trust him.
Tell us about the honeymoon!!!
I’ll let Adam tell you about this one…
Our honeymoon consisted of two parts! Part one consisted of a two-night stay at Majeka House in Stellenbosch. This entailed wining and dining in five-star style. Part two involved a safari adventure in the Kruger National Park booked through Detour Africa. We stayed at the fantastic Thornhill Safari Lodge where they treated us to game drives, awesome cocktails and delicious food! Our hosts Sean, Merle and our guide Lambi were beyond excellent. Our barman, Connor, kept the gin and tonics coming. Our honeymoon was a truly magical experience.
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Venue: Dornier Wine Estate
Church: Stellenbosch Moederkerk
Assistant: Liam Kirby
Dress: Ilse Roux Bridal
Jewellers: Viljoen’s Jewellers
Minister: DS Johan Botha